THE international qualifiers have been finalised for the 2018 PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship.

The event has expanded to 96 players with a prize fund of £60,000 this year, providing greater opportunities for young players from across the globe.

There will be up to 73 qualifiers from the PDC Unicorn Development Tour Order of Merit, alongside any age-qualified players inside the top 32 on the main PDC Order of Merit.

They will be joined by 23 international qualifiers from across the world to compete in the early rounds on Monday November 5 at Wigan's Robin Park Tennis Centre.

Heading the latest list of the final five international qualifiers is Central Europe's Mats Gies, who also made his European Tour debut in 2018.

Gies is joined in the World Youth Championship by Tomoya Goto (Japan), Patrik Kovacs (Eastern Europe), Jesús Ángel Vicente Macías (Southern Europe) and Alexander Faddel (South Africa).

Dimitri van den Bergh (PDC)

The early rounds of the tournament will be held in Wigan on November 5, with Belgium's Dimitri Van den Bergh defending his title, having claimed the honour in 2017 by defeating Josh Payne in the final.

Also among the players to have secured qualification is Canada's Dawson Murschell has qualified as the best-performing eligible player at the William Hill North American Championship.

Lynch joins Steve Fitzpatrick in qualifying from the DartPlayers Australia rankings, while Kiwi talent Tahuna Irwin won the DartPlayers New Zealand qualifier.

German duo Sven Hesse and Lukas Wenig are further qualifiers, alongside Gibraltar's Jarvis Bautista, America's Sean Coohill, Canada's Logan Crooks and South Africa's Alexander Faddel.

The two Junior Darts Corporation representatives will be 2017 Junior World Champion Rusty-Jake Rodriguez and 2017 Junior European Championship winner Bradley Brooks.

One further weekend remains on the PDC Unicorn Development Tour for players to qualify, on November 3-4 in Wigan, with an extra place now allocated to mean that up to 73 players can qualify via that route.

Josh Payne, Dimitri van den Bergh (PDC)

The first round will be a group stage featuring 32 groups of three players, with the group winners progressing to compete in a knockout format from the last 32 onwards.

The final will then take place on Sunday November 25 at the Butlin's Minehead Resort between the semi-finals and final of the Players Championship Finals, live on ITV4.

An additional £10,000 has been added to the prize fund for the World Youth Championship, with the winner also securing a place in the 2018/2019 World Championship and the finalists qualifying for the 2019 Grand Slam of Darts.

Prize Fund
Winner - £10,000, Place in 2018/2019 World Championship, Place in 2019 Grand Slam of Darts
Runner-Up - £5,000, Place in 2019 Grand Slam of Darts
Semi-Finalists - £2,500
Quarter-Finalists - £1,600
Last 16 - £1,000
Last 32 - £500
Second in Group - £300
Third in Group - £250
Total - £60,000

Early Rounds: November 5 2018 – Robin Park Tennis Centre
Format
The group stage will be the best of nine legs per match, with two points awarded per win.
In the event of a tie, players are separated by head-to-head, or in the case of a three-way tie by leg difference, then head-to-head and, if needed, a three-way nine-dart shoot-out.
The knockout stage will be the best of 11 legs.

Final: November 25 2018 – Butlin’s Minehead Resort

Field
Invitations will be issued to the following players:
Players aged 23 or under from the top 32 of the PDC Order of Merit
Up to 73 players from the final 2018 PDC Unicorn Development Tour Order of Merit
24 Invitations, as follows:
USA, Canada, Best-performing player from 2018 North American Championship, China, Asia x2, Australia x2, New Zealand, Nordic & Baltic x2, Germany x2, Gibraltar, Ireland x2, Russia, JDC x2, Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Southern Europe, South Africa.

International Qualifiers:
Tomoya Goto (Japan)
Mats Gies (Central Europe)
Patrik Kovacs (Eastern Europe)
Jesús Ángel Vicente Macías (Southern Europe)
Alexander Faddel (South Africa)
Sean Coohill (USA)
Logan Crooks (Canada)
Dawson Murschell (NADC Best Age-Qualified Player)
Xiaochen Zong (China)
Paolo Nebrida (Asia)
Steve Fitzpatrick (Australia)
Ryan Lynch (Australia)
Tahuna Irwin (New Zealand)
Nicolai Rasmussen (Nordic & Baltic)
Hampus Norrstrom (Nordic & Baltic)
Sven Hesse (Germany)
Lukas Wenig (Germany)
Jarvis Bautista (Gibraltar)
Jack Faragher (Ireland/NI)
Keane Barry (Ireland/NI)
Maxim Aldoshin (Russia)
Rusty-Jake Rodriguez (JDC)
Bradley Brooks (JDC)