The field of PDC representatives for the 2018 World Series of Darts has been finalised following invitations for the trio of Michael Smith, James Wade and Raymond van Barneveld.
The World Series of Darts’ global tour will see tournaments held in Germany, Las Vegas, Shanghai, Auckland, Melbourne and Brisbane, before the World Series of Darts Finals takes place in Vienna for the first time this November.
The field for the German Darts Masters was already confirmed last month, and it includes newly crowned German Darts Open champion Max Hopp. The world’s top four of Michael van Gerwen, Peter Wright, Rob Cross and Gary Anderson will also be in attendance, as will Barney.
They will be joined by Champions League of Darts winner Mensur Suljovic, World Championship semi-finalist Jamie Lewis and World Youth champion Dimitri van den Bergh. Nevertheless, two places remained in each of the other five international events.
Former World Youth champion Michael Smith, who currently occupies second position in the Premier League table, has been invited to compete in all five events- having also won two ranking titles so far this season.
He will be joined in the U.S Masters and the Shanghai Darts Masters by eight-time major winner James Wade. ‘The Machine’, who is also a two-time World Series finalist, has been rewarded for his resurgence in 2018 after being left out of this year’s Premier League.
Meanwhile, five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld will feature in the treble-header of events in Australasia. Van Barneveld, a three-time World Series finalist, was the only player prior to this year to have featured in all 26 World Series events, and he’ll compete in the Auckland, Melbourne and Brisbane Darts Masters.
PDC Chairman Barry Hearn stated: “This year’s World Series of Darts is shaping up to be a thrilling set of tournaments and this announcement completes the PDC players who will compete in each event.
“Michael Smith is enjoying his breakthrough year on the big stage after knocking on the door in recent times, and after having a taste of the World Series in 2017 has now got a great opportunity to light up the global stage.
“James and Raymond are two players who are known globally for their achievements and have vast experience around the world. Despite not being selected for the Premier League this year, James’ attitude has been excellent and he has been a leading performer on the circuit.
“Raymond’s profile makes him a massive draw in New Zealand and Australia, where he has previously reached World Series finals, and as the sport’s elder statesman in playing terms will be a big draw for fans Down Under.”
The world’s top four of Van Gerwen, Wright, Cross and Anderson will compete in all six events this year. Daryl Gurney and Gerwyn Price will appear in Las Vegas and Shanghai, whilst the Australian trio of Simon Whitlock, Kyle Anderson and Corey Cadby will feature in the treble-header Down Under, alongside seven Oceanic representatives.
Photo Credit: Official PDC