AlphaDraft will no longer offer real-money fantasy esports contests as of October 21st.
The announcement was made via an email to customers:
Two years ago, we set out to combine eSports with daily fantasy sports. In February 2015, our team launched AlphaDraft, bringing you daily and weekly fantasy eSports contests. What started with only a few eSports contests expanded along the way and we are very proud of the platform we built. However, as we continue to evaluate the eSports landscape, we are announcing today that we have made the difficult decision to stop offering fantasy eSports contests on AlphaDraft as of Friday, October 21, at the conclusion of the League of Legends World Championship. You can continue to play contests until this time.
As has always been the case, you can withdraw your funds at any time. Please contact [email protected] if you require any assistance. Thank you for being a part of this journey with us!
Site was purchased by FanDuel in 2015
Those sponsorships were later dropped, although DraftKings continues to offer esports contests.
AlphaDraft outlasted largest competitor
While a number of sites offer some form of fantasy esports, the largest name in the space during 2015 was Vulcun.
Vulcun suspended paid fantasy sports games in January of 2016, but continued to offer some forms of fantasy contests based on an internal Vulcun currency for several months before shuttering entirely in July.
Fantasy esports proved a challenging market
The trajectory of the fantasy esports market was brief and volatile:
- Both AlphaDraft and Vulcun secured significant funding in early 2015, riding a wave of broader investor interested in daily fantasy sports.
- Our early tracking of the sites suggested that both were acquiring users at a rapid clip on a relatively modest marketing budget. While player values at DFES sites seemed quite lower (due largely to low event velocity) than at DFS sites, player acquisition costs for DFES operators appeared to be a small fraction of similar costs for DraftKings and FanDuel.
- DraftKings and FanDuel brought their marketing war to esports around September 2015, raising the prospect of a significant injection of marketing funds and mainstream exposure for the vertical.
- DFES was then caught in the undertow of the legal, legislative, and cultural push back that paralyzed the DFS industry starting in October 2015.