There will be 24 two-man teams that are split into four groups of six and each team will feature against the other teams in a round robin format. After this, the top two teams from each group will progress to the quarter-final stages and beyond. The tournament is expected to be fierce as the teams compete for the top prize of $200,000.
Some of the best players in the world are due to take part in the event, but will they be affected by the tournament’s layout and format? The event begins on June 15th and is completed by June 21st.
Unlike most tournaments, competitors will be required to play on a daily basis for the entire week if they are to emerge victorious and lift the trophy at the end of the event. In fact, some players are required to play in the evening session on Monday, and then once again in a different match in the opening session of Tuesday’s play.
Although many of these players have adapted to the modern lifestyle of a snooker player, this is certainly more action than usual and some of the greatest performers may struggle to maintain a high performance and concentration throughout a week-long tournament outside of Europe.
For example England’s team, World No 1 & 2 Mark Selby and Stuart Bingham, are both seasoned professionals but are still likely to struggle with tiredness and jet lag if they are expected to compete at the highest level on a daily basis.
On a more positive note, China is a great location to host the tournament for a number of reasons. Firstly, the popularity of the sport ensures that each and every match should be well attended, especially in China’s Jiangsu Province which boasts a population of around 79 million people.
Furthermore, the players are likely to enjoy the celebrity status in China. Many of the world’s best players, including Ronnie O’Sullivan, who is already available at odds of 7/2 with Betfair at the time of writing for the next World Championship, Neil Robertson and Judd Trump, are adored in China and are worshipped just as much as footballers, such is the popularity of snooker in China.
The tournament itself is set to be closely fought and there are a number of countries who will fancy their chances of lifting the trophy at the end of the week. England are one of the leading candidates, while the likes of Scotland, Wales and Australia will all be quietly confident of upsetting hosts China as they aim for World Cup glory. Ultimately, the winners will be the team who manage to adapt to the conditions quickly and can cope with the enhanced media status and coverage.
China is certainly an excellent location for the competition and the tournament may well be a total success. There are already plans in place to hold the Snooker World Cup every other year rather than once every four years and a successful tournament in Asia would support this. The added media coverage and popularity should ensure that the competition is worthwhile and helps to further progress the sport, while more young players across the world may be presented with the opportunity to get involved.
Click here for all the results from the Snooker World Cup 2015.