5 reasons to look forward to the 2021 World Darts Championship
Christmas and the World Darts Championship go hand-in-hand like baubles on a tree, and following the first and second round draw on Thursday morning, it’s time to start looking forward to Ally Pally once again.
The 2021 worlds will be a tournament like no other, and we can’t wait for the festive 180 flinging to begin on 15th December. From then on we have just over a fortnight’s action to enjoy before the winner of the Sid Waddell Trophy is crowned on Sunday 3rd January 2021.
Excited? We certainly are! And that’s why we’ve put together five things to look forward to ahead of the 2021 World Darts Championship at the Alexandra Palace.
Fans are back!
Football without fans is nothing. That’s the familiar refrain when people talk about the beautiful game, but it’s a sentiment that applies to Darts too. Fans have been missing from Darts events in the UK since Night 6 of the Premier League Darts in Liverpool. Now that’s about to change.
The PDC have been granted permission to allow in 1,000 fans to each session at the Alexandra Palace, albeit with significant restrictions in place. There’ll be no fancy dress and singing isn’t allowed either, which mightn’t be a bad thing when it comes to the 87th rendition of Yaya/Kolo Toure. We jest, of course.
It won’t be the same sort of atmosphere that we’re used to at Ally Pally, but it’s better than nothing and ultimately, we can’t wait to see those boring, boring tables in the background once again.
The best field ever
Anyone who’s lucky enough to receive a golden ticket to watch this year’s World Championship will be treated to a dizzying feast of tip-top tungsten. The assembled field has never been so competitive, with class running throughout the 96 players who’ll take their place in North London.
The top-32 speak for themselves, but outside of those you have the likes of breakthrough star and World Matchplay finalist Dirk van Duijvenbode (66/1), Grand Prix winner Jose de Sousa (16/1), Damon Heta (50/1), Luke Humphries, and Ryan Searle in the PDC Order of Merit qualifiers.
Then taking a look at the international qualifiers, the standard of whom are improving all the time, there are familiar spoilers like Paul Lim and Lisa Ashton alongside exciting youngsters such as Nico Kurz and Niels Zonneveld.
We could run through almost every player and give you a reason to fancy their chances of making a run or causing a surprise, but we’re working to a word limit, so you’ll just have to watch the action and check them out for yourself!
Cracking 1st/2nd round draw
Like all good tournaments things get going with the 1st round, and what a 1st round it is. There are some huge ties in there, including Keegan Brown v Ryan Meikle, Paul Lim v Luke Humphries and Willie O’Connor v Niels Zonneveld.
But that’s only half the story, because the second round draw is conducted alongside the first round draw, which means we already know who the first round winners will be facing should they advance through to the next stage.
And let us tell you, there are some potential ties you won’t want to miss. Dirk van Duijvenbode is in line for a titanic clash with Rob Cross, Nathan Aspinall could take on Scott Waites and Humphries may face Dimitri van den Bergh.
With so many top players scattered throughout the field, we’re guaranteed to get some huge match-ups early on in the tournament which is sure to make for compelling viewing.
The potential for shocks
From Kirk Shepherd’s run to the final in 2008 to Fallon Sherrock’s history-making third around appearance 12 months ago, the World Darts Championship is always good for a shock and a surprise.
And we reckon the potential for shocks during the 2021 tournament is greater than ever, primarily because they’ve been happening all year anyway! Who could have foreseen Van Duijvenbode reaching the final of the Matchplay, Mervyn King making to the final of the Ladbrokes Players Championship or De Sousa’s Grand Prix win?
Those three, plus the likes of Damon Heta and Devon Petersen have caused upsets aplenty in 2020, and we wouldn’t be at all surprised if there was more on the way in North London over the next month or so.
Well, he never went away did he? Michael van Gerwen has endured a bit of a below-par year by his own very high standards with only a win in the Ladbrokes UK Open and the Ladbrokes Players Championship to his name on TV.
He might want to change his name from the Green Machine to the Red Machine if he keeps doing well in our sponsored events, but all jokes aside, the three-time world champion looked back to his best in Coventry.
MVG scored consistently well throughout the tournament and unlike his unsuccessful run to the semi-finals of the Grand Prix, his doubling was also there when it counted in the latter stages of the tournament.
Our traders go 5/2 about him winning a fourth world championship crown, which puts him just ahead of Gerwyn Price at 5/1 and the defending winner Peter Wright at 6/1. Can he do it? We can’t wait to find out!
Where is the 2021 World Darts Championship: Alexandra Palace, London.
Will fans be allowed back into the 2021 World Darts Championship: Yes!
Where can I watch the 2021 World Darts Championship: Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Darts.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication.