StarStreet Founder: Attracting Skilled Daily Fantasy Players Is “Actually A Bad Thing”

Written By

Updated on

Locking Out Skilled DFS Players

It took the online poker industry nearly a decade to open up a serious discussion about balancing the (often-conflicting) needs and wants of expert and casual players.

But, barely a year into the first growth spurt for daily fantasy sports, the “skill gap” issue already occupies a prominent place in the conversation concerning the industry’s future.

Pick big names and see who does better

The latest voice to weigh in: Jeremy Levine, co-founder of StarStreet, who (along with StarStreet partner Nicolo Giorgi) recently debuted a new fantasy sports product built specifically for incremental, mobile-based play: Draft.

Draft launched in December 2014 after securing $2.1mm in funding.

The goal with Draft, Levine recently told Forbes, is to create “the lowest-barrier, casual [fantasy] game that you can just pop into,” so that players can “just pick stars and see who will do better.”

Lessons learned from StarStreet

And that approach is heavily informed by Levine’s experience with StarStreet, which was acquired by DraftKings for an undisclosed amount  in August of 2014.

There, in a bid to secure liquidity and market share, the focus was on attracting players who could generate high volumes of entries.

The downside: that player cohort is largely made up of highly-skilled players that are likely to hold a substantial edge over the average one-day fantasy sports customer.

And that means the deposits of those casual players risk being eaten up at a rapid rate that results in a sub-par experience for said player.

“When we did StarStreet, we got all the best players playing on there, which is actually a bad thing,” Levine said.

“If you’re a poker player, you don’t want to play against Phil Ivey.”

More from Forbes.