In Week #68 of the ESL Open Cups the Korean region fell under the dominion of Dark, while Europe continued to be dominated by Clem, who secured his fourth win in a row. Solar re-took the reins in the American edition after his lapse of control in the previous week.
Both Dark and his former team mate PartinG cruised through their respective sides of the bracket without losing a map until they clashed in the finals, each of them overcoming an Alpha X Protoss player in the semis. The Zerg had to contend with the greater threat in Zoun, while PartinG had to face Nice. Dark set the tone of the deciding series from the beginning, taking the first two maps before his opponent could strike back and gain a foothold. The win on Oxide was not enough for PartinG to take control away from the Zerg, however, as Dark finished him off on Jagannatha to secure his first win ESL Open Cup victory of the current season—including, most importantly, ten EPT Points.
The créme de la créme of the European scene once again gathered for another ESL Open Cup free for all brawl on Monday, Clem coming out on top of this most royale battle for the fourth time in a row—defeating his rival Reynor in the finals for the second time in this season. Apart from the world-class final showdown, the semis also delivered some EU classics with Reynor having to go through ShoWTimE and Clem being thrown into a rematch of the previous week's finals against HeRoMaRinE. The Frenchman completely overwhelmed the mousesports player and found his form just in time for the decisive series of the day, as in the previous rounds he dropped maps to both Goblin and MarineLorD. On the other side of the bracket, die Mauer managed to steal one map away from the Italian Zerg, but was overcome in the following three matches. Ironically, Reynor faced the same fate in the finals, winning 2000 Atmospheres and then being pressed through Clem's meatgrinder three games in a row.
A short interregnum by Has in the previous week served the inhabitants of the American server with a different overlord for a change, but Solar returned to reclaim his throne on Monday with an effective campaign of reconquest. Taiwan could not hold the reins in Week #68, Solar taking out Nice personally, while the defending champion fell to MaxPax, who also eliminated PartinG from the struggle before being defeated by Solar. Astrea was the first player from the US to reach the finals in the current season, taking down Armani and SKillous on the way there in hard-fought series. The Alpha X player also forced a decisive game against Solar, pushing the ZvP expert to his limits, though he eventually succumbed to the swarm's relentless advance. Marking his second successful expedition to the Americas this season, both Solar and Clem are slowly but steadily encroaching on HeRoMaRinE's overall gold medal count in this tournament series.
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. Edition #69 (sigh ... nice!) of the ESL Open Cups will take place on the 2nd (Korea) and the 3rd of May (Europe and America).
European Server Cup #68 (Click for full bracket)
Americas Server Cup #68 (Click for full bracket)