The Darts Premier League has become one of the biggest tournaments in the entire darts year in recent years. Why is this not self-evident? The answer is simple. The money raised has no influence on the money ranking, the so-called Order of Merit. So why is the Darts Premier League still so popular? We give the answer to this question. We also explain why the Premier League is the most important darts event of the year after the World Cup.
The crème de la crème of darts among themselves
The Darts Premier League is considered an invitation tournament. In plain language, this means that it is not possible for the players to easily qualify for the Premier League. The PDC itself distributes the starting places according to a fixed principle. This is broken down as follows: The top 4 players in the Order of Merit automatically receive a starting place. The PDC distributes so-called wild cards for the remaining 6 starting places. For example, a player who has been able to impress athletically over the entire past year receives a wild card. Not just recently and especially at the Darts World Cup.
Since the Premier League is a tournament lasting several months, the top stars of darts want to present themselves on this stage. It is considered an honor to be able to take part in this tournament. The Premier League is also financially worthwhile for the ten participating players.
The magic word is: sponsors
The Premier League has a very special advantage. A Premier League match day takes place almost every week for almost four months and is broadcast on television. This also makes it an extremely attractive event for sponsors. Conversely, this means that the players not only benefit from the PDC's prize money, but also from new sponsorship contracts .
The schedule and mode of the Darts Premier League
The Darts Premier League has become one of the biggest tournaments in the entire darts year in recent years.
The game plan has followed a very specific mode for years. A total of ten players take part from the start. They play against each other on nine match days. After these first nine match days, the last two players in the ranking are eliminated from the tournament. So there are eight players left. These duel in turn for another seven match days until each player has competed against everyone else. Now the field of participants is reduced to the first four players in the table. These four players contest the so-called play-offs or also known as the semi-finals. The first place player plays against the fourth place player, while the second place player plays against the third place player. The two winners ultimately compete in the final.
A special feature in 2019
There is also a very special innovation for the first time in the Darts Premier League 2019 . Gary Anderson had to cancel his participation shortly before the start of the Premier League due to persistent back problems. As a result, the PDC decided to send 9 so-called challengers into the race. 9 players who have shown up-and-coming form in recent years and have always been able to draw attention to themselves. They were given the chance to duel with the top stars on the big stage. One thing above all became clear. The contenders, or challengers in German, often offered the established stars a big fight for the points. The level continues to rise across the board. This means that young players will probably be able to move up the field from behind in the coming years.
Attractiveness through prize money and image
As already mentioned, the Darts Premier League prize money is not included in the Order of Merit. Nevertheless, the Premier League is currently considered the second biggest tournament of the year - after the World Cup. Participation is financially worthwhile, especially for the best four players. The winner receives a whopping £250,000 and the semi-finalist receives at least £80,000. Even if they are eliminated after the first nine match days, the participants will receive at least 25,000 pounds.
This financial incentive ensures that players hope for one of the coveted wild cards year after year. But the image and, above all, awareness are also increased through the regular matchday broadcasts. So it's not just about sporting and financial success. The main thing is to achieve a sustainable increase in awareness, which can significantly increase your own merchandising sales in the long term.
Full halls and great atmosphere
The large halls in particular contribute to the Darts Premier League phenomenon. Games will be played in the 2019 Premier League season in England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland, the Netherlands and Germany. One location is larger than the other. On the match day in Berlin alone, well over 10,000 dart fans were there and turned the hall into a madhouse. For comparison: The Ally Pally , where the World Cup is being held, only accommodates around 3,000 visitors per session.
The local heroes in particular enjoy performing in front of their own audience. This often leads to a sometimes heated atmosphere in the halls. Match days in the Netherlands are described as particularly special. Of course, all Premier League match days will also be broadcast live. Watch now on DAZN!
The 2019 Premier League season – Barney leaves the board
While the great Phil Taylor was missing from the 2018 Darts Premier League for the first time, another big name will be missing from the 2020 season. Raymond van Barneveld recently left the field and will certainly be missed from the Premier League. The well-known players are currently leading the field – Rob Cross and Michael van Gerwen. Gerwyn Price can also expect a big surprise this year. The round so far has been rather disappointing for Peter Wright, who simply can't get going. Also because it feels like he stands at the oche with new darts every week.
The previous champions – well-known names
The 2019 tournament is the 15th edition of the Premier League. Of the 14 tournaments so far, Phil Taylor alone has won a total of 6. Michael van Gerwen has achieved the big coup four times so far. There were also two wins for Gary Anderson, one for James Wade and one for Raymond van Barneveld. So far, there are no surprises in the list of winners. It can also be deduced from this that the top stars prove year after year that they are rightly represented in the Premier League. They simply deliver the most consistent performances of the entire field of participants in the PDC throughout the year.