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One of the world’s most engaging games of skill, speed and excitement is now bringing its elite players to a U.S. audience for the first time, as BBC AMERICA launches 16 weeks of coverage from across Europe on Thursday Night Darts: Premier League 2018, starting Thursday, February 1, 10/9c. Earlier that day, the weekly competition will stream live on BBCAmerica.com, starting at 2 p.m. ET.

“Darts is a fringe sport like no other – it appeals to the obsessive soccer fan, requires the skill of poker and has some of the high entertainment quota of wrestling. As home to some of the world’s largest global franchises, adding a unique, world class sport to BBCA’s fresh and entertaining line up feels exactly right,” said BBCA President Sarah Barnett.

Trending globally on Twitter on New Year’s Day, the final showdown of the World Darts Championship action revealed the 10 darts superstars who will go to battle in the Premier League starting Thursday, February 1 in Dublin, Ireland.

Premier League Champion Michael van Gerwen aka “Mighty Mike” will face new World Champion Rob Cross aka “Voltage” on opening night. The 10 stars of darts will face each other weekly heading into May’s Play-Offs in London, where the top four will compete for the title.

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Get to know the players before the big event:

Gary Anderson “The Flying Scotsman”
• 2015 Premier League Winner
• Walk on music: “Jump Around” – House of Pain
• #5 PDC World Ranking
• @GaryAnderson180
• Nation: Scotland
• Joined an elite group of players to win back-to-back World Championship titles with his successes in 2015 and 2016, marking him down amongst the sport’s most successful player.

Rob Cross “Voltage”
• Walk on music: “Hot Hot Hot” – Arrow
• #3 PDC World Ranking
• @RobCross180
• Nation: England
• Rob’s incredible impact on the PDC circuit saw him complete his first full year as a professional with his stunning title win over the greatest player ever, Phil “The Power” Taylor, in the World Darts Championship 2017.

Daryl Gurney “Superchin”
• Walk on music: “Sweet Caroline” – Neil Diamond
• #6 PDC World Ranking
• @Superchin180
• Nation: Northern Ireland
• Daryl has emerged as a top-level contender with impressive displays, which culminated in his first TV title at the 2017 World Grand Prix.

Gerwyn Price “The Iceman”
• Walk on music: “Ice Ice Baby” – Vanilla Ice
• #13 PDC World Ranking
• @Gezzyprice
• Nation: Wales
• A former rugby union professional who also had a brief stint in rugby league, Price took little time to establish himself in a third major sport after joining the PDC circuit in 2014.

Michael Smith “Bully Boy”
• Walk on music: “Shut Up and Dance” – Walk the Moon
• #12 PDC World Ranking
• @BullyBoy180
• Nation: England
• 2013 World Youth Champion, Smith joined the PDC circuit as a teenager and has progressed to the top level.

Mensur Suljovic “The Gentle”
• Walk on music: “Simply the Best” – Tina Turner
• #7 PDC World Ranking
• @MensurSuljovic
• Nation: Austria
•Austrian star broke into the world’s top ten in 2016 after reaching his first televised final at the European Championship to follow his maiden ranking title during a successful year.

Raymond Van Barneveld “Barney”
• 2014 Premier League Winner
• Walk on music: “Eye of the Tiger” – Survivor
• #11 PDC World Ranking
• @RayBar180
• Nation: Netherlands
• Dutch legend Raymond is one of the only three players in darting history to be crowned as a five-time World Champion following the success he has enjoyed in his glittering career.

Michael Van Gerwen “Mighty Mike”
• 2017, 2016, 2013 Premier League Winner
• 2015, 2014 Premier League Runner-Up
• Walk on music: “Seven Nation Army” – White Stripes
• #1 PDC World Ranking
• @MVG180
• Nation: Netherlands
• The current world number one and World Champion, Dutch ace Michael Van Gerwen has enjoyed an extraordinary spell to establish himself as one of the sport’s superstars.

Simon Whitlock “The Wizard”
• Walk on music: “Down Under” – Men at Work
• #9 PDC World Ranking
• @SWhitlock180
• Nation: Australia
• The most successful player in Australian darting history and has been a force in the sport for the past decade.

Peter Wright “Snakebite”
• Walk on music: “Don’t Stop the Party” – Pitbull
• #2 PDC World Ranking
• @SnakebiteWright
• Nation: Scotland
• Peter claimed his first televised title at the 2017 UK Open, ending a 20-year wait for one of the circuit’s most flamboyant performers.

Game on!

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Filed Under: The Scoop
By BBC America