Sports Business: Virtual World Snooker Championship to be live broadcasted online

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The Virtual Betfred World Championship will see 16 of Snooker 19’s top players, each representing one of snooker’s actual elite top 16, battling for the title between April 18 and May 4 at the simulated Crucible Theatre.

This year’s Betfred World Championship was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic but snooker fans can still tune in to see a virtual version of the sport’s biggest tournament. The virtual event will be run on the original tournament dates using snooker commercial rights owner World Snooker’s official video game Snooker 19.

WST, Ripstone and Lab42 have teamed up to run the virtual tournament, selecting 16 players who will compete on PlayStation 4 consoles.

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The winner of the event will be invited to the Crucible during the real-world tournament to be presented with the Virtual Betfred World Championship trophy.

All matches will be broadcast on WST’s YouTube and Facebook channels and tournament participants will be seeded according to the current world rankings.
The line-up of Snooker 19 players to represent each of the top stars will be announced shortly, along with the schedule of matches.

A spokesman for WST said: “Snooker fans around the world will be missing our sport’s biggest tournament later this month, but this could be the next bes

t 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.”

“This is a world first and we expect the standard of play from the 16 participants to be incredibly impressive, so we should have some great matches to look forward to.”

The tournament participants will be seeded according to the current world rankings, with the draw 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)

The line-up of Snooker 19 players to represent each of the top stars will be announced shortly, along with the schedule of matches.

The winner of the event will be invited to the Crucible during the real-world tournament to be presented with the Virtual Betfred World Championship trophy.

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