Singapore Premier League kicks off its fantasy football game
Fantasy football fans will now be able to fill their virtual squads with local favourites like Hariss Harun and Gabriel Quak as the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) announced on Monday (March 14) the roll out of the game for the Singapore Premier League (SPL).
Called the "SPL Real Manager", the game is available to play as a beta version ahead of matchweek four of the SPL, which will kick off on Friday with two games.
This phase of the game will end on April 27 and all scores will reset to zero.
A full launch - including a competitive league with prizes - will be done in time for Round 2 of the SPL season, which gets underway from May 6.
The first 2,000 users to sign up for an account and create a team will receive a The Straits Times One Digital annual subscription worth S$118.80.
The game is powered by the Real Manager platform of Funatix Club, which were announced on Monday as the Official Fantasy Football partner of the SPL, with the multi-year agreement - understood to be an initial period of three years with an option to extend - worth US$600,000 ($819,000).
The SPL will be the second league in Asia after Thailand's League 1 to partner with Funatix Club and joins the likes of the Swiss Super League and the Mexican Liga MX.
FAS general secretary Yazeen Buhari, said: "Fantasy football has become an integral part of the fan experience in recent times, and we are excited to be able to make this aspect a reality for the SPL, as part of our efforts to continually find new ways to engage our fans.
"The SPL Real Manager initiative is a result of the feedback garnered from engagements with SPL fans and we believe that this will be the perfect complement to the action on the pitch."
Ohad Crystal, chief executive officer of Funatix Club, said: "We are proud to support the growth and development of the SPL with fan engagement, data and sponsorship opportunities. I am sure that soon enough, the SPL Real Manager game will be an inherent part of the local Singaporean football experience."
The SPL Real Manager will enable users to pick a team ahead of every matchweek of the SPL.
A team of virtual players will collect points based on how their real-life counterparts fare. Other key features include a budget of $120 million, unlimited transfers between matchweeks, a maximum of three players from the same club and a transfer deadline set at ten minutes prior to kick-off of the matchweek's first games.
The SPL Real Manager application can be downloaded from both the Google Play Store and Apple Store or played on a computer web browser at www.spl.sg/spl-real-manager.