Edition #89 of the ESL Open Cups saw ByuN enthroned in Korea, HeRoMaRinE reclaim the crown in Europe and Creator celebrate his first victory in America.
Surrounding ESL Open Cup #89 in Korea on Sunday was an aura of history: For the first time ever, the Korean edition of the tournament featured a final showdown between two Terran players. ByuN managed to fight his way past the Protoss wardens guarding the finals, defeating Cyan, Zoun and Creator to reach his first top four finish in the current season. Struggling a bit more in an easier bracket was Dream, who narrowly took down MacSed and herO to lock in his own spot in the finals. Zest had to put his subscription to the gold medal on hold for a week as he suffered a surprising loss to NightMare early on, playing no role in the battle for first place. Though struggling with TvT this year, ByuN was able to claim the lead over his opponent and close the series out without much of a problem, taking his first victory on the Korean server in the current season. Merely sitting on 16th place in the EPT standings at the moment, the Terran can use every point in his battle for a direct qualification to IEM Katowice.
ByuN and Creator tried their luck in the ESL Open Cup Europe on Monday as well, with the Shopify Rebel finishing in the top eight after being eliminated by MaxPax and Creator being stopped in the top sixteen by ShoWTimE. Though the two Protoss players were able to defend Europe's honor by taking down the Korean invasion force, none of them was able to make it all the way into the finals. Once again the Danish player was handed a devastating 0-3 loss by HeRoMaRinE, who now has amassed a 14-3 record in series against him, while die Mauer was shattered by Clem. The Frenchman was almost taken down by legendary Russian KingCobra early on, almost repeating the shocking upset from Cup #85. Big Gabe also could not quite put together a flawless run, dropping maps against Hellraiser and Astrea before closing those series out. The sixth iteration of the final duel between HeRoMaRinE and Clem in the current season once again balanced out the overall score between the Terrans, Big Gabe winning three maps in a row after an initial loss to lock in his third win over Clem in one of these finals.
Familiar faces greet us in the bracket for the American ESL Open Cup on Monday: Zest was back to hunt for more gold, while ByuN and Creator at least wanted the participation award for all three cups, even though the were not in contention for the mystical Triple anymore. The Dragon Phoenix Gaming player had a better start this time, but once again ran into PvP trouble and fell to Creator, who then managed to take down ByuN in the semis—quite a run for the Team NV Protoss. In the meantime, MaxPax ran wild on the other side of the bracket, taking out Korean Protoss players Puzzle and Zoun in clean sweeps to claim the final spot opposite Creator. Despite being on a roll in PvP, the young Dane received another 0-3 smackdown at the hands of his opponent, Creator being immune to MaxPax' shenanigans and securing his first ever gold medal in the American edition of the ESL Open Cup.
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 #90 of the ESL Open Cups will take place on the 26th (Korea) and the 27th of September (Europe and America).
European Server Cup #89 (Click for full bracket)
Americas Server Cup #89 (Click for full bracket)