The recent World Matchplay was full of shocks and surprises. For example, of the top five seeds, no one managed to reach the quarterfinals.
For Matthew Edgar, himself a former pro darter and currently active as an analyst, that was no surprise. "In the past, you would get the 'Phil Taylor effect' as we called it. Where someone would beat Phil and then go out next round. That only really happened once, Brendan Dolan beating Michael van Gerwen before Damon Heta cashed in. But those quarter-finalists didn't get lucky, they earned their place there by beating the big guys."
Edgar saw another positive to the quick elimination of the top four. "After the Premier League and seeing the same faces for 16 weeks I think it was very refreshing for the fans. Those players who we've seen for 16 weeks are very beatable by the next 16 in the rankings if you like," Edgar continues.
"Then looking even further you've got Andrew Gilding who won the UK Open from outside the top 32. Chris Dobey winning a major from outside the top 16, same as Ross Smith. The standard isn't higher than it's ever been, but what we do have is the deepest pool of talent ever in the sport."