The PDC European Tour reaches its finale at the end of October with the Unibet European Championship.
This tournament is the culmination of 10 European Tour tournaments that have spanned the year.
The top 32 players on the European Tour — judged by their performances over the 10 tournaments — will face off in one epic encounter in Hasselt, Belgium.
The winner gets €113,000 of the €454,000 prize pot, which is four times as much as the Tour events leading up to this final showdown.
So who will win the Unibet European Championship? Let’s take a look at the frontrunners.
Michael Van Gerwen
Of course, Dutchman and World No. 1 Michael van Gerwen is favourite for this tournament. To put it simply, Van Gerwen has demolished the pack on the European Tour this season. He has won six of the 10 events, which includes beating Scotland’s Peter Wright three times in finals.
Van Gerwen has been particularly productive of late. He edged surprise finalist Mensur Suljovic of Austria 6-5 in the European Darts Trophy in early September before dispatching of Wright 6-2 in the European Grand Prix a week later. However, a shock 6-4 defeat to Daryl Gurney in the third round of the 2016 German Darts Championship (the last of the 10 Tour events) exposed Van Gerwen's weaknesses. He threw a better average than Gurney that night but lost his nerve on the doubles.
It has been a mixed autumn for England’s Phil Taylor. He won the inaugural Unibet Champions League with aplomb and many thought the 14-time world champion was back to his best. But Taylor then suffered a shock defeat in the first round of the Unibet World Grand Prix to Steve West.
That defeat will have hurt Taylor’s pride. He’s usually a sound performer at the Grand Prix and clinical when it comes to short matches. The European Championships is a different matter, with the first round consisting of best of 11 legs. That will give Taylor time to get into his groove and he is a good shout to make the semi-finals in Hasselt.
Gary Anderson lost to Van Gerwen in the European Championship final last year and is out for revenge. The Scot has never won this trophy, thanks in large part of Taylor and Van Gerwen’s dominance over the years.
But Anderson has proved in twice winning the World Championship that he is a stayer in long-form darts and as second seed will get a good draw in Belgium.
If you’re seeking a good outside bet at the Unibet European Championship then look no further than Adrian Lewis. The Englishman has reached the final three times since this tournament’s inception in 2008 and won once (in 2013). Lewis has done nothing of note on the European Tour so far but enjoys the big spectacle.
Simon Whitlock also has form in the European Championships, having won the tournament the year before Lewis. But the Australian has also been stifled out of success on the Tour this year. He exited the German Darts Championship in the second round.
Austrian Suljovic is an interesting proposition. He won the International Darts Open in Riesa in September and reached the European Darts Trophy final. He also lost in the German Darts Championship final, which proved his pedigree on this Tour and makes him a decent outside shout here.