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FanDuel CEO to launch esports start-up

Nigel Eccles has announced he is quitting as the chief executive and co-founder of daily fantasy sports operator FanDuel in order to launch a new esports company.

Eccles, who has led the company since 2009, confirmed the news on Twitter. He is also stepping down as the chairman of FanDuel’s board, with Monday being his last day at the company.

Without elaborating on his start-up idea, he told the Recode website: “Traditional sports are in harvest mode. Esports are in growth mode.”

Matt King, who served as FanDuel’s chief financial officer for three years until 2016, has been named as Eccles’ replacement as chief executive. King spent a year at insurance broker Cottingham & Butler after leaving FanDuel.

According to reports, Eccles has been considering launching a start-up since rival DFS operators FanDuel and DraftKings agreed to merge late last year. However, the deal fell through in July after the Federal Trad Commission argued that the combined entity would be anti-competitive by controlling “more than 90 per cent of the US market.”

With Eccles’ departure confirmed, FanDuel will add two more executives to its board. Former Fox Sports executive David Nathanson will join the board while Carl Vogel, a former chairman and president of Dish Network, will become chairman of the board.