The pre-Christmas ESL Open Cup delivered a few surprises in the brackets, though the eventual victors are all familiar faces on the top of the podium: Zest claimed his seventh gold medal in the Korean edition, while Clem locked down another victory in Europe. On the American server, PartinG returned to his throne for the first time since August.
Neither Stats nor Solar made any progress in their contest to win the most ESL Open Korean Cups, as both took a break before the holidays. Zest gladly filled the vacuum left by the two top dogs and secured his seventh victory in the weekly tournament, keeping himself entrenched in third place in the Korean medal count. Things started off shaky for the Protoss as Firefly managed to take a map off him, but the Raise Your Edge Gaming player stabilized and put on a clinical performance against ByuN. The Terran surprisingly lost a map to Rex one round earlier, perhaps showing a bit of fatigue from having adapted his sleep schedule to TSL6. Zest faced some potentially tricky opponents in the final rounds, but was able to prevail against both SpeCial and Trap in solid 3-1 victories.
No HeRoMaRinE in the finals? Guess Clem must have gotten him in the semis? Huh, he didn't? He was eliminated when?! The 50th edition of the ESL Open Cup in Europe turned out quite unexpectedly, as Big Gabe went out in the Ro16 at the hands of his fellow German Spatz, who went on to almost reach his first top 4 placement in the weekly, but was denied such success by Bly. The Ukrainian put on one of those typical, impossible seeming runs of his, taking down Gerald and Neeb (what a 2020 classic this one has become!) to reach the finals, where he once again had some hilarious builds in store to dazzle both Clem and the viewers, coming back from an 0-2 deficit to even the series out. Clem was the one to close it out in the end, but ultimately Bly can be pretty happy with how his Monday went. The victorious Liquid player was able to equalize his gold medal count with ShoWTimE's, sharing the first place among players not named HeroMarine.
Long time no see, Mr. Big Boy! PartinG hadn't won a finals in the American ESL Open Cup ever since Cup #32 back in August, having to watch helplessly since then as Solar slowly ate up his lead in the gold medal ranking, finally overtaking him a few weeks back. Strong PvP fueled the former DPG player's run, as he took down Gerald, PiLiPiLi and Zest to claim victory number eight in this edition. The RYE Protoss went for the traditional double-dip of the Korean cup's winner, trying to also secure American gold. Keeping his own streak of four final appearances in a row going, Zest had lots of steam behind him after eliminating Solar 3-2, but the Big Boy turned out to be unstoppable this Monday. We'll see if this a sign for larger things to come and a return to form from PartinG, or if this was merely one erroneous blip on the radar.
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 #51 of ESL Open Cups is set to take place on December 28th.
European Server Cup #50 (Click for full bracket)
Americas Server Cup #50 (Click for full bracket)