Ontario’s Matt Campbell has been producing some explosive performances on the Championship Darts Circuit over the last 12 months, and despite just missing out on the North American Championship and the PDC IS Darts Masters in Las Vegas, the Canadian is certainly very ‘hungry’ to succeed.
I managed to speak exclusively with the Canadian star following his instantaneous impact on the CDC tour, and his thoughts on just missing out in Las Vegas.
“The Qualifiers were crazy. Campbell said. “A room full of talented players, any one of those players could’ve made it through to the ‘big stage’. It makes it one of the toughest rooms to be in, in terms of qualification.”
After fellow Canadian star Jeff Smith qualified in Las Vegas on Day One, Smith stated in his post-match interview with BEN that he would easily stake $1000 on Matt Campbell qualifying for the North American Championship. Those comments appeared to really inspire Campbell.
“Yeah for sure, when you hear good things from top players like Jeff (Smith) means that you’re doing something right in the game, and it just proves to me that whatever I’m doing is working, so I just need to ‘keep at it’, but after not being able to qualify, I just wish that I would’ve taken him up on the $1000 bet (laughs).”
In terms of the four qualifying events for the North American Championship in Las Vegas, Campbell was understandably ‘disappointed’ at not booking his place on the big stage, but admits that he’ll be working hard to take the positives from those disappointments.
“Yes, It’s quite disappointing when after the first two qualifiers, you’re sitting in a great position to qualify. And then not being able to follow it up. Said Campbell
“I was told that I was tied for the last qualification spot, although I’m not sure if that’s correct. I didn’t really look into it, but it just makes me want to practice more and not leave anything up for chances, and after coming so close, I can see what it takes to qualify through a tough field like that. A lot of that comes from the CDC since that is one of the toughest places to play in North America.”
Back in June, Campbell picked up his first CDC title as he won CDC Main Event Five in Chicago after producing a number of five-star performances en route.
The standard on the CDC tour is rising year on year, and Campbell was relieved to get that first CDC win in his second year on the tour since he burst onto the scene in Ontario back in 2018, as he reached the final on debut.
“I believe the first one is always the hardest to win, so I’m hoping that after getting that one out of the way, it won’t be as difficult to win another one. From the mental side of the game, and go from there if I can keep up my good form in the CDC events, then maybe I may get my chance to be at the Alexandra Palace, and see what I can do there.”
Over the last 12 months, Campbell has recorded some of the highest averages since the inception of the CDC, and the Canadian admits that he’s certainly an admirer of statistics and the Dart Connect system.
“I like to focus more on the averages when I believe I’d played poorly more than matches where I believed that I played well in.
Campbell went on to say: “There are times where I believe that I didn’t deserve to win a leg, and then after the match it’s a 90-95 average. There’s also been times where I believed that I played well, but it was maybe a 70 average.
Dart Connect makes everything so accessible for every statistic that you’d like to see, and the averages are displayed immediately after the relevant matches, and if you miss that, you get an email update letting you know what your performance levels were. It’s just another great addition to darts from using it as a practice tool or at tournaments.”
Campbell is a huge admirer of the CDC, and he admits that the opportunities are there for North Americans to showcase their talents on the PDC stage.
“With three spots at the World Championship up for grabs, you’re seeing a lot more players come out and a lot of top North American players chasing the points as well.
It makes for a great tournament, and yes, you see players want it more and one of those player is Darin young. He’s already picked up two titles this year and only has not been in four finals. I think that’s just crazy, so yes I believe it’s made players more hungry and I’m really excited to finish this year out strong and continue to improve my game to the best I can.”
Speaking about the sponsorship opportunities that have come his way, Campbell was also full of praise for those that support him both on and off the oche.
“I’ve got a couple of great sponsors in Lstyle Smurf Darts and One80. Who knows, without their support, it probably wouldn’t have been possible to compete on the CDC tour.”