In a clash of world champions, Rogue won his first gold medal in the ESL Open Cup Korea on Monday. In Europe, ShoWTimE secured his eighth ESL Open Cup victory, while the American server cup remained in the iron grasp of Solar for the fourth consecutive tourney.
One of the most stacked editions of the ESL Open Cup Korea ended with a fitting final duel, as world champions Rogue and Dark clashed at the very end. The road to the finals was a tough one for both players, Rogue having to contend with Firefly, last week's winner Dream and the ever dangerous ByuN, who couldn't manage to finish the Jin Air Zerg off after taking a 2-1 lead in their series. Dark had to survive ZvZ duels with Rex and Armani before also overcoming a high-calibre Terran in TIME with a close 3-2 score. A bit more than a month before, Dark and Rogue had already met in the finals of one of these cups, back then the Dragon Phoenix Gaming player was able to come out victorious. This time, Rogue struck back decisively after losing the first map, taking three games in a row to secure his very first ESL Open Cup gold medal.
Beating HeRoMaRinE always seems to be a pretty good omen for souL in terms of making it to the finals of the ESL Open Cup Europe. However, actually winning it in the end against anyone else has proven impossible for the Polish Terran. Very strong performances against Bly, Big Gabe and MaNa secured souL's ticket to the finals, but an immovable obstacle awaited him there in the form of another German. ShoWTimE didn't have a single top four finish in the six weeks after his victory in Week #38, but that didn't stop him from coming back with an absolutely impeccable showing on Monday—really, no one else compares to ShoWTimE when it comes to winning these tournaments without a map loss. This achievement is especially remarkable since the only notable players he faced until meeting souL in the finals were Protoss players. After a string of flawless PvP victories over HolyHit, Krystianer, Harstem and SKillous, ShoWTimE clinched the weekly title with a sweep over the Polish Terran. Die Mauer secures his eighth gold medal in the European tournament, putting him further ahead of Clem and Reynor in the victory count.
Solar does simply not get tired of winning, taking a fourth victory in the ESL Open Cup America in a row. The Korean Zerg has triumphed in six of the latest seven cups on the North American server, only suffering an early defeat in Week #41 at the unlikely hands of PiLiPiLi. This time, no such hero was found to stop the KaiZi Gaming player, but his countryman Armani did come as close as it gets to ending Solar's streak, taking a 2-0 lead in the finals. In the event, however, he lacked the ability to finish the series, giving Solar the chance to claw his way back into it with one win after another until he eventually completed the reverse sweep. The winner's way into the finals was relatively comfortable, only meeting serious resistance in the semi-finals with MaxPax, who managed to take a map off the Korean before falling. The young Dane once again put together an impressive run before being eliminated, defeating uThermal and Dream. Armani had a tougher path ahead of him, dealing with two strong Protoss opponents in Patience (who had a little Alien Invasion-reunion one round earlier) and Nice. With Solar's win, he finally leaves PartinG in the dust, climbing to an uncontested first place in the American rankings.
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 #46 of ESL Open Cups is set to take place on November 23rd.
European Server Cup #45 (Click for full bracket)
Americas Server Cup #45 (Click for full bracket)