The final round of ESL Open Cups in the 2020-21 ESL Pro Tour saw Zest pull off one last successful double dip on Monday, winning both the Korean and American editions of the tournament. Meanwhile, Europe celebrated a first-time champion with MaNa to close out the 2020-21 season.
Zest really delivered quite the sprint towards the end of the season, achieving regular success on the Korean as well as the American server over the last couple of weeks. Crowning himself the reigning champion over the break was once again no easy feat, as the Raise Your Edge Gaming player had to overcome Dream, his great ESL Open Cup Americas rival PartinG, and Trap to claim the throne.
Zest's victory actually propelled him up one place in the final medal counts for the season. While Afreeca Freecs Stats ranks first in the Korean table with nine gold medals, Zest and Solar share second place with each of them having collected eight wins. Third place is claimed by Trap with five victories. Protoss clearly dominated the Korean region's weekly cup, with the most wins and overall medals going to them, Zerg coming second and Terran a very distant third. Scarlett remains the only foreigner to have won a Korean cup this season. Afreeca Freecs lead the team ranking thanks to a large roster and their players performing well in the ESL Open Cups.
The third edition of the European ESL Open Cup finally showed the spectators something new, as favorites HeRoMaRinE and Clem were taken out before their usual rendezvous in the finals of the tournament. The German had to concede a series to Harstem in the Ro16, while the Frenchman had to bow to his Team Liquid colleague and eventual winner of the competition MaNa in the semifinals after a truly tough match for both players. In a good day for Liquid, three out of the last remaining quartet of players came from the organization, with Lambo bringing up the only non-TL element. The finals did turn out to be a teamkill, as MaNa and Harstem went up against each other in a dominant PvP series from the Polish player, showing once again his prowess in that particular match-up to claim his maiden victory in the tournament.
Naturally, there is no question about HeroMarine dominating the final standings, taking the highest spot with an incredible 23 wins and 31 top-two placements overall. Clem and ShoWTimE share second place with eight wins for each of them, Reynor completes the podium on the third rank with seven victories to his name. Germany dominates the country standings with Big Gabe, ShoWTimE and Lambo (and a single contribution from GunGFuBanDa) earning 32 victories and 50 medals overall. Correspondingly, mousesports, Team Liquid and Berlin International Gaming make up the top three teams of the season, while Terran obviously won the most tournaments, followed by Protoss.
Zest followed the tradition of the Korea server winner by going for the douple-dip in the American edition. It's a feat more often attempted than actually achieved (only completed by Solar and Zest himself before this), but Zest pulled it off at the very end. Zest almost didn't make it into the finals, having a near-death experience against Alpha X player Nice in the semifinals, as the Taiwanese player took a 2-1 lead in their series, but failed to close it out in the end. Solar made his way through the other side of the bracket, dispatching his rival PartinG in the semis to have a shot at taking over the first spot in the rankings in the very last minute. Zest, though, was still in best mode from his run in Korea and took a solid 3-1 over the KaiZi Zerg.
Accordingly, Solar and PartinG share first place in the American server win rankings with a tally of ten wins per players. Clem comes second with six gold medals thanks to his own tendency to play both the European and American cups earlier on in the season before the time change of the tournament, while Zest himself managed to claim third place with four victories. South Korea leads the country rankings with 28 wins followed by France with 8 gold medals and the USA with six successes. Among the teams, Dragon Phoenix Gaming has beaten Team Liquid and KaiZi Gaming by one win to take first, Raise Your Edge Gaming coming in third. Here as in Korea, Protoss dominated the season with the most first places, beating out Zerg and Terran in this order.
The worldwide crown goes to HeroMarine with his 23 gold medals, followed by Solar with a combined 18 wins and Clem completing the podium with 14 victories. Solar and Zest are the only players to have won two cups on the same day, both of them even managing to do this two times. South Korea (140 medals), Germany (52 medals) and France (34 medals) were the most successful countries of the season, while mousesports (32 medals), Team Liquid (37 medals) and the Afreeca Freecs as well as Dragon Phoenix Gaming (both 28 medals) reached the podium in the team ranking. With the broad consensus amongst fans and players being very positive towards the ESL Open Cups throughout the year, they can rightly be argued to be one of the best and most important additions to the scene in 2020.
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 #53 concludes ESL Open Cups for the 2020-21 season of the ESL Pro Tour. Cups will continue to be held in the coming weeks, but they will cease to award points until April 5th and the start of the 2021-22 ESL Pro Tour season. Prize money will continue to be awarded as per usual.
European Server Cup #53 (Click for full bracket)
Americas Server Cup #53 (Click for full bracket)
Liquid+ members can check in here!