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From a Boston penthouse, world’s best fantasy player plunges into startup world

From a Boston penthouse world s best fantasy player plunges into startup world The Boston Globe


The 27-year-old Sud is a professional fantasy sports player — in fact, he’s considered the best in the world. He’s built a huge lead atop the leader board at RotoGrinders, a fantasy-sports website that publishes the rankings of players who win most often.

So far in 2015, Sud said, he’s made more than $3.5 million. Earlier this year he moved into a penthouse apartment once occupied by ex-Boston Celtics star Rajon Rondo.

“He’s one of the legendary players,” said Cal Spears, cofounder of RotoGrinders. “He’s on the Mount Rushmore.”

A former marketing analyst with a degree in math and economics, Sud eschews the idea of luck or gut instinct in favor of cold, hard data. It’s helped him dominate the field in fantasy sports, in which contestants build rosters of real-life athletes and score points based on those players’ on-field performance.

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You need a big stake to play at this level. 

The May contest on DraftKings that Sud swept cost $27 to enter each roster, meaning he spent nearly $24,000 on that one day. 

But such proficiency and notoriety comes at a price. Sud was called an “apex predator” and “shark” in a lawsuit filed in Florida by other fantasy players who alleged that he and another professional’s use of software tools gives them “an unfair advantage.”

And in his home state of Massachusetts, some of Sud’s methods are under threat by Attorney General Maura Healey, whose proposed fantasy-sports regulations would ban software that allows players to automatically enter hundreds of rosters. 

The industry itself is under attack elsewhere, with New York’s attorney general suing to ban DraftKings and its top competitor, FanDuel Inc., as illegal gambling operations.

Far from being intimidated, Sud is going deeper into the fantasy sports business. On Wednesday, he will launch a startup that offers fantasy sports software to other players, giving less-experienced fans the opportunity to use some of the same tools he’s used to dominate the field.

His company, RotoQL , is the latest entry in a field of startups founded by professional fantasy players. “Don’t follow the herd,” RotoQL’s website teases. “Lead it.”

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