The Scot reached the final of the competition when it was previously staged as an invitational earlier this year.
Graeme Dott won the last frame of his Championship League encounter with Liang Wenbo to narrowly advance beyond the first group stage in Milton Keynes on Saturday.
Ahead of his round-robin fixture with the Chinese competitor, the 2006 world champion trailed on four points to Liang’s six.
The latter had looked in good form with back-to-back wins over Soheil Vahedi and Zak Surety under his belt.
A draw would have subsequently been enough against Dott, but after losing the opening two frames of their contest he was left with a small mountain to climb.
Liang pinched the third frame, but the former English Open champion couldn’t take advantage of his chances in the fourth with Dott surviving on the colours.
Elsewhere, Rory McLeod also progressed to the last 32 by similarly topping his mini league with a total of seven points.
Representing Jamaica, McLeod beat top 16 member Jack Lisowski and Fraser Patrick with whitewash displays, and he crucially drew 2-2 with Ian Burns to push the latter into second place.
🗣️ “I had some bad situations in my life, it weren’t pretty but it was nice to have some time off.”
Group 13 winner Rory McLeod opens up on what has been a tough year personally and how he has a different perspective on his snooker following his year off. pic.twitter.com/J0Ei2FznSA
— Championship League Snooker (@CLSnooker) September 19, 2020
Graeme Dott and Rory McLeod join the likes of world number one Judd Trump, Shaun Murphy, Stuart Bingham, Barry Hawkins, and David Gilbert in the next phase of the tournament in October.
As the Championship League has been upgraded to ranking event status, a total of 128 players are participating across 32 different round-robin groups in the first round.
That means that 16 days of competition are required – separated into two eight-day blocks – before the second round even begins.
Each of the 32 group winners will eventually return to Milton Keynes at the end of October to conclude the event.
The last day of the first week is on Sunday, with Mark Selby among those set to enter the fray.
Live coverage continues on Matchroom.Live and FreeSports.
Click here to view the full draw (Times: CET)
Featured photo credit: WST