Monday 15 October 2018

European Championship field decided - what looks interesting?

Firstly, hold mother of god was MvG playing well in this tournament. That final display with five out of eight legs won in twelve darts or better, and every single other round also looking excellent? That's got to be one of the best tournament displays of the season, and incredibly ominous as we rapidly approach the business end of the season.

Let's get the new FRH rankings out of the way first:

1 Michael van Gerwen
2 Rob Cross
3 Peter Wright
4 Gary Anderson
5 Daryl Gurney
6 Mensur Suljovic
7 Phil Taylor
8 Ian White
9 Michael Smith (UP 1)
10 Simon Whitlock (DOWN 1)
11 Gerwyn Price
12 Darren Webster
13 Dave Chisnall
14 James Wade (UP 2)
15 Jonny Clayton (DOWN 1)
16 Joe Cullen (DOWN 1)
17 Adrian Lewis
18 Mervyn King
19 Stephen Bunting
20 John Henderson (NEW)

Hendo's last sixteen appearance puts him ahead of Steve West by a few hundred points, and he's almost exactly a thousand points ahead of Steve Beaton as well. The big beneficiaries in the top 20 are obviously Wade and Smith, Klaasen's quarter now puts him ahead of Barney for a surprising #2 spot in the Dutch rankings, although while Jelle's #25, Wattimena and de Zwaan are also in the top 30. North as a result of the semi final climbs into the top 40 at the expense of Dimitri van den Bergh, while Matt Edgar hits the top 80.

The European Championship is done in ranking order. You'd think that, over the course of a season, the best players will end up towards the top of the rankings, right? Well let's see - if we have a minimum rule of 50 legs played on the European Tour, let's run down the top players in terms of points per turn on the European Tour, and see how it compares to the seedings they got for Dortmund - a special prize for you if you can guess who has the lowest points per turn on the European Tour that has played more than 50 legs:

Grey indicates the player didn't qualify (and while this includes players without much sample, it'll also include players that did have a decent sample but still didn't get there), red indicates a player who got a worse seeding than their points per turn would suggest, green indicates the opposite, and yellow indicated you're the best player that's ever lived.

From what I like in the first round, Price/Anderson has the potential to be good if Kyle can bring his game, Hopp/O'Connor could be entertaining, Clayton/Wilson seems hard to call initially while Lewis/Chisnall and a lot of the other games in general between the middling seeds appear to have potential. I'll do more in depth once the last two Players Championships are done, which are going to be huge - we've already seen the likes of Matt Edgar, who's right on the borderline, withdraw from the World Series qualifier to concentrate on it - seems an odd decision, surely the best way to prepare for competitive darts is competitive darts, and one would think that he'd be in or around Barnsley the night before anyway, but there you go. We've also had the last of the Asian Tour, Lim and Maclidem confirmed what looked to be surefire places anyway after Asada won the Japanese qualifier, but the i's are now dotted and the t's crossed, so we're now getting much closer to knowing the field with half of the non-Pro Tour qualifiers in the books, with the Pro Tour finishing next weekend that should also give us a close to confirmed list barring anything really weird happening that pushes Benito out of a seed and letting an extra player in through the Pro Tour rankings (everyone below him in the seeds that's in a spot looks safe through the Pro Tour right now). Will be a very interesting weekend.

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