The Duelbits Mosconi Cup was officially launched on Tuesday with the annual pre-tournament Press Conference, ahead of the 30th anniversary of the trans-Atlantic spectacle. Held at Alexandra Palace, London, between December 6th to 9th, viewers can watch live on Sky Sports in the UK & Ireland, DAZN in the United States, and various broadcasters around the world. The action kicked off with the official Duelbits Mosconi Cup Press Conference, as Team Europe and Team USA came face-to-face for the first time at Alexandra Palace. Hosted by Matchroom Multi Sport CEO Emily Frazer, special guest Matchroom Sport President Barry Hearn OBE was in attendance to mark the 30th iteration of the contest. Hearn said: “We are getting stuck into this game properly, the Mosconi Cup brings together 30 years of the best players in the world, without a shadow of a doubt. The support globally has been incredible and it is only going up. 30 years is not the end of this journey, this is the beginning.” The 75-year-old, who declared he will take part in the US Open for the very first time next year, also announced the formation of the game’s first professional world tour, starting from January 1st, where the World Nineball Tour Ranking’s top-128 players will be invited to join the journey as a full-time professional player. The Duelbits Mosconi Cup sees Team USA, under the stewardship of Jeremy Jones, take on Team Europe, captained by Ralph Eckert for the first time at the tournament. On his appointment, Eckert said: “I’ve always wanted to be a part of the Mosconi Cup, I’ve watched it from home for 30 years. Finally I’m here, I didn’t expect it so soon but I’m here now and ready. I’ve got a nice collection of number one players around me which makes this week even better – I might be the highest paid ball racker in the world!” Jones, who is returning for the fourth year as Team USA captain, said: “The team have been great leading up to the week. We had a great training camp before coming out here. We’ve put in a lot of work, had a lot of fun, and we’re in a great place. The Mosconi Cup has always been something special to me. I’ve looked forward to it every year regardless if I’m involved or not.” Skyler Woodward and Jayson Shaw were named as vice-captains for the tournament, a role both men are familiar with. Woodward, who was MVP on the last two occasions the Americans have won, said: “I love being vice-captain and helping out Jeremy, I’m here to help and push everybody. I like team sports, so I love the line up aspect of this event, I think about it all the time and what can be done to help the team ahead of this week.” Shaw, who qualified for the Duelbits Mosconi Cup with victory at the Hanoi Open, added: “It would be great to win five cups back-to-back, it’s not going to be easy though. We know they’ve got a great team this year. I’m not feeling any extra pressure with a new Captain, we’ve been having a lot of fun with the practice room.” The Glaswegian had a brief exchange with counterpart Fedor Gorst, who this year lines up for Team USA after switching his allegiance from Europe in October. Gorst said: “It really has been an incredible year for me. I didn’t expect to be sitting here on this side of the room at the start. I’m really happy with the way things have ended though. I’m looking forward to my new journey.” Having represented Team Europe behind closed doors in 2020, London marks the first time Gorst will step out in front of a European crowd since declaring for the Stars and Stripes. He added: “I’m trying to prepare for the atmosphere as best as I possibly can, but we will see how it goes down tomorrow!” World Nineball Tour #1 Francisco Sanchez Ruiz, who revealed he has signed new-exclusive deals with WNT sponsors Cuetec and Rasson, will mark his first appearance in front of a home crowd at the Mosconi Cup this week. He said: “It’s going to be very special for myself and David (Alcaide) with so many Spanish fans traveling to London, but I don’t feel extra pressure to perform in front of them, there is enough pressure already! I’ve never been here as a fan in London. I cannot wait to get out there.” Watch the 30th Anniversary Duelbits Mosconi Cup Press Conference in full here. There are a limited number of tickets remaining for the opening two days (Wednesday 6th and Thursday 7th) of the Mosconi Cup this week at Alexandra Palace. Secure your seat now!
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