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Can Virtual Darts be the North American Equalizer?

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a massive amount of irregularities in our daily lives. Forcing people all over the world to distance themselves from the comfort of a friendly handshake or even a hug. Darts has been drastically different as local leagues, ADO, WDF, PDC and even us players scrambled for opportunities where they could arise. Quickly virtual darts brought an answer as players took to their webcams and phones as a way to keep the game we all love active.

Servers spiked as thousands of players toed the oche while family members charged through the house. Not to mention the not so silent sound of the radio/tv in the background, but my question is why now? Why hasn’t virtual darts been a bigger platform here in North America?

An example of a virtual darts/remote dart player's creative setup on the fly.

The truth is virtual darts is not a new concept. Severs such as WDA (Webcam Darts Association) and No1 (Nakka) have been around for years with only small increases in use over time. Maybe it’s just that players didn’t know about it. Maybe the misconception about needing a computer threw everyone off. Well no matter what the thought was, people are now realizing that the virtual game has its fair share of benefits.

For instance let’s say you are a mid 60s shooter who lives in small town hours away from an active league. Throw in the fact that you will be the best player with maybe one or two players around your ability. How do you expect to get better without the competition to do so? The answer is you can’t.

What about if you are on the cusp of greatness (i.e Matt Campbell or Danny Baggish). Can you rely on practice games or having a live practice partner to get your skill level up to play on the World Stage?!? In short answer… No lol. North America is simply too big to offer the practice partner system that many PDC professionals use to challenge each other’s game. It’s incredibly hard to find a partner with the same or better skill level then yourself to push development at a consistent level.  

Matt Campbell Professional Darts Player
Matt Campbell taking on Mark McGeeney in the 2019/2020 PDC World Championship. Matt will play former BDO World Champion Scott Waites in the First Round of this years PDC World Championhip.
Danny Baggish Professional Darts Player
Danny Baggish taking on Andy Boulton in the First Round of the 2019/2020 PDC World Championship. He advanced to take on eventually Semi-Finalist Nathan Aspinall. Danny will play Damon Heta in the First Round of this years PDC World Championship.

I spoke with Matt Campbell about his usage of Virtual Darts to better his game.

A. I think the online game can be used as a great tool to succeed, but I feel you still have to be dedicated to a few practice routines. In reality nothing is like the real thing so you still have to work in those live matches every now and then so you don’t pick up bad habits. 

MATT CAMPBELL VS DANNY LAUBY - USA DARTS Production

DANNY Baggish vs. Alan Soutar - WDF Virtual Cup

 

So why not create this style of practice that the pros use? You don’t have to necessarily set up or arrange a time to play but rather jump in a lobby and request a match. Yea, it’s that easy… You don’t have to wait for league day. You don’t have to wait for your buddy to get off work. All you have to do is simply hop on and go.

The darts world is changing so get on the train and join the new trend. Whether it’s WDA, No1, or my personal favorite, the new Dart Connect with Video you simply can’t go wrong. So like those old Nike commercials say… JUST DO IT!

William Stuart

William Stuart

USA Darts Production Commentator/ Streaming Technician

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