Virat Kohli is MPL’s Brand Ambassador for Another Year

Mobile Premier League (MPL) has renewed its association with its brand ambassador and Captain of the Indian Cricket team Virat Kohli for another year, as reported by Exchange4Media.

Virat was first signed on as MPL brand ambassador for a year in March 2019, when the company launched various video campaigns with the cricketer to gain momentum for the platform before Indian Premier League. In April 2019, a TVC campaign #GameKheloHeroBano featuring Virat was launched. MPL had about 25 million registered users in April 2019, and at present it has about 32 million registered users and over 5 billion gameplays.

Recently, MPL launched a 75-second video campaign that was shot in Mumbai, where Virat met and spoke with the top 10 winners of the ‘Meet Virat’ contest on the platform. That video went viral on social media. MPL offers fantasy, prediction and virtual games of skill and cricket.

In reference to the renewal of Virat’s association with the brand, he said,  “I am happy to announce that I have renewed my association with Mobile Premier League (MPL). In just over a year, I have seen this young Indian startup grow and reach fans across India. I look forward to supporting them in achieving their goal of being the number one gaming company in India.”

Jogesh Lulla, COO, Cornerstone Sports, which manages Kohli said, “MPL is a young company with exceptional leadership and is on track to become the largest e-sports platform. Our partnership thus far has been fantastic and we look forward to helping them grow from strength to strength along with Virat.”

“We are honoured and privileged to have Virat continue his association with the MPL family. With his love and support, we have started to march towards our goal of democratising esports and skill monetisation across India. Virat, his persona, and his positivity resonates across our youth, and along with him, we are looking forward to doing our bit to empower the immensely large talent pool in our country,” said Sai Srinivas, Co-Founder and CEO, MPL.


MPL Conducts Esports and Mobile Gaming Awareness Meet at IIM Ahmedabad

Leading esports and digital gaming platform Mobile Premier League (MPL) recently conducted an event at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) to raise awareness about mobile gaming and esports industry and career options in the industry.

As per a report by IFSG-KPMG, the esports industry in India is worth around INR 43.8 billion and is estimated to reach about INR 118.8 billion by the year 2023, with the GAGR of 22.1 per cent.

MPL is an online gaming platform that connects game developers to gamers. The platform was founded last year by Sai Srinivas Kiran G, an IIT Kanpur graduate, with his friend Shubham Malhotra. MPL hosts various games like chess, quiz, carrom, fantasy sports and rummy from third-party developers on a single app.

The MPL event at IIM-A was presided by a panel of renowned industry personnel including Sai Srinivas, Co-Founder and CEO, MPL, Professor Amit Karna, Chairperson- Placements, IIM-A, Naman Jhawar, Head of Strategy, MPL, Deepak Ojha, Founding Editor, Talk ESport, and was moderated by Dibyojyoti Mainak, General Counsel, MPL.

The event was preceded by a presentation by Deepak Ojha, on the domestic and international esports industry. Later, the panel discussion covered a range of topics including how games of skill can be democratised by the ease of access offered by esports. The game studio and developer focus for esports platforms like MPL was also discussed.

Professor Karna highlighted potential job opportunities for management graduates in the esports industry. Students from IIM-A also raised a lot of questions on the current state of the industry in India and about the available or potential job roles in esports organisations.

“We are glad to be able to partner with esteemed institutions like IIM-A to create awareness about esports and how it presents a tremendous opportunity for India on multiple fronts like recognition, employment and monetisation,” said Sai Srinivas, Co-Founder and CEO, MPL. 

As the industry grows, the company is said to be set to actively involve student and academic community by holding events and competitions where students can present business plans, case studies, etc.

Hopefully, such activities by platforms like MPL will pave a path for a more aware academic environment, where new talent will be eager to join the esports industry, giving it a push.

In October 2019, in an interview to Glaws, MPL CEO Sai Srinivas said, ‘Esports in India and across the globe is on the cusp of a mainstream revolution. Given the global opportunities that are mushrooming, we at MPL believe India is poised to grab the chance. We need the right support system for esports players and developers alike. And MPL provides the platform for the entire system to grow on.’

‘Overall, we want to play our part in developing gaming and esports as a viable career option for developers and gamers alike,’ added Srinivas.

Earlier this year, MPL raised US$35.5 million (around Rs. 248.5 crores) in a Series A funding round led by Sequoia Capital India, Times Internet (part of the Times of India Group) and GoVentures (the investment arm of Indonesian tech startup Go-Jek).

Diverse skills are employed to operate a platform like MPL. This year, MPL acquired Pune-based engineering firm Crevise Technologies in a cash and stock deal to leverage their experience in DevOps, Machine Learning, and Full Stack Development to make MPL platform more robust, agile, and reliable for its users. 

Esports platforms, such as MPL, also create opportunities for professional gamers to make a career out of their skills. In July, MPL conducted a chess tournament called MPL Chess Mahayudh, where three professional chess players won from the prize pool of INR 11 lakh. VS Rathanvel, an 18-year old chess prodigy from Coimbatore, won the first prize of Rs. 5 Lakh. Overy 90,000 users, including grandmaster Ankit Rajpara, from Gujarat, participated in the event on the tournament day. Viswanathan Anand, a renowned Indian chess players, was the brand ambassador of the event.


Feature: Qunami co-founder Seemant Shankar talks about growth of real money quizzing and gamification of education sector

Founded in 2015 as a sports news and content app, Sports Unity (later rebranded as Qunami) has become one of India’s leading trivia and quizzing apps, with over 200,000 registered users, with Nazara Technologies recently acquiring a majority stake in the company for Rs. 7.5 crores.

In this interview, Qunami co-founder Seemant Shankar talks about the hyper growth of the app in the past couple of years, its recent tie-up with filmstar Hrithik Roshan, synergies with Nazara and how the company plans to foray into the education sector in the near future by introducing quiz games for school and college students.

Full interview:

Q. Can you tell us more about Sports Unity and Qunami and why you decided to start this venture?

Seemant Shankar (SS): Sports Unity was founded in June 2015. It was the brainchild of Mr. Purrshottam Bhaggeria, an avid industrialist, whose vision was to make Sports Unity the leading sports news, scores and discussion app, where fans can discover and communicate with each other based on their interests and location.

By July 2016, Rishiraj Shrawat and myself joined the Sports Unity team, to further enforce the vision of making a mobile application that is ubiquitous and scalable enough to capture a sizable market share of the smartphone user community.

Sports Unity grew tremendously in the past couple of years. The user base started to show signs of rapid growth due to the addition and refinement of features within the application. Within just 4 months of my joining, Sports Unity’s user base grew from 500 to nearly 7,000 users.

The Sports Unity team paid a great deal of attention to user feedback. One of the key methods of acquiring those were from closed user groups where new features were discussed and alpha tested. During one such interaction, the team realized that sports enthusiasts took great pride in their domain knowledge. Trivia became the natural progression towards increasing interaction between sports enthusiasts. In order to validate this hypothesis, the team created a section that was dedicated to trivia which was only available on a pre-registration basis and active on select days of the week.

User engagement increased 7x on trivia days and the team decided to pivot Sports Unity to a Sports Trivia app. During this period the team took a bold decision of adding real money within trivia (Something that was never before tried by any trivia app in India). It was an extremely risky proposition as gambling laws in the country were very fuzzy and poker and fantasy sports apps were facing multiple lawsuits.

Fortunately, some landmark judgments by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India and various state high courts, declassified games of skill from the ambit of gambling paving the way for rapid legal acceptance of real money gaming apps like poker, fantasy, trivia, etc.

It was time to scale the idea and touch a larger set of audiences by introducing general quizzing. Sports Unity transformed from a niche cricket-based news and scores app to real money cash-based trivia app and was re-branded to a general knowledge Qunami to cater to a wider appeal.

Today, Qunami supports 100,000 monthly active users each of whom spends an average of 20 minutes per day on the app. A typical cash playing user on Qunami stakes upwards of Rs. 300 a month, which bolsters the trust and transparency Qunami has been able to establish within its community.

Q. Qunami recently joined the Mobile Premier League (MPL) platform and started offering quiz games on MPL. How has the response been to the integration of Qunami with MPL?

SS: We are a part of MPL for the past few weeks and the experience is very thrilling. Due to the tremendous increase in traffic on our app on the very first day of joining the MPL platform, we had to upgrade all our servers to handle the surge of traffic. We broke the record of the highest grossing app on the first, as well as, second day of launch!

I think the most appreciable aspect of MPL is their team’s dedication to making stuff work. Everyone, including Shubh and Sai is so hands on. Decision making is quick and fluid and they are not afraid to try out new ways to provide a better experience to users and thereby increasing revenue.

Q. Do you think game developers and gaming apps joining platforms like MPL helps in reaching out to a wider pool of players?

SS: Absolutely! One of the biggest fears of a gaming studio is to fail in reaching out to users. Its not just the number of users that MPL provides us with, its also their quality. MPL has everyone from casual gamers to hardcore enthusiasts. Your game will appeal to one of more segment of users and, using the collected data you can really refine your app’s gameplay logic to better suit business.

Q. Recently, Nazara announced that it had invested Rs. 7.5 crores for a majority stake in Sports Unity. How do you see the association with Nazara helping Sports Unity?

SS: Nazara, along with the money, brings with itself a very vast rolodex of contacts that can be great partnership candidates for Qunami.

For example, just recently we have tied up with Hrithik Roshan to see if Qunami can be a medium to bring his fans together on a common platform. Hrithik Roshan will reach out to his fans to increase their HRX Cred on Qunami, doing so, we will be able to acquire a huge user base who would potentially convert to cash playing users. If this works for us, Nazara can bring many such associations to us.

Q. Finally, can you tell us more about Qunami’s future expansion plans and how you see the digital skill gaming space evolving in India?

SS: Qunami has a lot of interesting features coming up. We are shifting our focus entirely on collaborative and network gameplay where you can associate with up to 4 other friends and form teams. Your team will compete with other teams to win cash rewards that would be finally split between your team members. Collaborative gameplay would also have communication features like voice and chat built in to increase interactivity and excitement.

Having said that, we are also exploring a new variant of Qunami called Platina which provides serious multiplayer quizzing for school as well as college students covering their course material. This gamification of education would totally revolutionize how the education sector as each student on the app will also be representing their institutions giving way to a cult like adoption.


Feature: MPL CEO Sai Srinivas Kiran G talks about his vision of creating India’s leading esports platform

Last year, serial entrepreneur and IIT Kanpur graduate Sai Srinivas Kiran G, along with his friend Shubham Malhotra, started an esports platform called Mobile Premier League (MPL) that hosted several games developed by third party developers on a single app.

Backed by marquee investors such as Sequoia Capital, Go Ventures and Times of India, MPL has, in a short span of one year garnered over 30 million registered users on its platforms and offers a wide variety of games such as chess, quiz, carrom, fantasy sports and rummy on a single mobile app.

In this exclusive interview, Srinivas, the company’s CEO and co-founder discusses how he and his team created an all-encompassing content-driven esports platform.

Full interview:

Q. In a short span of one year, MPL has become the leading gaming and esports platform in the country. Can you tell us a little bit about how the idea of MPL originated and the reasons for the phenomenal growth and success? 

Sai Srinivas Kiran G (Sai): My co-founder Shubh Malhotra and I would regularly discuss ideas for our next venture after our first startup got acquired. Mobile gaming presented itself as a great opportunity. There was no platform that could host games and connect game creators to gamers. And thanks to cheap data and smartphones becoming economical, gaming leapfrogged straight to people’s handsets. So you could say the idea behind MPL was to have a dedicated mobile-first gaming platform. 

You’re very kind to compliment us on our growth and success (laughs). I think the big reason why users and developers love our app is because of the ease of use. If you’re a game creator, it can take you less than 7 days to publish your game on our platform. And you start generating revenue from day 1. Similarly for users, it’s a simple yet secure process to sign up, and you can start competing and winning immediately.

Ultimately, a platform’s success is about the value it creates for its developers and users and I’m glad to say we are consistently doing that. 

Q. MPL is perhaps the only platform in the globe that has a diverse set of games ranging from chess and quiz to rummy and fantasy sports. Can you share some details on the most popular games on the MPL platform and some stats about the same?

Sai: First of all, big shoutout and kudos to our game developer community. They have been making some amazing games for our platform and we are looking forward to getting more games from them and partnering with more game creators. We have managed to get close to 40 games in total on MPL since our launch merely a year back, which is great, given the magnitude and scale of our user base.

We have a very talented tech team that works with our developers to get these games out and make the experience great for our users. We are constantly looking out for more such talented folks to join us so we can keep adding great games to our platform. 

That being said, we have had quite a few popular titles on MPL. Quiz, launched recently, saw two million games being played within the first three weeks of its launch! Our users have won close to Rs 80 lakh in total prize money too.

With these numbers, our developer partner can stand to make Rs 1 crore in revenue per year, just from this one stream. You may already know about the speed chess tournament we hosted in July, where 1.2 million games were played in 12 hours. So all kinds of games are doing well on MPL. 

Q. Apart from gaming, MPL has started other interesting initiatives like audio shows. Can you tell us more about the non-gaming initiatives that MPL is focusing on?

Sai: We are a platform driven by content. Gaming, audio, video, we are progressing towards becoming an all-encompassing platform. And going by the phenomenal response to our audio shows, this resonates with our audience. Our users have earned Rs 25 lakh hosting audio shows on MPL in the first two months of it going live. 

Q. What do you see are the challenges on the legal and regulatory for esports and online gaming and what is the best way to combat them?

Sai: I am no regulatory expert but what I can tell you is that fairness and therefore, recognition of skill is a central tenet of what we do here at MPL. We have a data driven approach to ensuring that only such games that test skills to the fullest are available on MPL.

We also have a very robust system in place now for weeding out fraudsters and making sure that the most skilled players play and win on MPL. Esports players, our ‘digital athletes’, deserve recognition at par with any other sport. They practice as hard and play to win. 

I think it’s about time the industry comes together and adopts a common standard for fairness, skill and the like, and we are working through various industry bodies on those aspects. 

Q. Finally, your parting thoughts on MPL’s plan and vision for the near future and the direction in which esports and gaming is headed in the country?

Sai: Esports in India and across the globe is on the cusp of a mainstream revolution. It looks like it could well be a medal event at the Olympics even before cricket! Given the global opportunities that are mushrooming, we at MPL believe India is poised to grab the chance. We need the right support system for esports players and developers alike. And MPL provides the platform for the entire system to grow on.

We want to keep adding to our games, making the platform a mini-app store where game creators can publish their games and users can compete and win, playing these games. Overall, we want to play our part in developing gaming and esports as a viable career option for developers and gamers alike.


Three professional players win MPL Chess Mahayudh

Three professional chess players won the top three positions in Mobile Premier League’s recently concluded MPL Chess Mahayudh, that saw participation of over 90,000 players and a total prize pool of Rs. 11 lakhs.

18-year old Coimbatore-based chess prodigy VS Rathanvel was declared the winner of the chess mahayudh on the night of 21st July, and has been given a cash prize of Rs. 5 lakhs.

Rathanvel secured 253 wins out of 265 matches that he competed in over a 12 hour period. On his way to the top, he defeated grandmaster Ankit Rajpara, from Gujarat, who won 241 games.

Rajpara secured the second position and a cash reward of Rs.50,000, while defeating another young FIDE Master, from Ahmednagar, Suyog Wagh. Wagh had 238 wins and finished a mere three points away from Ankit Rajpara.

The chess mahayudh, touted as India’s biggest digital chess event had got an endorsement from India’s most recognised chess player, Viswanathan Anand, who was the tournament’s official ambassador. The tournament garnered over 3 lakh registrations and saw 90,000 players competing on the tournament day, with over 1.2 million games of chess being played over a 12 hour period.

 “For a 10 month old start up to host a Grandmaster, 2 FIDE Masters and another 90,000 players is no small feat! It was an absolute honour for us to have them play MPL and we thank them for their trust. The future of digital sports is on the mobile phone and we are happy to bring chess on our platform.”, said Sai Srinivas Kiran G, co-founder and CEO of MPL.

“I am delighted beyond words about winning MPL Chess Mahayudh. This was an incredible gaming experience and I loved the challenges posed by different players across the country. Playing chess for 12 hours straight is exhausting but I am happy I was able to maintain the momentum! I am looking forward to the next chess tournament organized by MPL,” said V.S. Rathanvel, on winning the competition. He leaves for international chess tournaments later next month and plans to use his winnings to further pursue his professional chess career.

Commenting on the tournament, second place winner Ankit Rajpara said “I played over 250 games, and I did not face a single technical issue or glitch. This has never happened before in my experience. The fairness ensured by MPL bodes well for the growth of chess in the digital era.”


MPL announces Chess Mahayudh, India’s biggest chess tournament, Viswanathan Anand endorses event

Leading esports and digital gaming platform Mobile Premier League (MPL) announced the launch of India’s biggest chess tournament on its platform, christened as ‘MPL Chess Mahayudh’.

The 12-hour long online tournament, to be conducted on 21s July, will follow the speed chess format (with total of 3 minutes given to a player in a particular game). The tournament has already garnered over 2 lakh registrations, making it the biggest ever Indian chess tournament organised online and offline.

The total prize pool for the event is Rs. 10 lakhs for the top 30,000 players, with the first prize winner getting a cash reward of Rs. 5 lakhs.

Chess grandmaster and Padma Vibhushan award winner Viswananthan Anand announced the event in his tweet and a video released by MPL on social media.

Commenting on the announcement, Sai Srinivas Kiran G, co-founder and CEO of Mobile Premier League noted, “We are thrilled to launch the Mahayudh Chess tournament on MPL. This is a major landmark in our effort to keep our platform exciting to both casual and professional gamers.

We believe that real-time, multiplayer games are the future of digital gaming. Chess is one of the oldest strategy-based multiplayer game with deep roots to India’s culture. We’re proud to host this tournament and we expect it to be the largest online chess tournament in terms of number of participants competing on a single platform.”

Announcing his association with the chess tournament, Anand added, “I am excited to introduce chess to India’s growing digital gaming community. I am sure MPL Chess Mahayudh will be a closely contested event. It’s a great platform to introduce youngsters to the game and I am very excited to see them showcase their talent in this tournament.”

Legal & Regulatory

Deciphering games of skill: An MPL story

This is a guest post by Dibyojyoti Mainak, Consultant General Counsel of esports and online skill gaming company Mobile Premier League (MPL).

Operating an online games of skill platform for esports and digital sports gaming (hereafter DSG) in India can be interesting. The archaic laws, undefined legal parameters, multiple state specific legislations, conflicting judicial interpretations, and lack of competent regulatory supervision make it extremely challenging for anyone to operate an online skill gaming portal.

Under Indian law, games (online or otherwise) involving transaction of money (for entry; and if successful, as reward or prize) are potentially hit by anti-gambling laws (which are in most states, a century old) if it appears that these are ‘games of chance’. These laws have not been updated and the legislature could not have (at least, arguably) intended to make such provisions applicable to online platforms as they exist today.

The Indian online gaming space clearly highlights an area of concern where law fails to keep up with the developments in technology. This at a time, when esports and DSG is making waves internationally (esports were a part of the Asian Games 2018). India’s tech talent pool is renowned worldwide and yet, potential criminal action is a strong deterrent against any entrepreneur looking to innovate in this rapidly growing space.

Anti-gambling laws classify games as ‘games of skill’ and ‘games of chance’. These laws, as interpreted by various courts, outlaw games of chance; and make an exception for games of skill which involve substantial degree of skill over chance, or where skill plays a predominant role in the outcome of the game.

In this background, let me explain the systems put in place by MPL (Mobile Premier League), one of the leading online esports and skill gaming platforms in the country, to ensure that the 20+ online skill games, including games like fruit chop, Runner No. 1, Super Team, pool and carrom offered on MPL’s platform qualify as games involving substantial degree of skill over chance.

Games of skill, as noted by courts, are those where the success of the players depends on their knowledge, training, experience, practice, attention, familiarity with rules and strategies, and consequently their overall performance.

Adopting these parameters to an online platform we, at MPL, have put in place certain systems which help us show that all the games offered are games of skill. Good hand-eye coordination, muscle memory, reaction time (all of which can be improved by practicing) play a vital role in determining the success of a player on the MPL platform. One can generally observe that their score is improving over time as they keep practicing and their hand-eye coordination, muscle memory and reaction time keep getting better.

To demonstrate this mathematically, let us take an example of a specific game on the MPL platform – If we: (i) take a random sample set of 100 new users who have played the game more than 100 times; (ii) retrieve their scores of their first 100 games and sort them in the order of time; (iii) group the scores on counts of five and take their average (to remove the noise in the scores); (iv) plot the values (which is a set of 20 showing the average score in every five attempts) on a graph; and (v) a logarithmic scale is used on the game score axis (to make the difference in scores visible), we get the following graph:

Sample graph of 100 users gradually improving their performance in a MPL game

A line is plotted on the graph through the mean of the game scores of all the sample set users. This line shows a positive slope, which shows that the average game score of a new user has been continuously improving as the user makes more attempts at the game. As the games are predominantly based on skills like hand-eye coordination, muscle memory and reaction time of the user, the positive slope on the graph indicates that the user is improving these skills over time which is demonstrated by their increasing scores.

Put another way (a negative definition), a game of skill is one where it is possible to deliberately lose/play badly. In a game of chance, where luck is predominant, it is possible to win despite the player trying his best to lose. In other words, there is no bad way of playing at slot machines and you might win despite trying your best to lose, but there is a way to play badly at a racing game and lose. We call this the ‘Choose to Lose’ standard of skill gaming.

We, at MPL, use methods like these to constantly ensure that the games offered on our platform are games of skill under Indian law. We constantly repeat such calculations for every game, with different sample sets to ensure that we are always in compliance with the law.

We hope and trust (for the benefit of the Indian gaming community – which is one of the largest online gaming communities in the world) that the legislature enacts suitable new laws, with well-defined parameters for classification of games of skill, keeping in mind technological developments and evolution. Better and efficient legislation will encourage more players to enter this space of online gaming in India – which will not only help India emerge as a hub for the online gaming and esports industry but also help the large player community by improving their gaming experience.  

Till such that happens though, we hope self-regulation holds the key in this emerging industry and more platforms become part of a larger conversation and help us and the industry refine our understanding of what constitutes ‘skill’.

The views expressed in this article are that of the author alone and are not necessarily endorsed by this website.


MPL acquires machine learning company Crevise Technologies in cash+stock deal

Online skill gaming and esports platform Mobile Premier League (MPL) has announced that it has acquired Pune-based product engineering consultancy firm Crevise Technologies in a cash and stock deal.

Founded in 2016 by Mukta Aphale and Atul Aphale,  Crevise Technologies is focused on providing end-to-end product engineering consultations. The startup has expertise in DevOps, Machine Learning, and Full Stack Development.

The company has stated that it aims to utilise Crevise’s experience in DevOps and reliability engineering to make its platform more robust, agile, and reliable for its users. Post this acquisition, founders of Crevise Technologies will lead the 10-member MPL team from Pune.

The gaming platform also added in a statement that it had earlier collaborated with Crevise Technologies with the objective of improving performance and operational efficiency of its platform.

Speaking on the acquisition, Shubham Malhotra, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of MPL said, “As a fast-moving company, we are in a continuous deployment mode. We needed a strong team of DevOps engineers to move the delivery capacity up swiftly. Before deciding to bring Crevise Technologies onboard as a part of the MPL team we had a great stint working with them as a client partner. While working with them, we also noticed synergies in work ethics, team values, and cultural fitment, that led us to move towards this acquisition. The team brings their rich end-to-end product engineering capabilities to the table and we are excited to build MPL together.”

Founded only 10 months ago, MPL has been aggressively increasing its presence in the online gaming space in India. The company recently announced that it had expanded its platform into South-East Asia with the launch of MPL Indonesia.

Few weeks ago, MPL closed a US$35.5 million Series A funding round led by Sequoia Capital, Times Internet and Indonesian transportation company Go-Jek’s investment arm, GoVentures. The company has Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli and cricketer KL Rahul as its brand ambassadors and has more than 25 million registered users on its platform.

Business Gaming

Mobile Premier League launches platform in Indonesia

Real money skill gaming and esports company Mobile Premier League (MPL) has announced its foray into South-East Asia with the launch of its gaming platform in Indonesia.

According to the company’s press release, it believes that the time is ripe to enter the South-East Asian market since it is the fastest growing region in the world for the gaming industry due to increasing internet penetration and rising disposable income as well as due to esports’ inclusion in the South East Asian Games 2019 and Asian Games 2022.

Commenting on the development, Joe Wadakethalakal, CEO- Indonesia, Mobile Premier League said, “MPL revolutionized the old concept of arcade centers and big arcade machines, presenting it in an easily accessible platform for today’s user and their beloved smartphones. Mobile gaming has incredible potential in Indonesia and a lot of room to grow. MPL’s value proposition of providing a platform for users to compete with each other across a variety of games is unique and pioneering and will contribute positively to the growing local eSports industry.”

“We are excited by the tremendous growth potential the Southeast Asia market has shown in the past couple of years. The timing couldn’t have been better for us to expand our platform to Indonesia. As a holistic mobile gaming platform, we will continue to focus on creating platform experience based on the unique preferences of gamers in Indonesia,” said Sai Srinivas Kiran G, co-Founder and Group CEO, Mobile Premier League.

The esports platform’s move to foray into Indonesia comes just a couple of weeks after it was announced that MPL had raised US$35.5 million in a Series A funding round led by Sequoia Capital, Times Internet and Indonesian transportation company Go-Jek’s investment arm, GoVentures.


IAMAI hosts GATO 2.0 conference and awards; MPL bags Emerging Indian Gaming Company award

The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) hosted a day long Gaming for Tomorrow (GATO 2.0) conference and awards ceremony at the Leela Ambience hotel in Gurugram on 24th April, 2019.

The daylong conference had discussions around various facets of digital gaming in India. Industry experts brainstormed on the potential of various online games and will chart a roadmap for its future growth. The conference also hosted special workshops for developers by AISPL (Amazon Internet Services Private Limited) and Amazon Alexa.

Digbijoy Shukla, Head-Startup Ecosystem, AISPL in his keynote address stated that the gaming industry in India can become a billion dollar market by 2020 as the number of mobile users are expected to reach 700 million.

The summit speaker’s line-up includes several industry experts like Haja Sheriff Lead – Business Development for Alexa Skills, Amazon India; Abhishek Shah, CEO, Conversion X , Pariekshit Maadishetti, Managing Director, Grid Logic Group;  Akshat  Rathee, MD, Nodwin Gaming; Rajan Navani, Vice Chairman & MD, JetSynthesys; Sundar Raman, CEO – Sports, Reliance Industries among others and had discussions around topics like Design in gaming: Need and importance?; The rise of AI and AR/VR induced gaming; Mainstreaming Esports in India; The aesthetics of marketing a game in India; Responsible Gaming: Player Protection and Safety etc.

The conference also hosted workshops focused on the central idea of building relevant skills for the gaming fraternity of India. The workshops will be conducted by developers from AISPL and Amazon Alexa. Some of the topics that were be dissected in the workshops included ‘Build the Cake Walk Skill’, ‘The future of voice-based experiences in gaming’, and ‘Add Memory to the skill to improve your Voice User Interface’.

At the event of the conference, IAMAI unveiled the inaugural GATO awards where Indian gaming developers and companies were honoured for their excellence under eight categories. Popular mobile gaming company Mobile Premier League (MPL) bagged the award for Emerging Indian Gaming Company while Grid Logic Games (Taj Rummy) got the runner up award in the same category.

The awards were selected based on nominations received by an IAMAI appointed jury comprising of  Manish Agarwal, CEO,  Nazara Technologies; Prithvi Raj, Associate Director – Smartphone Solutions, Nielsen India; Shrikant Rajemahadik, Global Head Publisher Business – POKKT; Laxmi Desai Khanolkar, Co-Founder and CEO, Apar Games; Akash Gupta, Director, ConversionX and Shilpa Bhatt, VP – Games, 99games

The complete list winners of the GATO 2.0 Awards 2019 is as below: