Official statement from DraftKings as of March 13:
“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.”
In its early days as a daily fantasy sports (DFS) provider, DraftKings made a huge splash by offering high-stakes live fantasy events with big payouts. With low-stakes qualifiers spread across a wide range of daily fantasy contests, DraftKings provided players a unique shot at testing their skills in thrilling live games and the opportunity to score a significant payout, too.
Now DraftKings has sports betting in its arsenal, and it’s upping its contest game for both DFS players and sports bettors with its 2020 DraftKings Championship Series.
All told, the series will feature 40+ events across both sports betting and DFS with prize money that could top $100 million. The 2020 DraftKings Championship Series includes:
Bettors can enter any of the Championship events via direct buy-in or can qualify for the sports betting live events via DFS qualifiers.
While DraftKings’ sports betting live events will be in New Jersey, the DFS events (both live and qualifiers) are open to those residing in any legal DFS jurisdictions, currently including 40-plus states.
No matter which state you qualify from, you will need to be in New Jersey for the Sports Betting Championship events. This rule includes whether you are attending the tournament headquarters in NJ or in some other part of NJ.
The Fall and National Championship dates and locations have yet to be announced. We expect to see similar qualifying, entry options and direct buy-in fees for those events.
Be on the lookout for DraftKings’ DFS qualifiers or a random sports betting pool contest in order to qualify for entry. Qualifier fees range from $50-$150.
If you fail to gain entry via a contest, you can sign up for direct buy-in.
The sports betting spring championship is DraftKings’ second big-money contest.
The upcoming spring championship will feature a smaller total prize pool ($1.5 million) and first-place prize ($500,000) than last year. However, it’s merely the first of three sports betting contests that DraftKings will host over the next 12 months.
There will be a fall championship built around football and a national championship to follow.
While the inaugural DraftKings sports betting championship in January 2019 had a time frame that featured the NFL divisional playoff games, the contest format allowed for the entire DraftKings sports betting menu to be in play during the tournament.
The 2020 spring championship’s betting menu will dramatically change as it will be limited to basketball, specifically, betting on pro basketball games and the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament’s first- and second-round games.
Over four days, a total of 28 pro and 48 college games will be available for betting during the spring contest.
Though the overall prize pool will be smaller than January 2019’s, there’s still plenty of cash up for grabs. A total prize pool of $1.5 million (assumes 535 entrants) will go to the top 25 finishers as follows:
You can “skip the line” and obtain entry via a direct buy-in. The buy-in for the spring championship costs $5,000, and any interested parties should email DraftKings at [email protected] to receive more information.
The other way to gain entry is via one of the DFS qualifiers. If you win a DFS qualifier, it will cover the $5,000 tournament entry fee. It also includes a four-night hotel stay and $1,000 for travel expenses.
Here’s a rundown on how the four-day SBSC tournament will work:
Given that the 2020 DraftKings SBSC is directly across the Hudson River from NYC, it’s a natural fit for players from New York to try to qualify and enter. As mentioned above, you can enter the spring sports betting championship in two ways:
If you simply want to bet on sports from New York, you can do that by downloading the DraftKings app at home in New York, funding your account, and then simply crossing the border into New Jersey to place your bets.
If you plan on buying in directly for the DraftKings spring sports betting championship, it’s a good idea to set your account up ahead of time and have it loaded and ready for play on March 21. You can do that directly from New York.
The 2020 national sports betting championship is also not yet finalized, although we expect a similar format like the spring and fall championships. However, the national tourney will have a bigger guaranteed prize pool and winner’s share on the line ($1 million).
The first-ever DraftKings SBNC was held in January 2019 during NFL divisional weekend. Randy Lee, a 32-year-old poker dealer from New Jersey, took home first prize in 2019, topping a field of 260 entries to win more than $1.15 million in total prize money.
The contest was not without controversy. On the final day, the LA-New England game, which started at 1:05 p.m. EST, took a long time to wrap up. So much so, it nearly overlapped with the Philadelphia-New Orleans game, which was slated to start at 4:40 p.m. EST.
This created an issue for some players. Some of the winning wagers from the first game were not “graded” in time, so players couldn’t roll their winnings into the start of the second game.
The year 2020 is also shaping up to be a significant one on DraftKings’ daily fantasy contest slate. The DFS season will be capped off with the $1 million fantasy sports championship at the 2021 Big Game in Tampa, FL.
Along the way, there are 40 qualifying events where each winner earns an entry to compete in the DFS championship. The 40 DFS events are as follows:
While most of the dates and locations have yet to be announced, here’s an update on some of the upcoming events:
Online Fantasy Millionaire events run frequently throughout the year; claim $20 free and enter any or all Fantasy Millionaire DFS events via the link below:
Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. Eligibility Restrictions apply. See DraftKings.com for details. Sportsbook: 21+. NJ/WV/PA Only.
Each player starts with a $2,000 sports betting bankroll. Players must bet at least $1,000 across the four days to be eligible to win leaderboard prizes. Players with the highest bankrolls at the end of the tournament will share the leaderboard prizes.
Yes, each player gets to keep whatever bankroll remains at the end of the tournament.
In 2019, there were 260 entrants in the DraftKings Sports Betting National Championship; however, the number of entries in the 2020-21 tournament is unknown. For the spring event, the prize-money pool is based on 535 entries.
Direct buy-in for the spring DraftKings Sports Betting National Championship will cost $5,000. You can get more information regarding the direct buy-in via email at [email protected].
Yes, each tournament is separate, though the sports betting spring championship qualifiers include DFS contests.
Randy Lee, who played under the name “rleejr86,” took home $1 million, plus the winnings in his bankroll, and the honor of being the first-ever to win the SBNC.
The sports betting championship consists of picking the winning side or total of a specific game. DFS players establish a mythical roster, based on individual player salaries, with players earning points for scoring and other offensive and defensive statistics throughout a single day’s sporting events.
No, you must physically be in New Jersey to participate in the tournament. While there is a VIP sportsbook venue in Weehawken, NJ, you don’t have to be there for the entire duration of the competition, but you must be in New Jersey.
There are no max bet limits. The only conditions require a minimum of $1,000 wagered over the four days of the DraftKings sports betting championship.
There will be a total of 76 basketball games to bet on during DraftKings’ spring sports betting championship. There will be 48 NCAA Tournament games to bet on and 28 NBA games running over the four days.