Fans of daily fantasy sports (DFS) had a weekend to forget, as an outage in the data turned all participants blind as to what was happening and who standed where in the ranking. The issue with Stats Perform significantly disrupted contests across multiple platforms and caused players to vent their frustration.
Delays in Scoring
Delays for live in-game scoring during the weekend games affected DFS contests ranging from Saturday college football to Sunday NFL, MLB and NASCAR, and spilled into Monday Night Football. Lucky for DFS operators, Week 5 in NFL did not end before Tuesday’s night game Buffalo vs Tennessee, and Week 6 do not start on Thursday giving them more time to cross check data received from Stats Perform and other data sources.
The main problem with the data outage was that users were unable to see their scores in the contests, having no idea where they were standing and whether they were in line to win money. Not knowing how many points they had, as well as other participants had, also had an impact on some of their strategic decisions.
Strategic Decisions Rendered Useless
Prior to the later kickoffs, usually the Sunday games starting after 4pm ET, DFS contestants utilize a particular strategy where a late swap is implemented regarding rostered players who have not played. The main idea is to create differentials in which trailing players can move up the standings, and leading users try to block or protect their lead with such moves for personnel. The lack of score data is practically taking such strategies out of the picture, rendering them unable to implement.
FanDuel seemed to be more affected from the data outage, as besides players unable to see their scores, there was an added issue of not being able to see the percentage of players rostered, a bit of information stats providers are not responsible for. Each player has a different draft percentage for each contest based on the number of entries in the specific contest that player was rostered.
DraftKings,which extended its deal with Stats Perform in June, made a statement outlining it had made “investments in redundancies for a wide variety of processes, including live statistics and scoring”, to be prepared exactly for this type of situations and ensure minimal disruption for its customers. DraftKings highlighted its team was working 24-7 to respond to all impacted players.
Besides the two big boys in DFS, other smaller operators were also affected by the data outage, forcing them to seek alternative solitions ranging from hand-generated statistical reports to looking for other data providers for help.
The data outage did not affect sports book operations for both DarftKings and FanDuel, as both platforms made payouts on prop bets involving wagers on players’ statistical totals.