Michael van Gerwen came through a pulsating contest with Daryl Gurney in the second round of the Hungarian Darts Trophy in Budapest on Saturday, while Gerwyn Price and Peter Wright also made it through to Finals Day.
Day Two of the year's opening European Tour event saw 16 second round matches take place, as the 16 seeded players began their campaigns against Friday's first round winners.
The most successful player in European Tour history, Van Gerwen is seeking a first PDC title of 2021 and was made to work hard for his passage into the last 16 by a resurgent Gurney.
A repeat of the memorable 2018 Players Championship Finals showdown saw both players average over 100 in a passionate contest which captivated the 4,000 strong crowd at the Papp László Sportaréna.
Despite Gurney producing six 180s, it was Van Gerwen's 55% checkout success which saw him prevail, as the Dutchman wrapped up the final two legs in 15 and then 13 darts.
"Last time I played Daryl I lost to him, I knew it was going to be a tough game," Van Gerwen reflected.
"If you want to beat him you have to play well, I knew that so I tried a little bit extra which showed at times of the match.
"Of course it would be extra special to win the title in front of this fantastic crowd, I hope to show them what I can do tomorrow. I'm here to win this title."
Brendan Dolan awaits Van Gerwen in Sunday afternoon's last 16 after the Northern Irishman's comprehensive 6-1 defeat of Alan Soutar .
World number one Price missed double 12 for a nine-dart finish in his 6-4 win over Richard Veenstra, having recovered from a 4-2 deficit to set up a third round tie with Damon Heta.
A poignant meeting between Australian World Cup partners Heta and Simon Whitlock saw both players pay tribute to their late countryman Kyle Anderson.
After winning the last five consecutive legs in his 6-4 win, Heta paid an emotional tribute to Anderson, a close friend since their school days in Perth.
"I think darts means something different to me now," explained Heta, who was wearing a black armband in remembrance of Anderson.
"Simon feels the same, it was definitely a hard game to play.
"Kyle would've loved it here tonight, he just wanted to give everyone a hug and a big smile."
Prior to the start of the evening session, players and officials took to the stage to perform a minute's applause along with the crowd in a fitting tribute to Anderson.
World Matchplay champion Wright ran out a 6-3 winner over Florian Hempel, with the world number two now set to face fellow-Scot William Borland, who won a last-leg decider against Mensur Suljovic.
Borland was joined by four other players in knocking out seeded players, two of whom were teenage European Tour debutants Keane Barry and Lewis Williams who saw off Dirk van Duijvenbode and Krzysztof Ratajski respectively.
Seventh seed Jonny Clayton went down 6-5 to rising Czech star Adam Gawlas, while Devon Petersen was beaten 6-2 by an impressive Luke Humphries who averaged 101.08.
Jose de Sousa and Nathan Aspinall will meet in a repeat of May's Premier League semi-final after victories over Joe Murnan and Bradley Brooks respectively.
Day Two also saw wins for James Wade, Michael Smith, Rob Cross and Joe Cullen.
Sunday will see the champion crowned at the end of the day's play, which will begin with the last 16 matches in the afternoon session before the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final in the evening.
The Hungarian Darts Trophy is being broadcast throughout the weekend on PDCTV, as well as through a series of bookmakers' websites worldwide.
Click here to sign up to PDCTV - subscription options include a £2.99 Day Pass for Sunday's action.
2021 Hungarian Darts Trophy
Saturday September 4
Rob Cross 6-4 Ross Smith
Lewis Williams 6-3 Krzysztof Ratajski
Brendan Dolan 6-1 Alan Soutar
James Wade 6-5 William O'Connor
William Borland 6-5 Mensur Suljovic
Luke Humphries 6-2 Devon Petersen
Keane Barry 6-3 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Nathan Aspinall 6-1 Bradley Brooks
Adam Gawlas 6-5 Jonny Clayton
Joe Cullen 6-3 Geert De Vos
Damon Heta 6-4 Simon Whitlock
Jose de Sousa 6-3 Joe Murnan
Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Daryl Gurney
Gerwyn Price 6-4 Richard Veenstra
Peter Wright 6-3 Florian Hempel
Michael Smith 6-3 John Michael
Sunday September 5
Joe Cullen v Rob Cross
James Wade v Luke Humphries
Michael van Gerwen v Brendan Dolan
Gerwyn Price v Damon Heta
José de Sousa v Nathan Aspinall
Adam Gawlas v Lewis Williams
Peter Wright v William Borland
Michael Smith v Keane Barry
All games up to, and including, the quarter-finals, are the best of 11 legs. The semi-finals are the best of 13 legs and the final is the best of 15 legs.
Sunday's games played in Draw Bracket order.
Winner - £25,000
Runner-up - £10,000
Semi-Finalists - £6,500
Quarter-Finalists - £5,000
Last 16 - £3,000
Last 32 - £2,000
Last 48 - £1,000
Total - £140,000