The 2021 World Darts Championship is just around the corner, and as we count down the days to the prestigious tournament, a lot of you might have some unanswered questions. So, whether you’re a darts expert or just wanting to get in on the hype, we have put together this list of everything you need to know ahead of the tournament.
When does the tournament start?
The first round of the World Darts Championship gets underway on December 15th with the final taking place on around two-and-a-half-weeks later on January 3rd.
Where is the tournament held?
Every year the World Darts Championship is held at the historic Alexandra Palace in North London. The iconic grade II listed venue boasts a capacity of almost 10,500.
Will there be fans in attendance?
Yes, in line with the new government guidelines, which were laid out at the end of November, up to 1,000 fans will be allowed to attend each session of this year’s tournament – the first-time spectators will be in attendance since March. However, there are some restrictions in place. Fans from areas in tiers one and two can reserve a table of four for just one household or support bubble, whilst people from tier three cannot attend. Singing, chanting and fancy dress are also prohibited at this year’s event, and the organisers have warned that failure to comply could lead to you being removed from the venue. Tickets went on sale on December 4th.
Who are the favourites?
Dutchman Michael van Gerwen is the current favourite in the Darts World Championship odds at 5/2 to scoop this year’s title. The three-time World Championship winner heads into the tournament on the back of a Players Championship victory, and he will be hoping to make amends for last year’s defeat to Peter Wright, who is the current third favourite, in the final.
How much will the winner get?
Since 2019, the winner of the World Darts Championship has pocketed £500,000 – £100,000 more than what was given out in previous years. The runner-up will bag £200,000, with the losing semi-finalists taking home £100,000 each. First round losers will be eliminated with £7,500 climbing up to £50,000 for those knocked out in the quarterfinals.
How is the tournament formatted?
All matches are played in a set format, with the number of sets increasing as the tournament progresses. Round one and two will be played as first to three (or best of five), and the matches will continue to get longer until the best of thirteen finale. Aside from in the first round, the final set must be won by two clear legs – except from in the case of a 5-5 tie. In that scenario the players will participate in a deciding leg. All matches require the player to score 501 to win a leg, and they must finish on a double or the bullseye.
When is the draw?
The draw took place on December 3rd with the 64 non-seeded players being drawn into the first round and the remaining 32 seeded players coming into the action in round two – each facing a winner from the first round rather than the possibility of a head-to-head with another seeded player. Defending champion Wright will face Steve West or Amit Gilitwala, whilst van Gerwen will kick-start his tournament against Ryan Murray or Lourence Llagan.