Background and qualification
Michael van Gerwen
, the number one seed, was the reigning and defending champion, prior to the tournament.
The 2018 PDC World Darts Championship is the 25th
World Darts Championship to be organised by the
Professional Darts Corporation; and the tenth to be held at
Alexandra Palace, London. It was held between 14 December 2017 and 1 January 2018, the culmination of the
2017 Professional Darts Corporation season.
 72 players competed in the championship; with the 32 highest ranked players on the
PDC Order of Merit being
seeded, and the next sixteen highest ranked players from the
2017 PDC Pro Tour Order of Merit and the top eight ranked players from a number of international and invitational qualifiers also going straight into the first round. The remaining sixteen international and invitational qualifiers competed in a preliminary round.
Michael van Gerwen, the winner of the
2017 championships, was top of the two-year
PDC Order of Merit and number one seed going into the tournament.
 The tournament was to be the last for
Phil Taylor, who had won the PDC World Championship fourteen times previously, most recently in
 As well as van Gerwen and Taylor, three other previous PDC world champions qualified as seeds, two-time champions
Gary Anderson and
Adrian Lewis, and
Raymond van Barneveld.
The top seeds below van Gerwen were
2017 UK Open winner
Peter Wright, Gary Anderson,
2017 World Grand Prix winner
Daryl Gurney and
2017 Champions League of Darts winner
Rob Cross, the runner-up at the
2017 European Championship, made his World Championship debut as the 20th seed.
Richard North, in his debut year, was the highest ranked non-seed on the
2017 PDC Pro Tour Order of Merit. As well as North, three other qualifiers through the Pro Tour made their debut,
Steve Lennon and
 The list of qualifiers also included the
2017 Youth Champion
Dimitri Van den Bergh and the
international and invitational qualification tournaments there was, for the first time, a South and Central American Qualifier.
 The majority of tournaments were the same as had been for
the previous championship, but there was no longer a
Gordon Mathers was the first player to qualify for the Championships, having finished top of the Dartplayers Australia rankings.
 The top two players on the
Nordic & Baltic rankings also qualified,
 as did the winners of the fifteen
international qualifiers, including the
2017 PDC World Youth Championship.
The final four qualification places were announced on 19 October,
 with places being given to the highest ranked
Krzysztof Ratajski, the National Darts Federation of Canada number one
Jeff Smith, the highest ranked
Devon Petersen, and the then-undetermined
2017 Development Tour winner,
 The sudden announcement of these places, and the granting of them to Ratajski, who had declined an invitation to the rival
2018 BDO World Darts Championship before failing to qualify through the
2017 PDC Pro Tour Order of Merit; and Jeff Smith, who had failed to qualify for the BDO World Darts Championship and not played a single PDC event in the previous year, were criticized by some, with
ITV4 pundit and tour card holder
Paul Nicholson saying he had written to the Professional Darts Players Association to seek clarification over the placings.
The final three placings were determined by the PDPA qualifier held at
Arena MK on 27 November, with
Ted Evetts securing a first round place by winning the tournament, and runner-up
Brendan Dolan and third-place playoff winner
Jamie Lewis both qualifying to the preliminary round. The third place had become available as the
2017 PDC World Youth Championship, which carries a qualification place, was won by
Dimitri Van den Bergh, who qualified through the Pro Tour Order of Merit.
15 of the international and invitational qualifiers were making their PDC World Championship debuts,
Kai Fan Leung,
Zong Xiao Chen.
 Portela was the first ever Brazilian to qualify for the World Championships.
^ Per the PDC Order of Merit Rules, invited players shall be placed in to either the Preliminary or First Round draws for the event based on their position in the Order of Merit (if applicable). If insufficient players hold a position of the Order of Merit, the PDC will select which players are placed in to which round at the discretion of its board of Directors.
The prize money for the tournament will be a record high of £1,800,000 in total. The winner's prize money has increased from £350,000 to £400,000.
|Position (num. of players)
|Third round losers
|Second round losers
|First round losers
|Preliminary round losers