Darts Competition Moves Online, Players Withdraw Because Their Internet Sucks

Darts player Daryl Gurney
Darts player Daryl Gurney
Photo: Lewis Storey (Getty)

While loads of athletes are keeping busy by playing the video game version of their chosen sport on TV, other sports, like darts, can just have players keep on playing at home. If, that is, their internet can handle it.

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The PDC (Professional Darts Corporation) Home Tour, which is being broadcast in England, involves pro darts players going up against one another online, rather than in a pub or arena. Each person simply throws their darts at a board at home, with footage uploaded via the internet.

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Gary Anderson, however, has had to withdraw, telling The Sun “I was up for it but when we did tests of my WiFi, it’s just not reliable enough. It doesn’t surprise me. I struggle to pay bills online in my house, it’s really frustrating.”

Anderson’s decision drew some criticism from folks who didn’t believe him, leading his management to come to his defense, outlining that because he lives in a rural area, Anderson does “not get reliable signal strengths for internet - or mobile phones!!”

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Wildly, Anderson was not alone! Another pro, former World Grand Prix champion Daryl Gurney, also withdrew for the same reason.

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if you have never watched darts on TV—back when everyone was using TV cameras, and not home internet—you have not lived.

Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs cosplay.kotaku.com.

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DISCUSSION

Can confirm; internet speeds in rural UK are a joke. BT/OpenReach owns the telecoms infrastructure here, but they’re still using copper wire for the majority of their network, usually fibre to the cabinets, then copper wire to the premises.

I’m lucky that the cabinet that serves my house is only 200 meters away “as the crow flies”, so my speeds are pretty much the maximum that BT provide (80Mb down, 20Mb up).

I’ve told this story before but my folks, who live in a very rural area, cannot get hard-wired internet. They tried it once, after BT mis-sold it to them, but because of their distance from the cabinet along with the crappy, old copper wires, they only managed to get a 250Kb connection (0.25Mb), when it worked, which was <50% of the time. Suffice to say, they cancelled both the internet and their landline phone (which they’d had since the early 80s) and switched over to using 4G via their mobile phones, which actually worked out cheaper than what they were paying BT. It’s not ideal, what with the data caps, but it’s x100 faster and 100% more reliable than the BT connection.