FanDuel acquires AlphaDraft to up the ante on eSports betting industry

FanDuel acquires AlphaDraft to up the ante on eSports betting industry
Chris Higgins

Fantasy sports monolith FanDuel has acquired eSports betting startup AlphaDraft as further big players in sports wagering enter the scene.

Last week’s announcement that current market leaders Draft King would be expanding to provide eSports options has been followed swiftly by closest rivals in the sector, FanDuel.

The fantasy sports industry has made massive gains in eSports since the beginning of the year, when both AlphaDraft and Vulcun announced the opening of their first rounds of investment.

Since then, the two have accounted for 97% of the market, with AlphaDraft taking the smaller share of 43% of business to Vulcun’s 54%, according to an Eilier’s Research industry report.

Author of the report, LegalSportsReport’s Chris Grove, saw the potential for growth in Daily Fantasy eSports (DFeS) even before DraftKings or FanDuel entered the arena.

“We estimate fans will wager over a quarter of a billion dollars on the outcome of eSports events in 2015, a number that we project will exceed $23bn by 2020,” Grove said.

Before the acquisition, AlphaDraft occupied LegalSportsReport’s third place in Daily Fantasy Sports site rankings, just behind FanDuel, based upon guaranteed prize pool sizes and registered entrant counts.

The asset FanDuel now has cannot be overstated, as they have effectively sidestepped any difficulties in negotiating an entry into the market with an existing and qualified team already in place.

“This is sports for a new demographic, with very little crossover with what are considered traditional sports fans,” said Nigel Eccles, CEO and co-founder of FanDuel. “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.”

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