AlphaDraft, FanDuel's esports site, is shutting down its fantasy contests

After less than two years and millions raised in funding, fantasy esports site AlphaDraft is shutting its doors on Friday
Callum Leslie
Weekend Editor

After less than two years and millions raised in funding, fantasy esports site AlphaDraft is shutting its doors on Friday.

According to an email sent to users this morning, AlphaDraft will cease offering paid fantasy contests at the conclusion of Friday's League of Legends World Championships semifinal.

The news comes just over a year after the company was purchased by fantasy esports giant FanDuel—and just a few weeks before FanDuel and fantasy sports in general became embroiled in legal controversy in the United States.

"As we continue to evaluate the eSports landscape," the email said, "we are announcing today that we have made the difficult decision to stop offering fantasy eSports contests on AlphaDraft as of Friday, October 21, at the conclusion of the League of Legends World Championship."

FanDuel and rivals DraftKings both invested heavily in esports last September. DraftKings still offers contests on League of Legends today but dropped its sponsorship deals with some of North America's biggest teams, including Cloud9 and Team SoloMid, at the beginning of this year.

AlphaDraft had attracted $5 million in a funding round just last May, before the acquisition by FanDuel. Vulcun, AlphaDraft's main rival in esports fantasy, also shut down its fantasy site in January and laid off a large number of staff.

It is unclear at this point if AlphaDraft will shut down entirely, or attempt to pivot to another aspect of the esports industry.

Three players remain on Origen as Tabzz departs

The team was recently relegated from the EU LCS.
Sam Nordmark
CS:GO and Dota 2 Writer

Origen’s roster is now down to three players, as the squad has lost its second player in a week’s time.

Following the conclusion of the European League of Legends Championship Series’ Spring Split, which saw Origen relegated from the league, AD carry Erik “Tabzz” van Helvert has departed the team. The announcement comes only six days after former Origen top laner, Max “Satorius” Günther, left the roster.

Plays like this always kept OG on tenuous footing during the regular season.

Tabzz has had a hard time living up to the success he experienced in 2014. Considered to be one of the best players in the entire league, Tabzz attended the 2014 League World Championship with Alliance. But despite qualifying off of a nearly perfect season, the team was eliminated in the group stage of the event, after losing against the Brazilian wildcard team KaBum— a match that’s still considered to be one of the biggest upsets in competitive League history.

Despite being considered one of the top teams in the league in 2015, the team’s last two splits in the EU LCS saw them struggle immensely throughout the regular seasons. While the team was able to avoid relegation following the 2016 Summer Split, Origen’s struggles worsened in 2017. Unable to secure a single victory throughout the regular season, making it the worst performance out of any team in the league’s history, Origen lost both series they played in the Summer Split’s promotion tournament and were relegated from the EU LCS.

It remains to be seen whether or not Origen will field a roster to compete in the European Challenger Series, or if the organization will sell its slot in the league.

The best of silver scrapes: Top plays from the NA LCS finals

The finals series between TSM and Cloud9 went the distance. Here are the best moments.
League of Legends Analyst

The instant you hear it, feelings of anticipation and dread wash over you. Anticipation for what's to come. Dread for what you'll have to endure to get there.

Silver Scrapes is the infamous Danny McCarthy song that is played whenever an LCS series goes the distance. Nobody is quite sure how the droning melody became entrenched in LCS lore, but the upside is that whenever it's played, something amazing is on its way.

That certainly was the case last week at the North American LCS Finals in Vancouver, where the championship series went to a deciding fifth game. We saw a incredible comeback, back-breaking plays, insane dives, and incredible escapes as TSM and Cloud9 fought their hearts out. So we went ahead and compiled some of the best for you to relive their glory.

Here are the best plays, starting with a magical escape:

Hauntzer and Sven get out

TSM top laner Kevin "Hauntzer" Yarnell has a habit of attracting his opponents to his turret. After already killing Impact under his allied turret, this time, he recruits jungler Dennis "Svenskeren" Johnsen to participate in the long con. Seriously, stop diving this guy.

Sneaky snipes Turtle

Game two was a mess for Cloud9 as they tilted off the stage. But at least ADC Zachary "Sneaky" Scuderi got this highlight-reel play in before it was over—and it was over fast. Nearly all of C9 fell after the arrow hit.

Sven dies gloriously

Coming off one of their worst performances of the year and facing elimination, Cloud9 didn't hold back. Neither did TSM. They played a tense game three with multiple outplays like this. Sven was dead to rights, but that didn't stop him from turning on C9 mid laner Nicolaj Jensen.

Throwing haymakers

Both teams came out in game five to fight. In one chaotic sequence, champions go down all over the map in a series of chaotic exchanges. We saw deep turret dives, one-on-two outplays, and a fantastic expression of skill.

TSM wins the dragon fight

After Cloud9 finally took Baron in the late game, TSM forced the issue at the Elder Dragon. Cloud9 reacted almost immediately and zoned Svenskeren out of the pit. It looked like C9 had control of the situation, but one spell rotation by Søren "Bjergsen" Bjerg ended C9's hopes. We don't know what happened to Jensen's "R" key (or Zhonya's), but we do know what happened to his champion—sent back to the fountain for the last time.

With such talented players duking it out over five glorious games, the real winner of the NA LCS Final were the fans.