We got some streaks going! Week #21 of the ESL Open Cups saw back-to-back winners in the EU and AM editions with ShoWTimE and Clem claiming victory for a second time in a row. In Korea, Stats once again gave his fans something to cheer for after his Code S elimination, as he made an impressive run to win his second gold medal in the ESL Open Cups.
Stats had already won his debut cup in Week #18, but couldn't reach another final since then. This week, he managed to go all the way again, doing so in quite the impressive manner: not only did he defeat his AfreecaTV teammate DongRaeGu, he went 6-0 against Korean's other top Protosses in Trap and Zest. This comes right after a victory in the stacked Alpha X Code CD tournament, so Stats really seems like he's building himself up into a decent shape again after a disappointing GSL run.
In Europe, chaos engulfed the 21st edition of the ESL Open Cup, as apparently the tournament was started without proper seeding due to turnover in the admin staff. This led to a disproportionately strong bottom half of the bracket, where the last three cup winners ended up together. This, in turn, led to a Ro16 duel between HeRoMaRinE and Clem (typically a final four match), with the German suffering early elimination. It was ShoWTimE, however, who survived the bracket of death, defeating Clem in a convincing 3-0 series to reach the finals. Denver took advantage of the seeding turmoil to emerge from the upper half of the bracket, narrowly surviving a clash with SKillous in the semis. In the finals, ShoWTimE showed why he was the favorite in this pairing, delivering another crushing 3-0 upon Denver (who did put up a good fight) to secure his second ESL Open Cup victory in a row. In the medal count, this brings ShoWTimE up to three gold medals in the EU cups, equalizing his count with that of Clem and Reynor on a shared second place behind Big Gabe.
Once again, though, Clem really wasn't all that fazed by his failure to secure victory in Europe. After all, he could go to his usual routine of staying up late and playing in the Americas Cup—which is exactly what he did. Not dropping a single map during his run through the bracket, it seemed like Clem tried to finish the tournament as early as he could. While most of his opponents weren't exactly impressive names to face, 3-0'ing both Bly and PartinG—regular rivals for the AM crown—makes for a deserving victory to be sure. This marks the sixth gold medal for Clem in the AM server cups, and his second victory in a row. He had already put together a back-to-back streak earlier, so we'll have to wait for next week to see if he can finally get the hat-trick.
ESL Open Cup winners earn $200 in prize money and 10 ESL Pro Tour points. Players who finish second earn 5 ESL Pro Tour points and $100. A top 4 finish guarantees at least $50. Week #22 of ESL Open Cups is set to take place on June 8th.
European Server Cup #21 (Click for full bracket)
Americas Server Cup #21 (Click for full bracket)