Here comes the 2nd edition of the Checkout Darts League – starting tomorrow – July 1st 2018.
With a much improved and ever increasing pool of players the Checkout Darts League has evolved to a Multiple Division Tournament where players will now be allotted to Division 1, 2 or 3 [For Men] and Divisions 1 or 2 [For Women]. Similar to various Division based sports like Football the promotion and relegation of players will take place depending on their overall performance at the end the Checkout Darts League.
Here are the tournaments promotion and relegation guidelines –
Division 1: 16 Players (best of 12 legs)
Bottom 3 to be relegated to Division 2
Division 2: 12 Players (best of 10 legs)
Top 3 to be promoted to Division 1 / Bottom 3 to be relegated to Division 3
Division 3: 12 Players (best of 8 legs)
Top 3 to be promoted to Division 2.
Division 1: 8 Players (best of 8 legs)
Bottom 2 to be relegated to Division 2
Division 2: 8 Players (best of 6 legs)
Top 2 to be promoted to Division 1
Now let’s see the players –
Men’s Division 1
1. Nitin Kumar
2. Ankit Goenka
3. Mohan Kumar Goel
4. Vivek Khandelwal
5. Sangam Kumar Roy
6. Vishal Mehta
7. Viral Mehta
8. Mayank Agarwal
9. Mayur Nahata
10. Writam Basu
11. Vikash Kothari
12. Tilak Saboo
13. Mudit Sadani
14. Piyush Bosmia
15. Vikash Jhajharia
16. Vinamra Garg
Men’s Division 2
1. Chirag Thakkar
2. Jayat Misra
3. Sailesh Rupani
4. Vivek Agarwal
5. Akash Baid
6. Avijit Dutta
7. Arnab Raha
8. Farmanul Haque
9. Vidhul Goenka
10. Shubham Agarwal
11. Ranji Saha
12. Sandeep Chhajer
Men’s Division 3
1. Kumarial Singh
2. Pritish Sanghani
3. Amit Mehta
4. Ankit Shaw
5. Abnish Agarwal
6. Dishant Thakkar
7. Samir Sheth
8. Manoj Nathani
9. Vikash Agarwal
10. Mayur Agarwal
11. Anuj Agarwal
12. Srinjoy Sen
Women’s Division 1
1. Ankita Upadhyay
2. Kriti Chugh
3. Jolly Chanda
4. Sunaina Mitra
5. Mayuka Agarwal
6. Vedika Sureka
7. Vidhi Thanvi
8. Juliana Minz
Women’s Division 2
1. Sunanda Bhattacharya
2. Sneha Srivastava
3. Asha Mehta
4. Mahi Bosmia
5. Nikita Mittal
6. Priyanka Kothari
7. Puja Sahani
8. Sneha Agarwal
Key Player Analysis – Men’s Division 1
The defending champion of the CDL-1 with an unbeaten run, Nitin has had a good year so far only losing to Ankit Goenka in the BRC finals. With the DAB Stage-2, Champion of Champions and IDF Nationals crown in his kitty, the Indian captain now looks towards the PDC Asian Tour and the Cosmo All Darts Asia Championships scheduled during and after the CDL-2. And what better tournament than the CDL to get him ready.
Strengths & Weaknesses – A very heavy scorer capable of hitting the 90+ averages consistently, there are very few people in Indian darts that can match up with his scoring output. However, he does showcase mental lapses at times where we get to see very uncharacteristic games and horrid performances.
Prediction – Nitin starts out as the favorite and will look to continue his unbeaten run into the CDL-2 as well.
One of the most naturally gifted releases coupled with a calm and collected composure – Ankit has remained a Bengal stalwart for a decade and is only improving. The current BRC champion is in top form and will be looking to continue this form into the PDC Asian Tour, the Cosmo All Dart Asian Championships in Malaysia and avenge his 2nd place finish in the 1st edition.
Strengths & Weaknesses – When on song – it’s hard to see anyone like him. A flawless throw with the uncanny knack of hitting the required targets under pressure – That’s him. However, when on the flip side, he at times very rarely does go off character and spews a few darts into the 1’s and 5’s while hitting the double takes a few extra darts.
Prediction – He’s a favorite to win the CDL-2. It would be absolutely ludicrous to say otherwise.
Talking about Bengal’s long standing stalwarts – it would be quite hard to start that list without Mohan Goel. He’s represented India at the World Cup and the Asia Pacific Championships. Not to mention the number of titles he’s won in the National circuit. Currently, there has been a large dip in form with his performances at the BRC and IDF tournaments, but with so many years at the helm of Indian Darts, I wouldn’t bet against him to come back with a bang.
Strengths & Weaknesses – A voracious hitter of the 19’s, Mohan does use his calculations to his advantage in most matches. He handles pressure well and seems to always cling on to an opponent’s scoring throughout a game only to pounce at the finish and leave them surprised. On the other hand, he does have games where he doesn’t score at a high clip – And it’s always been his kryptonite against the consistent heavier scorers in the game.
Prediction – How consistent will he be against the best top tier of players? Will he find his scoring touch then? He can repeat his Top-3 finish from the last CDL, but there will be others vying for that spot.
With Mayur we get a player who is rising up the ranks at a rapid pace. He’s young and needs to be a sponge to absorb what he has learnt from tournaments over the last year. He’s had a great year winning the Youth Singles at the DAB Stage-2 State Championships. But what was surprising was the ability he showed to also make it to the Men’s Singles finals. A lot is expected from him.
Strengths & Weaknesses – Aggression – both in the way he scores and his behavior at the oche, he’s a very capable player no matter who he plays against. A lack of big tournament exposure unearths the lack of experience and match temperament in him. He will only get better with time and exposure.
Prediction – A top-3 finish would be a successful tournament for him. He will have to maintain his composure for extended periods of time – Will he be able to do that? In time we will see.
One of the best and most underrated players to come out of India – When on point, becomes a handful to beat. After a 3 year layoff due to Dartitis, he has made a comeback in the last year. Most relatively new players do not know what he was capable of 3+ years ago. A former National Champion, back on the rise, taking it step by step – A good showing at the CDL-2 will be the next step leading up to the Cosmo All Dart Asian Championships, in which he is part of the Indian Team.
Strengths & Weaknesses – A high scorer and quality high finisher with the unique ability to play well all around the board. The layoff though has done quite a bit to his confidence giving him an unneeded ability of beating the best and losing to the worst. With 10+ years of experience in the National circuit he should be able to break through – just a matter of time.
Prediction – Anywhere from a Top-3 to Top-5 finish is expected. Depends on how he plays each match – Best of 12 – About 30 – 40 mins of keeping your head strong? That’s it. Easier said than done though.
Arguably the biggest reason for Bengal Darts being at the position it is right now – this bloke is also quite an amazing player. The DAB Stage-1 State Champion and winner of the 1st Champion of Champions – Vivek has also been in the sport for a decade plus. With the last few years being his best – a late bloomer but also with the added responsibility of being an organizer – hopefully he will be able to give his best during the tournament.
Strengths & Weaknesses – Very strong match temperament coupled with the capability to score and finish high. Vivek was unbeatable during his streak in 2016 to 2017. Practice and the requisite time given towards it was a key factor. But that is the issue as well – has he put in the practice required to play at the sky-high levels he was portraying just a year plus back?
Prediction – A Top-3 to Top-5 finish is definitely expected.
Dark Horses – Men’s Division 1
A Dark Horse is not someone who I consider with a chance to win the tournament – yes, it would be absolutely magical if they could, but I consider them forces that when in their element, make my predictions look like farcical jargon [aka rubbish] – Here are my picks..
A player who is very new to the Darting circuit but has elevated his game to an extent where he can challenge the best when in form. A very heavy scorer – he can take over games in a chance and not look back. However, the calculations are iffy and he errs in crucial moments due to that. I can’t predict where he will end up on the standing – I can predict an upset though. He has the ability to break into the Top 5, if not I’m sure he will stay in the Top 10.
Using CDL-1 as a platform, Vikash has proved to be a big time player with his BDT-1 exploits for the Dartmeisters being proof for it. He has become a player that can be relied upon under pressure, he limits the mistakes, plays consistent and can take on anyone as seen in the last 6 months. His Scoring output can be iffy and he loses mental focus in patches but I do not think this should affect the upsets he can cause in this tournament. Can he break into the Top 10? Top 5 even? I think he will be in between that.
Key Player Analysis – Men’s Division 2
Avijit has shown that he can compete against the best – his two win’s against Ashfaque Sayed at last years BRC and this years IDF Nationals talks of his potential and calibre. He just guided his team DI to victory at the CIC Carnival very recently as well.
Strengths & Weaknesses – A very consistent player who is capable of high scoring outputs – he does require the experience at the highest level to increase his repertoire.
Prediction – He is favored to win the Division 2 title.
Farman has been a steady player for quite a while. He’s a constant competitor at virtually all the tournaments that take place and has been consistent in taking his game up notches in the last two years.
Strengths & Weaknesses – Consistent scoring is what you get from him when he’s on song. He’s still quite new to the sport and requires platforms like these to up his game. Mental composure is a problem against the top tier players but that is something that he should get better at with time.
Prediction – He should be a top contender and should give a run for most peoples money for a Top-3 spot.
Ranji is a very consistent player when he has to be. He’s an accomplished player in the National Circuit and has World Cup experience to back him up.
Strengths & Weaknesses – A very steady and strong scorer when in his element, Ranjis form does seem to slip quite often and if he can maintain his steadiness and mental composure over the length of a game – he’s cause quite a few upsets.
Prediction – A Top-3 to Top-5 finish is definitely expected. Am sure he’d banter back to me saying he’s the favorite. Continue to stay positive Ranji – prove me wrong.
Dark Horses – Men’s Division 2
Sailesh is a very calm and composed player. You rarely see aggression from him and it’s how he plays. Whether good or bad, you’d see the sky turn green first before getting any emotions out of him. He’s an unorthodox player who has and still can surprise quite a few good players. I look forward to seeing him in the Top-5 and making a run at the Top-3.
Vidhul is the perfect dark horse – you dont know what you will get with him. A player that can take on and give a fight to the best and can succumb to others. He is growing mentally in the sport and it shows in his improved game over the last year or so. How far does he go in the standing? Top-3 to Top-5, I would like to think so.
Key Player Analysis – Women’s Division 1
The reigning champion will be looking to continue her unbeaten run in the CDL after dominating performances in the first edition. Current form has been an issue with all the upcoming talent in Bengal which is encouraging to see – but that’s what differentiates the great from the best. Will she be able to bounce back?
Strengths & Weaknesses – Mental composure and aggression is there. Consistency in scoring and finishing is there. She doesn’t beat opponents by scoring heavily but by scoring consistently. It’s when she doesn’t play consistently that she has begun to have problems against players.
Prediction – A repeat win is expected but the players around her are hungry for the title. Can she get back to her bankable self and take them on consistently? I think she can, she’s proven me wrong before.
Possibly by far one of India’s heaviest scorers in the Women’s Division – an ex-champ who has done it all it seems. She’s had a few off tournaments but seems to be getting into to groove of things – the scoring punch and finishing is back – the confidence is on its way up. And that’s a dangerous thing to comprehend if you’re an opponent.
Strengths & Weaknesses – Mighty scoring with the ability to just take out an opponent in a few throws. A very elegant and proper release that has seen some changes due to her confidence and game being in a dip. The negative for Kriti, it’s been the handling of her confidence and peer pressure because of her apparent ability to play the sport at a high level.
Prediction – She will be vying for the top spot, I still doubt any Women’s player and quite a few Men’s players can contend when she’s scoring at her immense clips. She either takes the title home or loses to the eventual champ. Top-3 finish for sure.
Someone who has done it all in the Women’s darts landscape for India. Represented us at the World Cup, an Ex-National Champion, Ex-State Champion – and she has the experience to back her game up. She’s always one of the favorites when getting into any tournament.
Strengths & Weaknesses – An ultra aggressive player, with heavy scoring when on song and the capability of hitting difficult finishes under pressure. She does get inconsistent at times and lets it get to her mentally, she always has been a person who fights back – but honestly not everyone wins every game that they have to fight back from.
Prediction – Top-3 for sure – but she can definitely make a run for the top spot. I wouldn’t be surprised if she won the title.
Dark Horses – Women’s Division 1
She was the BRC Runner’s Up in 2017 but some inconsistent performances have let her down. When in form, consistent heavy scoring and finishing is what we can expect. Calculation errors are frequent though but her inconsistency is what she needs to work on. A Top-5 finish is what I expect from her.
You’d look at someone at her age and never expect what she’s already achieved in the Bengal Darting circuit. The Champion of Champions Runner Up beat some big names to get to the finals and a crucial 96 finish in the deciding leg is what denied her the title. The scoring output has always been there but mentally she has to have a rough side to her. I guess in time that will manifest. She can beat the best but only if her scoring is on point. I wouldn’t be surprised if she beats a top tier opponent or loses to someone who she would be expected to beat. She’s young, she has to learn mental composure – the rest, she has in spades. A Top-5 finish is iffy, but through this platform, it’s all she needs to be favored to win in the next couple of years.
Key Player Analysis – Women’s Division 2
The current BRC Champion surprised us all to lift the title. However, she had shown calm and poise throughout the tournament. Will she be able to continue this run that she has started out on? We all do have big hopes that she can.
Strengths & Weaknesses – Consistent scoring and finishing was what led her to the BRC title. she beat big names to get there and the stage didn’t seem to affect her. She has been inconsistent in the past and did tend to overthink problems. She’s on the best platform to improve – now is her first chance to show everyone that BRC was only the first in many to come.
Prediction – Champion or Top-3? I have no clue so far. It’s too close a race to call here.
Sneha has shown that she has what it takes to play at a high level. The current State and National Champion will be looking to lift the CDL Division 2 title, though she will have to go through a few major players.
Strengths & Weaknesses – A very heavy scorer when on song – She has shown that she can maintain that level for longer periods as well. The format of the CDL should play to her strengths, I’d like to see if she can repeat what she has already done before. She can be quite off though on days – which does show that it is an issue with mental composure.
Prediction – Another favorite to win the Division 2 title. If not a Top-3 finish is sure.
An Ex-BRC Champion, the current COC champion is looking to comeback after her forgetful performances at the BRC and IDF Nationals.
Strengths & Weaknesses – A very natural thrower, Asha doesn’t seem to take much pressure during her matches – this at times has been the reason she wins and also the reason she loses. Lack of consistency is also an issue.
Prediction – She has the scoring output and the mentality to take the title, but a lack of the exact same things can lead to her downfall – Top-3..
Dark Horses – Women’s Division 1
A relatively new player – Puja has proven to us all of being a very capable player and high scorer. She has gotten good throwing mechanics but her mental composure in the game and her handling of pressure will be key for her to surprise anyone here. She is definitely capable of a Top-3 finish.
Mahi is another young player who has shown that she has a bright future in the sport. With the capability of beating the top players and consistently improving at her game, she does need to strengthen her handling of pressure – this will happen with time and when she gets exposure to bigger tournaments in the future. I do expect her to surprise players in the division – A Top-5 finish is expected, but she should take her losses as learning experiences and not hurdles.