We recently asked DFS experts, The Daily Audible to share some thoughts with us on the future of daily fantasy eSports. Here is a brief synopis of the Q&A we had with Chris Lollis, the lead researcher and author at The Daily Audible.
First off, with AlphaDraft gone, are fantasy eSports effectively dying?
Not at all… AlphaDraft was a great product and it’s a shame to see them shut down, but that doesn’t mean the industry is doomed. Not so long as DraftKings has skin in the game. Cash is king with DK, and all they need is for one of the more popular games in the eSports industry to come to them with an aggressive marketing partnership. It makes complete sense for a game like PUBG to offer in-game advertising in exchange for getting them in the lobby. It would be a win-win.
It’s free advertising and revenue for DraftKings, but how would that be a win for PUBG?
Daily fantasy sports improves the viewership for everything it touches. Just glance at the Twitch viewership numbers from August, and you can see that PUBG is dying not from of a lack of content, but because it has no professional eSports platform. Dota 2, WOW, LoL, CS:GO, Rainbow Six… these aren’t better games, they aren’t necessarily games that are more fun to play or watch, but they have established themselves in the competitive world. For PUBG to do that, they need something other than just throwing money at it, they need something like the gorilla marketing style push that DK is famous for.
But if no change is made, eSports will be gone?
As long as contests fill, DraftKings will keep it on their platform, but I think it needs help. It needs change. Especially as sports betting legalizes around the country. More eyes are going to turn to that as an option to the eSports community.
For those that don’t know, how does fantasy eSports work?
At the very core, they work exactly like class fantasy sports. You pick a player, on a team, and get points for things he does throughout the game. The scoring and rules change based on the game, but let’s give a quick example using Fortnite. Let’s hypothetically say I have Myth on my daily fantasy team. I am going to get 10 points if his team wins, I am going to get 3 points for every kill he gets, I’m going to get .5 points for every assist he gets, and I will get 1 point for every rez he gets.
Seems like a creative way to watch eSports while still competing. So why isn’t it more popular?
A lack of any real marketing dollars for one. But why don’t the marketing dollars exist? I think the two worlds are viewed as being too dissimilar, which is an oversight by everyone involved. One of the mistakes DraftKings and AlphaDraft may have made was only targeting popular PC games that don’t appeal to fantasy players. Fantasy players tend to be console players… they play Madden, FIFA, 2k, PUBG, Fortnite, COD, etc… they don’t have time for the more intense PC games like DOTA 2, WOW, or LoL.
What should we expect from fantasy eSports in the future?
We aren’t quite sure yet what to expect. It’s too quiet right now… if nothing changes in terms of games, marketing, names in the industry, etc… I wouldn’t expect growth to spontaneously occur. One company to keep an eye on is Flick. Right now it’s just a screen sharing app, but the reality is that they call themselves an eSports company, and they are backed by Nigel Eccles who was the founder of FanDuel.