Most professional pool tournaments have been removed from the 2020 calendar due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
One notable event remains, however, at least for now.
The 2020 Mosconi Cup.
Yes, plans for the biggest professional pool event of the year continue to move forward.
On July 29, Matchroom Pool, the organizers of the Mosconi Cup, floated a teaser on social media about “huge news dropping” early the following week, and on the first Monday of August, they followed through by announcing the first player for each team’s roster. Justin Bergman was selected to represent Team USA in his fifth Mosconi Cup appearance, while Fedor Gorst of Russia, one of the world’s best young players, will compete in his first.
Since no ranking events have been held since March when the pandemic began, Matchroom Pool and team captains Jeremy Jones (USA) and Alex Lely (Europe) decided to respect the achievements of players who competed in the ranking events that had taken place. It was agreed that the top player from each of the USA and European rankings would automatically qualify to play in the Mosconi Cup with the remaining four players selected as captain’s wildcards.
Bergman and Gorst were at the top of their respective rankings.
Matchroom later followed up by announcing Team Europe fan-favorite Jayson Shaw as a wildcard selection for Team Europe. Shaw will also return for his fifth Cup appearance.
The announcements were a clear indication that planning and preparation continue for this year’s Mosconi Cup, scheduled to take place Dec. 1-4 at Alexandra Palace in London, despite the pandemic.
Does that mean the event is guaranteed to take place?
Although the United Kingdom seems to be recording lower numbers of COVID cases, which would seem to bode well for the event being held outside London this year, there are still many unknowns such as will Team USA be able to enter the UK.
According to Matchroom, they are still hopeful and determined the Mosconi Cup will take place this year. They’re in discussions with the relevant organizations and personnel to stay up-to-date. Matchroom indicated their highest priority is the safety of everyone connected with the event, and that they are working hard to explore every avenue to make the event happen.
Another big question for the Mosconi Cup is whether fans might be allowed at the event IF an event is possible. The Mosconi Cup regularly draws thousands of spectators into a packed arena with a raucous crowd that often sings, chants and cheers in between virtually every shot. The audience and environment is one of the things that makes the Mosconi Cup so unique.
It’s clear that many questions still remain as to whether or not the Mosconi Cup will take place in 2020, and what the event might look like if it does. But after a year that has seen virtually every major pro tournament wiped off the calendar, Matchroom appears to be moving forward on a 2020 Mosconi Cup, an event that would no doubt bring some much-needed good news to pool fans across the globe.
Visit http://www.matchroompool.com/mosconi-cup/ for more info.