It will be a serious business for O'Sullivan and the rest of snooker's leading players with the game's most coveted trophy and a £500,000 first prize on the line in Sheffield when the delayed tournament begins on Friday 31 July.
O'Sullivan has plenty of memories since first appearing at the Crucible as a teenager in 1993, but can also still enjoy the lighter side of the sport as a fan.
‘Hendry wants to prove he's the greatest’ – Snooker set for king's comeback special
- 'Several' players withdraw from the World Championship
- 'I'd encourage players to take a knee at Crucible' – Alfie Burden on snooker's fight against racism
- 'Brutal' – Neil Robertson puts snooker before family for world title dream; Ding Junhui will play
The five-times world champion – who is seeded sixth at this year's event – recalls watching a match between then defending world champion John Parrott and Tony Knowles in 1992 when Parrott benefited from a blunder by legendary referee Len Ganley on his way to a 13-4 win in the last 16.
"One of my favourite moments was a match between John Parrott and Tony Knowles. I remember watching it on the box," said O'Sullivan.
Best of The Rocket: Some recent O'Sullivan magic
"John Parrott was in a snooker on the brown. He missed it, and the referee said: 'foul four, and a miss'. Tony Knowles has said to the referee: 'Yeah, put the white back'.
"Parrott suddenly gets down to pot the brown, blue, pink and black to clear up. Knowlsey is going mad. He is saying to the referee: 'He couldn't see that brown.'
"Poor Knowlsey. He was getting out of his chair, and was fuming. But it was funny to watch."
O'Sullivan admits he became addicted to the sport when Dennis Taylor slotted the final black in his 18-17 win over Steve Davis in the 1985 World Championship final – a match watched by a record 18.5 million on BBC2 in the UK.
It came a year after his Eurosport punditry colleague Jimmy White had lost 18-16 to Davis in the 1984 final.
"I remember watching the tournament in 1984, but I remember really getting into it when I was nine or 10," said O'Sullivan.
"I was away somewhere, and was trying to check up on the scoreline in the 1985 final between Steve Davis and Dennis Taylor.
"That was my biggest and earliest memory of watching snooker at the Crucible. Of course, Dennis won 18-17. What a way to be encourage you to become good at the game."
Watch LIVE coverage of the 2020 World Championship and World Championship qualifiers live on Eurosport and Eurosport Player
World Championship first round draw
- Judd Trump Eng (1) v Qualifier
- Yan Bingtao Chn (16) v Qualifier
- Stephen Maguire Sco (9) v Qualifier
- Kyren Wilson Eng (8) v Qualifier
- John Higgins Sco (5) v Qualifier
- David Gilbert Eng (12) v Qualifier
- Jack Lisowski Eng (13) v Qualifier
- Mark Allen NI (4) v Qualifier
- Mark Williams Wal (3) v Qualifier
- Stuart Bingham Eng (14) v Qualifier
- Ding Junhui Chn (11) v Qualifier
- Ronnie O’Sullivan Eng (6) v Qualifier
- Mark Selby Eng (7) v Qualifier
- Shaun Murphy Eng (10) v Qualifier
- Barry Hawkins Eng (15) v Qualifier
- Neil Robertson Aus (2) v Qualifier
Gibraltar Open LIVE - Judd Trump cruises past Robbie Williams
'The best ever' – Higgins lauds O’Sullivan after winning title