As the online monsters of Korea wrestled for their home title, the ESL Open Cups on the European and the American servers found themselves crowning back to back champions. With an elite cadre of players playing musical chairs in the top spots, one has to wonder if any new powers will emerge to disrupt the proceedings.
Two beasts prowl in Korea's online tournaments: Online Cure and Online Zest. Last week's ESL Open Cup was won by the DPG Terran, and so naturally Zest had to avenge this daring incursion into his territory by a demonstration of force—though, truth be told, not much force was necessary: the list of notable participants was rather short, and Zest only had to face one of his countrymen on the way to the title, namely PartinG, whom he defeated in the finals. After the competition in the Korean cups had picked up a bit in the last weeks, this one's level fell down quite a bit again, as perhaps players are starting to focus on their GSL groups and are less willing to show strategies in these online tournaments.
Ever fierce was the competition on the European server, where Reynor was able to continue his winning streak and secured his third ESL Open Cup victory in a row, equalizing HeroMarine's record. It certainly looks like the magic is gone for the German, as he fell victim to his nemesis Clem in the quarterfinals this time, making a very early exit. The French Terran went on to challenge Reynor in the finals and put up quite a strong fight, really making the Italian work for his money and glory. Europe will look to him in the coming week to depose the new tyrant, and give life to the old cry 'vive la liberté!'
Clem was quite busy this Sunday, because having come close to defeat Reynor wasn't enough for him: as usual, he also participated in the NA server cup and reached the finals there, but for a second week in a row he ultimately fell to PartinG (who himself had already reached the finals of the Korean cup). Four of the six spots in this Sunday's finals were taken up by only two players! Also notable is that last week's improved American results, which gave fans hope that perhaps one of the home players could make a deeper run this week, were possibly a simple fluke. Only one American managed to make the top 8 this Sunday. With another round of cups done, all of this week's winners—Zest, Reynor, and PartinG—were able to improve their gold medal count to three per player. Still the top dog in this regard is HeroMarine with double that number.
ESL Open Cup winners earn $100 in prize money and 10 ESL Pro Tour points. Players who finish second earn 5 ESL Pro Tour points. Week #13 of ESL Open Cups is set to take place on April 12th.
European Server Cup #13 (Click for full bracket)
Americas Server Cup #13 (Click for full bracket)