Seigo Asada: the Ninja’s story

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Seigo Asada: the Ninja's story
Asada in action at Alexandra Palace during the 2019 William Hill World Darts Championship. [Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC]

Seigo Asada‘s form over recent years has impressed, excited and invigorated darts fans all over the globe.

As the sport’s popularity has increased year-after-year on a global scale, darts in Asia has really taken off. With the World Series going to Asia over recent years, it’s really helped build the popularity and growth of the sport.

The PDC Asian Tour was introduced in 2018 and it’s proved to be a roaring success. We’ve seen two nine-darters hit over the tour’s two-year existence as Noel Malicdem and Lourence Ilagan incidentally.

In terms of Asada’s rise to prominence, the Japanese star has been consistently producing high-quality displays on the Asian Tour and events on a global scale – in both soft-tip and steel-tip events.

As the Asian Tour was introduced in 2018, Asada was already a household name in terms of his ability and potential. In terms of Asada’s form on the Asian Tour in 2018, the Ninja picked up two titles out of eight events – reaching three finals, with an average of 86.22 over those eight events in Korea, China, Japan, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Following his success on the PDC Asian Tour in it’s debut year, Asada took that form and confidence into the 2019 William Hill World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace – in his second appearance at the World Championship after qualifying just twelve months previously.

Alexandra Palace

At Alexandra Palace, Asada produced a stunning fightback as he overturned a two-set deficit to overcome the Polish ace Krzysztof Ratajski in a 3-2 victory. The magnitude of that victory is even bigger than first thought – given the success that Ratajski has had over the last 18 months, winning five PDC titles.

In the second-round, Asada faced James Wade in what was another high-quality display from the Japanese star as he fell just short in 3-2 defeat to the Machine. Asada averaged 107 in wrapping up the first set and the standard increased in terms of quality throughout the contest.

Asada has been ever-present in the PDC World Cup of Darts alongside his team-mate Haruki Muramatsu. The Japanese pairing produced a number of high-quality displays en route to the semi-finals at the 2019 PDC World Cup of Darts in Hamburg, Germany.

In terms of Asada’s individual performances, the Ninja averaged 100.2 in a 4-2 defeat against Gary Anderson in the semi-finals, which impressed fans worldwide as Asada showed the darting world that he can put it to any player in world darts.

That performance came on the back of an impressive 4-1 win over New Zealand’s Cody Harris as Asada produced an average of 92.11.

In terms of the 2019 PDC Asian Tour, the standard overall had skyrocketed from the previous year. In event number three, Asada reached the final in Tokyo as he lost out narrowly to his World Cup team-mate Haruki Muramatsu in a narrow 5-3 defeat.

Consistency

In the very next event the following day, Asada produced a number of high-quality performances as the Ninja claimed event four, defeating Royden Lam 5-3 in the final. In the semi-finals, Asada produced a five-star display in defeating ‘the legend’ Paul Lim in a 5-0 win – averaging 103 in the process.

After another successful year on the PDC Asian Tour, Asada secured qualification for the 2020 William Hill World Darts Championship and the Ninja’s third consecutive appearance at the palace.

Asada will take on Mickey Mansell in his opening round match, with the winner taking on Keegan Brown and the Japanese star will certainly fancy his chances. Asada revealed a week or so ago that he’ll be participating at PDC Qualifying-School in January, regardless of what happens at Alexandra Palace.

In terms of qualification for the World Championship, Asada initially qualified through the PDC Asian Tour, but after winning the Japanese qualifier, that allowed Yuki Yamada the opportunity to make his debut at Alexandra Palace.

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