Edition #87 of the ESL Open Cups gave us a perfect repeat of week #86's results, with Creator completing a hat-trick in Korea, while HeRoMaRinE and Zest both took back-to-back wins in Europe and America.
Creator won his third consecutive ESL Open Cup Korea on Sunday, and did so with his most impressive run yet. Taking down Has and Classic (who had already upset Zoun), Creator went onto face a difficult test in Cure in the semi-finals. The old King of the Cups managed to go up 2-1 to start, but his recent TvP malaise struck once again as he gave up a 3-2 comeback victory to Creator. On the other side of the tournament tree, Zest carved himself a pathway to the ultimate showdown by defeating GuMiho, uThermal (who once again opted for a Korean adventure), and PartinG. While most fans would favor Zest over Creator on paper, the Team NV Protoss could not be stopped on the night. Creator took one map after the other in the finals, crushing Zest with a 3-0 scoreline to complete his gold medal three-peat.
Disappointed by mere silver, Zest attempted a run through the European bracket on Monday as well, once again taking out uThermal on his way to the semi-finals. This time, however, MaxPax was able to stop the Dragon Phoenix Gaming player from the reaching the finals, scoring a 3-1 victory over the Korean after already celebrating successes over GuMiho, Harstem and Vanya. The finals would become a rematch for the final series from two weeks ago, as HeRoMaRinE once again crushed whatever opposition faced him with flawless scorelines: 2-0 Denver, 2-0 Spirit, 3-0 ShoWTimE—Big Gabe was on a big roll. MaxPax did break the German's aura of invincibility by stealing one map from him, but otherwise HeRoMaRinE still looked too solid for the Dane to touch. This locks down the ninth gold medal in the current season of the ESL Open Cup Europe for Big Gabe. On another note, Ro16 appearances from both BabyMarine and Arrogfire mark some signal successes for Europe's younger players. We will certainly watch their careers with great interest.
Third time's the charm, right? Zest may have failed to take gold in Korea and Europe, but with grim determination the Protoss finally managed to secure a first place in the American edition. Taking revenge on Creator for the loss in the finals on the Korean server, Zest also beat Nice in the semi-finals to reach the ultimate series without dropping a single map. Cure, Zest's teammate and rival of many online finals this year, charged through the other side of the bracket to join him there. The Terran defeated uThermal, marking the Dutchman's third elimination by a Korean in three cups, before overcoming ByuN in the semi-finals. The player from Shopify Rebellion had put together a solid run himself, beating Cyan and PartinG, but once again falling short in TvT. In the clash between the DPG colleagues, Zest quickly gained the upper hand and successfully completed his quest for gold this week at the very last chance. Both he and Cure now sit on six wins in the American edition in 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 #88 of the ESL Open Cups will take place on the 12th (Korea) and the 13th of September (Europe and America).
European Server Cup #87 (Click for full bracket)
Americas Server Cup #87 (Click for full bracket)