First I would like to understand exactly how they are unfair. The qualifiers who compete in them lose no money or ranking points should they lose. they get exactly the same amount of both as they would get should they lose to the seed, and if they can't beat an amateur, I don't expect them to beat the seeds. In fact as sponsoring money is paid by the match, they have the opportunity to win some more should they win their wilcard match.
Next, the argument that this round is unnecessary in China is often supported by "the game is big enough there", it doesn't need the promotion. Well, sorry, but the game does need all the promotion it can get. If it had been better promoted to sponsors, broadcasters and venues manager when it was at his peak in UK we may never have known as big a slump as it went through in the first decade of the 2000. Opportunities must be seized when they are available. I thought that seeing the young Lu Haotian (14), Zhou Yuelong (14) and Lu Ning (18) giving a very good account of themselves against seasoned pros was the best possible add to encourage kids to take on the game. Probably players like Jin Long - 30 and a former pro - shouldn't be there (*) but the young lads were great to watch.
Actually I think that the wildcard rounds in countries where there aren't players able to compete decently with the pros are worse than this one. It's not nice to see the local lads getting a complete hiding. Local players and local support are important even in UK and Ireland btw. When in Killarney earlier this season, the best attended day was the amateur round with friends and families flocking to watch "their" player and the only well really attended matches were those involving David Hogan or Ken Doherty. And why do you think qualifs match involving Welsh players are taken to the venue in the Welsh Open? (**) It's human nature and why not take it into account?
(*) Nothing at all against Jin Long. He tried his hardest and, having been invited, did a great job of it.
(**) now that might be seen as unfair as well by the other qualifiers. Again sponsoring money will be much higher for a match on telly at the venue, than for a match in a cubicle in front of the ref and at most 4 people.
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