• 2020 Scottish Open Snooker Preview - Tournament Format, Players, TV channels and live stream

    Published Tuesday 17 November 2020 2:12pm

    7 min read

    The Scottish Open is now a fully established ranking event, we round up everything you need to know about the upcoming 2020 tournament.
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By Kurt Edwards

The Scottish Open, unlike many others this season, is place in its normal early December spot, taking place between the 7th and 13th of December. Due to the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic however, this year’s event will not actually take place in Scotland but instead will be behind closed doors in Milton Keynes.

The total prize pot for 2020 is reported to be £405,000, with the winner taking a cool £70,000 slice of the pie.

Scottish Open History

The Scottish Open has been an on and off fixture of the ranking calendar for decades now and has featured a few different formats. It was reintroduced as a ranking event in 2016 after a 12-year absence as part of the ‘Home Series’ alongside the Welsh Open, English Open and Northern Ireland Open. It is usually the 3rd ‘Home Series’ event of the season.

The 4 seasons it has been played so far since reintroduction has seen 4 different winners; Marco Fu (2016), Neil Robertson (2017), Mark Allen (2018), and Mark Selby (2019) and no player has even made the final twice.

Last year’s final saw an all English affair between Mark Selby and Jack Lisowski. It was a very tightly contested tie early on, but Mark Selby took 3 frames in a row to close out the morning session to put him out in the lead. He would go on to hold on to this lead for the rest of the match, eventually taking it 9 frames to 6.

Tournament structure - Order of Play, Frames & Players

The tournament features the top 128 players in the World Rankings, meaning the eventual winner will have to win 8 matches to take home the trophy. The draw is seeded so the top 32 players in the World Rankings theoretically should have an easier run to the final stages.

The first 4 rounds are a best of 7 frames format, and after that the matches start to gradually increase in length. The quarterfinals are a best of 9, the semi-finals are best of 11 whilst the final of the Scottish Open is best of 17.

When is the Scottish Open being played?

The Scottish Open is being played 7-13th December 2020.

Check out our Live Snooker TV schedule for more details.

What TV channel is showing the Scottish Open snooker?

The Scottish Open is being broadcast live on Eurosport and free-to-air channel Quest.

How can I stream the Scottish Open snooker?

You can watch online via the Eurosport Player or on Sky Go if you have a subscription.

Players to watch

Mark Selby

Last years Champion Mark Selby is one of the favourites to repeat this feat again. ‘The Jester from Leicester’ seems to have been around forever now and is always a good bet to go deep into tournaments. Now an 18-time ranking event Champion, Selby has a great chance to become the first player to win this event twice since it is reintroduction to the Snooker Calendar.

Jack Lisowski

It is a slightly different story for last year’s runner up, Jack Lisowski. ‘The Big Lisowski’ has now been knocking on the door of Snookers elite for a few years but has not managed to make that breakthrough and has still never won a ranking event nor has he ever broke into the World top 10. It would be a surprise if the Englishman could repeat last year’s accomplishments.

Judd Trump

World Number 1 Judd Trump is in with a great chance of taking the Scottish Open this year. Trump has begun to dominate ranking events and ever since his 2019 World Championship win has looked in a class of his own at times. He took 6 ranking events last season and has already taken the English Open this season.

The Juddernaut has never won the Scottish Open before, losing in the semi-final on 3 previous occasions, but has a great chance of breaking that duck this time round.

Ronnie O’Sullivan

The Rocket is currently world number 2 and the reigning World Champion and looks as good as ever when he is on form. However, as always with Ronnie you simply just do not know which player will turn up, if he is in the mood, he could be unstoppable.

Another little caveat is that O’Sullivan now only turns out for tournaments that he wants to, and it remains to be seen if he will commit to playing in this year’s Scottish Open.

Neil Robertson

2017 winner, and perennial top 5 player Neil Robertson is now ranked World Number 3 and will be backing himself to go all the way at the Scottish this year. The Aussie has had ranking event wins sprinkled throughout his career and is always a consistent performer. This is the exact type of event that the former World Champion has thrived on throughout his career so you can expect him to be up there come the end of the week.

Kyren Wilson

One of the most exciting young players on the circuit, Kyren Wilson has managed to rise to number 5 in the World Rankings with some majorly impressive performances. After knocking on the door of the big leagues for a while, his World Championship final appearance (which he would eventually go on to lose to Ronnie O’Sullivan) seems to have been the springboard he needed to take him to the next level.

Confidence seems to be sky high and he has recently won the Championship League as well as reaching the latter stages of other ranking events, hitting it a great run of form, putting him in a prime seat for the Scottish.

Our Predictions

Judd Trump and Ronnie O’Sullivan have been a step above of the rest of the field in recent years, and are probably the two clear favourites going in. However, snooker events very rarely go the way you expect, and this is especially true with the Scottish Open which historically has some surprising winners. Throw in the fact that these days there is also the little caveat of whether Ronnie will actually show up or not, and you have a really open competition on your hands.

As well as the players mentioned in the preview there is a slew of other top players all vying for the title, including Shaun Murphy, John Higgins, and previous winner Mark Allen. Any number of players could realistically be in a chance of winning this title.