The 80th edition of the ESL Open Cups gave us a historical result, as Korean players grabbed the crowns in all three regional tournaments for the first time ever with PartinG taking over Korea, Zest conquering America and, most impressively of all, Cure triumphing in Europe.
Surprisingly enough, it wasn't eventual champion PartinG who ended Cure's three week reign in Korea, but someone who had been taking repeated beatings from Cure in previous weeks. Recent military returnee herO finally managed to overcome his DPG teammate with a clean 2-0 win, possibly marking a turning point in his journey to recovering his pre-military form. herO still couldn't find his way into the top four, as PartinG was ready to exploit Cure's demise and eliminated herO from the competition, adding him to a list of victims including Percival and DongRaeGu. Ultimately, it came down to PartinG vs Zest in the finals, with Zest having walked a significantly easier path facing the likes of MeomaikA, Creator and Nice. At one time a free-win dispenser for Zest, PartinG extended his recent streak of wins against Zest to three series in a row with a 3-1 victory in the finals. In doing so, he ended his ESL Open Korea dry streak, winning his first cup title of the season in his home region.
Cure had shown some truly awesome cross-server performances at ungodly hours in the past, once qualifying for IEM Katowice 2020 out of the European server. So in terms of achieving the ESL Open Cup Triple—winning all three regions in the same week—he might be the only viable candidate. Alas, Cure was thwarted early on this week after losing in Korea, but he did further cement his reputation as a incredibly strong cross-server player by becoming the first Korean to ever win the European edition of the ESL Open Cup—and the second ever non-European to claim victory (Neeb being the first). The upsets started early in Cup #80: herO once more showed a promising result, taking down HeRoMaRinE before falling to goblin, while AqueroN eliminated Lambo before being defeated by uThermal. The Dutch Terran himself found his end at the hands of Cure, who had to overcome MaxPax in a close battle in the semis to reach the finals, avenging his team mate Zest, who was eliminated by the Dane. In the upper half of the bracket, MaNa went on a rampage, knocking out two favorites in his Liquid colleague Clem and ShoWTimE to advance into the semis. There, an inter-Polish duel ensued with MaNa losing out narrowly to souL. Despite the server advantage, souL was unable to even take a map off Cure, surrendering the European bastion to the Korean.
Managing to end Cure's four week long dominance of the ESL Open Cup America, Zest secured his third win of the season in the region, personally defeating his teammate in the semis after almost being reverse-swept. The DPG Protoss had already eliminated ForGG and Creator beforehand, once again winning the ESL Open Cup Korea Lite in the bottom half of the bracket. This also featured DRG taking down herO 2-1 and then losing to uThermal, who in turn had to bow to Cure once again. On the other side, Clem once again marched towards the finals with furious speed, trampling Trust, Has and Vanya without dropping a map. Just like in the previous week, however, the Frenchman could not recapture his old cup glory and lost the decisive bout to Zest, who beat the Terran with a 3-1 score to deny him taking the American crown for the first time this season.
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 #81 of the ESL Open Cups will take place on the 25th (Korea) and the 26th of July (Europe and America).
European Server Cup #80 (Click for full bracket)
Americas Server Cup #80 (Click for full bracket)