[toc]The idea of fantasy sports “championships” is being ported from regular daily fantasy sports to fantasy esports.
AlphaDraft recently announced the World Fantasy Esports Championship, based around the 2016 League of Legends World Championship Finals this fall.
World Fantasy Esports Championship, at a glance
The FanDuel-owned AlphaDraft is doing the first-ever “world” championship — where DFS players qualify for a larger contest, and then compete for bigger prizes.
- Qualifying contests — which start for as little as $1 — take place during the LCS Summer Split, which started on June 9. Qualifiers will be held each week during both EU and NA LCS.
- There will be 40 qualifiers for the championship contest that will take place on October 6, during the second week of LoL Worlds Group Stage.
- The prize pool for the championship is $50,000.
- The winner will receive $15,000 and a trip to the LoL World Championship, held Oct. 26 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
A little smaller than the traditional DFS offerings
So-called “championships” have been around for years in the traditional DFS space. Those, however, have dwarfed the esports championship being offered.
For football, baseball and basketball, so-called live finals — where qualifiers all get trips to a single site to compete in person — offer millions in prize pools at FanDuel and DraftKings. The winners of those events routinely receive a million dollars. Even just regular daily contests for traditional sports are usually in the hundreds of thousands of dollars for prize pools.
So, it’s a matter of baby steps for the fledgling fantasy esports space, which really has just two operators — AD and DraftKings. The latter launched an esports product last year, but has done little as far as growing the vertical to date.
A sign of ramping up for fantasy esports?
FanDuel has largely been quiet with the AlphaDraft platform since the acquisition. The site has been left as a standalone product and not heavily promoted by the mothership while it dealt with legal issues and regulatory concerns around the US.
But the world championship could signal that that is about to change, as FanDuel looks to exploit new meaningful revenue streams. AlphaDraft also offers contests for CS:GO.
After a lightning-fast start for the esports space in 2015 — millions in prize pools were handed out — things have cooled off. But with interest in esports betting and skin betting quickly growing, it’s possible fantasy esports could eventually catch up.