DraftKings aims to cash in on eSports

By Martin Green
DraftKings is making competitive video gamers the stars of a new fantasy service that will allow users to draft a team of gamers and compete for cash prizes.

The daily fantasy sports operator made its name through partnerships with the likes of the National Football League, Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer.

But it is now branching into video gaming, known as eSports, and has signed partnerships with industry organisations Team SoloMid, SK Gaming, CLOUD9, compLexity Gaming, Mousesports and Counter Logic Gaming.

DraftKings’ eSports offering will go live on 1 October 2015 with the start of the League of Legends World Championships.

Matt Kalish, co-founder of DraftKings, said: “eSports is one of the world’s most popular spectator sports, and we are excited to add League of Legends to our industry leading fantasy platform as a way to bring fans worldwide closer to the game.

“[These partnerships] show our strong commitment to the eSports space, and our desire to work with top teams and players to support and help grow this booming space.”

According to research firm SuperData, the eSports market is worth more than $600m, with a global audience of 134 million.

DraftKings has also moved to enter the UK market in the fourth quarter of 2015. CEO Jason Robins said the operator will “pool liquidity” from its UK and US operations.

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