Esports One launches its fantasy esports platform
Esports One is a startup betting that there’s a big opportunity in bringing a fantasy sports approach to the world of esports — particularly at a time when traditional pro sports are on pause.
Co-founder and COO Sharon Winter told me that the company’s platform, which is leaving beta testing today, is the first “all-in-one fantasy platform” for esports. In other words, it’s not just a site where you can create a fantasy team to compete with others, but also a place where you can research players, read articles about the latest news and watch live games.
And while Esports One is starting out by supporting the LCS (North American) and LEC (European) regions for League of Legends, the goal is to support a wide range of esports titles.
Co-founder and CEO Matt Gunnin said that when he started Esports One in 2017, the goal was to create “the first and only esports fantasy destination.” And while today’s launch is in many ways the realization of that vision, Esports One has been launching other data and analytics products in the meantime, becoming a data partner for both Acer’s Planet 9 esports platform and League of Legends publisher Riot Games.
Backed by Eniac Ventures and Xseed Capital, the company was also part of the first class of startups to participate in the MIT Play Labs accelerator, and it says it uses computer vision technology developed at MIT and Caltech.
Why does an esports startup need that level of tech? Gunnin compared it to watching pro football on TV, where you can see a virtual yellow line indicating how far a team needs to advance to achieve first down.
“Imagine trying to watch a football game if there isn’t that yellow first-down line,” he said. “What we’ve been trying to build from the early days is the technology to be that first-down line for esports.”