The WST Pro Series is a new event on the calendar during this campaign.
Joe Perry won six out of his seven matches to finish in first place in Group M of the WST Pro Series on Monday in Milton Keynes.
The Englishman advances to the second of three group stages in the new round-robin competition.
Perry’s only defeat of the day was against Rod Lawler, but by winning his remaining matches he comfortably advanced.
China’s Xiao Guodong also qualified for the upcoming phase of the Pro Series in March with five victories and two defeats proving enough to place second in Group M.
Xiao lost to Perry and Daniel Wells, but the former ranking event runner-up crucially saw off Matthew Stevens in their head-to-head battle, a result which helped the 31 year-old to finish above the Welshman in the final league table.
The format for the WST Pro Series is quite similar to that which was unitilised for two out of the three editions of the Championship League that were staged during 2020.
There are 16 groups comprising eight players in each, with a round-robin phase determining the top two who will advance to the second group stage.
Eight groups in the first stage take place this week, while the remaining eight groups are in March.
The 32 players who progress to stage two will be split into four more groups of eight, with the top two again moving forward from each to contest the final group.
That remaining set of eight players will subsequently battle it out in the same fashion to become the overall champion.
There is a total tournament prize fund of £420,500, broken down in various ways through the three group stages.
The winner, however, stands to collect at least £30,000 in an event that incorporates a sprint best-of-three frames format throughout.
Seven best of threes later, @joegentlemanjoe caps off his day out on top 👊
— World Snooker Tour (@WeAreWST) January 18, 2021
On Tuesday, Group B takes place with Kyren Wilson, Li Hang, Yuan Sijun, Fan Zhengyi, Sunny Akani, Pang Junxu, Kacper Filipiak, and amateur Dean Young involved.
As a top-16 member, Championship League winner Wilson is obviously the favourite to progress with sites like ComeOn Casino, but the short format should act as a leveller so it won’t be easy to predict.
Young, meanwhile, replaced Aaron Hill after the Irishman’s withdrawal on the eve of the tournament.
Live coverage will be available via an account with several online bookmakers, as well as around the world through the Matchroom.Live streaming service.
Click here to view the full draw (Times in CET)
Featured photo credit: WST