Meet the 8 Players battling out for the Champions League of Darts title

Michael Van Gerwen

The current world number one, Dutch ace Michael van Gerwen has enjoyed an extraordinary spell to establish himself as one of the sport’s superstars. A two-time World Youth Championship finalist who honed his skills in the early years of the PDC’s Youth Tour – having initially joined the PDC circuit in 2007 – Van Gerwen has been the dominant player on the PDC circuit since 2013. The Dutchman started 2019 in fine fashion winning his fifth consecutive Masters title followed by a 29th European Tour title in Leverkusen hitting a nine-darter in the process. Van Gerwen continues his strong start to 2019 winning his 30th European Tour Title in April winning the German Darts Grand Prix in Munich after defeating Simon Whitlock 8-3 in the Final. Van Gerwen topped the Premier League table for a seventh straight year in 2019 before claimed his fifth Premier League title in May 2019, defeating Rob Cross 11-5 in the final. Michael will be looking to continue his fine form in 2019 by winning the Paddy Power Champions League of darts after losing out in the Semi Finals last year to eventual Runner up Peter Wright.

Rob Cross

Rob’s incredible impact on the PDC circuit saw him complete his first full year as a professional with his stunning triumph in the William Hill World Darts Championship. Cross won his first full ranking title in 2017 winning the Players Championship in March that year, Rob then went on to beat Phil Taylor on his way to securing darts biggest prize topping off his incredible year by being names World Champion. The Englishman then won his first PDC title since being crowned World Champion at the Players Championship in Wigan beating Ian White in the Final. Last year in his first appearance in the Paddy Power Champions League of Darts Cross was unable to get out of the group, something he will no doubt be hoping to better this time around.

Gary Anderson

Scottish star Anderson joined an elite group of players to win back-to-back World Championship titles with his successes in 2015 and 2016 at Alexandra Palace, marking him down amongst the sport’s most successful players. Anderson has enjoyed a wealth of success across his career winning 17 televised titles and 30 non televised titles. For the sixth time Anderson won the US Darts Masters in July 2018 before becoming the World Matchplay Champion just a couple of weeks later fir the first time in his career. Gary won the 2018 Paddy Power Champions League of Darts dispatching fellow Scot Peter Wright 11-4 in the Final, Anderson will no doubt be looking for more of the same in 2019.

Michael Smith

The 2013 World Youth Champion, Smith joined the PDC circuit as a teenager and has since progressed to the top level of the sport. Smith won his first senior ranking title in 2011 alongside a further 5 PDC Development Tour Events. Smith then went on to win the World Youth Championship in 2013 before his first European Tour title in 2014. A Quarter Final berth at the European Championship earned Smith an invite to the 2018 Premier League after a 2 year absence following his debut in 2016. The St Helens native picked up his first World Series of Darts title in July 2018 with a win at the Shanghai Darts Masters. Having previously never made it out the group stage Smith will be looking to push into the Second day of the Paddy Power Champions League of Darts this time around.

Daryl Gurney

Daryl joined the PDC in 2013 and has since emerged as a contender at the top level with some impressive displays, which culminated in his first TV title at the 2017 World Grand Prix. An impressive display in the 2015 Players Championship saw Gurney make his mark on the big stage as he moved into the top 32 in the World Rankings. Daryl made his debut in the U.S Darts Masters in 2017 and followed this up by an impressive run to the Semi Finals of the World Matchplay. Gurney went on to win his inaugural TV title at the 2017 World Grand Prix defeating Simon Whitlock in the Final. Gurney made a strong start to 2019 which saw him competing in his second Premier League campaign before picking up his first European Tour title at the German Darts Championship in March 2019. Gurney was unable to make it out of the group in last year’s Champions League of Darts so will be looking to improve on that this time around.

Gerwyn Price

Welsh thrower Gerwyn Price has made a big impression since joining the PDC circuit in 2014 after winning a Tour Card at Qualifying School. Price made his World Championship debut less than a year after joining the circuit he also went on to to reach his first televised quarter-final at the 2015 World Matchplay, where he knocked out Michael Smith and Adrian Lewis. In 2016 the Welshman won his first PDC titles winning back to back Players Championships meaning he broke into the Worlds top 32. Price made it through to his first Televised final in 2017, losing to Peter Wright in the UK Open Final. In September of 2018 Price won his first European Tour title when he was Victorious against Simon Whitlock 8-3 in the first of the International Darts Open in Riesa. The biggest win of the Welshman’s career so far came in November 2018 as he claimed his maiden televised title with a remarkable Grand Slam of Darts success, overcoming Gary Anderson 16-13. Price is making his debut in the Paddy Power Champions League of Darts so will be looking to impress In Leicester this weekend.

Peter Wright

Peter claimed his first televised title at the 2017 UK Open, ending a 20-year wait for one of the circuit’s most flamboyant performers. Originally a qualifier for the 1996 Lakeside Championship, it would be more than a decade before Scottish-born Wright joined the PDC circuit on a full-time basis. Wright rose to third in the World after reaching the Final in back to back UK Opens and also reaching series of darts finals in 2015 and 2016 as well the PDC World Cup of Darts and World Series events in Japan. Having reached the final of the 2018 World Cup of Darts in June, Wright then won a first title of the year at Players Championship 14 in Wigan and then claimed his second World Series triumph at the Melbourne Darts Masters. Wright was runner up in last year’s Paddy Power Champions League of Darts so will definitely be looking to go one step further in 2019.

James Wade

The sport’s most successful left-hander, James has enjoyed a fine decade at the top level to establish himself amongst the darts’ top stars. Having initially emerged as a teenage mechanic, Wade joined the PDC circuit in 2004 and became a full-time professional two years later, with the decision paying dividends as he reached his first televised final at the 2006 World Matchplay.  Wade reached the finals of the 2014 World Grand Prix, 2015 World Matchplay and 2016 Grand Slam of Darts, unfortunately losing out to Michael Van Gerwen on each occasion. In October 2018 Wade eventually won his first Televised PDC Title after a 4 year wait claiming the European Championship crown in Dortmund. In April 2019 Wade won his first floor title in almost four years at Players Championship Ten in Barnsley, once again defeating Smith in the final. Wade picked up his fourth PDC ranking title of 2019 at Players Championship 18 in June 2019, equalling his best ever tally of ranking titles in a calendar year.

Tickets are still available CLICK HERE to purchase yours!

3 Things to look out for at the Paddy Power Champions League of Darts

A Chance to Win a share of £100,000

If you’re in the audience when the first 9 darter is hit at the Paddy Power Champions League of darts you’ll receive a share of £100,000 in cash courtesy of Paddy Power, that works out at £50 per person. It won’t change your life but it will change your night out!

Paddy Power Fan Zone

Paddy Power is engaging with visitors to the Champions League of Darts with a fan zone featuring photo opportunities and darts-inspired games. Fans have the opportunity to throw three darts against former world champion Raymond Van Barneveld. If they win, fans are given an instant cash prize. At a beer-printing station, visitors can have an image of their favourite darts player printed on the top of a free pint. Guests can play “darts derby”, in which eight competitors – each representing one of the players competing in the championship – go head to head in an attempt to reach the finish line first.

Never miss a second of the action

To make sure that your time at the Paddy Power Champions League of Darts and the Morningside Arena is enjoyable as possible we will have crowd hawkers around the arena serving drinks to your seats. The hawkers will accept both cash and card and will serve alcoholic drinks right to your seat so there is no need for you to miss any of the action!

Tickets are still available CLICK HERE to purchase yours!

Everything You Need To Know For When You Come To The Champions League Of Darts

Thank you for purchasing tickets for the 2019 Paddy Power Champions League.

To make sure you have the best experience possible, we’ve put together all of the information which you will need to know ahead of the event.

We look forward to seeing you at the Morningside arena Leicester this weekend.

The 2019 Paddy Power Champions League of Darts will take place from October 19-20 live on BBC Sport from the Morningside Arena in Leicester.

Saturday October 19th
Afternoon Session
Saturday October 19th
Evening Session
Sunday October 20th
Afternoon Session
Sunday October 20th
Evening Session
Doors Open (1215 BST)
Start Of Play (1315 BST)
Doors Open (1730 BST)
Start Of Play (1830 BST)
Doors Open (1200 BST)
Start Of Play (1300 BST)
Doors Open (1730 BST)
Start Of Play (1830 BST)

The Morningside Arena car park is closed for the Public.

There is a change for All Public access to the Arena in car or on foot – this should be via Memory Lane, and not Charter Street (except for accessing car parking at Charter Street businesses).

Where Can I Park?

The Morningside Arena offers numerous car parking options within close vicinity to the the arena.

Event car parking is available at the following nearby locations:

  • Leicester College Abbey Park Campus – Painter Street & Memory Lane
  • Leicester College St Margaret’s Campus – LE1 3WL – St John’s St
  • Charter Street Businesses
  • Belgrave Circle/Melton Road
  • Plus a number of roadside parking sites within the nearby area

All parking is subject to availability.

Taxi Drop Off

Taxi drop off point

Memory Lane, LE1 3UL, Leicester 

(Accessible via Belgrave Gate)

Are there any cloakrooms?

The Morningside Arena operates a strict bag search on arrival at the venue. 

We don’t have any cloakrooms on site – so for security seasons no bag bigger than a rucksack will be allowed into the venue (approx 35(W)x17(D)x42(H)cm).

Can I leave the venue and re-enter?

The Morningside Arena runs a strict no readmission policy. 

A smoking area is provided for an opportunity to have a cigarette or to get some fresh air.

Will there be Food and Drink served in the Venue?

There will be a full range of Alcoholic and not Alcoholic drinks as well as food and snacks on sale in the arena concourse. 

We will also have staff serving drinks to the tables so you do not miss any of the action. All bars and table staff will be able to take payment via Card or Cash

What’s the dress code?

Fancy dress is allowed, however accessories such as swords, hooks, toy guns, weapons, sharp objects will not be allowed.

No football strips at any time, they must be removed and stored away, covering over will not suffice

Tickets

Tickets for all Sessions are available to purchase by CLICKING HERE!

BINGHAM IS GROUP TWO CHAMPION AT BETVICTOR CHAMPIONSHIP LEAGUE SNOOKER

Group Two

Final
Stuart Bingham 3-
1 Mark Selby
68-28, 1-70 (61), 74-51, 92-0 (92)

Semi-Finals
Mark Selby 3
-1 Kyren Wilson
95-0 (94), 133-0 (133), 8-96 (58), 65-56 (Selby 54)

Stuart Bingham 3-0 Gary Wilson
104-36 (96), 109-19 (108), 126-1 (118)

Stuart Bingham defeated Mark Selby 3-2 in the Group Two final to join Neil Robertson in the Winners’ Group of BetVictor Championship League Snooker.

The Essex potter came third in the round-robin group phase with four wins from his six matches to set-up a semi-final clash with tournament debutant Gary Wilson, who he then defeated 3-0 with breaks of 96, 108 and 118.

Bingham, who won Championship League in 2015 before going on to win the World Championship later that season, met Selby in the group final after the Leicester man defeated Kyren Wilson 3-1 in his semi-final.

‘Ball-Run’ Bingham took the first frame of the final but was pegged back by Selby. However, the Essex man took the subsequent two frames to secure victory and a place in March’s big-money Winners’ Group.

“Something clicked today,” said Bingham. “My manager said ‘whatever you had for dinner, put it on the menu and we’ll have it all the time’ because after dinner I hardly missed a ball.

“I got through to the Winners’ Group last year and have won the tournament before, so it’s nice now to be able to look forward to coming back for the final group.

“I feel like I have been playing pretty well recently. There have been a couple of bad results here and there but all-in-all beating the likes of Gary Wilson and Mark in the final shows that my game is there.”

Staged at Morningside Arena, Leicester, BetVictor Championship League Snooker is broadcast on a host of betting websites and on zhibo.tv, one of the biggest sports streaming platforms in China.

Selby, Gary Wilson, Kyren Wilson and Barry Hawkins, who finished fifth on the group table, will now return for Group Three later this month, where they will be joined by Ali Carter, Graeme Dott and Dave Gilbert. Having finished sixth and seventh respectively in Group Two, Ryan Day and Jack Lisowski are eliminated from the competition. 

BetVictor Championship League Snooker is a venture between Matchroom Sport and Perform where 25 of the game’s elite players compete for their share of a total prize pot of up to £205,000.

Group Two commences at 11am on Wednesday. Live scoring can be found at www.worldsnooker.com. Group fixtures and results can be found at http://www.championshipleaguesnooker.co.uk/

WILSON HOLDS GROUP TWO ADVANTAGE AT BETVICTOR CHAMPIONSHIP LEAGUE SNOOKER

Gary Wilson leads group two of BetVictor Championship League Snooker after the first day of the group at Morningside Arena, Leicester.

Wilson is making his debut in the tournament, which is broadcast on a host of betting websites and on zhibo.tv, one of the biggest sports streaming platforms in China.

The World No.19 played four matches on the first day of group two, and registered wins over Jack Lisowski, Kyren Wilson and Barry Hawkins to top the table, despite slipping to a 3-1 defeat against Stuart Bingham.

All seven competing players have a win on the board, which means it will be all to play for on day two as they battle for a place in the semi-finals. Mark Selby, Kyren Wilson and Bingham have all won twice while Hawkins, Ryan Day and Lisowski have one win each, although Hawkins and Lisowski only have two group phase fixtures remaining.

Each of the seven players faces each other once in the round-robin group stage, after which the top four players in the league table progress to Thursday evening’s play-offs. The eventual group champion advances to March’s Winners’ Group with the remaining players who finished in the top five during the league phase continuing to group three later this month, where three new players join the tournament. The bottom two players in each group phase are eliminated. All matches are best of five.

BetVictor Championship League Snooker is a venture between Matchroom Sport and Perform where 25 of the game’s elite players compete for their share of a total prize pot of up to £205,000.

Group Two continues at 11am on Thursday. Live scoring can be found at www.worldsnooker.com. Group fixtures and results can be found at http://www.championshipleaguesnooker.co.uk/

Group Two Table

P W L FW FL PTS
Gary Wilson 4 3 1 10 6 3
Mark Selby 3 2 1 8 3 2
Kyren Wilson 3 2 1 8 5 2
Stuart Bingham 3 2 1 6 6 2
Barry Hawkins 4 1 3 6 11 1
Ryan Day 3 1 2 5 6 1
Jack Lisowski 4 1 3 5 11 1

ROBERTSON THUNDERS INTO BETVICTOR CHAMPIONSHIP LEAGUE SNOOKER WINNERS’ GROUP

Group Final
Ryan Day 2–3 Neil Robertson
63-24, 126-8 (Day 126), 49-85 (Robertson 79), 38-50, 1-80 (Robertson 56)

Semi-Finals
Barry Hawkins 0-3 Ryan Day
17-75, 1-68 (Day 68), 25-71

Neil Robertson 3-2 Mark Selby
15-81 (Selby 77), 111-0 (Robertson 111), 88-4 (Robertson 59), 64-75 (Selby 52), 69-9 (Robertson 50)

Neil Robertson fought back from 2-0 down to defeat Ryan Day 3-2 in the Group One final of BetVictor Championship League Snooker and become the first player to make it through to Winners’ Group.

BetVictor Championship League Snooker is broadcast on a host of betting websites and on zhibo.tv, one of the biggest sports streaming platforms in China.

Day raced to a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five final with a 126 doubling the advantage he’d earned in the first frame of the match at Morningside Arena, Leicester. Robertson hit back with a 79 and capitalised in the fourth to draw level after Day missed opportunities to see out the match. Robertson then made a decisive 56 break to take the fifth frame 80-1.

“It wasn’t going too well for me yesterday and I lost my first two group matches,” said Robertson, who won £6,100 during the group. “From that point on you’re trying to scrape through and maybe take fifth but today I played much better. If I’d lost to Mark Selby yesterday I’d probably have been out but that gave me a chance and I played much better today.

“I am really pleased to get through. Ryan was looking good at 2-0 up and cruising but he missed a tough black and I was able to capitalise.”

Having earned £4,800 during Group 1, Day has now won over £100,000 from BetVictor Championship League Snooker since its inception in 2008.

Barry Hawkins had topped the group table having won all six of his league phase matches, but lost 3-0 in the semi-finals to Day, who had scraped into the final four having won one frame more than Jack Lisowski. Robertson beat Mark Selby in the deciding frame of their best-of-five semi-final. Selby took the group high break prize of £500 for his 131 against Neil Robertson in the group phase.

Having finished fifth in the round-robin group table, Lisowski will return to compete in Group Two tomorrow, along with Day, Hawkins and Selby. They are joined by three new players; Stuart Bingham, Gary Wilson and Kyren Wilson.

BetVictor Championship League Snooker is a venture between Matchroom Sport and Perform where 25 of the game’s elite players compete for their share of a total prize pot of up to £205,000.

Group Two continues at 11am on Wednesday. Live scoring can be found at www.worldsnooker.com. Group fixtures and results can be found at http://www.championshipleaguesnooker.co.uk/

BetVictor Championship League of Snooker comes to the Morningside Arena

Matchroom Multi Sport today announced that BetVictor, a leading online gambling company, will be the title sponsor of the 2019/20 BetVictor Championship League Snooker, which breaks off at Morningside Arena, Leicester on Monday, 7th October.

The BetVictor Championship League Snooker, which continues with four weeks of play throughout the season, concluding with the Winners’ Group in March 2020, is a venture between Matchroom Sport and Perform, where 25 of the game’s elite players compete with matches being broadcasted on the biggest sports streaming platforms.

Each group is played across two days with Groups 1 and 2 from 7th-10th October. Groups 3 and 4 will be staged from 21st-24th October, while Groups 5 and 6 will take place between 6th-9th January. Group 7 between 2nd-3rd March with the big-money Winners’ Group taking place from 4th-5th March. Group 1 will feature big names including the likes of Mark Selby, Mark Williams and Neil Robertson.

A total of up to £205,000 prize money is available with players earning £100 per frame won, with significant bonuses for their final group position and increased prize money in the Winners’ Group. In its 11-year history, the Championship League Snooker has paid out over £2,000,000 in prize money.

For more information visit http://www.championshipleaguesnooker.co.uk/

ANDERSON OPENS PADDY POWER CHAMPIONS LEAGUE DEFENCE AGAINST SMITH

Gary Anderson will open his defence of the Paddy Power Champions League of Darts against Michael Smith when the BBC-televised tournament begins on Saturday October 19.

The £250,000 Champions League of Darts, to be held at the Morningside Arena in Leicester on October 19-20, sees the world’s top eight players competing across two days.

The eight stars are split into two groups of four for the round-robin phase over the opening three sessions, before the top two from each group progress to compete in the semi-finals and final.

A tasty Group A sees reigning champion Anderson joined by World Champion Michael van Gerwen, World Championship finalist Michael Smith and reigning European Champion James Wade.

The opening ties, in the afternoon session on Saturday October 19, include Anderson’s clash with Smith as the reigning champion comes up against his former protege.

Van Gerwen will meet Wade in another high-profile clash, in a repeat of the 2019 Masters final earlier this year which the Dutchman won in Milton Keynes.

Group B also features a mouth-watering line-up, with the tournament’s opening fixture seeing former World Grand Prix winner Daryl Gurney take on 2018 Champions League finalist Peter Wright.

World Matchplay champion Rob Cross then plays 2018 Grand Slam of Darts winner Gerwyn Price in the second Group B tie, with that pair having also met in last weekend’s International Darts Open final in Germany as the Welshman took European Tour glory.

Saturday night’s second group games see the afternoon session’s winning players face each other and the losing players battle to stay in the event, before the group stage concludes with the remaining fixtures on Sunday afternoon.

The BBC-televised Champions League has proven hugely popular since being introduced in 2016, with Phil Taylor and Mensur Suljovic winning the title in the opening two years before Anderson’s success 12 months ago.

Tickets for the 2019 Champions League of Darts are available from SeeTickets and the Morningside Arena.

2019 Paddy Power Champions League of Darts

Schedule of Play

Saturday October 19

Afternoon Session (1230 BST Start)

4x Group Matches

Daryl Gurney v Peter Wright (Group B)

Rob Cross v Gerwyn Price (Group B)

Michael Smith v Gary Anderson (Group A)

Michael van Gerwen v James Wade (Group A)

Table Seat Tickets £26

Tiered Seat Tickets £21

Evening Session (1830 BST Start)

4x Group Matches

Afternoon session’s winning players face each other, and losing players face each other.

Table Seat Tickets £31

Tiered Seat Tickets £26

Sunday October 20

Afternoon Session (1230 BST Start)

4x Group Matches

Remaining group matches.

Table Seat Tickets £26

Tiered Seat Tickets £21

Evening Session (1830 BST Start)

Semi-Finals

Final

Table Seat Tickets £31

Tiered Seat Tickets £26

Tickets are available at: https://www.leicesterarena.co.uk/event/paddy-power-champions-league-of-darts-morningside-arena-leicester/

‘United Leicester’ Healthy Schools Pilot Brings Together Leicester’s Elite Sports Clubs

Pupils have come together today (17th September 2019) at the Morningside Arena, home of Leicester Riders, to launch a new pilot project funded by the PL PFA Fund, called ‘United Leicester’ which aims to improve children’s health and lifestyle using sport. Players and coaches from each of Leicester’s 4 professional clubs are on hand to get the children active and highlight the positive benefit of a healthy lifestyle.

Christian Fuchs, Leicester City player and Premier League winner, said: “The positive role sport has had on my life has been massive and the impact it can have at such an early age can help develop positive habits for life.” The unique project will benefit from the strengths and expertise of Leicester City in the Community (LCitC), Leicester Tigers Foundation, Leicester Riders Foundation and Leicestershire County Cricket Club, supported by Leicester Hockey”, delivering the 30 week programme to pupils in both Hazel and Taylor Road primary schools.

Childhood physical inactivity and obesity are present in higher levels in the city of Leicester compared to other parts of the UK. ‘United Leicester’ healthy schools pilot project brings together Leicester’s professional sports clubs, augmented by Leicester City Council and academic (University of Leicester) and clinical (Leicester Diabetes Centre at Leicester General Hospital) partners to develop, deliver and evaluate a school-based healthy lifestyles programme. The project supports Leicester City Council’s Active Leicester’s aim of getting 20,000 people more active and the long-term goal of Cities Changing Diabetes of reducing levels urban type 2 diabetes.

Matt Bray, LCitC, Community Manager, “The project uses coaches from each club to inspire the next generation of pupils, as well as providing workshops for parents and guardians, to increase their awareness of the benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle and the consequences of inactivity”.

Deirdre Harrington Lecturer from the University of Leicester “it is really unique to see top flight sports clubs working in collaboration to improve health of city residents. We know risk factors for poor health, including type 2 diabetes, are higher in the city. Working with the teams and the City Council on a United Leicester will give a great insight in what can happen in schools and communities”

The elite sports clubs have already committed to signing a city-wide “diabetes pledge” and will support the Leicester City Council health agenda, supported by Leicester Changing Diabetes, as part of the Cities Changing Diabetes global initiative.