The iTeam Network, a home of 20 small daily fantasy sports sites including Phil Ivey’s associated Rosters has shut its doors. The news broke via Roto Grinders, which cited a difficulty in raising funds to make the push they needed to compete in the current market. According to the post, all players will be paid and can currently cashout.
iTeam netorked sites will remain open so that players can cashout. Players may withdraw via check or Paypal, with Paypal being the quickest and recommended option. Players have reported that cashouts are going smoothly and there are no foreseen issues.
iTeam, Rosters and the Network Concept
While most DFS sites are independently run websites, iTeam borrowed the network concept that is familiar to those in the poker industry. The iTeam consisted of nearly two dozen sites using the player pool, software, customer support and payment processing. Among the sites using the platform were FantasyUp, DraftDemons, CardplayerDraft, FC Draft, Blitz Fantasy and Rosters, a site which had partnered with Phil Ivey.
They have not ruled out reentering the market again should the market change and they are able to raise funds in the future.According to RotoGrinders, iTeam will continues to own the code and IP for the network.
Consolidation in the DFS Industry
The closing of the iTeam Network comes on the heels of significant consolidation in the industry including a major merger between DraftKings and FanDuel. Before the start of the NFL season, FantasyFeud also merged with FantasyAces.
Other sites have had a rough experience since last year. FantasyUp shut down last year before being bailed out by iTeam. DraftPot and DraftOps, both sites that showed promise during 2015, have failed to build on momentum from last year. DraftOPs has not been offering contests this NFL season and DraftPot prize pools are way down from last year.
All of this comes at a time when many think a strong competitor is needed to take on the new DraftKings/FanDuel conglomerate. Yahoo and FantasyDraft seem to be the best positioned to take on this role, but they have a hill to climb to come close liquidity that they FanDuel and DraftKings offer, especially since the merger. Since the announcement of the DraftKings FanDuel merger– which should finalize sometime in 2017 — a challenge that will make it even more difficult to operate in a market that is also becoming more expensive to operators as states regulate.