Chris Mason has said that winning the inaugural MODUS Super Series title this week would be “absolutely massive”, but even if he is victorious, he won’t be looking to make a full-time playing return to professional darts.
Mason was the final player to book his place in this week’s MODUS Super Series Champions Week line-up following his match week 12 victory on Saturday, putting down the commentary microphone and picking up his darts to play in his first TV event in 12 years.
“It was an interesting one, I took a bit of persuading to play in the tournament initially,” Mason told the MODUS Super Series. “It started to dawn on me in the build-up, I thought ‘oh my goodness’, but it was exciting at the same time. When you’ve not played under the lights for 12 years you forget how difficult it is. But ultimately it’s been a fabulous experience. It’s a beautiful venue and a great group of people to work with and play against.
“It’ll be absolutely massive to win. To be the first name on the trophy of a tournament that will end up – it’s already very big, but it’s only going to get bigger – would be massive, absolutely massive for me. But the group of players I’m up against are absolutely top drawer so I’m going to have to find another couple of levels to what I played last week to qualify. It’s going to be tough going. Whoever wins a week to qualify and then goes on to win Champions Week has certainly earned their money.”
But while Mason has picked up his darts to play in the MODUS Super Series, he says he has no plans for a full-time comeback, although he will be playing in next year’s World Seniors Darts Championships.
“Winning won’t mean I’ll start playing more regularly, I’ve got my commentating commitments,” he said. “I was always very keen that if they introduced a seniors tour that that would suit me as it wouldn’t have that full-on every weekend type of pressure. The rigors of that, when you reach a certain age, it’s not something you can do full-time.
“I was always really passionate that if a senior tour did develop then I would be interested in that and so I’m delighted that the World Seniors Darts Championships was introduced. And irrelevant to what happens this week, I’m over the moon to be playing in the next World Seniors Darts Championships in February. But in terms of ever going back to playing regularly, absolutely not.”
The 52-year-old, who will be hoping to win the £20,000 champion’s cheque in Saturday’s final, believes the MODUS Super Series is providing players with a unique platform.
“The MODUS Super Series has revolutionised the amateur game,” he said. “The rebranding, the relaunch, the new venue, there’s nothing to rival in it terms of sitting just behind what the PDC do. It’s giving the players that are coming through an opportunity but also the players that maybe don’t have the finances to try and become a full-time PDC player. And it also gives a chance to players a little like myself who might need to sort of regrouping, reset, get their game back on track. This is the perfect environment. It’s played under the lights, in front of cameras – you can’t replicate that without actually doing it.
“For many players the PDC can sometimes be a bridge too far, whether that’s ability-wise or due to the financial implications. But here, you win a week, you win Champions Week, that will be career-changing for some players, either on the way up or players that have hit a brick wall. It will give them financial security for a season.
“If you win something like this it comes with a lot of respect, so there’s the opportunity that you’ll get exhibitions, sponsorship opportunities… It’s massive. For the players, it’s enormous; for whoever wins it this week, including myself, it’ll be a career-high payday.”
The MODUS Super Series is a successor to the Online Darts Live League. Launched in 2020, it grew from a COVID-era, play-at-home darts tournament to a made-for-TV, studio-based competition that ran for two years before progressing to its current form.
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