Five Players You NEED To Watch At The 2024 PDC World Championship (Third Round)

Published on 23 December 2023 at 13:00

It's been quite the week at the Alexandra Palace, after Friday night an astounding seven seeds have fallen already, there's been four 170 checkouts, one 16-year-old prodigy, and far too many sightings of the seemingly-immortal Ally Pally Wasp. As the third round kicks off after Xmas, here's five players that YOU need to look out for when they take to the oche in the search of World Championship glory next week.


1) Florian Hempel  

The most recent seeded casualty of this year's tournament came when 2023 semi-finalist Dimitri Van den Bergh was shockingly eliminated once again by Florian Hempel, who produced one of the finest mini sessions of legs ever seen on the Alexandra Palace. 

Surviving a slow start against Dylan Slevin, and then a two set, 2-1 legs deficit against the Belgian on Friday night, Hempel may be hindered by his slow starts in his next game(s), but has shown to truly get it done in exciting fashion at the most desperate of times. 


2) Luke Littler

What is there left to say about Luke Littler that hasn't been said already?


16-years-old, opening his tournament with one of the finest debuts in PDC World Championship history, before a convincing display against a tricky opponent, the UK Open Champion Andrew Gildiing, the Nuke has truly detonated in destructive fashion, and many seeds will be fearing playing Littler and becoming the next big casualty.

Seemingly on a collision course with one of Gary Anderson or Gerwyn Price in the quarter finals, there's a reason Littler's odds have shortened dramatically since his Wednesday night mastery against Christian Kist: no talent has looked this promising since a young Michael Van Gerwen.


3) Stephen Bunting

When the Bullet kicks off his World Championship campaign on Saturday night, the Alexandra Palace is primed to go absolutely Bunting mental. 

Still chasing that elusive first PDC major, the former BDO World Champion has seen his stock and supporter-base skyrocket in the last 12 months, with the St Helens star is playing the best pure darts of his career, and many are angling Bunting as the one to emerge victorious from the right half of the draw, rather than pre-tournament favourites Van Gerwen or Luke Humphries.


Read More: Five World Championship Dark Horses


4) Boris Krcmar

Transitioning from the soft-tipped game and into the darting mainstream, Boris Krcmar is prepared to an immense obstacle in the paths of Gary Anderson and potentially Gerwyn Price. 


Producing some stunning performances since making it through the notoriously difficult Tour Card qualifier, Krcmar's dominant display over the seeded Dirk Van Duijvenbode certainly draws parallels to the likes of Gabriel Clemens last year: an underrated European talent who is more than clinical enough to take the scalp of a big seed en-route to the semis.


5) Ross Smith

Perhaps the most underrated player on the PDC circuit today, 'Smudger' has been recording some of the best three dart averages on the Pro Tour all year. 

Having opened up his tournament campaign with a convincing 3-0 win, he does find himself in the very difficult top quarter of the draw with former World Champions Michael Smith and Rob Cross, as well as the immense Chris Dobey and ever-dangerous Jonny Clayton. 

But with a mentality and average matched by almost nobody aside from the current 'Big Four', Ross Smith is certainly one to watch for anyone hoping he repeats his 2022 European Championship heroics.


By Jaspar Shepherdson 

(@jasparshepmedia on X/Twitter and Instagram)


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