Edition #84 of the ESL Open Cups featured Zest and HeRoMaRinE winning their third straight titles in Korea and Europe, while Cure returned to championship form by claiming the Americas Cup.
Until Sunday, Cure had been the only player to achieve three wins in a row in the heavily contested Korean ESL Open Cup. However, in Week #84, Zest equalized that record in a direct duel with his Dragon Phoenix Gaming teammate. Likely due to players focusing on their preparation for Code A, the field for Cup #84 was rather modest. Zest's toughest opponents until the finals were Percival and herO, while Cure had to contend with GuMiho, Has, and Creator. Zest took an early 2-0 lead in the grand finals, but had to sweat out a two game comeback from Cure before clinching the cup in the final game. Not only did Zest equalize Cure's best win streak of three, but also matched his KR gold medal count in the 2021/22 season at six.
Three wins in a row are nothing all too special for HeRoMaRinE, though it has been almost exactly a year since he last was as dominant in the ESL Open Cup Europe—in August and September 2020, the German scored six wins consecutively. With some heavy hitters missing the tournament, chances were good for Big Gabe to make it into the finals, which he did with a flawless performance, eliminating Harstem and MaxPax without dropping a single map. The other side of the bracket was firmly in Polish hands with Elazer and souL advancing into the semis. The Zerg had already struck down two of his countrymen in Indy and Krystianer before clashing with souL, who had defeated Vanya and Lambo to come this far. Though it was a hard fought duel, the Terran lost out in the end and had to be content with a top four finish, while Elazer went on to challenge HeRoMaRinE for his throne. Similarly to the finals in Korea, Big Gabe took a strong 2-0 lead, but failed to capitalize on this in the next two games and let Elazer come back into the series before cruelly finishing him off after giving him some hope. This victory brought Big Gabe to an equal standing with Clem as both Terrans can now claim seven gold medals to their name in the current season—both of them command more victories on their own than all other players combined.
Edition #84 of the American ESL Open Cup featured only five players from North and South America in the Round of 32, with the rest of the spots being eaten up by players from all around the globe. And yet, one brave Canadian out of these five players showed a remarkable run into the finals. TriGGer has been an up and coming name for a few seasons now, and continued to progress by making his first EPT Weekly finals on Monday. TriGGer went through Nitix (who defeated Creator one round earlier), MilkiCow and MarineLorD (who defeated Zest), on his way to the finals—not the toughest path we've seen in NA, but still a landmark for him nonetheless. Cure went to town on the other side of the bracket, tearing through his opponents without even dropping a map. He kept this momentum up against TriGGer in the finals, who could not challenge the Korean Terran for the crown in a meaningful way. Cure took his sixth gold medal in the America Cup, which brings him to a combined total of 13 wins in all regions in the current 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 #85 of the ESL Open Cups will take place on the 22nd (Korea) and the 23rd of August (Europe and America).
European Server Cup #84 (Click for full bracket)
Americas Server Cup #84 (Click for full bracket)