Report: DraftKings Ends Sponsorship Offers For eSports Groups

Daily fantasy sportsbook web site DraftKings will now not be sponsoring a number of eSports groups, in response to a report on the Every day Dot.

The backstory of DraftKings and eSports

Final September, DraftKings launched a fantasy eSports platform, providing contests for League of Legends. Shortly thereafter, the DFS operator introduced offers with a number of eSports groups – compLexityGaming, SK Gaming, CLOUD9, Counter Logic Gaming, Staff SoloMid, and Mousesports.

These offers look like over, in response to the report on the Every day Dot:

However sources shut to those groups inform the Every day Dot that DraftKings has dropped sponsorship from all six of those groups. The DraftKings emblem has been faraway from every groups’ jerseys and web sites.

The rationale for leaving esports groups behind isn’t clear. However sources counsel DraftKings has been hit with surprising monetary points after operating into authorized issues in a number of states.

A DraftKings spokesperson supplied this touch upon eSports and the Every day Dot report:

“Our partnerships within the rising eSports discipline have been rewarding and we worth our continued relationships with these companies. We stay dedicated to providing thrilling eSports DFS contests by means of the DraftKings platform and can proceed to discover alternatives accordingly.”

Anecdotally, DraftKings used to point out up as a sponsor on group websites like, however now not does. From CLOUD9’s “Companions” web page in November:

DraftKings Cloud 9

And equally at Mousesports. From January:

DraftKings Mousesports

Cash troubles for DraftKings?

The Every day Dot story mentions sources citing monetary points. In November, DraftKings reportedly had been asking to defer funds in a few of its sponsorship offers.

DraftKings’ offers with skilled sportsbook franchises are presumably nonetheless energetic; it simply introduced offers final month with a trio of English Premier League groups because it entered the UK market with a playing license acquired in 2015.

Authorized Sports activities Report has no on-the-record perception into DraftKings’ funds and money readily available past what has been reported elsewhere; the Boston Globe (paywall) just lately reported that DraftKings raised USD70 million. (That’s on high of a reported USD600 million-plus raised by DraftKings over the course of quite a few funding rounds.)

The bigger marketplace for fantasy eSports

Whereas the fantasy eSports market appeared to be on a path towards development early in 2015, when a pair of web sites — Vulcun and AlphaDraft launched — these expectations have been reined in with the authorized uncertainty within the fantasy sportsbook business as an entire.

Vulcun stopped providing daily fantasy eSports contests with entry charges in January. AlphaDraft was acquired by FanDuel in September, however has not been leveraged past being a standalone web site within the months since.

League of Legends contests at DraftKings have remained a really area of interest providing for the location, to this point; the location has additionally not expanded its choices to different common eSports titles like Dota 2.

DraftKings and eSports, not meant to be?

When DraftKings and FanDuel made their forays into fantasy eSports simply six months in the past, they have been doing so in a a lot completely different surroundings: the pre-DraftKings knowledge leak world that existed earlier than October.

Afterwards got here elevated media and governmental scrutiny that served to stunt high-velocity development of the 2 websites; the negativity within the business has just lately been slowed by constructive momentum for laws in quite a lot of states.

In a unique timeline, the foremost operators entering into fantasy eSports might have helped the vertical develop much more shortly than it did. As it’s, it looks like eSports on the main DFS websites could have been a sufferer of unhealthy timing, though the e-book on the endgame for fantasy eSports is much from written.

Picture by Jakob Wells CC BY 2.0