Edition #82 of the ESL Open Cups saw a mix-up at the top compared to the previous week with Zest proving himself best in Korea, HeRoMaRinE putting up a flawless performance in Europe and MaxPax winning in America for the first time since April.
Writing this without Cure's name being included in the list of winners does not feel quite right, but the Terran suffered a bit of a rotten week in terms of ESL Open Cup campaigns. His run in the Korean edition was cut short by a resurgent Leenock, who flew all the way into the semis on the back of this upset, but was stopped there by Solar. The KaiZi Gaming Zerg himself was challenged in the finals by Zest, who won by dominating 3-0 score to keep the Korean Cup inside the Dragon Phoenix Gaming family for the seventh week in a row. Participation was generally low this week (perhaps due to the GSL qualifiers having being scheduled for Monday and Tuesday), with Creator's takedowns of GuMiho and SpeCial as well as Leenock's triumph over Cure being the only examples of notable matches in the earlier parts of the bracket.
With no Cure in sight to disrupt the bracket order, the ESL Open Cup in Europe regained some more normalcy in how it shaped up results-wise as HeRoMaRinE and Clem carved themselves a path through to the finals on opposite sides of the tournament tree. Big Gabe put on a clinical performance, not dropping a single map as he danced through Bly, Gerald and his countryman Lambo. His French opponent had a tougher path, facing resistance from souL and MaxPax, but nonetheless managed to reach the ultimate series of the tournament and had the chance to defend his title from the previous week. HeRoMaRinE was not about to let the Liquid player ruin his marvelous run, however, keeping the flawless performance up even against Europe's champion and defeating him with a 3-0 score for his fifth gold medal of the current season. It wasn't a shabby cup for the Germans in general, with half of the top eight spots being claimed by black-red-gold towels.
Ever one to chase a record and provide for some good streaming content on the side, HeRoMaRinE attempted to win the ESL Open Cup America immediately after his European triumph—another one of those seemingly impossible ESL Open Cup feats. In the event, Big Gabe only missed his mark by the narrowest of margins: Defeating PartinG with a clear 2-0 (Big Gabe apparently wins out in mass over Big Boy by quite a margin) and then overcoming NA's loyal warden Astrea, who had already defended an invasion by Solar, in a tough battle with a 3-2 score, the German did reach his second final of the long night. There, an unexpected foe also hailing from Europe managed to thwart his trophy hunt: MaxPax had reached the finals for a second time this season and promptly retained his 100% win-rate in them by eliminating HeRoMaRinE in an even contest with a 3-2 result. Cure, again, suffered an early exit at the hands of Gerald, which in turn opened the way for the Danish Protoss player, who beat his Polish opponent in PvP semis.
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 #83 of the ESL Open Cups will take place on the 8th (Korea) and the 9th of August (Europe and America).
European Server Cup #82 (Click for full bracket)
Americas Server Cup #82 (Click for full bracket)