Industry leader DraftKings has become the first DFS operator to announce details of its MLB live final for the 2016 season, the Fantasy Baseball World Championship (FBWC). The event, the first of its kind hosted outside of the continental U.S., will unfold this August 25-28 in Toronto. Despite some speculation that the total scope of the contest—particularly in terms of prize money—would be reduced, given recent legal developments within the industry, DraftKings has announced a $4 million prize pool that matches the one offered in the 2015 final.
Prize Pool Hold Steady, Contestants Double
However, the amount of contestants has been increased to 160 as compared to the 80 that participated in the 2015 proceedings, leaving double the amount of contestants to compete for the same overall allotment of prize money. The top 10 prize structure has been redistributed as part of this change; while the 2016 fourth- place winner will see a $25,000 boost in prize money over the amount won by his or her 2015 counterpart, seventh-tenth place finishers will see a reduction over those who finished in those slots in last year’ contest.
As with the 2015 edition of the FBWC, the contest’s first-place winner will take home $1 million, as well as the Fantasy Baseball Championship Belt. A total of 160 slots for the FBWC will be filled throughout the baseball season through satellites beginning as low as .25 cents, and qualifiers ranging from $3 to $1000. As per DraftKings, each of the 160 qualifying tickets for FBWC carries a value of $29,700, as it includes a three-night trip to Toronto , $1,200 in cash for airfare and transfers and the entry ticket to the event.
Maximum Entry Amount Adjusted After Some Controversy
The format of the 2016 FBWC allows any single player to qualify for a maximum of six (6) tickets, a number that was slightly reduced after some initial blowback by the DFS community. DraftKings had originally planned to allow a maximum of nine (9) entries for any single entrant, but that amount was met with a degree of disdain from many who felt the provision would heavily favor players with the bankroll to aggressively pursue qualifying tickets leading up to the event.
A DraftKings Promotions Manager with screenname bjasiak11 on industry website Rotogrinders cited “customer feedback” and DraftKings’ desire to “continuously improve our products and promotions” as the reason for the adjustment in the maximum number of entries allowed.
Top 10 Prize Structure Remains Strong
The 2016 FBWC will encompass the slate of MLB games that begin between 7:10pm and 8:10pm Eastern on August 27th. Players will be able to qualify for the FBWC all the way through August 12th. In addition to the aforementioned seven-figure top prize, the remaining top 10 finishers will be compensated through the following price structure:
- Second place -$400,000
- Third place -$250,000
- Fourth place -$175,000
- Fifth place- $125,000
- Sixth place- $100,000
- Seventh place- $75,000
- Eighth place- $60,000
- 9th-10th- $45,000
Change In Venue Notable
The change in venue for the 2016 event from last year’s Las Vegas location was inevitable, given DFS’ currently legal status in Nevada. However, the specific choice of taking a DFS signature event out of the U.S. and into Canada was certainly newsworthy, as it brings a highly visible presence to the industry in a country where its legality has yet to be officially questioned.