The qualifying list for the 2020 Champion of Champions has been confirmed, with defending champion Neil Robertson leading a field which also includes World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan and quadruple ranking event winner Judd Trump.
With the schedule for the start of the new WST season set out, there are three further events to be played prior to the Champion of Champions, which will take place at Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes from Monday, November 2 until Sunday, November 8, live on ITV4.
Robertson enters as defending champion having beaten Judd Trump in the deciding frame of last year’s final to claim the crown for a second time. Trump himself has qualified after adding the Northern Ireland Open, German Masters, Players Championship and Gibraltar Open titles to his CV over the last 12 months.
UK Championship winner Ding Junhui, Masters winner Stuart Bingham and World Championship runner-up Kyren Wilson have also qualified. Mark Selby enters as Scottish Open champion while Shaun Murphy returns to the event he won in 2017 as reigning Welsh Open title holder.
Also among the field is World Seniors Champion Jimmy White. The 2019/20 season Championship League Snooker winner Scott Donaldson, and June’s Championship League winner Luca Brecel are also in, and will be joined by the winner of the forthcoming Championship League Snooker.
The winners of the new season’s European Masters and English Open will also earn a spot at the Champion of Champions, where the winner will walk away with £150,000.
The 2020 Champion of Champions Qualifying List comprises 22 spots, which are split into six sections. Tournaments within each of the six sections are listed chronologically. As no more than 16 different players can now qualify through winning WST events, should the upcoming Championship League Snooker, European Masters or English Open by won by players already entered, the WST Ranking List will be used to complete the field.
The draw for the 2020 Champion of Champions will be made this autumn.
CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS QUALIFYING LIST 2020
Champions of Champions 2019: Neil Robertson (Nov-19)
UK Championship 2019: Ding Junhui (Dec-19)
The Masters 2020: Stuart Bingham (Jan-20)
World Championship 2020: Ronnie O’Sullivan (Aug-20)
European Masters 2020: Neil Robertson (Jan-20)
German Masters 2020: Judd Trump (Jan-20)
World Grand Prix 2020: Neil Robertson (Feb-20)
Players Championship 2020: Judd Trump (Mar-20)
Championship League Snooker 2019/20: Scott Donaldson (Mar-20)
Championship League 2020: Luca Brecel (Jun-20)
Tour Championship 2020: Stephen Maguire (Jun-20)
European Masters 2020 (2) (Sep-20)
Championship League Snooker 2020 (2) (Oct-20)
Northern Ireland Open 2019: Judd Trump (Nov-19)
Scottish Open 2019: Mark Selby (Dec-19)
Welsh Open 2020: Shaun Murphy (Feb-20)
English Open 2020 (Oct-20)
World Championship Runner-up 2020: Kyren Wilson (Aug-20)
Gibraltar Open 2020: Judd Trump (Mar-20)
Shoot Out 2020: Michael Holt (Feb-20)
World Seniors Championship 2020: Jimmy White (Aug-20)
I’ve always found it difficult to have players in there who aren’t champions. The World Championship runner-up was added to the field when Ding was that person, obviously for commercial reasons. I like Kyren Wilson, I’m happy for him, and getting to the World Final is not easy, but still, I don’t agree with the situation. Also, there might be as much as three players added based on the ranking list depending on who wins the remaining three “qualifying” events. As it currently stands those three would be Mark Allen, John Higgins and Mark Williams, in that order. I agree even less with this a a criterion.
If the World Seniors Champion is included, why not also invite the 2020 WSF Open Champions, Ashley Hugill and Gao Yang? Ashley is 25, and Gao is only 15. Surely it would be a good opportunity to showcase young deserving players? Ashley was also the overall winner of last season Challenge Tour. The winner of the 2020 Women World Snooker Championship could also be invited, provided that the posponed tournament is held before the 2020 Champion of Champions.