Yan Bingtao became the first millennium-born player to qualify for the World Snooker Championship after winning through the final qualifying round at Ponds Forge on Wednesday, while Peter Ebdon held his nerve in a nail-biting last-frame decider.
Seventeen year-old Bingtao continued his blistering run of form to overcome Swiss hopeful Alexander Ursenbacher 10-4 and seal his spot in Thursday's First Round draw.
The Chinese prodigy, a World Cup winner in 2015, pressed home an early 6-1 advantage with further breaks of 55 and 72 in becoming the second youngest ever player (behind Luca Brecel) to appear in the sport's show-piece.
Ebdon, the 2002 World Champion, produced a resilient display to deny Michael Holt in a tense last-frame decider and secure a 24th Crucible appearance in 25 years.
The 46-year-old had established a 6-3 lead following the opening session, but only for Holt to hit back with five frames on the spin and turn the match on its head.
Ebdon, though, dug deep in trademark fashion to level up at 8-8 and 9-9, before seizing upon multiple missed chances from his opponent by eventually firing in a superb final black to clinch victory.
"I'm delighted to win but I don't think I deserved to," admitted Ebdon. "Once I calm down I'm sure I'll be delighted to be back because it means so much.
"Although I'm a very quiet person I'm also a very emotional person and I feel as though I'm able to draw upon that emotional energy when I need to."
Gary Wilson was one of three players to secure a debut in this year's World Championship in the afternoon session as he closed out a commanding 10-3 triumph over Michael White.
Wilson, who produced a 147 break in the opening round, kicked on from a 6-3 overnight advantage to win four frames without reply from the quick-fire Welshman.
"I'm really chuffed," said Wilson. "It was just about holding myself together and getting over the line as it was in the back of my head that this would be my first time at The Crucible.
"Every player wants to get to The Crucible - it's every player's dream who picks up a cue so this was the biggest match of my career," he added.
Yorkshireman David Grace also sealed his first trip to the home of snooker following a 10-3 victory over Thailand's Akani Songsermsawad.
The 2015 UK Championship semi-finalist pressed home a 6-3 interval lead with a high break of 71 in wrapping up a further four frames without reply to reach the winning line.
"It hasn't really sunk in yet," admitted Grace. "I've been dreaming about this and every time it's come into my head I've tried to keep myself in check."
"You can't call yourself a snooker player until you've played at The Crucible so it's going to be one off the snooker bucket list," he added.
Luca Brecel booked his place in the main event for the first time since 2012 after a 10-5 victory over two-time quarter-finalist Dominic Dale.
The Belgian ace sealed the deal with an 87 break and said: "It's a good win by a big margin so I'm happy. I was expecting to win and I feel very calm."
After qualifying automatically as a top 16 seed last year, Martin Gould rubber-stamped an immediate return to The Crucible after a 10-7 defeat of Yu Delu which featured high breaks of 136 and 129 from the former German Masters winner.
Chinese prospect Xiao Guodong confirmed his second stint in the World Championship on the back of a 10-4 victory over Northern Ireland Open champion Mark King.
Jimmy Robertson will grace the Crucible carpet for the third time after dispatched methodical cueist Rod Lawler 10-6 with high breaks of 80, 68 and 53 in the closing session.
Betfred World Championship Qualifiers 2017 Results
Wednesday April 12
Mark King 4-10 Xiao Guodong
Akani Songsermsawad 3-10 David Grace
Luca Brecel 10-5 Dominic Dale
Gary Wilson 10-3 Michael White
Michael Holt 9-10 Peter Ebdon
Rod Lawler 6-10 Jimmy Robertson
Yan Bingtao 10-4 Alexander Ursenbacher
Yu Delu 7-10 Martin Gould