FanDuel Founders Launch New eSports Firm

Two of the co-founder of fantasy sports betting company Fanduel, have announced the formation of Flick, a new company focused on the rapidly growing esports market.

Nigel Eccles, the former CEO and Rob Jones, the former EVP of Product, Design and Marketing will helm the new Edinburgh-based company, which is already recruiting developers.

According to the company, Flick will offer a new way for “gamers share and watch gaming content with their friends.”

Enormous Global Audience

While it has yet to reach the mainstream in the UK, the global esports market is already enormous. Playing games competitively at a professional level, in many cases for large cash prizes, attracts huge audiences across Asia and North America. The rise of streaming video channels such as Twitch.TV have contributed to a large and rapidly growing online audience, while live events often pull in crowds as large as those for international team sports such as football, American football, baseball, etc.

According to industry analysts, in 2017, the esports market was worth $696 million and is projected to hit £1.5 billion by 2020. Hundreds of millions of viewers around the world now watch videogames, both live and recorded, with estimates for 2017 reaching around 600 million esports viewers watching games content.

100 Million Monthly Users

To use Twitch.TV as an example, the company, which originally founded in 2007 as Justin.TV, really hit its stride when it started focusing on streaming videogames content, allowing viewers to watch other people play games. By February 2014 the site was the fourth largest traffic generator in the United States, behind Netflix, Google and Apple. In August 2014, the newly rebranded Twitch.TV was acquired by Amazon for $970 million. By 2017, the company reports over 100 million monthly average users, 1.1 million broadcasters and 15 million daily average users, more than 50% of whom spend more than 20 hours per week watching videos.

Building a Global Business From Scotland

Having built FanDuel into one of Scotland’s first digital technology ‘unicorns’ – a company worth $1 billion, Eccles and Jones stepped down towards the end of 2017 to found Flick.

Rob Jones, Flick’s Chief Product Officer, told DIGIT: “Whilst the esports market is still relatively young, it is growing fast and we feel there is a huge opportunity there. We know we work well together and have already proven we have the capability to build a global business from here in Scotland. For this new company we plan to leverage Scotland’s deep expertise in video game development.”

DIGIT has reached out to Flick for more information on the company’s platform and plans for 2018.

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