After the two teams entered the stadium, it was as if the atmosphere of the venue had been lifted by a high tide. The fans fervently shouted out the names of both teams, as well as their players. Fans who were more emotional and excitable were more wild, attempting to bypass the barriers to climb up on the stage, but were prevented from doing so by the well-prepared security guards.
Lin Xiao’s line of sight fell on the centre of the stadium, where the players from both teams were respectfully shaking hands with one another. He felt that recently, he seemed to be sighing quite frequently, like how elders in their 70s to 80s would marvel over the little things in life. However, these were indeed the most sincere feelings that he harbored.
Although the current state of the eSports circle had developed to a point where it was gradually becoming more and more commercialized, it was fundamentally able to attract so many investors to provide financial backing because it was supported by the general public. Similarly, it was due to the power of the general public that the circle had been able to become more professional. At the same time, hadn’t these rapid developments enabled eSports careers to become established, thus attracting more and more people to join?
Lin Xiao had not experienced the rapid developments that had occured in the past five years, but, with a certain level of anticipation, he was eager to experience these “future” five years1In case it isn’t clear, this is referring to the years in between Lin Xiao’s accident and the present. in which eSports had made a gradual climb to its peak. He was not familiar with business or fan economics2For example, producing and selling goods or merchandise to the fans., but there was one thing that he had always felt strongly about: the development of eSports would definitely not just stop here. He believed that it should have an even broader stage, and attain heights that everyone would aspire to achieve.
After the players had been introduced, both teams went to their seats and began making their final status adjustments.
After all, there was some disparity between the capabilities of the teams in the competition. It was more or less a matter of how many points Team Black Rose could snag from Nine Skies.
The audience began to chatter a little among themselves. Everyone was excitedly making their own speculations on the order of appearance that both teams had decided on. When the person who would be playing first finally stood from his seat, some people were so shocked that they made a “huh?” sound.
“I believe that no one would have guessed that the person Team Black Rose chose to participate in the first individual match would be Liu Zeshen. This is probably the first time in the current League that we have seen a Holy Knight take the stage, isn’t it?” After the commentator of the match’s broadcast, Xiao Wu3Literally ‘Little Dance’. She shares the same name as a character from Douluo Continent (斗罗大陆). This is her user/streamer ID and not her actual name., got a clear look at the participating players, she also felt that it was quite unexpected.
“From a certain perspective, the Holy Knight profession is indeed not suitable for individual battles. But Xiao Wu, look at the participating player from the opposing team. Hehe, Team Black Rose truly played out a beautiful move indeed.” Her partner, Edamame, followed up on what she had said.
“Oh, Team Nine Skies actually sent out Zhao Kongming? Then this should be a great match to watch!” Xiao Wu glanced at the player standing at the other seat and couldn’t help but laugh. “It seems like Team Black Rose intends to take this route against Nine Skies? If Nine Skies’ opponent is Liu Zeshen, then even if they have Zhao Kongming, who has the nickname ‘Shadow Killer’, it won’t be so easy for them to complete any assassinations!”
The players at the venue were getting their hands accustomed to the computer equipment before them and could not hear what the commentators were saying. However, the current expression on Zhao Kongming’s face was indeed not very good.
He, who had always been the main act of the individual battles, had chosen to be the first to play for his team. Originally, this was for the sake of catching the enemy off-guard and killing them quickly. But who would have guessed that his calculations and strategies would have been seen through by the other party so easily. Furthermore, they even had their own tricks up their sleeve.
Liu Zeshen’s Holy Knight was exceptional in his chosen profession and was probably the person in Team Black Rose that he least wanted to encounter. Even if he had to face You Jing’s ‘Dazzling Abundance’4To be precise it means “a view/scenery that is so abundant or bountiful that it dazzles the senses”. All three of us cracked our brains but there is no way to convey all of that in a character’s name…so I’ve simplified it. in a battle of attrition, it would still be much better than facing a meat shield. For the former, he would at least have had a chance of killing the other person.
Although Liu Zeshen was usually the picture of a cultured gentleman, he was simply a cultured scumbag who tricked virgin girls when in battle!
Zhao Kongming felt a severe pain in the depths of his stomach. He lifted his head and coincidentally made eye contact with the other party. As he saw the other’s smiling face, he felt goosebumps all over his body and immediately looked away.
Truly, none of Team Black Rose were herbivores. Each and every one of them was unmistakably a wolf5Literally a big-tailed wolf. It means that you can tell at a glance that the wolf is a wolf (due to the tail), so I’ve changed it to unmistakable to make it easier to understand.!
The match officially began. The large screen in the middle of the stadium displayed the pre-battle page. The videos of both players’ faces, as well as both of their game footage from the first person perspective, were displayed at the bottom of the page in both corners. This caused the fans to scream consecutively in excitement.
While he was selecting the maps to be banned for the match, Liu Zeshen chose to ban the maps ‘Purgatory of Lava’ and ‘Forest of Wilderness’ to prevent the battle terrain from being too complicated. On the other hand, Zhao Kongming took the opposite route and chose to ban the maps ‘Polar Field of Ice’ and ‘Lost City of the Vast Desert’, which made it inconvenient for him to hide. This left ‘Ancient Tomb of Horror’ as the final map that would be used for their battle.
The lights turned completely dim, leaving only the screen lit. This attracted the gazes of hundreds of thousands of people. As the game booted up, the Holy Knight Fine Birds Choose Fine Trees6Liu Zeshen’s character name is taken from a proverb which literally translates to the above. It actually means ‘virtuous people will choose to serve virtuous masters’ (i.e. if you are wise/talented, you will choose to serve a good master). Since it’s a character name, I’ve gone with the more literal translation. and the Assassin Blank Space spawned at their respective revival points on the map.
Almost simultaneously, both parties began sprinting along the map.
“It’s so rare for me to get the chance to fight in an individual match. If I end up offending you in any way, I will make my apologies here in advance.” Liu Zeshen, who had always been polite and well-mannered, spoke courteously.
However, when they saw these extremely polite words in chatbox, the fans of Nine Skies couldn’t help but release a string of boos as they looked at the stage.
As long as anyone saw any of Player Liu’s matches, they would know about his battle style. He, who had always been exceptionally gentlemanly in his words and manners, would never show any mercy to his opponents, even facing them with an aggravating expression. To put it simply, if he could slap your face till it was swollen all over, he would definitely not stop at just blinding your eyes. He would even thoroughly kick your waist till it broke and, still dissatisfied, he would kick your butt till it was destroyed as well7Author has a very…descriptive way of describing how thoroughly his opponents get wrecked LOL.
“It’s not certain who will be apologizing yet!” Zhao Kongming replied. He observed the surrounding terrain and made use of the rows upon rows of graves that lined the map to set up an ambush in the dark, carefully concealing his body.
It must be said that when facing the Holy Knight class, as an Assassin player, Zhao Kongming had already displayed sufficient initiative during the course of the battle. It was like what Xiao Wu had analyzed at the start of the match. When facing such a profession, there would be an inherent level of suppression. This match was indeed…not a good one for him.
After skillfully completing a few stealth attacks, Blank Space had not gained the slightest advantage. Rather, after Fine Birds Choose Fine Trees activated his Protective Shield of Holy Light, quite a lot of damage had been reflected back to him until finally, he was entangled in a close-range battle. He was unable to withstand the attacks of the other’s spear, and under a flurry of thrusts, he fell to the ground, giving away the precious first kill.
Blank Space, who had returned to the revival point, did not rush out again. Instead, after half a minute of contemplation, he typed out a ‘GG’ and chose to surrender, withdrawing from the battle. This was the first match, which had a great influence on team morale. Under such circumstances where it was impossible to win, it was better to settle things quickly like this instead of forcing themselves to fight on to maintain their face8If you are unfamiliar with this, ‘face’ is a term in Chinese that refers to one’s pride, good image, etc. It also encompasses how others perceive you..
Zhao Kongming’s actions caused an uproar among the audience. However, everyone had witnessed for themselves how hard he had tried during the beginning. Although they were stunned by the scene of ‘GG’ being called in the first match, the fans still gave a warm round of applause for his withdrawal.
When the players from both teams shook hands on stage as a sign of respect, Liu Zeshen adopted his usual elegant image as he laughed, “You performed pretty well.”
‘GG’ was equivalent to performing pretty well? As he looked at the smiling face which appeared harmless, Zhao Kongming only felt as if a mouthful of blood was surging up his throat. However, since he was in front of a camera, he could only grit his teeth and reply, “You also did pretty well.”
After they shook hands, both of them returned to the players’ seats of their respective teams, and a loud round of applause resounded through the entire stadium.
Team Black Rose had gained a point first through this match. As for the second match, two Gunners would be facing each other in battle.
Both people had the same class. Thus, it was naturally the difference between their capabilities that would determine the victor.
Team Nine Skies’ Sun Qin was a newcomer in this competitive season. The character he controlled, Shotgun Brawl, had only just started to display his power in the alliance. Although he had had some brilliant performances in the previous matches, in this match he encountered Xu Yiming, a player who liked to use his explosive hand speed to recklessly fight with others whenever there were any disagreements. Under a dazzling flurry of bullets that flew everywhere, the movements of his hands became uncoordinated and he was completely crushed within minutes.
Compared to the unprecedented nature of the first match, the results of the second were highly expected. Even so, it had happened so quickly that the spectators felt somewhat speechless. As for the moment when the two players bowed and shook hands, aside from the passionate cheers from the Black Rose fans, everyone else appeared quite disinterested.
Xiao Wu couldn’t help but put in an effort to liven up the atmosphere in the stadium. She even made use of the nickname everyone secretly used for Xu Yiming. “Although the second match concluded rather quickly, the process of it was still very spectacular. Everyone was able to see that Little Brother Xu’s hand speed is as terrifying as always. It really feels as if his operations have become more precise. When the match officials send over the statistics for us to take a look, we will be able to see if his APM (referring to the total game movements completed per minute, it is used to judge the speed of maneuvers)9The explanation in brackets was included in the raws, so I’m leaving it here. has indeed increased or not.”
Xu Yiming, who had just walked towards the players’ seats, faltered in his steps and almost fell down. He lifted his head towards the commentators’ station and objected with an unhappy expression all over his face. “This Elder Sister Xiao Wu sure isn’t kind. I have obviously told the public many times that I am the older brother, alright! Older Brother Xu! Why am I still being called Little Brother Xu, hey!”
Xu Yichen, who was getting ready to go up onstage, happened to walk past him. He casually tugged at Xu Yuming’s collar and tossed him towards Shen Changyu, making a soft ‘tsk’ sound. “Childish.”
The audience members who were sitting nearby had already seen these movements. Countless fujoshis10I don’t need to explain this, do I xD had long begun screaming after seeing the twins’ interactions.
This wave of enthusiasm quickly spread as the audience members described it to one another fervently in their private conversations. It continued until Xu Yichen went onto the stage. The entire stadium was filled with screams of “Two Xus” and “Twin Gunners”. The excitement that permeated the venue was unparalleled.
Xu Yiming had just been pressed down onto his seat by Shen Changyu. When he lifted his head, he saw this scene and his face immediately drooped. With a tone of someone who had been wronged, he said, “We obviously have the same face, so what is it that makes Little Chen11Xiao Chen, but considering their dynamic….he’s trying to emphasize that Yichen is younger. Thus, I’ve gone with ‘Little Chen’ for this. so popular when he takes the stage, what is this bias!”
Liu Zeshen was leaning against the chair beside him while drinking water. When he heard these words, he pushed up his glasses and laughed, “People are screaming ‘Two Xus’. It’s because they didn’t enjoy watching you play just now that they’re so excited to see Yichen now.”
Xu Yiming was happy to accept this description of events. “That little brat just now was quite weak. I had no choice either. I’ll just let Little Chen put on more of a show for them for a bit then.”
At this moment, the equipment had been adjusted adequately and the match began.
However this match, which took place amidst the enthusiastic screams of the audience, ended even faster than the previous two.
As they saw Xu Yichen walk off the stage expressionlessly, the glaringly obvious 3:0 score caused the audience to look at one another helplessly. They were both teams which had qualified for a place in the LPP League. Could the disparity between their abilities really be so great?
The author has something to say:
Old Vinegar expresses that she really understands the feelings of the little angels, who are anxious for the face-to-face meeting to happen. But Old Vinegar is not an author who does things lightly. Everything needs to progress in order, step-by-step. I can’t throw aside every other plot-related scene to satisfy everyone’s wishes and only write the bare minimum for everyone to read! If I do that, I won’t be uploading a novel, but a story outline~~^_^~~~ I! Must! Be! Responsible!
So in conclusion, what Old Vinegar really wants to express is —— I don’t care, I don’t care, before the face-to-face meeting, I need a swift and refreshing battle to be fought! Roll around! Squirm! Act spoiled! Sell meng12Meng as in cuteness or moe! [Doge face]
TL comments: It looks like Lin Xiao’s (troll) legacy has really lived on in Team Black Rose, even after five years ^_^~~
- 1In case it isn’t clear, this is referring to the years in between Lin Xiao’s accident and the present.
- 2For example, producing and selling goods or merchandise to the fans.
- 3Literally ‘Little Dance’. She shares the same name as a character from Douluo Continent (斗罗大陆). This is her user/streamer ID and not her actual name.
- 4To be precise it means “a view/scenery that is so abundant or bountiful that it dazzles the senses”. All three of us cracked our brains but there is no way to convey all of that in a character’s name…so I’ve simplified it.
- 5Literally a big-tailed wolf. It means that you can tell at a glance that the wolf is a wolf (due to the tail), so I’ve changed it to unmistakable to make it easier to understand.
- 6Liu Zeshen’s character name is taken from a proverb which literally translates to the above. It actually means ‘virtuous people will choose to serve virtuous masters’ (i.e. if you are wise/talented, you will choose to serve a good master). Since it’s a character name, I’ve gone with the more literal translation.
- 7Author has a very…descriptive way of describing how thoroughly his opponents get wrecked LOL
- 8If you are unfamiliar with this, ‘face’ is a term in Chinese that refers to one’s pride, good image, etc. It also encompasses how others perceive you.
- 9The explanation in brackets was included in the raws, so I’m leaving it here.
- 10I don’t need to explain this, do I xD
- 11Xiao Chen, but considering their dynamic….he’s trying to emphasize that Yichen is younger. Thus, I’ve gone with ‘Little Chen’ for this.
- 12Meng as in cuteness or moe