World Cup of Darts Preview

We’re within touching distance the start of the latest version of the only pairs event on the PDC Calendar: the World Cup of Darts. Up to this point, the eight previous editions have been shared by England and the Netherlands, but this year perhaps sees the most open World Cup ever with a whole host of nations in with a great chance of winning the title.

Although it’s a non-ranked event, the four finalists are rewarded with spots at the ranked Grand Slam of Darts, which puts extra significance on the four-day tournament in Hamburg, especially for the likes of Jermaine Wattimena, who has never played in Wolverhampton before. ‘The Machine Gun’ will make his World Cup debut after the final teams were announced recently, by virtue of his Order of Merit ranking, ahead of Raymond van Barneveld and Jeffrey de Zwaan who were also in contention.

The Netherlands will be slight favourites to win the £70,000 champions’ prize, but they are only seeded fourth, which is based on the rankings. The draw handed them a particularly brutal section, with either Poland or the Czech Republic waiting if the Dutch can get past Spain. The only other nation to have won the event, England, are the top seeds with another new pairing in former World Champion Rob Cross and tournament debutant Michael Smith, although they also have a ‘banana skin’ in the first round with the Philippines drawn out of the hat.

Elsewhere in the upper echelons of the seedings, there are some more familiar pairings as Gary Anderson and Peter Wright join forces for last year’s runners-up, Scotland, and Gerwyn Price and Jonny Clayton team up for 2017 finalists Wales. Those two nations face Denmark and Singapore respectively in the opening round at the Barclaycard Arena.

The chemistry of Kim Huybrechts and Dimitri Van den Bergh should make Belgium a very dangerous proposition, although a likely second-round tie with Germany may prove a challenge. One of the best things about the World Cup is that part of the reason for a team’s success is the relationship between their two players, and 2018 saw Mensur Suljović’s Austrian partner Zoran Lerchbacher frustrate ‘The Gentle’ during their early exit.

Those two have been put together again, so it will be interesting to see if they can put a run together in Hamburg, especially with Lerchbacher’s poor form of late. A tie with Russia awaits the Austrian duo. The seeds are rounded out with Australia’s Simon Whitlock and Kyle Anderson, who meet Finland, and Northern Ireland’s Daryl Gurney and Brendan Dolan, who face South Africa.

Outside of the seeds, the depth of darts in the modern era means that there are some dangerous nations who are more than capable of causing a shock or two. The aforementioned Philippines could go very deep if they can dump out top seeds England. Host nation Germany have got to the last eight in the last two years before running into the Netherlands. This year Max Hopp and Martin Schindler will be likely to secure a date with Scotland should they make it that far.

Debutants Lithuania meet New Zealand in what should be one of the most tightly-matched first round encounters, while 2018 quarter-finalists Japan will be expected to win their opener against Gibraltar. One of the more notable takeaways from the final team announcement on the 13 May was the fact that this will be Magnus Caris’ final tournament as a professional darts player. The legendary Swede will team up with Dennis Nilsson as they aim to see off Brazil in the last 32.

Unlucky not to be seeded, the Republic of Ireland will be boosted by Willie O’Connor’s recent Players Championship success as they look to see off Greece. Elsewhere, Italy face Canada and China take on the United States. This year’s World Cup should be a fantastic spectacle with a new venue and plenty of new faces sure to ensure stunning entertainment by the bucket load, not to mention some of the tasty ties that the draw has thrown up.

 

2019 BetVictor World Cup of Darts
Nations & Competing Players

(Seed 1) England – Rob Cross & Michael Smith
(Seed 2) Scotland – Gary Anderson & Peter Wright
(Seed 3) Wales – Gerwyn Price & Jonny Clayton
(Seed 4) Netherlands – Michael van Gerwen & Jermaine Wattimena
(Seed 5) Australia – Simon Whitlock & Kyle Anderson
(Seed 6) Northern Ireland – Daryl Gurney & Brendan Dolan
(Seed 7) Belgium – Kim Huybrechts & Dimitri Van den Bergh
(Seed 8) Austria – Mensur Suljovic & Zoran Lerchbacher
Brazil – Diogo Portela & Artur Valle
Canada – Dawson Murschell & Jim Long
China – Xiaochen Zong & Yuanjun Liu (Qingyu Zhan replaced by Yuanjun Liu)
Czech Republic – Pavel Jirkal & Karel Sedláček
Denmark – Per Laursen & Niels Heinsøe
Finland – Marko Kantele & Kim Viljanen
Germany – Max Hopp & Martin Schindler
Gibraltar – Dyson Parody & Antony Lopez
Greece – John Michael & Veniamin Symeonidis
Hong Kong – Royden Lam & Kai Fan Leung
Hungary – Pál Székely & János Végső
Italy – Andrea Micheletti & Stefano Tomassetti
Japan – Seigo Asada & Haruki Muramatsu
Lithuania – Darius Labanauskas & Mindaugas Barauskas
New Zealand – Cody Harris & Haupai Puha
Philippines – Lourence Ilagan & Noel Malicdem
Poland – Krzysztof Ratajski & Tytus Kanik
Republic of Ireland – Steve Lennon & William O’Connor
Russia – Boris Koltsov & Aleksey Kadochnikov
Singapore – Paul Lim & Harith Lim
South Africa – Devon Petersen & Vernon Bouwers
Spain – Cristo Reyes & Toni Alcinas
Sweden – Dennis Nilsson & Magnus Caris
United States of America – Darin Young & Chuck Puleo

Session Times:
Thursday June 6 (1900 local time, 1800 BST)

Gibraltar v Japan
Northern Ireland v South Africa
New Zealand v Lithuania
Belgium v Hong Kong
Brazil v Sweden
Wales v Singapore
Hungary v Germany
Scotland v Denmark

Friday June 7 (1900 local time, 1800 BST)
China v USA
Italy v Canada
Poland v Czech Republic
Republic of Ireland v Greece
England v Philippines
Austria v Russia
Australia v Finland
Netherlands v Spain

Saturday June 8
Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)

Second Round x4

Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 BST)
Second Round x4

Sunday June 9
Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)

Quarter-Finals

Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 BST)
Semi-Finals
Final

Prize Fund
Winners (Per Player) £35,000
Runner-Up (Per Player) £20,000
Semi-Finalists (Per Player) £12,000
Quarter-Finalists (Per Player) £8,000
Second Round Losers (Per Player) £4,000
First Round Losers (Per Player) £2,000
Total £350,000

Format
First Round

Best of nine legs Doubles

Second Round, Quarter-Finals & Semi-Finals
The Second Round, Quarter-Finals & Semi-Finals will be played as two best of seven leg 501 Singles matches, with both nations nominating the order in which their players play. In the event of both nations winning one Singles match apiece, a best of seven leg 501 Doubles match will be played to decide the tie.

Final
The Final will be played as two best of seven leg 501 Singles matches, with both nations nominating the order in which their players play the first two matches, followed by a best of seven leg 501 Doubles match and then Reverse Singles matches. The first team to win three games is declared the winner.

 

Jamie Cameron

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About The Author

Jamie Cameron @wwfcofficial and darts. Write for @the92blog and @TheMaximum180.

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