msports Tournaments


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Communicate to casual mobile game players that they're in a progressive, competitive tournament.


We came up with a bracket based tournament experience, whereby players are able to explore the tournament through seeing matchups, various scores, and browse through rounds


Wireframes for a tournament experience which we prototyped and tested with potential users

msports is Playphone's latest product. It's a free-to-play esports mobile entertainment platform that integrates with casual mobile games. One of the most exciting aspects of working on msports was being a key part of building the product from the ground up. 

We began by working with our content team to do some user research and learn more about the esports industry and the behaviors of gamers. How do they play? What do they wish they could do? An important part of this phase was also examining other products like Battlefy, Toornament, and Skillz, who were already in the esports space. Through the exploratory phase, we came up with and tested various concepts for the product. 

Once the msports concept was stable as a casual automated tournament platform, we set out on refining our product design to test further prior to release.

One way to enhance the tournament experience was to design around matches and brackets

Both organized and more "guerrilla" user testing revealed several insights. In terms of tournament structure, a few things were at the top of gamers' minds: their opponent, how they'd move forward in the tournament, and seeing their position in the tournament. 

To make these very clear to our gamers, we designed the tournament experience around head-to-head matchups. Matchups, in turn, would be part of a bracket (similar to standard sports tournaments). 

The bracket experience. Players can swipe through rounds and scroll up and down at each round to see matchups, scores, and progress

An early mock of what we thought a bracket experience might look like 

Our user retention and revenue models - which involved video ads, game point collection and more - had to be baked into the tournament experience. We kept the tournament progression as flexible as possible to accommodate these features and to ensure minimal impact on game play experience. 

Flow for a player moving from the semi finals into the finals on an HTML5 game

Since releasing msports earlier this year for HTML5 and Android, and soon for iOS, we've gone through a few release cycles, each of which has yielded data that's made us tweak and refine designs further. 

The product is live and ready to play at!