FanDuel recently announced the details of the 2016 edition of its World Fantasy Baseball Championship (WFBC), which will be hosted in the DFS-friendly state of Tennessee. The live final will unfold on Saturday, August 20 in Nashville, and will feature a $1.5 million prize pool. The top three finishers among the contest’s 75 finalists will net six-figure payouts, with the first-place winner taking home $250,000.
Prize Pool Dwindles, As Other Expenses Mount
While the total payout is still well into the seven figures, it’s notable that the 2016 edition of the WFBC features a total haul that is notably less than that of each of the operator’s most recent pair of MLB live finals. In those contests, first prize paid out a cool $1 million, while second place netted $300,000 and $500,000 in 2014 and 2015, respectively. In contrast, this year’s second-place winner will pocket $150,000.
Both DFS players and FanDuel surely hope the downturn is strictly temporary, essentially collateral damage stemming from recent expenses associated with the ongoing fight to legalize DFS in as many states as possible. Notably, the 2016 edition of the contest will also take place during the same month that FanDuel plans its much-anticipated UK launch, a venture that will certainly bring along some significant start-up costs.
Qualifiers Already Running, Maximum Three-Entry Limit
The 2016 edition of the WFBC will feature 75 contestants, with Qualifier contests running every week at a variety of entry fee levels. The first of such contests kicked off on Tuesday, May 24, with FanDuel user ‘joedicey’ grabbing the initial seat. Other notable players subsequently securing their spots in the contest include perennial DFS luminaries ‘jeffeljeffe’ and ‘mcjester’.
FanDuel has put a three-entry cap on the WFBC, with users barred from entering into any other WFBC qualifier contests once they’ve reached that limit. Any finalist who wins more than one seat will be given the option of transferring their extra trip package, or having 75 percent of the trip’s $3,500 value ($2,625) transferred into their FanDuel account.
The total trip package includes a $1,000 credit for round-trip airfare to Nashville, chauffeured transportation from airport to hotel, two nights of hotel accommodations, entry for two to a Friday welcome reception on August 19, and the live finals viewing party on Saturday, August 20 at the Sheraton Downtown Hotel. That poolside event will feature catered food and beverages throughout the day and evening, along with a variety of to-be-announced games and activities.
Naturally, players in states where DFS is currently unavailable due to legal reasons are ineligible to enter any qualifiers for the contest, as are FanDuel employees. Finalists will also have to complete and return an Affidavit of Eligibility in order to participate in the live final.
Top 15 Prize Structure Remains Strong
In addition to the aforementioned top two prizes, the remaining top 15 finishers will be compensated through the following prize structure:
- 3rd place -$100,000
- 4th place -$75,000
- 5th-6th place -$50,000
- 7th-8th place- $40,000
- 9th-11th place- $30,000
- 12th-15th place- $25,000
The final 25 finishers will each pocket $5,000.
More Conservative Fiscal Approach than Rival DraftKings
FanDuel, which has generally taken a more conservative approach than rival DraftKings when dealing with legal challenges mounted against the industry in certain states, seems to be mirroring that tactic in a fiscal sense with the contest’s prize structure.
In contrast to FanDuel’s reduced prize pool for 2016, DraftKings’ top prize for its own baseball championship will hold steady at $1 million this season. Additionally, second and third place finishes in DraftKings’ live finals will pay out a combined $400,000 more than the same slots in FanDuel’s season-ending contest.
However, FanDuel notably holds a second live event for MLB that actually precedes the August proceedings, namely, its renowned Playboy Championship in June that boasts an additional prize pool of $650,000.