Raymond van Barneveld quit last year as a professional darter, but in 2020 he still picks up his arrows for demonstrations, clinics or as now for a new virtual competition during the coronacrisis. The 52-year-old Hagenaar is one of six participants in the Modus Icons or Darts League. However, the first two days Barney will be happy to forget quickly. The five-time world champion lost all his games on Monday and Tuesday, no less than eight pieces in total.
Due to the worldwide spread coronavirus, the demonstration circuit is also stopped. Modus Darts then decided to launch an alternative competition with players who are under contract with their management. In addition to Van Barneveld, Darren Webster, Paul Nicholson, Andy Jenkins, David Evans and Wessel Nijman are also present. The event set up is not part of dartbond PDC.
The parties are made available via a livestream by various gambling sites. The throws of the participants are recorded via a webcam. Modus wants to offer the parties to a wider audience later this week via the social media channels and is working on a technical solution.
From their own living room
During the Icons of Darts League everyone plays from their own living room or other location in the house. The scores are recorded via the electronic dart board. It is played according to the format best of nine legs. On Monday, Van Barneveld suffered a 1-5 defeat against his talented compatriot Nijman. The former postman reached an average of 83.5 in that party.
In the sequel Barney had to recognize his superiors in Nicholson (2-5), Webster (4-5) and Evans (3-5). In his party with former BDO World Champion Webster, Van Barneveld came closest to a victory. With an average of 98.2, he scoring better than his opponent (91.7), but let the victory slip into the decisive leg.
Also on the second day it didnt want to succeed for Van Barneveld. At his first performance, compatriot Nijman again turned out to be too strong: 2-5. Later, Van Barneveld also went down (2-5) against Nicholson, Andy Jenkins (1-5) and Evans (4-5). In that last game, the Dutchman was close to his first victory, but he eventually lost a 4-2 head start. By the way, Jenkins flowed in Tuesday, which gave Webster his rest day. Six days a week will be played in the alternative competition. The closing day is on Saturday 2 May.
Van Barneveld takes on Thursday night against Phil Taylor. The duel between the two icons starts at 20.00 Dutch time. Both throw on a plate in their own living room, in The Hague and Stoke-on-Trent respectively. The former world champions throw on an electronic board and with arrows with a plastic tip.
The proceeds of the duel go to charity. The Dutchman is committed to the Food Bank, The Power for healthcare in England. A betting firm pays a fixed amount and every score of 180 yields 1000 pounds, converted over 1100 euros. The duel can be followed via social media. People can also donate money for the charities.
Victories for talent Nijman
Nijman, unlike Van Barneveld, experience excellent times in the Icons of Darts League. The 20 year old talent was already the only player to have an average of over 100 points per three arrows in a match. Against Evans he came to 100.6 and that gave him a 5-4 victory. In addition, with four wins, he was the best player of day one. He also won Webster (5-1), Nicholson (5-3) and thus Van Barneveld. Nijman also won his four games on the second game day. Van Barneveld, Evans (5-3), Nicholson (5-1) and Jenkins (5-2) bites in the dust.
Van Gerwen & co at home
In the professional field no competitions under the flag of the PDC are currently being completed. For example, all tournaments for the month of April are postponed or even canceled. Previously, the two Premier League evenings in Ahoy (Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 March) were moved to Wednesday 9 and Thursday 10 September. The next round of games in the prestigious competition is scheduled for Thursday evening 7 May in Glasgow.
However, PDC also comes with initiatives around darts from home. For example, Devon Petersen, Chris Dobey, Luke Humphries, Matthew Edgar eTent Evetts played a mini-tournament Darts at Home last week, with Peterson as the winner. This week is the turn of Nathan Aspinall, Steve Beaton, Stephen Bunting and Jelle Klaasen on Wednesday.
Michael van Gerwen makes the necessary training hours during the coronacrisis especially at home. In addition, the number one in the world became father for the second time last week. The 30-year-old Vlijmenaar made the birth of their son Mike known to the world around midnight on Wednesday. Together with his wife Daphne, he alsoalready a little daughter named Zoe.