Another weekly round of ESL Open Cups has come and gone, and with it Cure secured himself yet another double victory in both the Korean and American editions. Results differed quite heavily in Europe as GunGFuBanDa seized an unusual opportunity to secure his first victory of the season.
Cure took his third victory in a row in the ESL Open Cup Korea on Sunday, once again meeting and defeating his new team mate herO in battle before also disposing of Dream in a dominating semifinals performance. Cure's final hurdle was PartinG, who had taken down Has, SpeCial and NightMare on his way to the showdown at the summit. PartinG actually scored an impressive 2-0 win over Zest in an earlier round, leading to an early exit for the regular finalist. The Big Boy got an excellent start into the ultimate series of the tournament, quickly securing a 2-0 lead, but the law of Cure kicked in at this point, turning the result around and stopping PartinG from destroying the universe by making the Terran lose in an ESL Open Cup finals. Taking a quick look at how the military returners are doing, we can see two strong results for herO once again, who took clean wins over Creator and ByuN before falling to Cure, while GuMiho was taken down by Shopify's Terran early on.
Once in a while Europe delivers a really crazy ESL Open Cup, and last Monday, that time once again came. Of the favorites, defending champion HeRoMaRinE made the earliest exit, falling to Spatz in the Ro32, followed by Zest, who fell to MarineLorD, and Neeb, who got knocked out by souL. Clem made it safely to the quarterfinals, but there met his fate at the hands of German Protoss GunGFuBanDa, who managed to overcome the Frenchman in a victory that even surprised himself. One might have thought the road for a Lambo victory was open from there, but the Zerg could not overcome souL and had to leave it to GunGFuBanDa to eliminate the Polish Terran in a dominating 3-0 victory. On the other side of the bracket, uThermal made the most out of the vacuum left by Big Gabe's early demise and went all the way to the finals, but the Dutchman could not wrest the trophy from German hands. GunGFuBanDa traded maps with him one by one and with uThermal unable to the break the cycle, the Liquid player lost the decisive match on Blackburn—marking the first ever ESL Open Cup victory for GunGFuBanDa.
ESL Open Cup America featured the ESL Open Cup Korean Lite on the bottom side of the tournament tree with several players taking revenge for defeats inflicted on them the day before: Creator took out herO and Zest eliminated NightMare—who once again achieved a signal success by knocking out Astrea—though eventually both Protoss players fell to Cure, who emerged victorious from this side of the bracket to take his rightful shot at defending his title in the finals. The other half of the tournament featured a close duel between ForGG and Solar, won by the Zerg, and a strong run by Nice, who managed to defeat Solar to advance into the semifinals in his stead. There, his run ended without taking a map against a rampaging Clem, who had went through Rex and PartinG without dropping a map already—reminiscent of the old days, when the Liquid player would regularly play the American cup. Alas, Clem could not quite restore his former magic, because someone else seems to hold the monopoly on victories on the American server at the moment: Cure once again had to fight on all five maps to secure victory, but he did so with success, taking the fourth win in the ESL Open Cup America in a row. The DPG Terran has won seven of the latest twelve cups in all regions, once again putting some meat on the whole Online-Cure persona he's built up.
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 as well as 2 ESL Pro Tour points, reaching the top 8 pays out $50. Edition #80 of the ESL Open Cups will take place on the 18th (Korea) and the 19th of July (Europe and America).
European Server Cup #79 (Click for full bracket)
Americas Server Cup #79 (Click for full bracket)