This week in the ESL Open Cup Korea, Stats returned to win his seventh gold medal and catch up in the leadership contest of the region. German domination continued in Europe, where HeRoMaRinE took over the reins from a countryman, while the American region could almost be confused with a Super Tournament qualifier this week, with Dream topping a stacked field of participants.
The Shield of Aiur once again ended an ESL Open Cup campaign triumphant, though it is quite fair to say, that he clearly had a much weaker bracket to contend with, than his final opponent Rogue. Whereas Stats merely had to defeat Creator and SpeCial, which he managed to do without breaking a sweat, the Jin Air Zerg had to eliminate Dream and Dark, which he also was able to achieve without a map loss—an impressive run. That did not help him in the end, however, as the Afreeca Protoss proved to be the man of the day, recovering quickly from the starting defeat inflicted upon him by Rogue to take the next three maps in a row. With Rogue dethroned after a week-long reign, Stats secured title number seven in the ESL Open Cup Korea, once again equalizing his medal count in the tournament with that of Solar.
Flawless victory! HeroMarine reclaimed his throne on Monday's ESL Open Cup Europe after a one week interregnum by his countryman ShoWTimE, who kept the seat warm until Big Gabe could come back to retake it with an absolutely clean campaign: the Terran did not drop a single map during the entire run, eliminating AqueroN, Gerald, SortOf and MaNa to seal the deal on his 21st victory in the weekly cup. The previous week's victor could not defend his title, as MaxPax once again struck down a favourite in the PvP match-up, though Team Liquid's newest addition Kelazhur quickly ended any aspirations the young Dane might have had about making a deeper run. Speaking of Team Liquid, three of the top eight players competed under the horse banner, with MaNa scoring two team kills to reach the finals, leaving uThermal and Kelazhur in the dust.
The Polish Protoss player had such a good day, he decided to carry his momentum into the American edition of the ESL Open Cup as well, once again putting on a very solid showing as he was the one to finally defeat Solar, who had reigned over the region for four weeks straight. The tyrant-killer almost came close to making it to the finals a second time on the same day, taking the first two maps against Dream, but the Korean Terran kept his composure and clawed his way back into the series for the reverse-sweep. The Brave Star Gaming ace had already eliminated ByuN one round earlier and was to face off against Alpha X's rising star Zoun for the title. The Protoss had defeated his team mate RagnaroK as well as Mexico's finest in SpeCial and Cham to reach the finals, and now he got so very close to claiming his very first ESL Open Cup Americas gold medal. But just as Dream had lost the first two maps against MaNa and reversed his fortune, he turned the tide against Zoun after taking two map losses. With a top four of two Korean, one Mexican and one Polish player, the American cup once more showed its' qualities as a melting pot of global competition—and Dream was able to cook his first gold medal in the region.
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 #47 of ESL Open Cups is set to take place on November 30th.
European Server Cup #46 (Click for full bracket)
Americas Server Cup #46 (Click for full bracket)