Live Darts on Friday November 2: World Series Finals 2018 Day One preview and order of play

Dimitri van den Bergh celebrates (credit:Steve Welsh/PDC)

The fourth annual staging of the World Series Finals gets underway on Friday as the 16 qualifiers bid to book a date with the top eight seeds in Vienna.

The three-day non-ranking tournament features 24 players competing for £250,000 in prize money, with the Multiversum Schwechat in Vienna hosting the event for the first time.

The top eight players from the World Series Order of Merit are seeded through to the Second Round and will each await either a ProTour Order of Merit qualifier, a Tour Card qualifier or a World Series Order of Merit qualifier.

The pick of the First Round ties sees two of the sport's hottest young talents collide as Dimitri van den Bergh faces Jamie Lewis.

Both players enjoyed landmark runs in last year's World Championship but have struggled to kick on in the following season amid an added weight of expectation.

Former World Youth Champion Van den Bergh produced his best performance of the year so far in his only World Series appearance, defeating Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson en route to the final of May's German Masters - eventually losing out to Mensur Suljovic.

Lewis embarked on a sensational run to the Semi-Finals of the World Championship but has made just two televised appearances since, losing out in the Last 64 of the UK Open and Quarter-Finals of the German Masters.

The Welshman has not made it beyond the Last 16 of any PDC event since May and has lost four of his five previous meetings with Van den Bergh.

Newly-crowned European Champion James Wade looks to pick up from where he left off in Dortmund last weekend when he takes on Ross Smith.

Wade ended a four-year wait for a televised title with a superb triumph to claim his eighth major crown and will be out to ensure there is no hangover by avoiding a potential scalp.

Smith, the world number 92, is making his first appearance on a TV stage for four years after coming through the Tour Card qualifier a fortnight ago.

World number five Daryl Gurney has been handed a tricky opening tie against 1996 Lakeside Champion Steve Beaton.

Gurney, twice a World Series quarter-finalist this year, will be hoping to bounce back from a shock First Round exit at the hands of Ricky Evans at the European Championship. 

Beaton, meanwhile, is enjoying his latest spell of resurgence after coming through the Tour Card qualifier for the second time in three years and recently reached the Semi-Finals of the season's penultimate Players Championship event.

Gerwyn Price looks to kick on from back-to-back major Quarter-Final appearances when he takes on Hong Kong's Royden Lam.

Price was left to ponder what might have been after missing three match darts in the deciding leg of his Quarter-Final clash with Wade last Sunday and now has the chance to set up a Second Round show-down with top seed Peter Wright.

Lam is no stranger to pulling off an upset on the big stage, notably defeating Gary Anderson 6-5 in the First Round of this year's Shanghai Masters.

World number ten Dave Chisnall, one of four ProTour Order of Merit invites, has been drawn to face Canada's Dawson Murschell.

Chisnall was a semi-finalist in the 2016 World Series Finals in Glasgow and has shown signs of a return to form in recent months, making the Quarter-Finals of the World Matchplay and World Grand Prix.

Murschell made the move to the UK after earning a two-year Tour Card at Qualifying School in January and has reached a Development Tour final while also hitting a nine-darter on the circuit.

Dutch Championship winner Ian White aims to bounce back from last week's 6-1 rout at the hands Richard North in his European Championship opener when he meets Australian ace Kyle Anderson.

Anderson qualified through the World Series Order of Merit after featuring in Auckland, Melbourne and Brisbane and enjoyed a fine run to the Semi-Finals of Players Championship 22 last month.

The opening match of the evening sees former World Youth Champion Keegan Brown take on Australia's Raymond Smith - who pulled off a 6-1 rout of Michael Smith at the Brisbane Masters this summer.

Germany-based Maik Langendorf, who has previously represented Austria at the World Cup of Darts, looks to claim a rare win in front of the TV cameras at the expense of Australia's Damon Heta - who defeated Kyle Anderson in this year's Melbourne Masters.

The action gets underway from 7pm GMT, with all matches to be contested over the best of 11 legs.

World Series of Darts Finals 2018 Match Schedule

Friday November 2

First Round

7.15pm Raymond Smith v Keegan Brown
7.45pm Maik Langendorf v Damon Heta
8.15pm Ian White v Kyle Anderson
8.45pm Dave Chisnall v Dawson Murschell
9.15pm Jamie Lewis v Dimitri Van den Bergh
9.45pm Gerwyn Price v Royden Lam
10.15pm Steve Beaton v Daryl Gurney
10.45pm Ross Smith v James Wade

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Live Darts on Friday November 2: World Series Finals 2018 Day One preview and order of play

The fourth annual staging of the World Series Finals gets underway on Friday as the 16 qualifiers bid to book a date with the top eight seeds in Vienna.

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