The Return of the King! After having to look on as usurpers sat on his throne for several weeks, HeroMarine finally returned to reclaim his 'rightful' place at the top of the ESL Open Cup EU. On the other servers, his Terran colleagues were equally successful. Let the #TerranPatch memes become reality, for the age of humans seems to be upon us!
Seeing his fellow Terrans falter repeatedly in the Korean server cup, Cure must have felt compelled to return to the tournament after three weeks of Protoss domination (and his online competitor Zest winning two of them). The player from Dragon Phoenix Gaming is the only Terran to win the Korean cup so far, and now achieved this feat for the second time—though it was a victory he had to fight hard for, since Hurricane came out with a surprisingly strong performance. After a row of PvP wins, he brought Cure to the last and deciding game of their Bo5 series until the Terran could weather the storm(s). Not a bad run for someone only reaching the top 4 of these cups for the first time!
Coming in the wake of a stacked TSL5 qualifier, the European ESL Open Cup felt like a continuation of that tournament, but offered some very intriguing twists: Reynor faced an unusual early elimination at the hands of goblin, and the gods of fate seemed hellbent on delivering another duel between Clem and HeroMarine to the fans. And as in the TSL5 qualifier bracket, the German was victorious. Here's the kicker: all this happened in the same bracket! On the other side, riding on the momentum of his TSL5 qualification, Liquid's uThermal blazed a path into the finals, overcoming three German players. Revenge for them was nigh, however, as Big Gabe also reached the finals after having defeated the usual onslaught of unorthodox aggression from Bly. The king of Europe reclaimed his throne with a clean 3-0 sweep after five weeks of interregnum.
Do not weep for uThermal, though! The Dutchman continued the fine tradition of EU finalists making their way into the finals of the ESL Open Cup NA, where he eventually was victorious, banking points from both cups this weekend. The bracket was dominated by Europeans once more after last week finally saw Future take one home for the USA. This week, there were big surprises once again: Neeb was taken out by RotterdaM, whose adopted 'son' goblin made another big splash by taking out regular finalist Clem this time around. The young Croatian continued his run this time, taking out Nice and TLO (the games against the German Zerg were... #creative, to say the least, definitely worth checking out) before having to bow out to uThermal in the finals. What a weekend for HeroMarine and uThermal! But it might have been more meaningful for goblin, who might be on the cusp of a real breakout performance.
ESL Open Cup winners earn $100 in prize money and 10 ESL Pro Tour points. Players who finish second earn 5 ESL Pro Tour points. Week #17 of ESL Open Cups is set to take place on May 3rd.
European Server Cup #16 (Click for full bracket)
Americas Server Cup #16 (Click for full bracket)