*TOURNAMENT DRAW, RESULTS & FORMAT*
Here are the groups for the opening stages of the event (source; World Snooker);
The 20 teams will be drawn into four groups of five, for the event which runs from July 11-17 in Bangkok, Thailand. The top two in each group go through to the quarter-finals. Each match will include singles and doubles frames. The teams are as follows:
Top eight seeds:
1. Wales: Mark Williams and Matthew Stevens
2. Scotland: John Higgins and Stephen Maguire
3. England: Mark Selby and Ali Carter
4. China: Ding Junhui and Liang Wenbo
5. Australia: Neil Robertson and Steve Mifsud
6. Northern Ireland: Mark Allen and Gerard Greene
7. Hong Kong: Marco Fu and Fung Kwok Wai
8. Republic of Ireland: Ken Doherty and Fergal O'Brien
Thailand A: James Wattana and Dechawat Poomjaeng
Thailand B: Passakorn Sunwannawat and Thepchaiya Un-nooh
Germany: Patrick Einsle and Lasse Münstermann
Brazil: Fabio Luersen and Noel Rodrigues
Belgium: Bjorn Haneveer and Luca Brecel
Pakistan: Sahid Aftab and Muhammad Sajjad
India: Aditya Metha and Pankaj Advani
Afghanistan: Mohammad Rais Senzahi and Saleh Mohammad Mohammadi
UAE: Mohammed Mustafa Shehab and Mohammed Al Joaker
Poland: Kacper Filipiak and Krzysztof Wrobel
Malta: Tony Drago and Alex Borg
Egypt: Wael Talat and Yasser El-Sherbini
I for one am really looking forward to this event, specifically the format. Seeing some of the games top professionals playing doubles will be a site to behold, especially for me as I have never seen the pros play doubles in my lifetime! Also a highlight for me will be seeing a bunch of amateur players that we have never seen before on the big screen for the first time.
Will Australia’s 2nd best player Steve Mifsud be anywhere up to par with Neil Robertson and the same with Marco Fu and his partner from Hong Kong; Fung Kwok Wai? And seeing how nations that aren't represented on the main tour such as Afghanistan and Egypt will make for fascinating viewing also. Also to see how the tour's youngest every player; Kacper Filipiak from Poland, will get on at his debut television event will be interesting.
The smart bet (when and if they come available) for the event would be the dream team of John Higgins and Stephen Maguire. John is the current world and UK champion and also won the Welsh Open earlier in the year where he beat Stephen in the final. I believe their main opposition lies in the form of the English team of Ali Carter and Mark Selby but I could easily see the Welsh, Chinese or even one of the qualifiers such as the Maltese team of Tony Drago and Alex Borg take the title in this short format event.
No broadcaster for the event has been announced as yet, but I could see EuroSport wanting to snap this exciting new event up. They seemed to get a good response from showing the German Masters earlier in the year and will most likely get good ratings for when they show some of the tables in the EPTC events they intend to broadcast later in the year.