The action in Sheffield over the last week hasn’t been limited to just the Crucible Theatre.
After an exhausting seven days of action at the English Institute of Sport, the 12 Q School graduates for 2020 are now known.
It was a hectic schedule with scores of amateurs battling it out across three events for the coveted dozen spots on the Main Tour for the next couple of campaigns.
Several players sealed their fate in the early hours of the morning as scheduling issues wreaked havoc with this year’s edition.
Q School was originally supposed to take place in May but obviously had to be postponed as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
As a result, the three events had to be crammed into a much shorter space of time, and the participants were forced to rely on their physical and mental reserves in order to make it through what was a gruelling test.
Event One ended on Friday night – or more like Saturday morning – with three cueists who were recently relegated from the circuit bouncing back.
Former World Championship quarter-finalist Lee Walker was among the first of the 12 Q School graduates, with former European and world under-21 champions Simon Lichtenberg and Fan Zhengyi respectively securing an immediate return too.
Peter Devlin – just as famous for his YouTube raps as he is for his snooker talent – was the fourth player from the first event and will be making his debut as a professional next term.
In Event Two, Jamie Jones won his five matches to seal his return to the Main Tour after dropping off amid a twelve-month ban for corruption – denying former Shoot Out champion Michael Georgiou in the final round.
Oliver Lines ensured that his recent relegation was a brief one, while fellow Englishmen Zak Surety and Ben Hancorn earned their potentially lucrative tickets onto the pro scene as well.
The English theme continued in Event Three, which perhaps wasn’t too surprising considering the travel restrictions in place at present.
Former Ruhr Open winner Rory McLeod is back on the Main Tour after beating Paul Davison, who also agonisingly missed out at the final hurdle in Event Two.
Steven Hallworth fought back from 2-0 behind to upset Alfie Burden, in doing so seemingly ending the latter’s long career as a snooker player if his Twitter timeline is to be believed.
Farakh Ajaib and 16 year-old Jamie Wilson completed the line-up of twelve who will be participating with the marquee names next term.
Each player will have the opportunity to compete for huge sums of money over the course of the 2020/21 and 2021/22 snooker seasons.
Featured photo credit: WPBSA