World Darts Championship explained
Who takes part? What is the format? Can I watch it on television? And how much do you get for winning? Our tournament guide explains all.
What is the PDC World Darts Championship?
The World Darts Championship is the highest-profile tournament on the PDC (Professional Darts Corporation) circuit.
It was founded in 1994 following the World Darts Council’s split from the BDO (British Darts Organisation).
When is it?
The Worlds traditionally starts in mid-December, with the final being played on New Year’s Day.
Officially, it is the first PDC tournament of the calendar year.
Where is it played?
The tournament has been played at Alexandra Palace, London, since 2008.
Before that, it was played at the Circus Tavern in Purfleet.
Who takes part?
A total of 96 players take part.
The 32 highest-ranked players in the PDC Order of Merit are seeded and go straight to the second round in a fixed bracket.
The next 32 highest-ranked players from the PDC Pro Tour Order of Merit and another 32 qualifiers are then drawn against each other in the first round.
What is the format?
The Worlds is a set-play tournament. Sets are won by the player who is first to three legs, with opponents taking it in turns to throw first in each set.
First- and second-round matches are the best-of-five sets. Third- and fourth-round matches are the best-of-seven sets.
Quarter-finals are the best-of-nine sets, semi-finals are the best-of-11 sets and the final is best-of-13 sets.
Can I watch it on television?
The entire tournament is broadcast live on Sky Sports.
What is the prize for winning?
The total prize pot for the 2020 tournament was £2.5m, with £500k going to the winner and £200k to the runner-up.
Who are the previous winners?
Peter Wright is the reigning champion after winning his first title in 2020, beating Michael van Gerwen - who lifted the trophy in 2019, 2017 and 2014 - in the final.
Dennis Priestley won the inaugural tournament in 1994, beating Phil Taylor in the final, before Taylor went on to win the next eight in a row and 14 overall.
John Part (2003 and 2008), Adrian Lewis (2011 and 2012) and Gary Anderson (2015 and 2016) have all lifted the trophy twice.
Raymond van Barneveld (2007) and Rob Cross (2018) are the only other players to be crowned world champions.
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