PDC World Darts Championship 2024 – the force was with them

January 8, 2024

Now that the rest of the world seems to have written something about the Luke Littler darts tournament PDC World Championships, here are my thoughts on the recent record-breaking Ally Pally event:

  1. Luke Littler was astonishing. It wasn’t a surprise that he was good, or that he won his first few matches, (respectfully noting the calibre and experience of his opponents), but his capacity to maintain such a standard for those later games, on that stage, with increasing pressure, was unbelievable
  2. There were some truly excellent matches; Smith v Dobey and Dolan v anyone stood out, but Cullen v Humphries was a game for the ages, in which it never ever seemed that Cullen was going to win. And then he didn’t
  3. This was a tournament of comebacks, none greater than Cross v Dobey, but Humphries looked buried against Pietreczko, and Hempel v Van de Burgh set the tone
  4. How must MVG be feeling, limply losing to an unfancied opponent with a 93 average? Others too may feel they missed a big chance to transform their next two years: not least Bunting, Schindler, Noppert, and Gurney. Cullen and Dobey both surely still feel sick
  5. The tournament continued to look and sound fantastic (well done all), notwithstanding an intriguing decision not to switch finals night comms at the mid-point. However, much one likes a commentator, the same voices for 11 sets is too much, especially when styles are similarly verbose
  6. The world needs more Mark Webster
  7. That the tournament was a huge success was confirmed by the unbelievable viewing figures for the last couple of days, possibly helped by the recent change in structure. A finish on 3 January has created the Microsoft Teams equivalent of a tungsten-based water cooler moment
  8. The Littler show masked the lack of final set thrillers (just one from Q-F onwards), and the dull dominance of the English: all 4 semi-finalists, and an English champion who beat 5 English players. Fortunately one of them was 16
  9. The lack of a Humphries v Van Gerwyn semi-final was a huge disappointment, with respect to the showy brilliance (at least on the oche) of Scott Williams
  10. Littler will, it would seem, move on quickly from that double 2 in the seventh set. Only Humphries could keep him close long enough to force a mistake (not the miss, but the long pause before it, to check his remaining score). Here’s hoping The Nuke has good people around him, to deal with what’s coming next
  11. If this is darts next era, then Humphries appears well capable of leading it. Throughout he said and did everything right. To become a first time World Champ and #1 in the same tournament is some achievement. Odd then, that he must accept his position as only the second most interesting Luke at the Palace this year.