The 2024 BetMGM Premier League lineup

Published on 12 January 2024 at 16:00

To some, it's the second most prestigious tournament in darts, where the best players in the world are pitted against one another every week. To others, it's a vanity project, put in place solely to fill the pockets of the PDC for four months. One thing's for sure, every year the Premier League Darts competition causes a significant amount of debate and controversy, starting with selected participants...



The 'Nailed-ons'

Luke Humphries was a controversial omission from last year's Premier League and said at the time it gave him extra motivation to prove the PDC wrong. With victories in the 2023 World Championship, World Grand Prix, Grand Slam of Darts and Players Championship finals, as well as cementing his position as world number one, it's fair to say that 'Cool Hand Luke' proved his point. The World Champ was deservedly the first name on the list this time round.

Michael van Gerwen will go into the tournament as reigning champion following his victory over Gerwyn Price in last year's final. While MVG hasn't always been at his brilliant best this year, the Dutchman is always a certainty for the Premier League, as he looks to win a record-extending eighth title.


Read More: Michael van Gerwen: the story so far


Michael Smith and Nathan Aspinall complete the PDC's order of merit top four. Since his 2023 World Championship victory, 'Bully Boy' hasn't managed to reach another major final, something he'll look to rectify in this year's Premier League. 'The Asp' has had a similarly inconsistent 2023, but if he can get back to the form he displayed at the Matchplay, he'll be a force to be reckoned with.


Gerwyn Price dropped down to fifth in the World Rankings towards the end of last year, meaning he technically wasn't a certainty to be picked for the Premier League. However, last year's runner up was realistically never going to be omitted from the tournament. The Premier League still remains the biggest trophy the Welshman is yet to win, giving him a little extra motivation.


Luke Littler sits at 31st in the PDC order of merit, making him the lowest ranked player ever to be selected for the Premier League. That being said, realistically he'd have been the first name on the list after his incredible performance at the World Championships. The 16 year old has attracted a new generation of darts fans, many of whom will be following his progress in the upcoming Premier League.


Read More: Luke Littler - World Champ before 21?


The 'Debatables'

Rob Cross is back in the Premier League after missing two consecutive editions. 'Voltage' just about did enough to be selected this time round, reaching the final in both the Grand Slam of Darts and the Masters. Cross has been unlucky not be involved the last two campaigns, which may have worked in his favour for the forthcoming event.

Peter Wright can count himself extremely lucky to be selected by the PDC. 'Snakebite' finished bottom of the league stage last year and only managed to reach the third round of the World Championships. The Scot has looked a shell of the player we saw at the 2022 World Champs and at 53 years of age, it could be the last time we see him on the Premier League stage.


Notable omissions

Chris Dobey has the right to feel very aggrieved at not being selected for this year's tournament. The Geordie held his own in the competition last year and also celebrated his first major win in 2023, in the form of the Darts Masters. Even putting that aside, 'Hollywood' has been a consistent performer all year round and many would say he deserved to be selected over Wright.

Joe Cullen can also count himself unlucky not to be picked, however 'The Rockstar' himself even tweeted he didn't think he deserved to be in it, because of the 'global attention' Littler would bring to the game.

Jonny Clayton, Danny Noppert, Damon Heta and Stephen Bunting could all plead their cases for being selected, but they'll just have to wait another year.


Image Credit-Sandro Halank on Wikipedia


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