The previous three matches as a whole could be described as clear-cut victories. However, this confirmed that the twins would be unable to participate in the 3 vs 3 sub-team matches. Originally, they could both be considered as the main damage-dealers of Team Black Rose. In other words, Black Rose’s offensive capability for the sub-team match had been relatively weakened.
After a short break, the sub-team match began. The large screen in the stadium displayed both teams’ rosters and character information for the upcoming battle.
The players representing Nine Skies in the match were the captain Zhou Shiyi, who played a Shadow Swordsman; Gao Jun, who played a Holy Knight; and Su Chenjie, who played a Priest.
The participating players from Team Black Rose were the captain You Jing, Vice Captain Shen Changyu, and the newcomer Qin Lei, who had just been discovered and transferred over from the newcomers’ training camp and played a Cannoneer.
Looking at the configurations of both teams, Nine Skies’ intentions could be seen1The latter half of this sentence isn’t actually in the raws, but its meaning is implied here. Also, the translation doesn’t flow well if I don’t include it.. Both professions were related to swords, but the Shadow Swordsman was not as suitable for controlling the enemy as the Spellsword. However, when attacking at close range, the burst damage that it could deal out in a 3 vs 3 sub-team battle could not be underestimated. As for the Holy Knight, it could easily harass the healer professions to an almost nightmare-inducing degree. It was very obvious that Team Nine Skies’ class composition was meant to target Team Black Rose by engaging in 1 on 1 close ranged battles.
As for Team Black Rose, although You Jing and Shen Changyu were both experts ranking within the top 2 in their respective classes, the Summoner was, after all, a profession that was more suitable for providing support in team battles and lacked overall burst damage2Refers to the ability to deal a lot of damage in a short time.. Even if You Jing had his back in terms of support, making an inexperienced newcomer like Qin Lei the core of the team’s damage dealing capability was a huge risk, no matter how one looked at it.
“Relax, there’s no need to be so nervous.” As he adjusted his own equipment on the stage, Shen Changyu turned back and saw Qin Lei’s somewhat stiff expression. He firmly patted him on the shoulder and said, “Your performance in the past few individual matches has been pretty good. Just play as you normally would in the sub-team match, don’t be stressed.”
“En.” Qin Lei took a deep breath and felt the surrounding lights falling upon him, but his fingers still felt quite stiff. He couldn’t help but to withdraw into himself as his gaze fell upon You Jing. “Captain You, I…”
You Jing’s fingertips were animatedly tapping on the keyboard. Without the slightest pause, he completed his final adjustments for the hotkeys3Referring to the keyboard setup for which button activates which skill. Some games (like Zone) don’t use fixed buttons for each skill, so players can configure them as they like. Each player has their own preference as it determines how easily they can play. and shot a cold glance at Qin Lei, saying flatly, “Follow the strategy we arranged just now. If we lose, go back to the newcomers’ training camp. The competitive scene does not suit you.”
When Qin Lei heard this, his body gave a jolt. With furrowed brows, he looked at his screen, and his fighting spirit gradually surged forth.
Shen Changyu saw all this and smiled as he put on his headphones.
If You Jing was dubbed by others as ‘Queen’ due to his slightly feminine appearance as well as his proud and lofty disposition, then his ice-cold, and at times mean, personality caused the prefix ‘Iceberg’ to be included in front of his moniker.
Yet, this ‘Iceberg Queen’ unexpectedly suited the current Black Rose team. No matter if it was the veteran players or the newcomers, no one in the team needed to be treated gently or mercifully. They were much more willing to be subjected to this ruthless discipline that bordered on cruelty.
After the equipment adjustment was completed and the commentators did a simple explanation of the lineup of both teams, the match officially began.
While picking out the maps to be banned, both teams were very decisive in making their choices. Finally, the last map remaining was ‘Polar Field of Ice’. After they had finished configuring their set-up, they entered the pre-battle loading screen.
When making the final decision, Zhou Shiyi’s eyebrows furrowed involuntarily, and he said in the team voice chat, “Why do I keep feeling as if Black Rose purposefully left the Ice Field map as the last one?”
Gao Jun chuckled and said, “Captain Zhou, you think too much. How could they have chosen Ice Field when facing a lineup like ours? It’s not like they’re dumb!”
These words did make sense. After all, compared to the other maps, Polar Field of Ice was the map with fewer obstacles to hide behind. Apart from the section between the low and high altitude areas, there was very little terrain that they could take cover in. If Team Black Rose wanted to enable their Cannoneer to unleash his maximum damage, no matter how you looked at it, such an open and unhindered map made it difficult for them to deploy their members effectively. On the contrary, this map gave the opposing Nine Skies team an absolute geographical advantage.
Naturally, Zhou Shiyi was very clear on these points. Yet, why hadn’t Black Rose chosen to ban this map that inherently restricted them so much? This made him feel a strange sense of unease.
The map finished loading in a flash, and both teams began to move.
To an experienced professional player who had fought in countless battles, it would be easy and familiar to navigate through any of the maps. From the god’s perspective4This refers to being able to see the map as a whole, as compared to individual players’ perspectives. This may involve switching around different player cams (e.g. for FPS games like Apex), or being able to see the entire map from the start (e.g. for tower defense games like League of Legends). displayed on the large screen, the audience could very clearly witness both teams’ swift movements. The distance between both teams was rapidly decreasing, and the whole venue was brimming with anticipation as the spectators focused on watching the match with baited breath.
Unlike the three members of Team Nine Skies that charged forward together, the Cannoneer Fire Barrier, controlled by Qin Lei, had gradually slowed his pace and distanced himself from Dazzling Abundance and Rain of Time. He made use of a gap formed by a crack in the cliff of ice and jumped downwards, sliding along the sheet of ice to sneak behind.
This strategy of turning back in the midst of battle was very common, not just in the regular online game, but also in eSports matches. However, it was usually seen only in the 5 vs 5 team battles.
It should be known that due to the limited number of members in the 3 vs 3 sub-team matches, it didn’t matter what the teams were lacking in the process of battling. However, the team which lacked people would definitely be suppressed due to facing the excessive firepower of the other team. This was also the reason why the team that first lost a member in the sub-team matches would tend to have a much greater chance of losing the entire battle.
From the commentators’ podium, Xiao Wu analyzed the situation for the audience. “Everyone can see that from the very beginning, the battle strategy of both teams is different. However, the interesting thing is that the first to make a move was not Team Nine Skies, who holds the geographical advantage, but rather Team Black Rose, whom we originally thought would lie low and wait for an opportune timing before making a move.”
Edamame nodded and added, “Just like past games, Team Black Rose has adopted an aggressive approach and taken the initiative. We just don’t know whether or not they can ride on the momentum of the individual battles to control the rhythm of the battle in one firm grasp, and keep on earning these two points from the sub-team matches.”
At this moment, the camera coincidentally swept over You Jing. The directors had even given him a special caption, causing the fans to release a wave of frenzied screams.
Xiao Wu did not know whether to laugh or cry in this bustling atmosphere. “All of Queen’s fans on the scene are very passionate! If I remember correctly, in the previous sub-team match against the Flowing Clouds team, Captain You did not make an appearance. Could he have secretly been preparing for a duel in this match? Let’s continue to look forward to it!”
Lin Xiao was not paying too much attention to the contents of the commentary. He merely felt that the female fan sitting beside him was yelling so much that his ears hurt. While lifting his hands to rub them, his gaze fell on the position at which Fire Barrier had disappeared, which was displayed on the big screen, and his eyebrows furrowed.
Actually, he had already discerned some clues from the very first individual match. When the roster for the sub-team battle was released, he was then able to determine mentally that Team Black Rose was entering the rhythm of snatching points.
During the LPP League’s pre-match period, many teams would make use of the first few matches to intuitively evaluate and make adjustments based on their current states. Then, in the last few matches, they would regain the points lost in one go using their full capabilities. This was a tactic that many prestigious teams frequently used to snatch points for themselves.
As a well-established team, it was not strange for Black Rose to make use of this strategy. However, the current team was very evidently facing issues of team disconnect due to the change of players. After the old members left, the new blood injected into the team had yet to fully replace the void left behind by the old members. As a direct consequence of this, the current team faced an issue where the period in which teams would snatch points would be very exhausting and difficult for them. When faced with such circumstances, the only solution to address it would be to rely on the team’s star players to forcefully support the team using their personal abilities.
Finally, Lin Xiao’s line of sight fell on the Priest who was moving swiftly on the screen.
If it was a regular competition, the present state of events would be considered very smooth-sailing. The only thing they needed to take note of now was probably this person’s current condition, and whether or not he could support the team in two continuous, high intensity multiplayer battles.
In a flash, both teams had already met in the middle of the map.
“Why are there only two people on the other side? This…they split up?” Zhou Shiyi was briefly stunned after he got a clear look at those who were approaching. Although he said this, he did not truly believe that his opponent would make such a low-level mistake as to split up from the very beginning of the match. On one hand, he began taking note of the state of his surroundings. On the other hand, he continued controlling his character, dashing towards Rain of Time. Instantly, a battle broke out. “Gao Jun, remember to keep an eye out for You Jing and watch him well.”
“Leave it to me!” Gao Jun replied clearly. His character ‘Handsomeness that Broke the Heavens’ charged directly towards Dazzling Abundance with a fierce jab. He had not used any damage dealing skills yet, first rushing forward and using a Taunt on the other. Then, he pulled the Priest who had retreated a step backwards back to his side in a brief instant.
It was evident that Team Nine Skies was prepared to adopt a 1 vs 1 close ranged battle tactic. However, no one could have guessed that once the battle started, they would instead witness a 2 vs 3 scenario like the one before them.
As the profession with the most close range control skills, it made sense for the Holy Knight to be dubbed as the healer class’s nemesis. Once they got close, the chance of one finding a window of opportunity to escape from their control was as great as that of finding a needle in a haystack.
Once Handsomeness that Broke the Heavens managed to get close to Dazzling Abundance, Dazzling Abundance was suppressed and beaten into a sorry state. In an instant, so many skills were released that the effects were blinding.
His health bar rapidly plunged, yet he was still able to maintain it at a safe number. This caused the spectators to sigh in admiration as they witnessed his skill and detailed operations.
On the other hand, Rain of Time had been briefly controlled by the Priest ‘Light of Dawn’, allowing the Shadow Swordsman ‘Eleventh Son of the Zhou Family’5This is a pun that can’t be translated well. ‘周十一’ and ‘周拾亦’ (Zhou Shiyi’s name) have a similar pronunciation. ‘郎’ is a generic term used to refer to the sons of a family so ‘周十一郎’ means 11th son of the Zhou family. I doubt he is really the 11th son for obvious reasons, so it’s more of a play on his name than anything. to successfully approach him. Under the sudden, explosive hand speed deployed by the other party, almost all of the summoning spells he cast were interrupted. His situation appeared to be even more dire than that of Dazzling Abundance.
What was even more tragic was that even if he had had the opportunity to create some distance between himself and the enemy to summon his beasts, the opposing Swordsman had even brought his own dedicated nanny. The Priest, who was left unchecked and undistracted, could focus completely on providing heals. This would cause the HP that he had painstakingly decreased to effortlessly be replenished.
Seeing how their team was facing such a disadvantageous battle, fans of Team Black Rose could no longer sit still. What the hell was that bloody newbie doing? A perfectly good 3 vs 3 battle had been turned into a 3 vs 2 battle by Nine Skies. He was definitely trying to be funny!
It was at this moment that the directors knowingly focused the camera on Fire Barrier’s perspective, displaying it on the screen. The entire audience looked at this scene and suddenly became silent. This angle was…
TL comments: So many new characters names…I suffer when its not clear if its an adjective or a character name ;_;
(I also suffer when I have to think of how to translate these names…QAQ)
- 1The latter half of this sentence isn’t actually in the raws, but its meaning is implied here. Also, the translation doesn’t flow well if I don’t include it.
- 2Refers to the ability to deal a lot of damage in a short time.
- 3Referring to the keyboard setup for which button activates which skill. Some games (like Zone) don’t use fixed buttons for each skill, so players can configure them as they like. Each player has their own preference as it determines how easily they can play.
- 4This refers to being able to see the map as a whole, as compared to individual players’ perspectives. This may involve switching around different player cams (e.g. for FPS games like Apex), or being able to see the entire map from the start (e.g. for tower defense games like League of Legends).
- 5This is a pun that can’t be translated well. ‘周十一’ and ‘周拾亦’ (Zhou Shiyi’s name) have a similar pronunciation. ‘郎’ is a generic term used to refer to the sons of a family so ‘周十一郎’ means 11th son of the Zhou family. I doubt he is really the 11th son for obvious reasons, so it’s more of a play on his name than anything.