Darts fans who don’t subscribe to PDC TV might be forgiven for not realising there’s a revolution in full swing.

On the big stage, the household names are still in charge. Michael van Gerwen dominated the Masters and the Premier League. Even in a UK Open rife with shocks, Gary Anderson took the title. But behind closed doors in Wigan and Barnsley, and even on European stages, it’s getting harder to know who the next PDC ranking event winner will be.

In 2017, seven players reached a ranking event final for the first time. Five of them went on to be debut winners. This year, there have already been eight new finalists and five new champions. Considering that there are 25 PDC events left in 2018, it’s a remarkable feat.

Krzysztof Ratajski and Corey Cadby were the first two players to make a splash. Both claimed victory at UK Open Qualifiers. Cadby even went all the way to the final in Minehead, before Anderson proved too strong for the prodigious Aussie. The European Tour saw one of the most memorable victories in its history in Saarbrücken. Max Hopp strode to glory in front of his home fans. Steve Lennon reached a Dutch Darts Masters final, but was beaten by Van Gerwen.

Barnsley brilliance

The 12 Players Championship events have summoned up the most surprises. Jeffrey de Zwaan, a finalist at UK Open Qualifier 4 and Players Championship 4, made it third time lucky at Players Championship 10. That came three weeks after Mickey Mansell put in a brilliant performance to claim his first PDC ranking win.

Three players have reached a final for the first time. Gabriel Clemens and Scott Taylor both made it to the last two in Barnsley. Clemens had match darts against Gary Anderson, while Taylor took four legs off Michael van Gerwen.

In a world where an amateur electrician can become world champion within a year, anything truly is possible.

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Author: Ed McCosh