2024 PDC World Darts Championship guide: Who to watch, how to watch, why we love Snakebite and more - world News Update

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The biggest tourney successful darts is presently underway, pinch 96 of nan world’s champion players group to conflict for nan title of World Champion and nan £500,000 first prize. The event, taking spot astatine nan Alexandra Place, aliases “Ally Pally,” successful London, is definite to nutrient immoderate of nan champion moments and scenes successful nan world of darts for nan upcoming year.

Here are immoderate cardinal things to statement arsenic nan section originates to slow whittle down from 96 players to 1 champion.

Tournament Format

For those unfamiliar pinch master darts, nan crippled these competitors will beryllium playing is 501 (I wrote an intro guide a mates years agone that includes a deeper mentation of each nan different variations). While nan strategy and mathematics associated pinch 501 tin beryllium nuanced astatine times, nan main thought is reasonably elemental — players statesman astatine 501 and proceed scoring until they scope zero. This includes 1 awesome caveat: nan players must decorativeness nan crippled hitting a double — which requires hitting 1 of nan sections connected nan outer ringing of nan committee — aliases nan reddish halfway of nan bullseye.

In nan World Championship, matches dwell of legs and sets. To triumph a limb intends to triumph a crippled of 501. To triumph a set, players must triumph 3 legs. During nan early stages of nan tournament, matches are a best-of-five, aliases title to triumph 3 sets. As nan tourney progresses, nan number of sets players request to triumph nan lucifer gradually increases, pinch nan World Championship last lucifer being a best-of-thirteen sets.

Notable Players

In this nan 31st loop of nan PDC Darts World Championship, 7 erstwhile champions are successful nan section seeking to adhd different title to their resumes.

Michael “Bully Boy” Smith

The one-time winner, existent world No. 1, and reigning world champion gave america an all-time awesome darts highlight past twelvemonth erstwhile he landed a cleanable nine-dart decorativeness aft his force had narrowly missed an opportunity of their own. Since winning nan 2023 world title, nan Bully Boy has added a televised title successful January, a classed title successful June, and reached a awesome semifinal backmost successful October.

Peter “Snakebite” Wright

The two-time world champion (2022 and 2020) and existent world No. 4 is 1 of nan astir celebrated characters connected nan PDC circuit pinch his outlandish outfits and eccentric hair. In 2023, Wright snagged a mates of televised titles astatine nan Nordic Darts Masters and European Championship tournaments. Despite these wins, Wright himself has stated he’s had a “rubbish year,” though he attributes overmuch of his mediocre play this play to deficiency of attraction owed to taking a adjacent spot of clip off. Wright has besides been quoted arsenic saying he is happy location is nary pressure connected him this twelvemonth — making him a perchance vulnerable opponent.

Gerwyn “Iceman” Price

The 2021 World Champion, erstwhile world No. 1, and existent world No. 5 is often viewed arsenic 1 of darts’ top villains owed to his large roars aliases fist pumps erstwhile celebrating a large shot. The Iceman, who presently has 7 televised cleanable nine-dart finishes, picked up a televised title astatine nan World Cup of Darts this season, arsenic good arsenic adding six PDC ProTour titles. Often astatine likelihood pinch and facing boos from nan Ally Pally crowd, Price wore noise-cancelling headphones successful this tourney past year. Price is ever personification worthy watching, and if he tin flooded a perchance difficult crowd, he is surely tin of making a heavy run.

“Mighty” Michael van Gerwen

Three-time world champion (2014, 2017, 2019), existent world No. 2, and victor of seemingly each tourney successful master darts, Michael van Gerwen is arguably nan scariest subordinate successful nan tournament. Mighty Mike, aliases MVG arsenic he is often referred to, has been a unit successful master darts making love backmost arsenic acold arsenic 2006. And he is only 34 years old. Van Gerwen is nan proud proprietor of 65 televised PDC titles, 88 non-televised PDC titles, and 10 televised cleanable nine-dart finishes. He besides took down a awesome astatine nan World Series of Darts backmost successful September.

Rob “Voltage” Cross

The 2018 world champion and existent world No .8, Cross benignant of flies nether nan radar a bit, apt owed to his mostly calm demeanor and smaller winning resume than astir of nan different names connected this list. Despite that, Cross has shown he is tin of winning connected nan large stage. In his 2018 world title run, Cross was a large underdog successful nan final, arsenic he faced Phil “The Power” Taylor, nan astir dressed up subordinate successful nan history of darts. Seemingly unfazed, Cross cruised to a 7-2 victory, averaging 107.67, nan 3rd highest full successful nan history of nan world title finals, on nan way. Anybody who tin nutrient numbers for illustration that perfectly has a chance to triumph this tournament.

Gary “The Flying Scotsmen” Anderson

The two-time world champion (2015 and 2016) and existent world No 21 is simply a darts fable and mostly 1 of nan instrumentality favorites owed to his consciousness of joke and speedy playing style. Anderson, aliases Ando, does ain 19 televised PDC titles and has won galore of darts’ biggest titles astatine points passim his career. But astatine 54 years of property and connected nan tail extremity of his career, Anderson has not won a televised title since 2019. Despite nan deficiency of large wins complete nan past fewer years, Anderson still ever seems to beryllium successful nan mix. Just past period astatine nan Grand Slam of Darts, 1 of nan biggest fields connected nan master tour, Anderson reached nan quarterfinals, losing 14-16 successful a cracker of a lucifer against eventual champion “Cool Hand” Luke Humphries.

Raymond “Barney” van Barneveld

The 2007 champion, existent world No. 29, and 1 of nan past remaining OGs of master darts, van Barneveld is taking different changeable astatine claiming this year’s world title. Aside from a trio of World Cup of Darts titles successful 2018, 2017, and 2014, Barney has not won a televised darts title since 2010. I deliberation it whitethorn beryllium adjacent to opportunity nan 56-year-old Barney’s champion darts are down him astatine this point, though I dream he proves that connection to beryllium wrong.

Tournament Information

On December 20 and 21 nan tourney will reason nan first information and displacement into nan 2nd round, pinch nan accomplishment spread getting tighter and tighter arsenic each information progresses.

The 2nd information will reason astatine nan extremity of nan time connected December 23, astatine which constituent nan tourney will region for a little vacation break, resuming pinch 3rd information action connected December 27. Matches will past return spot during greeting and day sessions each time following, pinch a champion yet being crowned connected Wednesday, January 3.

The 2024 PDC World Darts Championship will beryllium televised connected Sky Sports, pinch day and evening sessions being televised connected Sky Sports Arena, and respective sessions besides being televised connected Sky Sports Main Event. Live tourney sum whitethorn besides beryllium disposable connected YouTube aliases Twitch, though nary guarantees.

(Top photo: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images; further photos of Snakebite and Iceman: Jürgen Kessler/picture confederation via Getty Images)