After a thrilling Finals Day at the Eissporthalle, featuring memorable matches, huge finishes and high drama, it was the defending champions and top seeds that were left standing.
Van Gerwen was unstoppable; first beating Peter Wright and then sealing the title with victory over Gary Anderson as the Netherlands won 3-1 in Sunday night’s final to claim a record-equalling fourth title.
The Dutch pair had seen off hosts Germany in Sunday afternoon’s quarter-finals, before beating Belgium in the last four to set up their date with Scotland, who had seen off Japan and Australia to reach only their second final.
Scotland, seeded first, had high hopes of ending the dominance of England and the Netherlands in the event – the duo had split the previous seven editions of the tournament – and had beaten the Dutch in the semi-finals on their way to their only previous World Cup final in 2015.
But it was not to be in 2018 as Van Gerwen wrapped up his third – and Barney’s fourth – title by beating Gary Anderson in ruthless fashion to seal a 3-1.
Van Gerwen accounted for Wright in the opening single’s contest – having averaged more than 105 in victories over Martin Schindler and Kim Huybrechts, MVG fell below three figures on his way to a 4-2 success.
Finishes of 143 and 112 proved crucial as Van Gerwen got the Dutch off to the perfect start, only for Gary Anderson to respond with a dominant display to see off Van Barneveld for the loss of just a single leg.
All four players returned for a pivotal doubles match and once again Van Gerwen and Van Barneveld were to prevail in a high-quality contest that did not see a dart at double missed until the fifth leg.
But missed doubles cost the Scots – Gary Anderson’s brilliant 127 on the bullseye the only leg from the No 1 seeds – as relentless scoring and ruthless finishing sealed a 4-1 victory and set-up an opportunity for Van Gerwen to seal the title.
He powered to four legs in less than 10 minutes with an average of 111 to account for Gary Anderson and ensure it was the Dutch that headed home with the trophy after a memorable four days.
In the last four, Netherlands and Scotland came through two very different contests, with the Scots pushed to a deciding leg by Australia in all three rubbers of the contest.
Snakebite eventually accounted for Simon Whitlock before Kyle Anderson produced a sensational display to beat Gary Anderson; taking out a brilliant 130 finish to win.
Scotland forged ahead in the doubles, Gary Anderson’s clinical 58 finish was followed by Wright’s superb 120, before the top seeds contrived to hand Australia a way back.
Three missed match darts at double 18 from Wright were punished as Kyle Anderson pinned the Aussies’ first dart at a double and when two more went begging from Snakebite, Australia were able to level at 3-3
Back-to-back 140s gave Scotland control and Wright found double 12 to send his pair into the final.
Netherlands were pushed all the way by an inspired Belgium duo, who had accounted for England in the last eight.
Huybrechts took a couple of legs off Van Gerwen, taking out 106 on his way to levelling at 2-2, but the world No 1 took the next two legs and hand the reins to Barney.
Barney followed an 11-dart leg with a 161 finish for a 12-darter, but Van den Bergh drew level with a barrage of big numbers.
However, Van Barneveld was not to be denied, like MvG he took out the next two legs to seal victory thanks to his highest TV average of 113.38.
Sunday afternoon saw England lose to Belgium, while Germany, Japan and Wales also bowed out.
Darts is back on your screens on Sky Sports in July for the World Matchplay – nine days of tungsten on the Lancashire coast get underway on Saturday July 21 and will run through to the final on Sunday July 29.