Is MvG still the irresistible force in darts?
After watching Michael Van Gerwen’s abject performance against Simon Whitlock it got me thinking, is the World number 1 still the irresistible force in world darts? There is doubt in my opinion that Van Gerwen is still the best player in the world but is the World number 1 still performing consistently at the elite level required to stay at the top of the tree?
PDC Players Championship events are the bread and butter of PDC darts and thanks to the brilliant https://www.dartconnect.com/ I am able to use data from these events to conduct this analysis. Unbelievably, Van Gerwen has played more PC events (13) in 2020 compared to a meagre 8 in 2019 despite the 4-month hiatus from competitive darts. For the purposes of this statistical analysis I have taken Van Gerwen’s results from Players Championship 6 and onwards in 2020.
In 2019 Van Gerwen played 39 matches in Players Championship events throughout the season. Van Gerwen averaged a very impressive 99.16 over his Players Championship season. In 2020 (from PC6 onwards) Van Gerwen played a total of 33 matches and averaged an astonishingly high 99.96. Although he competed in slightly fewer matches Van Gerwen is clearly still the man to beat in the PDC.
In summary, Van Gerwen is improving his floor game year on year. He will hope that in time this will help to bring better, more consistent form to major events. More consistent form will help him extend his £599,250 PDC Order Of Merit lead over World number 2 Peter Wright especially with the fact that he will lose £500,000 off his Order Of Merit due to him winning the 2019 World Championships at the end of the year.