Godara, the Co-Founder and CEO of MyTeam11, speaks about his company’s resilience during the crisis and the future of fantasy gaming
When COVID-19 brought the LIVE sports industry to a standstill, it affected the business of not only organizers, players and their sponsors, but also many industries that are associated with them. One such industry is fantasy gaming.
But, during this time, the fantasy gaming platform MyTeam11 has managed to increase its product portfolio and extended its user base. In a conversation with exchange4media, Vinit Godara, Co-Founder and CEO, MyTeam11, revealed that along with presenting new offerings like MyTeam11 Quiz and MyteamRummy, the company also expanded its fantasy portfolio to nine types of sports.
He said, “As a company that believes in innovation and delivering quality and versatility to the users, we stood up to our promise in the lockdown and came up with new offerings like MyTeam11 Quiz, a knowledge-based quiz game with more than 3, 50,000 active users as of the beginning of June. We followed it up with the launch of 13- card format – MyteamRummy, which has a daily active user-base of 30K – 35K users.”
According to Godara, these offering gave their customers options other than Fantasy sports and opened up a new domain of users for them. He added, “We have also expanded our fantasy portfolio to nine types of sports: cricket, football, rugby, hockey, basketball, volleyball, handball, kabaddi and baseball.”
The MyTeam11 chief believes that thanks to his company’s innovations and sheer resilience to stay ahead of the curve, they have been able to keep the ship steady and pretty consistent during the lockdown.
Talking about the emerging trends, Godara said that limited modes of entertainment during lockdown has led to gaming gaining popularity. According to him, it has opened up new opportunities for the gaming companies, and a high affinity towards traditional and local gaming options like Rummy, Ludo etc. apart from the regular multi-player gaming options that can be seen among users.
He added, “One prominent trend that has come out is pertaining to business models. The companies that have been strategic and have had the willingness to innovate and go beyond the regular are the ones who have been able to skim through the crisis period.”
When asked that what are other innovations and adaptations the company has made during the lockdown, Godara informed that though they had always catered to small and mid-level leagues alongside major ones; in the absence of latter, the small and mid-level leagues proved of advantage to them.
He said, “We stuck to our principle of bringing new events to our platform and when the time came, small and mid-level leagues helped in catering to the needs of the users for engaging with LIVE sports.”
He admitted that the audience engaging in these leagues has been smaller in scale as compared to an event like IPL or T20 World Cup but they give very competitive numbers. According to him, “It has been satisfactory to keep the engagement organically steady. This has further helped us in discovering viable new markets for expanding our business”.
MyTeam11’s multi-sport aggregator application, SportsTiger, has become the global streaming partner of the inaugural Taipei T10 League and followed by that they also streamed Vanuatu (one of the youngest members of ICC) Blast T10 League to the Indian audience.
When asked how the audience response has been to the streaming of minor leagues, he informed, “The response has been great so far and within a short period of time we have garnered nearly a million downloads.”
Elaborating further, he informed that though the match Taipei T10 League took place only on Saturday and Sunday, despite a week’s wait, the audience was pretty eager to tune in each time. By the end of the tournament, it had more than half-a-million viewers, an impressive number for a tournament taking place for the first time.
“Our endeavour to bring the best sports to our platforms from around the world has also led to an exclusive global streaming partnership with Sri-Lankan PDC T10 League which will feature some prominent names from Sri Lankan cricket”, Godara informed.
With Sri-Lankan PDC T10 league, which is going to feature key international cricketers of Sri-Lanka Godara is expecting a positive audience response, as players have a significant resonance with the cricket fans across the globe.
Godara commented on the impact on engagement, now that the market is opening up, saying that he believes the traffic is here to stay till some semblance of normal returns. He said, “Gaming traffic has seen a significant rise in numbers and I believe it is here to stay for some time considering we are still in a phase where the majority of the people are working from home and young kids aren’t caught up in their regular college or school routines.”
He cited Maple Capital Advisor’s report titled, Gaming – India Story, according to which, the gaming industry, currently valued at $930 million, is well on track to grow at 41% annually. The report also states that the number of gamers, which are already more than 300 million is expected to grow at the rate of 47% by 2022.
Godara added, “Once we reach a phase where everything is free-flowing, I am certain that the bullish nature of the market will stabilize but it will be a new benchmark that we will be looking at and the average number of people indulging themselves in gaming will be much higher than what we probably saw a year back.”
Now, as the world is opening and a number of major sporting like English Premier League in England, Bundesliga in Germany, and the Italian Series-A, are making a comeback. According to Godara, “All these major events that are returning on the ground are an addition to our arsenal as a fantasy gaming platform and will help us serve our users better as we enter the phase of a ‘new normal’.