Dark secured a back-to-back win in the ESL Open Cup Korea, making it three wins in three appearances. In Europe, Clem completed a hat-trick by winning the third cup in succession, while Scarlett made an absolutely flawless run to lock down her first victory on the American server ever since Week #3.
After the previous week's surge in participants, the ESL Open Cup Korea went back to normal size, but one of the heavy hitters stayed on for another week. Dark, usually not especially keen on online tournaments, chose to defend his title, and went through foreign Terrans TIME and SpeCial to reach the finals, keeping his rate of making it to the ultimate series when appearing in these cups at 100%. Regular participant and winner of the tournament Solar, whose title Dark claimed in the week before, challenged the DPG Zerg with the intention of taking it back. Dark, however, remained cool after his opponent from KaiZi Gaming took the first map off him and went on to secure three victories in a row to defend his status. Three appearances, three gold medals—whatever Dark's motivation behind participating more in the ESL Open Cups is (securing additional EPT points seems likely, after his disappointing record in point-awarding tournaments this year), his campaign is going pretty well so far.
In the history of the ESL Open Cups, this is only the second time that HeRoMaRinE hasn't won a cup for a five week stretch, the first such period happening between Cups #11 and #15 when Reynor started to partake. Clem has gained the biggest advantage from Big Gabe's dry spell (which continued this week, the Terran losing to Vanya early on), being able to secure a third win in a row this Monday, joining HeroMarine and Reynor in achieving this feat. Cup #41 had a relatively comfortable bracket in store for the Frenchman, including his by now traditional weekly duel with Danish youngster MaxPax—perhaps beating the Protoss is some sort of lucky charm for him? The Liquid player's final opponent was Lambo this week, with the German Zerg making his first appearance in the finals since Week #27. Lambo was even able to secure the initial game for himself, but things fell apart for him afterwards, Clem taking the next three maps to close the series out.
European players seem to have collectively decided not to invade the American server this week (only Nitix and Mapu apparently didn't get the memo), leaving the field to Solar, who had already won the two latest tournaments of the region and looked to complete the hat-trick. The Korean's campaign was off to a great start, but met a sudden and unexpected end at the hands of PiLiPiLi, who went on all the way to secure his second ever appearance in the finals (having already won a shocking victory in Week #33). Overall, however, there was no serious competition for the title, since Canadian Zerg Scarlett showed a dominating performance throughout the whole tournament and secured the win without dropping a single map, having torn through her side of the bracket and then ending all of PiLiPiLi's dream of a second gold medal without any mercy. This marks her first win in the American edition of the ESL Open Cups since all the way back in Week #3, which was in January.
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 #42 of ESL Open Cups is set to take place on October 26th.
European Server Cup #41 (Click for full bracket)
Americas Server Cup #41 (Click for full bracket)