2020 Champion of Champions Qualifying List

WST has recently published the following information regarding the 2020 Champion o Champions:

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.

11 thoughts on “2020 Champion of Champions Qualifying List

  1. CoC: is a oecumenic gala of snooker, the best tournament!
    Or not. A/B side, season dependent. The system is good. Chipped the original plan, is little odds. Remember: MS×5, RO’S×5, JT×6…come just 2-3 player from the ranking…probably former champions / ‘top16ers’. Yeah, maybe a ‘padawan-champion’ miss out the complete puzzle. Legitimacy, Quality, Opportunity. (The 7 frame first round also is a advantage,…for the good spirit. : ))

  2. Re World Championship Runner up if They got Ding in through the back door they have to carry that on otherwise its really farcical.

    But yea there’s plenty of Champions they don’t need to use Rankings at all

  3. There should be a ranking list comprising only of champions. Each champion would be given the winners prize money as ‘ranking points ‘. The top 16 on this list (which runs from the previous CoC to the last qualifying event before the current CoC) get the invite. Women’s, seniors, amateur events should all count. Under no circumstances should a non champ be invited

  4. Well I’m not sure that having someone like Gao Yang, who turns 16 tomorrow, would be such a good idea (although a 15-year old did brilliantly in 2015). In general I think these junior titles should be U21 and not U18. I played in U18’s events myself, and you always get silly things like 8-year olds entering them.

    I agree that having losing finalists is unsatisfactory (tour cards as well) because the best two players in a tournament are equally likely to be drawn in the same half – it’s not fair. They could go down to Pro-am levels, such as the Austrian Open, or dare I mention ISBF or ACBS…

    Regarding young players, I always thought there should be a ‘Rookie Cup’ sometime in the season, comprising first-year professionals. This would be a great tournament, which all of the players would feel they had a chance of winning. Or perhaps a ‘Young Professional Cup’, comprising the youngest 16 players on tour. These ideas would help give the new players some relief from getting clobbered every week in the ‘ranking tournaments’, even if there wasn’t a prize-fund. The winner would probably be good enough (and confident enough) not to be too outclassed in the Champion of Champions. Failing that, Louis Heathcote’s award of ‘Rookie of the Year’ might qualify him.

    • I thought about but didn’t mention IBSF because that’s not going to happen for “political” reasons as you know. I have been thnking a lot over the last two days about the apparent lack of interest for the young players both in the media and by the broadcaters. It’s a catch-22 situation. They are not interested primarly because they don’t know them and, therefore don’t think about them as “marketable” , and they don’t know them because nobody :shows them. On Matchroom.live you have footages of the 1994 “New kids on the baize”, with Steve Davis introducing and interviewing the players, and a 18 years old Ronnie commentating. Would something like that still work today? Would people watch it? Or a revive of Junior Pot Black?
      I’m not sure. Actually, the best chance for very young amateurs nowadays to be shown on our screens in the Shoot-out. In that respect Ben Mertens playing Liam Davies in 2019 was brilliant, but it was just a 10 minutes frame…

      • Actually, there was a very positive response when the ‘Covid’ Championship League showed players like Ash Carty, Louis Heathcote and Sam Craigie. I think the broadcasters are wrong that people are only interested in the top-10 or former top players. But they are very very conservative…

      • It’s not the only reason… In the past I remember quite a lot of moaning and bickering amongst players when it came to be on the TV table. It does make a big difference when it comes to what they get from their sponsors, and it makes an equally big difference for the sponsors themselves. So basically WST (World Snooker then) decided that the main crierion would be ranking and broacasters wishes. Which resulted in us seeing more than our share of completely one-sided uninteresting matches.

      • Yes, they actually spoke to him! I’m sure that in itself will help the boy feel a bit more like he belongs here. I’m intrigued whether it’s possible to make it with such a lopsided technique. There was a danger that he would get relegated, be replaced by Gao Yang, and the cycle would continue again. It’s not nice to see talented kids get crushed before they are ready. I’m sure Fan is excited by the prospect of his next match, opening the new season playing Judd Trump!

  5. Last year they had Rennie Evans there, so I expected the woman champion to be invited (now at least provisionally in case that tournament happens in time). I agree they should exhaust first all the possible champions, WSF etc, but they do need to fill the draw with someone in the end.

    But I was wondering before the Crucible that given Ronnie’s season and not particularly high ranking, how are they going to solve the puzzle of getting him there to the CoC, if he doesn’t win anything of the remaining events? 🙂

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