Edition #86 of the ESL Open Cups brought a back-to-back victory for Creator in Korea, while Europe and America featured familiar winners in HeRoMaRinE and Zest.
Once again, Creator came out as the surprise winner of the Korean ESL Open Cup, but this time he fought through a somewhat stronger bracket. Creator contended with Dutch explorer uThermal, repeated Open Cup victor Zest, and the rising Danish star MaxPax to reach the finals, showing all around great performances in the PvP match-up. On the other side of the bracket, the ever dangerous Cure was knocked out by Has, continuing his recent woes in TvP. The Taiwanese trickster almost continued on to the finals for the second straight week, but blew a 2-1 lead to SpeCial. The grand finals saw Creator show some rare consistency straight out of 2012, as he took down the Mexican beast 3-1 to win his second straight gold medal.
The European Cup was delayed due to Battle.net issues, which gave us a "bonus" European Cup in the form of Rotti & Wardi Cup #2 which sprung up to take its place. Clem came out on top in the crowd-funded event, claiming a handsome first place prize of $800.
In the rescheduled EU Cup, Clem was initially on pace to take a 'double' of sorts. He started off by giving last week's surprise semifinalist KingCobra a harsh reality check, taking him out easily. The Liquid Terran seemed like a man on a mission, tearing through his countrymen DnS and MarineLorD without mercy before destroying MaxPax to secure his ticket into the finals. The previous week's winner Lambo had his run cut short, he suffered early elimination from old man Kas. Two Korean players tried their luck on the other side of the tournament tree: ByuN lost early on in the Ro16, being defeated in a TvT bout by Spirit—the new ID for the Polish Terran formerly known as souL—while Zest kept his run alive for longer and eliminated goblin and uThermal to enter the top four. The Protoss would not go any further, however, as he clashed with HeRoMaRinE next. Big Gabe had already put together a solid run by defeating MaNa and Spirit without dropping a map, now he traded wins evenly with the Korean and come out ahead in the race for three points on the board. France vs. Germany, Clem vs. HeRoMaRinE—an ESL Open Cup Europe classic was about to unfold. On this occasion, HeRoMaRinE confirmed his excellent form in TvT and managed to score a very solid win over his French opponent, taking his eighth gold medal of the season and thus overtaking Clem on the European medal count.
Last week's surge of American resistance in their own ESL Open Cup vanished once again this week, merely two players from the continent making it into the Ro16 and being eliminated there. No one in the field had any recipe against Zest and Cure, however. The two Dragon Phoenix Gaming players cut through the bracket from opposite sides, winning their semi-finals in dominating fashion with 3-0 results over Has and MaxPax. On a side note, the young Dane was able to achieve a top four finish in all three regions this week, but suffered 0-3 losses in all of his Ro4 series. Cure could not satisfy his addiction to ESL Open Cup gold on this occasion, as his team mate and fellow addict simply had a much better day than him and delivered a 3-0 smackdown. It's been two weeks since Cure has had any gold, we can only hope that his withdrawal symptoms won't be too bad for him. This win marked Zest's fifth victory on the American server this season, meaning he still trails his Terran colleague by one medal.
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 #87 of the ESL Open Cups will take place on the 5th (Korea) and the 6th of September (Europe and America).
European Server Cup #86 (Click for full bracket)
Americas Server Cup #86 (Click for full bracket)