Now FanDuel Is Getting Into Competitive Gaming

Fantasy sports company acquires AlphaDraft and announces plans for its own fantasy gaming leagues.

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Just days after DraftKings announced it was getting into gaming, the fantasy sports company's chief rival FanDuel has announced that it, too, is adding competitive gaming to its lineup of available sports. The news comes as part of FanDuel's acquisition of esports platform, AlphaDraft, for an undisclosed sum.

In a statement, FanDuel said bringing the AlphaDraft team in-house will allow the company to create a "one of its kind daily fantasy product specifically for esports."

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Like DraftKings, FanDuel offers fantasy contests for traditional professional sports such as baseball, basketball, football, and golf. But, with "over 200 million" people watching esports, FanDuel CEO Nigel Eccles said the competitive gaming scene was too big to ignore.

"This is sports for a new demographic, with very little crossover with what are considered traditional sports fans," he said in a statement. "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.”

Also in FanDuel's announcement, the company said it expects the number of esports fans to "come close" to that of American football by the year 2017. No specific numbers were cited, however.

The following games will be supported on FanDuel: League of Legends, Dota 2, Smite, Counter-Strike GO, and Hearthstone.

Competitive gaming continues to see investment from major mainstream companies. In addition to DraftKings and FanDuel, TV network TBS announced this week that it had formed its own gaming league. In addition, TBS will air weekly competitive gaming tournaments on Friday evenings starting in 2016.

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