Former NBA Commissioner David Stearn is jumping on the daily fantasy sports bandwagon in a big way. Earlier this week, Stearn plunked down a $ 5 million investment in Alpha-Draft, an e-sports focused fantasy sports site.
Alpha-Draft is one of a growing number of fantasy sports sites that focus exclusively on the massive competitive video gaming world. That’s right, there are multiple daily fantasy sports sites where players can draft squads of fantasy video game players, for money.
The emergence of this niche market is hardly a surprise to millions of dedicated gamers who follow e-sports. In countries like Korea, e-sports are treated the same way the UK treats the Premiere League or the US treats the NFL.
This huge, and relatively untapped, market offers some real opportunities for operators, like Alpha-Draft, to cash in on some very lucrative demographic groups.
According to a report on CalvinAyre.com, Alpha-Draft has already promised to pay out as much as $ 5 million this year while acquiring at least one million active users. Alpha-Draft, however, is hardly the only outfit looking to cash in on e-sports.
In Los Angeles, another fantasy e-sport called Vulcun.com has already raised $ 12 million from big-time venture capital firms. Though the market is tight, both groups say that there’s more than enough e-sports market to accommodate some friendly competition.
That kind of attitude must sit well with investors like Stearn who are counting on the e-sports market to blow up in the near future. They’re betting on the hope that e-sports will morph into the kind of mega-market, somewhere in the neighborhood of $ 500 million, that’s promised in Alpha-Draft’s promotional materials.
For now, however, fantasy e-sports are still more or less in the realm of fantasy.
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