FanDuel, the leading daily fantasy sports provider, announced the acquisition of the eSports platform AlphaDraft.
This move will enable the New York-based company to get into the growing industry of competitive gaming, which has 134 million viewers around the world according to Super Data, a market research company.
AlphaDraft began advertising itself to fantasy sports companies this summer and the prospect of facing down larger competitors was something that compelled the company to join forces with a big player.
“We could go independent, but it’s very likely that when FanDuel and DraftKings entered, we would be drowned out,” said Todd Peterson, CEO of AlphaDraft. “I don’t think any one of us anticipated the market would move this fast.”
The purchase of AlphaDraft is one of many recent activities of FanDuel. The company has recently also acquired numberFire, the premier next generation sports analytics platform, and Kotikan, a leading mobile app developer.
“With over 200 million people globally watching eSports, AlphaDraft gives those fans a way to engage with this burgeoning entertainment product that creates an enormous opportunity for us,” said Nigel Eccles, FanDuel’s CEO.
“This is sports for a new demographic, with very little crossover with what are considered traditional sports fans, and this acquisition gives us the ability to leverage the expertise of AlphaDraft’s team, while helping their efforts in customer acquisition and building awareness of this new industry. It’s a win-win.”
A giant and a king
Besides FanDuel, DraftKings, the other big player in the fantasy sports universe, has also made its move toward the esports industry recently.
The two companies are both trying to get a foot in the door, but unlike DraftKings, which is building fantasy esports into its core product offering, AlphaDraft will remain operational and serve as FanDuel’s eSports arm.
With the upcoming LoL World Championship, both platforms will have the opportunity to experience the industry.
What do people think?
Although these developments are fairly recent, the fantasy sports community seems to be excited about this new fantasy eSports market.
Both markets have the same kind of approach to betting where players draft a team of professional gamers and compete head to head or in a group against others.
However, these are still distinctive offerings, which each require a great deal of know-how, meaning that bettors need to know what is happening in the scene, including which teams are good and what players to pick.
Once the fantasy sports community includes the eSports events into their daily business, there will be a larger audience to address, which could potentially lead to an even bigger boost for esports betting.
Now the two fantasy sports market players are both involved in eSports. That’s big news for eSports.
Additionally, Turner Broadcasting, a major U.S. television network, revealed plans to host and broadcast a professional eSports league. Whether or not revenue from eSports betting tops billions of dollars, it’s clear that the market is quickly getting too big to ignore.