One of the interesting sub-plots to follow during the BetVictor World Matchplay will be the race to qualify for the Champions League of Darts in September.
The tournament was launched last year and saw the PDC makes its televised debut on the BBC, with Phil Taylor defeating Michael van Gerwen 11-5 in the final to win the inaugural event.
The criteria for last year was set as the top eight players on the PDC Order of Merit, but this year the defending champion Taylor is guaranteed a spot even if he falls out of the top eight come the cut-off, which will be straight after the World Matchplay.
It means only the top seven on the PDC Order of Merit following the World Matchplay are certain to be in the tournament, and as it stands three players from last year’s line-up are set to miss out.
Below is the provisional PDC Order of Merit, with prize money won from the 2015 World Matchplay removed and first round prize money from this year’s World Matchplay added.
James Wade, a runner-up in Blackpool two years ago, Michael Smith and Robert Thornton are all currently set to miss out, while Dave Chisnall, Mensur Suljovic and Raymond van Barneveld are currently in line for their debuts in the non-ranking event.
Michael van Gerwen, Gary Anderson, Peter Wright and Adrian Lewis are mathematically secure of their places, which leaves just three spots left to be decided in Blackpool.
Provisional PDC Order of Merit (Phil Taylor + the next top seven qualify) (2015 World Matchplay prize money removed and first round prize money from this year’s World Matchplay added)
|1||Michael van Gerwen (Q)||£1,650,250|
|2||Gary Anderson (Q)||£756,000|
|3||Peter Wright (Q)||£667,250|
|4||Adrian Lewis (Q)||£385,000|
|7||Raymond van Barneveld||£320,500|
|11||Phil Taylor (Q)||£301,250|
|14||Benito van de Pas||£265,750|