By Elliott West
Lucky computer gamers will represent the world’s leading snooker stars when they compete in the Virtual World Snooker Championship, starting next week.
The real-life World Championship has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, so snooker bosses have been thinking of ways to fill the gap in the calendar for its millions of fans worldwide.
So replacing it will be the Betfred Virtual World Championship which will see 16 gamers take to the ‘Snooker 19’ PlayStation 4 video game and like the real deal, snooker’s elite will battle it out to win the famous trophy and kiss the silver lady which surmounts it .
The event runs between Saturday, April 18 and Monday, May 4 and will see those taking part represent the world’s current top 16 stars.
The list of people who will represent the players and the match schedule will be announced shortly.
The draw is as follows:
Judd Trump (1) v Yan Bingtao (16)
Kyren Wilson (8) v Shaun Murphy (9)
Mark Allen (5) v Jack Lisowski (12)
John Higgins (4) v Stuart Bingham (13)
Mark Williams (3) v Stephen Maguire (14)
Ronnie O’Sullivan (6) v David Gilbert (11)
Mark Selby (7) v Ding Junhui (10)
Neil Robertson (2) v Barry Hawkins (15)
A spokesman for the World Snooker Tour said: “Snooker fans around the world will be missing our sport’s biggest tournament later this month, but this could be the next best thing, especially for anyone who loves video games.
“It’s a chance to get behind your favourite player, follow the action every day and marvel at the skills of the best exponents of Snooker 19.”
The gamer in the guise of the snooker professional, will be invited to the Crucible during the proper World Championship to collect a trophy. He or she will also win a cue signed by the world’s top players and a gold edition of the game on PlayStation 4.
All matches will be broadcast on World Snooker Tour’s YouTube and Facebook channels.
Perhaps this tournament will produce a surprise winner or will Judd Trump lift the title for the second year in a row?
As for the actual World Championship, the plan is to hold it in some capacity over the summer months at the Crucible with Barry Hearn reportedly suggesting a start date of July 25.
Featured Image: Snooker 19/PlayStation 4