FanDuel, the daily fantasy sports operator announced last week that its CEO Nigel Eccles is leaving the company to “focus on his next venture”. Eccles took to Twitter to reveal that he’s “building something awesome in esports”.
Excited but a little bit sad to be leaving @fanduel today. It has been an amazing 8 years. Really excited to see how Matt King and the team drive the company in 2018 and beyond. For me I'm building something awesome in eSports. Watch this space.
— Nigel Eccles (@nigeleccles) November 20, 2017
The Twitter announcement has already attracted attention, with Unikrn CEO Rahul Sood chiming in and correcting the spelling of “eSports” to “esports” whilst also encouraging conversation between the two. In addition, Fnatic founder Sam Matthews tweeted stating: “Hey sir. Good to hear your coming to our space. great to have lunch with you in London! Give me a call soon. I’m out in the US for a bit”.
FanDuel as a company had previously experimented with fantasy esports by acquiring AlphaDraft in 2015. However, the venture was somewhat short lived with the site closing in October 2016.
It remains to be seen as to whether fantasy esports will truly take off. There’s been a few come and go in recent years, with Scott Burton’s Esports eSportsPools one of the only companies still operating in the space. Still, with continued pushes for change in regulation over in the United States there’s still potential for the space to grow, as even the daily fantasy space continues to struggle with legal issues. Earlier this year, the FanDuel merger with DraftKings was abandoned which would have seen the number one and two companies in the space merge.
It remains to be seen what Eccles’ new venture will be, and there’s most certainly no guarantee that it will be a fantasy esports space. Eccles is clearly a man with huge business acumen and it seems as if he’s got existing contacts in place such as Sam and Rahul who know the esports industry well.
Esports Insider says: We’re excited to see what’s next for Nigel as he parts ways with FanDuel and moves into the esports space. He’s a man that helped forge FanDuel into the giant operator they are today so should that translate into his esports venture, it could well be a great one. Shout out to Mr Sood who corrected the spelling of eSports though – someone had to do it!