In the past, snooker has had three standout personalities that drew the crowds: Alex Higgins in the 1980's, Jimmy White in the early 90's, and Ronnie O'Sullivan from the late 90's through the 00's.
Snooker will survive perfectly fine beyond Ronnie, but I do think the game would benefit from another standout personality, as a sport often needs a player or team that they can get behind and excited about. That will be a different player for a lot of people as we all have our favourites, but there's going to be a guy who'll have more fans than anyone else, and often, a lot of dislikers too, which is totally understandable.
So, who's got the potential to do that?
Judd Trump: I think he's the standout contender if he can start making strides. Trump has great potential, and a few minor tournament wins, but it's disappointing that he only has one ranking semi-final to his name at this stage. Is game is very exciting, somewhat similar to the way Ronnie flicks the cueball around, and his personality is a bit edgy in that he divides opinion.
Liang Wenbo: I don't think he's good enough for a plethora of people to really get behind him, but Wenbo does seem a bit of a character. He's gotten quite a few laughs on his crucible appearances and gotten the crowd behind him, his outgoing nature the complete opposite to the more gifted Ding it would seem.
Luca Brecel: He's a young lad, but his personality is probably never going to be much to write home about. His game most certainly has the potential to be though, very, very raw and attacking.
Neil Robertson: Very nice guy, good image and a good man to promote the game, but his personality or game aren't really edgy enough for him to be a people's champion.
Mark Selby: He does seem to be a bit of a character, but a lot of people don't seem to appreciate his game like they probably should. His game is a bit misunderstood, to put it strangely, in my opinion. That said, he played a huge part in a couple of cracking Masters finals with Ronnie that gained him a few fans.
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- Snooker Idol: Ronnie OSullivan
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