WORLD No1 Neil Robertson hit out over playing conditions in Berlin after being sensationally dumped out of the German Masters by world No62 Tian Pengfei.
And the Chinese contingent got their New Year party started in style as pack leader Ding Junhui also took out two-time world champion Mark Williams.
Tian chalked up a shock 5-1 win at the Tempodrom over December’s UK Championship winner, with the 25-year-old claiming it was the biggest win of his career.
By reaching the last 16 Tian equalled his best ever run in a major event, and soon revealed all the Chinese players were heading straight out for a celebration meal.
But Robertson was fiercely critical of conditions on satellite tables around the main TV table in the arena – even threatening not to return to the tournament.
He said: “The table conditions just aren’t good enough away from the main table, I am going to have to think about whether I enter again in the future if that’s like this.
“I lost two frames directly from a kick that I got. The main arena table always plays well but the outside ones don’t, it’s a common occurrence here.
“And that is a shame because it is a brilliant event and arena in many ways, and the crowd are fantastic.
“It is happening too much for it to be just us making excuses. The kicks happen every year here, it is who gets them at the wrong time but Tian also played very well today.
“It’s like a PTC at the start, the tournament for me doesn’t become a proper ranking event until the quarter or semi-finals.”
Tian said: “I did beat Ronnie O’Sullivan at the China Open but that was as a wild-card, this time I am here on merit so it is the biggest win.
“I still think Neil is the best player in the world though. I played it one frame at a time.”
World No3 Ding, based in Sheffield, admitted his 5-1 win over Williams was like having to work over Christmas.
Ding, 26, said: “It is hard playing at this time, I don’t think players from Western countries would be happy playing on Christmas Day.”
Wales’s Ryan Day mounted a spirited comeback to beat Barry Hawkins 5-4, and Scotland’s Alan McManus showed young gun Jack Lisowski he can still play a bit, recovering from 2-0 down to record a 5-2 victory.