Michael van Gerwen will make his World Series of Darts return in the inaugural staging of next month’s German Darts Masters in Dusseldorf, after the eight PDC representatives for the event were confirmed.
The 16-player tournament will be held at the Castello Arena in Dusseldorf on October 20-21, and televised live on SAT.1 and ProSieben Maxx, as the World Series of Darts visits German soil for the very first time.
World number one Van Gerwen missed the World Series triple-header in Australasia last month to remain in the Netherlands for the birth of his first daughter Zoe, but he will return looking for his third World Series crown of 2017, following his successes in Shanghai and Las Vegas earlier this year.
Two-time world champion Gary Anderson will be the top seed in Dusseldorf after prevailing in the recent Perth Darts Masters. ‘The Flying Scotsman’ retained his Dubai Darts Masters crown in May, before triumphing in Australia for the first time to secure the fifth World Series crown of his career.
Melbourne Darts Masters winner Phil Taylor will also be competing in Germany for the final time, alongside Auckland Darts Masters champion Kyle Anderson, who is enjoying the best form of his career to date.
Elsewhere, five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld will continue his record of being the only player to have competed in every single World Series of Darts event. Van Barneveld, who reached the final in Perth a fortnight ago, has now competed in all 26 World Series tournaments since its inception in 2013.
UK-Open champion Peter Wright will aim to secure his maiden World Series crown in Germany, alongside eight-time major winner and two-time World Series finalist James Wade. U.S Masters finalist Daryl Gurney makes up the list of PDC representatives, with the current top eight from the World Series Order of Merit each earning selection.
However, controversially, there was no place for world number seven Mensur Suljovic, arguably the best player ever to come from a German-speaking part of the world. Meanwhile, two-time world champion Adrian Lewis and world number six Dave Chisnall were the other two notable absentees.
The eight German representatives will be headlined by World-Youth champion Max Hopp, who will be hoping to improve on his showing at the U.S Masters in July, where he suffered a chastening first-round exit at the hands of Dave Richardson.
Hopp will be joined by his World Cup team-mate Martin Schindler, who is continuing his rise up the PDC ranks. The pair, who reached the World Cup quarter-finals back in June, qualify by virtue of being the two highest ranked German players on the PDC Order of Merit.
A further six players will qualify from the final German Superleague rankings to complete the field of home players alongside Hopp and Schindler, with former World Championship qualifiers Kevin Munch and Stefan Stoyke and former World Cup of Darts representative Maik Langendorf all currently in pole position to qualify.
The German Darts Masters begins on Friday October 20 (8pm local time) with the first round ties seeing the eight PDC Representatives drawn against the eight German qualifiers for the tournament’s opening night.
The quarter-finals will take place on Saturday afternoon before the decisive evening session will see the semi-finals and final take place.
2017 German Darts Masters
PDC Representatives (in World Series Rankings Order)
1 Gary Anderson (Scotland)
2 Michael van Gerwen (Netherlands)
3 Phil Taylor (England)
4 Peter Wright (Scotland)
5 Raymond van Barneveld (Netherlands)
6 James Wade (England)
7 Daryl Gurney (Northern Ireland)
8 Kyle Anderson (Australia)
Plus six players from final German Superleague rankings on October 9