Luke Littler, a 16-year-old darts prodigy who surged to fame in recent weeks after breaking into the world’s top players’ ranks, has had an incredible journey, to put it mildly. Littler broke records by winning against opponents twice his age and making it to the World Darts Championship finals as the youngest player.
He has defeated even the most skilled darts players in recent weeks, including past world champions. In the finals on Wednesday, Littler will take on world No. 1 Luke Humphries.
Luke Littler was little known a few weeks ago, but now he’s on the cusp of making history in the World Darts Championship.
After defeating former world champ Rob Cross in the semifinals on Tuesday, Luke Littler told reporters he was at a loss for words. He went on to say that he could not have envisioned winning the title yet and that all he needed to do was remain calm, focused, and Luke Littler.
His quick ascent has taken him beyond the game to the point where his semifinal match broke the previous record for most viewers in a Sky event with 2.32 million, easily beating the 1.65 million mark established by the 2015 final.
The most people to see a darts final is 8.3 million, which happened in 1983 when qualifier Keith Deller defeated favorite Eric Bristow in the now-closed BDO World Championship on the BBC.
That increases to 500,000 pounds ($630,000) should he defeat Humphries, who will rise to the top of the world rankings after making it to the championship match.
It would be amazing to win this title, Littler stated. He continued by saying that he had given himself a goal to win one game and return after Christmas, and he had still managed to do it.
Luke Littler has already made it to the final as the youngest player. At the age of 24, Michael van Gerwen, a multiple champion, became the youngest winner of the World Darts Championship in 2014.
In 2006, at the age of 21, Jelle Klaasen won the world title of the now-defunct British Darts Organization.
Littler was ranked 164th by the PDC (Professional Darts Corporation), the organization in charge of overseeing the competition, heading into the world championship. He defeated some of the sport’s top players en route to the championship, including 5-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld.
At the darts palace, Littler informed the reporters that while he knew Mike, he was only familiar with Pele via FIFA and was unaware of the other players. He went on to say that although he had undoubtedly already broken records and rules, he was certain he could break even more records if his game was in place.
While there are others, like Martina Hingis, who became the first Grand Slam winner at the age of sixteen, it’s difficult to ignore comparisons to Wayne Rooney.
Then there are the parallels with Emma Raducanu, who qualified for the US Open in 2021 and surprised everyone by winning the entire competition. However, for every Pele or Becker, there are other sobering anecdotes of gifted young people who burned out too soon.
Humphries Statement On Luke Littler
Humphries made sure he would be ranked number one in the world for the first time after defeating Michael van Gerwen’s opponent Scott Williams 6-0 in one of his greatest performances to date at the tournament.
After Littler’s triumph on Tuesday night, Humphries stated that Littler would not be intimidated by anything. Humphries went on to say that Littler won’t be phased by anything tomorrow if he plays like he did today, thus Humphries will likely have to play the game of his life.