Friday, 3 July 2020

RIP Matchplay

At least as we know it. Was announced a couple of days ago that it will be behind closed doors - I think we all accepted this would be inevitable, but there was maybe a bit of hope given the boozers are open tomorrow (thank god), still, it is what it is. The question now is who is this going to help - there's a few things in play here, I asked this on the Weekly Dartscast a couple of weeks ago, but here's what I'm thinking.

The biggest thing I'm thinking is the heat, or lack of it. Blackpool, as far as I know, was always one of the hotter venues, whereas behind closed doors, while you're still going to have some TV lights, it's not going to be quite the same as a packed Winter Gardens. This might have helped out the likes of Mervyn King, and disadvantaged someone like Jamie Hughes who excelled in the furnace that was Prague last year, but neither are looking too likely to qualify in any case.

Then you've got the lack of crowd noise. I don't think this is going to make a huge difference, I think anyone that's one way on a stage player:floor player line is going to find themselves somewhat in the middle.

Final thing is tempo. Matt Edgar alluded to this somewhat on one of his recent videos, and says he'd be surprised if Glen Durrant, who's very much on the deliberate side of a deliberate:natural scale, doesn't win one of the Summer Series events. Here it's hard to disagree, someone who has a bit more of a manufactured style will surely benefit - players like Ratajski, maybe Pipe, Dolan etc, who are going to take their time anyway will notice less of a difference than other more fluid players.

We'll see, fortunately there's five events that we can take a look at beforehand, and there's been a very nice turnout announced all things considered - 117 in and 11 out from tour card holders, we're missing both Heta and KAndo (assume they can't get out of the country), all the Spaniards (maybe some issues with returning?), Siepmann (which seems odd, with him having played a behind closed doors live event, this might have been the best shot he had to do something), and other Euros in Harms, Meeuwisse, Larsson, Kantele and Michael. Challenge Tour fill up list seems fairly standard, just can't wait until Wednesday now.

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