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Volume 26 No. 64
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DraftKings Continues To Expand, Signs With Six Competitive Gaming Organizations

DraftKings is making a sizable push into eSports, signing partnerships with six competitive video gaming organizations and finalizing plans to offer eSports daily fantasy contests beginning Oct. 1. DraftKings has aligned with compLexity Gaming, SK Gaming, Cloud9, Counter Logic Gaming, Team SoloMid and Mousesports. Financial terms were not disclosed, but the deals, which were brokered by IMG, generally resemble those DraftKings holds in major stick-and-ball sports and provide a variety of online and offline marketing assets. DraftKings’ push into eSports at once seeks to achieve several goals for the company, as it provides an additional international component while it seeks to expand globally, exposes daily fantasy play beyond those exposed to it so far through more traditional sports and seeks to capitalize on eSports’ own rapidly accelerating growth. “When we investigated this opportunity, we found a very high affinity for eSports among our users,” said DraftKings co-Founder & CRO Matt Kalish. "This also opens up a whole new market for daily fantasy. We think this will be very powerful for user acquisition. Lots of people who try us for the first time will do so through eSports.” Kalish said DraftKings is pursuing additional partnerships within eSports beyond the initial batch of six deals. “There are lots of other things still in flight,” he said. “There is much more to come. You’ll see us be very active in this space.” DraftKings’ daily fantasy games for eSports will start with the League of Legends World Championships, set to begin next week in Paris. DraftKings is not the first to offer daily fantasy games around eSports, as smaller rivals such as California-based AlphaDraft and S.F.-based Vulcun have similar offerings and this year have each raised significant venture capital funds.