Seven players will do battle over the next two days in the Championship League Winners’ Group at the Barnsley Metrodome.
John Higgins, who has won the invitational tournament for the last two years, had just one opportunity to qualify for the Championship League Winners’ Group.
The Scot duly romped to victory in Group 7 on Tuesday, bagging wins in each of his round-robin fixtures before denying Stephen Maguire and Ding Junhui in the knockout phase.
Higgins joins prior group winners Neil Robertson, Jack Lisowski, Judd Trump, Stuart Bingham, Mark Selby, and Martin Gould.
Trump is a record three-time champion of the event while fellow Englishmen Bingham and Gould have also previously etched their names onto the trophy.
The Championship League Winners’ Group follows the same format as always, with the seven players first facing off against one another in league play.
The top four ranked competitors subsequently advance to the semi-finals before an overall champion is crowned.
Higgins triumphed twelve months ago when he edged China’s Zhou Yuelong in a decider to complete a second consecutive success.
While not the most lucrative tournament on the calendar, the Championship League does provide players with an opportunity to fine-tune their games at a pivotal junction of the campaign.
Played behind closed doors and primarily aimed at the betting market, the tournament could be important for some as it offers the champion a potential route into the prestigious Champion of Champions.
As all the matches are contested over the sprint best of five frames format, it’s difficult to predict an outcome.
That said, with five titles between them since its first staging in 2008, Higgins and Trump have certainly proven their pedigree for this particular set-up.
As well as a possible invitation to Coventry later this year, the champion will be awarded £10,000 – plus additional bonuses for each frame won during the event.