Official statement from DraftKings as of March 13, 2020:
“Unfortunately, due to escalating health concerns related to COVID-19 and guidance from government agencies, among others, DraftKings has decided to cancel the Sports Betting Spring Championship and suspend the Fantasy Basketball World Championship. While DraftKings wants to hold the FBWC at a later date if and when NBA play resumes, DraftKings cannot provide any further details until we learn more about the NBA’s decision.”
The braintrust at DraftKings has shown time and again that they’re willing to go big. Well, with Season 1 of the DraftKings Championship Series, it’s hard to argue that things could get much bigger.
The company has guaranteed that the prize pools for those events will total no less than $100 million. Even the smallest of the series will have hundreds of thousands of dollars up for grabs.
The series grew out of the DraftKings Sports Betting National Championship. The 2019 event featured a $2.5 million prize pool and a $1 million first prize to the winner.
Now, DraftKings has elected to add two seasonal events to the mix and satellite DFS events to feed into the SBNC itself. Sports Betting Championships will take place in the spring and fall of 2020 with winners gaining a spot into the DraftKings SBNC later in the year.
The vast majority of events in the DKCS are DFS tournaments. In fact, roughly 90% of the more than 40 contests are daily fantasy sports tournaments. All but six of them occur online. So, as much as it may seem like the DraftKings Championship Series is something radically different, most players will compete by playing the same types of games that they’re accustomed to playing.
What is different about the series is the final result. All 40 of the earlier events are part of the build-up to the live final at the Big Game in Tampa. Each event winner will receive a ticket to compete in the live final.
The winner of the live final will take home $1 million. In other words, if you can win one of the qualifying events, you’ll have a 1 in 40 chance of becoming a millionaire. The mixture of tournaments that make up the qualifiers is:
Those five preliminary live events are destined to be excellent wins in their own right. At this point, we only have information about two of them.
The Fantasy Hockey World Championship happened on Feb. 29 in Nashville. A total of 40 competitors vied for their share of $500,000. Each player in this event won a qualifier to punch their ticket. Everyone who made the final was guaranteed to win at least $4,000.
The top finisher cashed for $100,000. Oh, and the winner will have a chance at the $1 million in Tampa in 2021.
Note from DraftKings re. FBWC:
“Unfortunately, due to escalating health concerns related to COVID-19 and guidance from government agencies, among others, DraftKings has decided to … suspend the Fantasy Basketball World Championship. While DraftKings wants to hold the FBWC at a later date if and when NBA play resumes, DraftKings cannot provide any further details until we learn more about the NBA’s decision.”
The Fantasy Basketball World Championship will seat 100 players at the competition venue in Weehawken, New Jersey, on March 21. In fact, this event is actually a bigger deal than the SBSC, in terms of prize amounts. The 100 competitors will end up splitting a $4 million prize pool when the contest ends.
As with the hockey event, all 100 competitors will take home a minimum amount if they can make it there. The lowest finishers will still receive $15,000 for their efforts. However, the winner of the Fantasy Basketball World Championship will finish $500,000 richer.
You might prefer to play from the comfort of your home, too. Thankfully, that’s not a problem — you can still participate. In fact, DraftKings has announced that there will be five online fantasy championships during the course of the year. Each championship will cover fantasy play for a different sport.
Two of the events are already listed with firm dates. They are:
The prizes for these two events are unknown at this time. However, rest assured that there will be some very attractive pools for both tournaments. In addition there will be championships for golf, baseball and football later in the year. Make sure to check back with PlayWV periodically, as we will update those dates as soon as we can.
The biggest of the live sports betting events will occur late in the year or, possibly, in 2021. The exact dates for the DraftKings Sports Betting National Championship aren’t finalized yet.
What is clear is that the SBNC will award a $1 million first prize to its eventual winner. Even for experienced handicappers, a seven-digit payday is a rare event.
The structure to this event will be similar to its satellite events in spring and fall. Players will begin with the same amount of bankroll and will seek to win the most money over the course of a weekend.
Qualifying will also follow similar pathways. Players will be able to play their way into the SBNC through a DFS contest, or they can buy a $10,000 ticket themselves.
However, some players who do well in the spring and fall events will also be able to cash into the action. Part of the prizes from those events is qualification for the DK SBNC.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t remind you that the DraftKings Sports Betting National Championship and its satellite tournaments are accessible through DFS play.
In fact, the most cost-effective way to punch your ticket to the big games is through skillful fantasy play. Look for these qualifiers as they pop up in the lobby.
Whatever their nominal buy-ins happen to be, bear in mind that they are a gateway to greater things.
The good news is that this series involves all types of players who call DraftKings home. Both sports betting and DFS are intertwined with each other in terms of events.
In fact, the best way to play in one of the live sports betting events is through one of the DFS qualifiers. Players will have numerous opportunities to win their tickets through special DFS contests.
Because qualifications are proceeding through DFS, the field of players will draw from most states in the country, not just those with sports betting. There’s no reason that the vast majority of bettors can’t participate in this event.
If you don’t feel like taking the time to qualify through DFS play, there is another, simpler alternative to get into the live events. It is possible to buy directly into the events. You’ll just need to email DraftKings support for the details.
Though there’s no firm date for this event yet it is quite likely to be held during the pro football season Given the timeframe, it’s likely that players in that event will be betting on pro football and college football games.
We’ll update this page as information about the fall event arises. Check back with PlayWV as the time approaches. See the payout schedule and rules from the now-cancelled Spring Championship below for how things will likely be organized.
The DraftKings Sports Betting Spring Championship begins on March 19. Players will convene in Weehawken, New Jersey – right across the border from NYC – during the first weekend of the men’s college basketball tournament.
However, with a total prize pool of $1.5 million and $500,000 to the winner, it’s unlikely anyone will complain about the restriction too much. Twenty-five players will put more than $10,000 into their pockets at the end of the weekend.
Participants in the event will also be able to qualify for the DK SBNC, too. That tournament will make at least one player a millionaire.
It’s actually fairly simple. Each participant will begin the weekend with a $2,000 bankroll carved out of the $5,000 entry fee.
Over the course of four days, players will make wagers on pro and college basketball games as they see fit. These are real money bets — there are no tournament dollars or substitute currencies involved.
As they bet and win, they will climb a special leaderboard that DraftKings will keep. The players with the most points on the leaderboard at the end of the weekend will be the winners. DraftKings will award cash prizes to the top of the leaderboard as follows:
In total, players will win $1.5 million in four days. However, bear in mind that the bets you make during the event are ordinary bets, too. So, winning players will also get to take home their bankrolls. Even if you don’t happen to place high enough on the leaderboard to receive a prize you still could come out ahead at the end of the weekend.
DraftKings will run the event from its VIP Sportsbook Venue in Weehawken, New Jersey. Players are more than welcome to hang out and bet there. However, the only location requirement is that they be inside the state of New Jersey when they wager. So, if you’d rather find a quieter spot, that’s alright, too.
To buy in directly from West Virginia, follow the link below to create your account. Then simply email [email protected] to buy-in.
There are two ways to punch your ticket for a DraftKings Sports Betting Championship event. The first is simply to buy your way in. This will guarantee your tournament entry and your bankroll for the event. Shoot an email to [email protected] for more information if you’re planning to enter the contest in this manner.
The other way to qualify is through a Sports Betting Championship Qualifier DFS contest. These will run throughout the year as available. Buy-ins will typically be between $40-$150 and the winner will get their Sports Betting Championship entry, a $1,000 Experience Package and $1,000 for travel.
West Virginians are eligible to play DFS events on DraftKings as well as make sports bets. Download the DFS app and register your account via our link below:
Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. Eligibility Restrictions apply. See DraftKings.com for details. Sportsbook: 21+. NJ/WV/PA Only.
A portion of your buy-in is allotted for your SBC bankroll. That portion is the seed money that you and every other competitor will use to build as high as possible.
Yes. Whatever winnings you accrue during the tournament are actual wins that you can keep.
It’s hard to say an exact number, because it’s possible to buy directly into the event. The 2019 SBNC welcomed more than 250 competitors.
You may buy into either of the seasonal championships for $5,000. The Sports Betting National Championship itself charges $10,000 for a direct entry.
Though they may occur at the same time and in the same place, the DFS and sports betting championships have prize pools independent of one another. It is possible to take part in both events, should you choose to do so.
Randy “rleejr86” Lee took home the first prize in 2019. A New Jersey resident, he sealed the deal with a successful wager that Philadelphia would cover an 8.5-point spread against New Orleans.
The DFS championships are qualifier-only events. In other words, it is impossible to buy directly into the tournament. The only players to attend DFS championships have already won other events.
Because of that difference, the payout structure is much less forgiving on the sports betting championships. Every competitor in a DFS event will take home something. Only a certain percentage of sports betting championship participants will get a cash out.
Yes. The bankroll for playing is part of the buy-in for the SBNC. There’s no way to pay the ticket cost and bankroll separately.
Yes. SBNC bets are limited, although those limits are set higher than typical limits in the sportsbook.
Limits from the SBNC will not transfer over to players’ regular accounts. They will retain their original limits after the event is over.
Undoubtedly. The numbers of professional and college basketball and football games are sufficient to allow plenty of flexibility and choice for betting.