Daily Fantasy Sports comes to eSports
The popular gaming activity is picking up steam in eSports
Over the course of the past several years, eSports and gaming have evolved from just being a hobby to becoming a professional sport and, finally, to a global enterprise. It has redefined the pro sports ecosystem and will surpass $1 billion in revenue this year. It makes sense, then, that a popular ancillary activity found in “traditional” sports would make its way to eSports. Now, daily fantasy sports (DFS) is becoming an integrated part of the eSports scene.
DraftKings and FanDuel are two of the largest DFS operators in the world. The former has over 8 million registered users and the latter is close behind with 7 million. Both have concentrated their efforts on the bigger sports, such as the NFL and the NBA, but are now getting into eSports, as well.
DraftKings has been backing eSports competitions since 2015; however, when the U.S. Supreme Court reversed PASPA last May, it really opened the doors to expanded activity. DraftKings offers DFS contests for League of Legends and could soon move into other games. The company’s chief revenue officer, Matt Kalish, explains, “We are certainly aware of how fast the sport has grown. One of the reasons we believe esports could be much bigger on DraftKings is we haven’t really penetrated to the full breadth of games.”
The head of media for the Action Network, Chad Millman, asserts, “[Esports] has been at the forefront of innovation as far as how it reaches fans and the way it presents its events. I’m bullish on esports in all forms, from its growing audience broadly and the ways in which it can drive betting.”
The world of eSports could be another boom for DFS operators. In 2016, around $5.5 billion was wagered on eSports competitions and this is expected to reach $13 billion by next year. Companies like DraftKings and FanDuel are in a perfect position to use their betting expertise to take the industry by storm and will certainly help make eSports even bigger than it already is.