Week #74 of the ESL Open Cups had Zest making a very strong attempt at winning all three regional cups in the same week as he claimed the crown both in the Korean and American edition, but just fell short in Europe, where Reynor celebrated his first victory of the current season.
Korea had a bit of a weird week with just a handful of Koreans actually participating in the tournament with Zest really being the only heavy-hitter to go for it—certainly a surprising lull with EPT Points and more prize money on the line now. As things went, Zest fought his way through Rex and Cyan into the finals, where the Protoss clashed with SpeCial to decide the victor of this severely depleted melee. Though, 'clashed' might be a strong word for the dominating performance the Dragon Phoenix Gaming player delivered, beating his Mexican opponent 3-0 to claim the Korean crown, which went to a DPG member for the fourth week in a row. This was also Zest's third finals in a row in this tournament series, but he lost the decisive bout to his team mate Dark in both previous weeks.
In the aftermath of DH Masters EU, champion Clem and another notable name in ShoWTimE took a little break from this week's ESL Open Cup, which didn't dent the excitement of the line-up as we gained a rare Reynor participation in their stead. The reigning world champion managed to make his way to his first win of the season almost in a flawless manner, defeating his own brother BabyMarine, ShaDoWn and Gerald to reach the semis. Here, in a surprise appearance, NA champion Neeb challenged Europe's runner-up, but the Zerg quickly quelled the foreign invasion and demonstrated Europe's superiority, losing just a single map in the process. Reynor's final opponent ended up being HeRoMaRinE, who seemingly regained his ESL Open Cup mojo and reached his fourth finals in as many weeks by taking down goblin, his countryman Lambo, who had a spectacular run at DH Masters, and then... Zest! The Korean had apparently decided to attempt what no one could so far do and win all three ESL Open Cups in the same week, taking down Krystianer and Denver to get into the semis. Big Gabe had big ambitions himself, however, and left no space for the Korean's dreams to blossom, eliminating the Protoss 3-0 before falling to Reynor in the ultimate series of the tournament by the same score.
Zest turned his attention to the American edition of the tournament—much easier prey due to the friendlier server conditions. Solar and Cure wanted to make up for the missed Sunday cup and dominated the bottom side of the bracket, taking down Nice and Gerald to clash with each other in the semis, where Cure took a solid 3-1 win over the KaiZi Gaming Zerg. Zest managed to put together another very strong run, defeating Rex, Scarlett and Astrea to enter his second NA finals in a row. Cure gave him a tough challenge indeed and took a 2-1 lead, but as his team mate was unable to close the series out, Zest came back strong on Oxide and 2000 Atmospheres to claim victory number two this week—quite an adventure. Overall, with two wins and one semifinal appearance in a week, Zest tied Solar's week #42 for the best ever tri-region result.
Thanks to the partnership with Shopify, ESL Open Cup winners earn $250 in prize money and 10 ESL Pro Tour points. Players who finish second earn 5 ESL Pro Tour points and $150. A top 4 finish guarantees at least $100, reaching the top 8 pays out $50. Edition #75 of the ESL Open Cups will take place on the 13th (Korea) and the 14th of June (Europe and America).
European Server Cup #74 (Click for full bracket)
Americas Server Cup #74 (Click for full bracket)