About Fantasy Football Fix
Fantasy Football Fix is a fantasy sports site that uses the world's most powerful predictive fantasy football algorithm to make informed transfer decisions and increase its users performance using live set of statistics. By uploading their Fantasy Premier League squad, players get exposed to a whole new world of predictive live statistics and next generation features to help them score more points and get ahead of the game using second screen.
Fantasy Football Fix Use Case
Fantasy Football Fix provides live set of statistics to thousands of players, serving premium realtime features using Ably’s Pub/Sub messaging to organize the messaging traffic into named channels and deliver predictive game statistics to its audience.
As the updates take place during a live game, every individual action from the game is collected, packaged and distributed by sports data provider Opta and used by the powerful predictive algorithm of Fantasy Football Fix. Once the live set of statistics is available it is delivered in realtime to the premium fantasy sports players. Performance and low latency are paramount in ensuring this flow of sports data stays scalable and limitless using Ably’s reliable realtime API.
Providing realtime updates only during live sports events at the moment, the team is looking into expanding its realtime usage by introducing chat based features and additional realtime web updates using Ably to enhance the players experience.
Key Technologies used
- Pub/Sub messaging
- Message History
- Guaranteed delivery and ordering
The Ably Solution
Simple API and Pub/Sub messaging enables smooth realtime implementation
Initially set up using a non-realtime service, the team was using polling mechanism to retrieve sports data however this did not prove to be the best solution as they would typically need to poll data every minute, while the players were expecting instant realtime notifications once a goal was scored. Additional overhead was also created on its servers as well due to the usage of the polling mechanism even when there were no game updates available.
This led to looking for a realtime solution such as Pub/Sub messaging and started exploring usage of Django channels which proved to be complex and time consuming to apply. The goal was to ensure simple implementation and technical support in order to minimize the complexity of integrating channels with the predictive algorithm. Due to the simple realtime API and technical documentation of Ably, the team was able to get up and running in 10 minutes without the need of a deeply technical expertise which helped save time and simplify the transition to a sustainable realtime solution.
Message History & guaranteed delivery ensure messages get delivered
Due to unstable networks, lots of the players were experiencing connectivity issues which was causing loss of message updates that never get delivered. Combining the reliable message ordering solution of Ably with Message history, the recent updates are stored for up to 2 minutes and retrieved once the players are re-connected automatically which helps resume the connection state and deliver all live stats and messages in the right order which made a tremendous difference in not having to engineer a solution but take advantage of the existing unique features of Ably.
The live stats of Fantasy Football fix are also available on mobile apps (iOS & Android) where the team is also looking at Ably as a solution for realtime data delivery as Apple Push Notification Service currently does not provide any guaranteed delivery and ordering functionality which is a pain point that is crucial for enabling the delivery of realtime live statistics to its players.