The Big Gabe Cup continues! While HeroMarine achieved his second hat-trick in the ESL Open Cup EU, Stats arrived on the Korean server to upset the balance of power in a debut victory. The AM server cup finals ended up being an all-French affair, with Clem toppling PtitDrogo.
Making his very first participation in the ESL Open Cup KR count, Stats claimed a solid victory to begin the road to recovery after his recent GSL Code S elimination. The cup was incredibly foreigner-heavy, making Stats' toughest challengers SpeCial and Scarlett. The Canadian Zerg got a notable result by beating one member of Korea's online-triumvirate in Zest, showing a mix of her cheesy play and of good old macro-Scarlett to reach the finals. She was able to steal a map from Stats with another aggressive build, but the Protoss stayed solid in the other matches, overpowering her with his Glaive-based playstyle.
Almost mirroring the previous week's top 4, the ESL Open Cup EU featured an all-German finals between HeroMarine and a German Protoss, though the opposing role was played by ShoWTimE this week. Meanwhile the Team Liquid duo of Clem and Harstem were narrowly eliminated in the semi-finals. The series between ShoWTimE and Clem specifically turned out to be an amazing PvT, and especially the first game is much recommended (VOD). Notably, the match between Harstem and Big Gabe featured a Mech game on Eternal Empire (VOD), continuing the trend of Terrans bringing out Mech on this map in TvP. Despite his fantastic series against Clem, ShoWTimE could not survivethe onslaught by his countryman, whose play heavily featured one of the freshest and deadliest tools in the Terran arsenal—the quick and early tech to Drilling Claws popularized by Cure. This is HeroMarine's second triple win streak in the EU cups and his ninth victory over all, bringing Germany up to 20 medals in these cups, with only South Korea towering above them with 35 medals.
It's been four weeks since Clem last won an ESL Open Cup, so it was long overdue for the Frenchman to score another victory after his repeated semi-finals eliminations on the EU and the NA server in the last weeks. Turning the top 4 of last week's cup on its head, both Clem and his countryman PtitDrogo—a regular duo in the ESL Open Cup AM—pushed themselves into the finals this week, overcoming Week 18 finalist SpeCial (who really seems to have warmed to these cups, even participating in two this week), and the dominator of the NA ladder PartinG. The Liquid player confirmed his status as the heavy favorite, taking a decisive win over his fellow Frenchman.
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 #19 of ESL Open Cups is set to take place on May 17th.
European Server Cup #18 (Click for full bracket)
Americas Server Cup #18 (Click for full bracket)