In 2020, everybody within the darting community has had to adapt to this new life that COVID-19 has forced upon us. Maybe more than anybody, it’s been a turbulent period for the PDC Professionals.
Even with the introduction of the PDC Home Tour, players have had to search for competition through the means of Webcam & Online Darts, and then taking that form from your kitchen to the newly implemented Seasonal Series Events has proven quite tough for some of the form players within online darts.
Today, I spoke to PDC Development Tour great, Ted Evetts, about the Online Darts scene,a look into 2021 and some PDC ProTour insights from the view of one of the brightest talents on the tour.
How beneficial has the rise of Online Darts been for you during the COVID-19 Pandemic?
“For me personally, I’ve only really taken part in the PDC Home Tour, which was way back in March/April time. So really, it hasn’t affected my game too much. I’ve had the odd practice sessiononline with Brad (Brooks) and other playersof the standardI’m used to, so not so much.”
The current COVID-19situation has been brutal to many people, but how has it affected you personally & professionally?
“Well during the number of months we’ve been under all the restrictions, I’ve worked hard to lose a substantial amount of weight. Personally it’s been a blessing in disguise because I feel a lot more happy with the person I’ve worked hard to become, whereas professionally it’s been tough to try and adapt to the new me. When you lose the weight, you don’t realise how much it changes you as a darts player until you hit the board again. It’s been a real up & down period for me, with both good and bad points to it all, but I really am working hard to push myself to be the best version of me I can be”
Many see the Online Darts scene as the future of the sport, would you tend to agree?
“It’s a tough one really, obviously at the top level we all prefer the face-to-face aspect of darts. I’ve not played so much online, but when I have there’s a huge difference between the online scene to what you get in venues and pubs. The game itself is a lot quicker, as there’s no waiting around for the player to walk past, but I think as a personal preference I do prefer to play in person with an opponent. It all depends on what level you play at I guess. There’s many who’ve found incredible success on the Online Darts side of things, and I personally think it’s great for the people who’d rather do it that way. The GDL’s online league has been a success and is continuously growing, so yeah I’d say it’s here to stay”
Since earning your PDC Tour Card, it’s been a rollercoaster 24 months for you, what would you say is your most memorable moment since turning pro?
“There’s 2 moments that really stick out for me. Of course I’d say my first round victory at the 2019 PDC World Championships over Simon Stevenson. 12 months earlier I was thrashed 3-0 by Gerwyn Price in my first game, so to be able to return to Alexandra Palace and redeem myself with a 3-0 win of my own was a truly incredible experience. I just tend to try and forget the 3-0 loss a few days later to Adrian Lewis, but the whole tournament that year sticks in my memory.
However, my most memorable has to be the run to the Quarter Finals of the German Darts Open where I lost to Michael van Gerwen in the Last 8. It’s the only time I’ve made it to a PDC Quarter Final, and despite losing, I averaged 9 points more than Michael. The whole weekend just felt right for me, I didn’t drop below a 95 average, the crowd were incredible, it was truly my greatest achievement since turning Pro”
Okay, so I’ve got a few quick fire questions for you, starting with this. Who would you say is your Best Mate on the Pro Tour?
“Bradley Brooks. 100% Brad. Since we both got on the tour, we’ve been behind one another all the way, even when we play against each other. We have a laugh constantly. Even away from darts, we meet up, play snooker, watch a film, play video games, we’re just so alike!”
Where would you say is your favourite Darting Venue?
“Tough call really. Most players would say Winter Gardens, Blackpool, but I’ve never played there. I’d probably have to say either the Civic Hall in Wolverhampton, because it was my first ever PDC TV tournament at the Grand Slam, and with the small enclosed area of the arena it made the atmosphere phenomenal for a first timer.
Other than that, for sure, Alexandra Palace. It’s just historical to the darting world, and to have had the opportunity to play there in a sold out setting multiple times is a dream come true”
Other than yourself, who would you say is the One to Watch in the PDC?
“It all depends on what scale of the spectrum you look at. Of course, the top 4/5 in the PDC are always going to be the key players to watch, and anybody from the top 16 can win a major now it’s that tight.
Personally, I’d say the likes of Gabriel Clemens, he’s absolutely incredible, almost unplayable when he’s on. Also, Dirk van Duivenbode, he’s amazing when he’s in top gear, same goes for Devon Petersen. There’s so many, I can’t pick a certain individual, the standard is absolutely ridiculous.”
What are your plans for the future going into 2021?
“Just to continue becoming a better person. Putting in the hours on the board, and making the most of the opportunities life throws my way.”
Final question, what is Ted Evetts’ ideal meal deal?
“Hoisin Duck Wrap, Chicken Skewers with the Sweet & Sour sauce pot from the Co-Op, and whatever the most expensive drink available is to make it worth the money”
The GDL, and myself, would like to extend our thanks to Ted for taking time out of his day to talk to us exclusively.
Photo credit: Sky Sports