FanDuel to join DraftKings in Fantasy eSports

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Daily fantastic sports site FanDuel enter the fantastic esports market with the acquisition of Alpha draft.

What we know so far about FanDuel and AlphaDraft

Darren Heitner of Forbes broke the news first. On Twitter :

Heitner later shared what Stern said in the context of a longer maintenance with the former NBA commissioner:

Heitner: It has been reported that you participated in a $ 5 million round of funding for eSports fantasy startup AlphaDraft. What do you particularly like about this company within the esports industry?

Stern: It was the first one I was introduced to in the esports industry. I sat down with the founder – his passion, his determination and his absolute certainty that eSports was upon us – a certainty that I share. It was an early start, almost a first actor, in eSports fantasy, so I said I was in it. I was not part of the $ 5 million, I assure you, and they were acquired by FanDuel.

The news was confirmed in a press release later in the day. Few details on the logistics of the deal were available, although the statement says FanDuel will bring in AlphaDraft’s “employee base in-house to help create a one-of-a-kind daily fantasy product specifically for esports.” .

Nigel Eccles, CEO of FanDuel on the acquisition:

“With over 200 million people worldwide watching eSports, AlphaDraft offers these fans a way to engage with this burgeoning entertainment product that is creating a huge opportunity for us. These are sports for a new demographic, with very little crossover with what are considered traditional sports fans, and this acquisition gives us the opportunity to leverage the expertise of the AlphaDraft team. , while helping their customer acquisition efforts and awareness of this new industry. It’s a win-win.

Todd Peterson, CEO of AlphaDraft:

“It’s clear that FanDuel is committed to the fan community. This pairing creates an incredible opportunity to move the fantasy industry forward and create compelling products that will improve engagement of all fans. “

FanDuel vs. DraftKings, in DFeS

The movement allows FanDuel to instantly compete with DraftKings, who officially launch of eSports competitions based on League of Legends Wednesday.

It’s also possible that DraftKings was aware of the impending acquisition and quickly brought their Fantasy eSports product to market. Either way, the entry of the two DFS giants makes a lot of sense ahead of the League of Legends World Championships which begin on October 1.

On Wednesday, DraftKings announced its partnership with six esports organizations: Cloud 9, TSM, CLG, SK Gaming, compLexity Gaming and Mousesports.

Daily fantastic eSports, at a glance

Daily fantasy eSports (DFeS) is essentially identical to the consumer DFS product. The contest structure, lobby, promotions and other essentials are more or less interchangeable.

The difference is that DFS players build athlete rosters in traditional sports, while DFeS players build athlete rosters in esports like Dota 2 and League of Legends.

AlphaDraft is one of two fantastic esports sites launched earlier this year, with Vulcun.

Both sites started with relatively little fanfare, but the market quickly picked up. Vulcun raised $ 12 million in the financing of investments, while AlphaDraft secured $ 5 million in seed funding.

Chris Grove of Legal Sports Report recently wrote a detailed report on the Esports and fantasy betting market for Eilers Research (full report here, abstract here).

He estimated that in 2015, the DFeS sites will collectively take approximately 20 mm registration fee a little less 600,000 active and unique customers participate in real money contests. That was, of course, before DraftKings and FanDuel began to put their collective weight behind the burgeoning fantasy esports market.

FanDuel continues to acquire

The purchase of AlphaDraft continues a recent trend for FanDuel to be aggressive in its infrastructure and acquisition plans and spending for some time (without counting its advertisements on television):

These measures are in addition to expansion plans in a new office in Edinburgh and open an office in Glasgow.

Esport is becoming more and more mainstream

For anyone who thought eSports couldn’t go mainstream, think about a few recent developments in the industry, beyondtwo fantastic billion dollar sports sites rush to market:

Traditional fantasy sports vs. fantastic eSports

DraftKings and FanDuel take different routes in the DFeS market. DraftKings, as of now, is build your own product in your interface. FanDuel, by acquiring AlphaDraft, appears to be at least somewhat retaining the product separate, although full integration into FanDuel is also a possibility.

Existing FanDuel and DraftKings brands doesn’t fit naturally with the typical esports fan, presenting what on the surface appears to be a entry barrier. FanDuel seems to get around this problem, to some extent, with acquisition.

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