There is plenty of darts action to keep fans entertained through to the end of 2019. So far, this year has been action packed, kicking off with the PDC Arian Tour and the PDC Challenge Tour - which saw winners from around the world including England’s Shaun Carroll, Russia’s Boris Koltsov, and Singapore’s Paul Lim. More recently, the World Grand Prix took place in Dublin between 6th and 12th October, with Michael van Gerwen defeating Dave Chisnall in the final. The year will end in London, between 13th December and 1st January 2020, with the PDC World Darts Championship.

Whilst many eyes are on the Rugby World Cup, darts fans can look forward to the Champions League of Darts on the weekend of the 19th and 20th October. This year's competition will take place at the Morningside Arena, in the British city of Leicester. Players will be competing for a total of £250,000 of prize money, which will be shared out between the eight players as follows:
  • Winner - £100,0000
  • Runner up - £50,000
  • Semi finalist - £25,000
  • Third place in the group stage - £15,000
  • Fourth place in the group stage - £15,000



Format

The format of the Champions League of Darts is typical of most PDC competitions. It will be split into group stages, which will see the players split between Group A and Group B. Each player will compete in the matches of 19 legs, with the first player to win 10 legs taking victory. The top two players from each group proceed to the knockout stage.

The knockout stage will be divided into two semi-final matches and one final. The matches in the knockout stage will consist of 21 legs, and will therefore require a player to win 12 legs to win. The top placed player from each group will play the second placed player in the opposing group, so the winner of group A will play the second placed player in group B and vice versa. The winner of each semi-final will go through to the final.

Players

The players taking part in this years Champions League of Darts are:

Michael van Gerwen

Dutch darts legend, Michael van Gerwen, is looking for victory in the Champions League of Darts this year as it is the only major event he is yet to win, although he did finish as the runner up in 2016. Having recently won the World Darts Championship, he is currently ranked number one in the world, making the 30 year old the clear favourite to win the Champions League of Darts.

Rob Cross

The world number 2, Rob Cross, became the World Darts Champion in 2018 after only turning professional the year before. He has had a strong 2019 season, finishing runner up in the Premier League and UK Open, as well as winning the World Matchplay. He is a strong contender for the Champions League of Darts.

Daryl Gurney

33 year old Daryl Gurney from Derry, Northern Ireland is the world number 3. He hasn’t progressed further than the group stages of the Champions League of Darts before, he also hasn’t won a tournament in 2019. The highest he finished this year was the semi final at the World Matchplay and the Premier League. Daryl will be looking to finish on a high at the Champions League of Darts.

Gary Anderson

Gary Anderson was the Champions League of Darts winner in 2018, beating Peter Wright 11-4 in the final. The 48 year old Scot has been around much longer than the three players above, beginning his career back in 1996. Despite his age, he is ranked 4th in the world rankings and has won almost all of the PDC premier events, including 2 other victories in 2018. He won the PDC World Cup of Darts team event for Scotland in June 2019.

Peter Wright

Fellow Scot, Peter Wright was runner up at the Champions League of Darts in 2018. The 49 year old is currently world number 7, but hasn’t actually won a PDC premier event since 2017. Known for his legendary bright mohawk, which he dyes a different colour for each tournament, Wright may not be favourite to win, but he will certainly make the tournament interesting.

Gerwyn Price

34 year old Welshman, Gerwyn Price, is the world number 6, despite not progressing further than the group stage of the Champions League of Darts. His highest finish in 2019 has been 5th place in the Premier League and he has only won one PDC premier event, which was the Grand Slam in 2018. Price is an underdog, but shouldn’t be completely discounted.

James Wade

36 year old Englishman, James Wade, has been playing darts professionally since 1997. He is also a left handed player, making him the minority at the Champions League of Darts. Wade is currently 8th in the world rankings. Although he has had less success in recent years, he has managed to win all but five of the PDC premier events, with the Champions League being one of them. He would like to change that this year.

Michael Smith

29 year old Michael Smith from St Helens, England is the current world number 5. He is yet to win a PDC premier event and last played in the Champions League in 2016.

This year's Champions League of Darts will be an entertaining tournament, but the clear favourite remains to be Michael van Gerwen, who is on a mission to win that tournament that has eluded him thus far.