Chapter 1347: Sprint
Translator: Nomyummi Editor: Nomyummi
In the group arena, Troubling Rain defeated Blossoming Chaos, giving the victory to Blue Rain. In addition to the two points they had earned in the individual competition, Blue Rain entered the team competition with a 4 to 1 lead.
In the end, Blue Rain used their home advantage to crush their opponents in the team competition, winning an impressive victory of 9 to 1 against Hundred Blossoms. In the same round, Happy also managed a 9 to 1 victory against Seaside. Conquering Clouds was crushed by 301 Degrees in their away home, not getting a single point and losing 0 to 10. As for Wind Howl, 301 Degree’s most direct competitor, they had managed to win against Misty Rain 8 to 2 on their home turf, but their 2 point lead was eliminated by 301 Degrees. They only managed to remain eighth thanks to their victorious battle against 301 Degrees.
There were two matches that roused public interest this round, Tiny Herb’s home game against Void and Tyranny’s home game against Thunderclap.
In the end, the two home teams ended the match 8 to 2. Thunderclap’s team once again lost; this time to Tyranny’s team. Something that was rather unexpected, however, was that Han Wenqing, Zhang Jiale, Lin Jingyan and Zhang Xinjie, after a long time of not fighting together, all appeared in the starting lineup this time.
Was it a coincidence of their rotation?
No one would think that way. Team Tyranny had implemented this rotation for Han Wenqing, Zhang Jiale and Lin Jingyan to switch off. With all three of them present, Tyranny seemed to perform perfectly well, so what was the point of the rotation?
“Tyranny’s begun the sprint for the playoffs.” With Team Happy, Ye Xiu merely glanced at the lineup before making a conclusive judgement.
In the past, Chen Guo would probably ask why, but she didn’t need Ye Xiu to explain something like this anymore, because she could read between the lines. In reality, Happy also had such plans for Wei Chen, and Wei Chen’s situation was far worse than Tyranny’s veterans.
Veterans like them didn’t have enough energy for the entire season, especially not with the fact that there was an even more anticipated, even more intensive, even more frequent playoffs after the regular season.
Last season, Tyranny was ever so impressive, but lost at the finals.
Perhaps they had felt their efforts taking a toll on them ages ago, holding on only through their faith. Another match, just another match… Perhaps, that was what they were chanting in their heads. Getting to the finals, fighting three rounds against Samsara, they were holding on stubbornly through sheer willpower. However, no matter how strong they were, their energy would eventually be depleted. Under this exhaustion, they had met their strongest rivals in the Alliance and Tyranny had fallen, and many people could only think of what a shame that was.
Thus, in the new season, they had discarded their headstrong ways, not opening the season very well. Everyone felt that it was such a shame; they sighed: the spirit of these veterans were admirable, but what was the use in this stubborn persistence?
The voices cheering for Tyranny for the championship slowly died out, but Tyranny didn’t care, continuing forth like that. Their scores soon stabilized. Though they weren’t as impressive as last season, there was no pressure for them to get into the playoffs. Nonetheless, some people still felt it was a shame. They longed for the time where the four kings lead Tyranny to victory together, sweeping through the alliance with high-spirits.
Yes, high-spirited, but they ended up losing the finals.
But this time, Tyranny wouldn’t act according these personal feelings anymore. They fought steadily, stably. The veterans, including Han Wenqing who hadn’t backed down in ten years, all began playing in rotation. He was the team captain, after all – the soul of Tyranny. Currently, there wasn’t a single team that had such a figure in such a consistent rotation. It was rare that these people would even sit out for a single match. Yet now, this was something that had happened to Han Wenqing. The Han Wenqing that always pressed forth and never backed down.
Everything was for the championship.
Team Tyranny’s members, after their loss last season, had clearly realized that they could no longer fight freely and without restraint like the younger generation. They had to preserve their strength. They needed enough energy to face the playoffs, to face the finals. Thus, they stayed in rotation this season, marching forth and keeping a low profile. The three veterans had each played two thirds of what they had played last season. They maintained their condition throughout the intense pro level matches and didn’t deplete so much of their energy.
And now, it was Round 30 of the regular season. After this round, there would be eight more rounds in the regular season before the even more intense playoffs begun.
Team Tyranny’s low profile would end here. In the match against Thunderclap, they revealed their fangs and claws. The three veterans and Zhang Xinjie appeared in the starting line up together, wiping out Thunderclap, who were using their team competitions to make miracles this season. They were announcing their return, announcing that they were prepared for the playoffs. They were going to use the following eight matches to once again get completely used to their team, to find the state they needed, because this was their true pillar. This was weapon they wielded in this fight for the championship. That was something they never doubted since they had formed this team last season, this team had people had thought senile.
“It’s time to start.”
That was the simple and straightforward reply Han Wenqing gave in response to the reporter’s questions on their lineup.
It was starting.
All the teams were preparing.
Those who hadn’t secured their position would begin their final slaughter to the top. Those who had already reached the door to the playoffs were all adjusting their teams to get into the rhythm of the playoffs.
Tyranny had the three veterans fight together, and Happy also had Luo Ji and Wei Chen find their optimal state through the following matches. As for the teams that didn’t have much hope, they were beginning to change their tactics, too, willing to try out new things. Each team, depending on their own situations, would be adjusting to a different pace in these last eight rounds.
Often times, strange and unexpected situations would result from the clashes of these differing rhythms. Some would be at a disadvantage, others would be able to take advantage.
Happy was, unfortunately, one of those disadvantaged. In Round 31, they played their away game against Misty Rain, and Happy somehow lost with a shocking 1 to 9. Apart from the victory Ye Xiu gained in the first individual round, they lost spectacularly until the end.
If it was last season’s Misty Rain, this score wouldn’t be too shocking, no matter what team they had managed it against. However, Misty Rain’s condition clearly wasn’t very good this season, and their strategic structure had completely collapsed. But in this round, Misty Rain had fought unrestrained and won a landslide victory against Happy.
“Don’t underestimate us!” Chu Yunxiu grinned, saying to Ye Xiu as they shook hands after the match. “We didn’t underestimate you, we just really weren’t expecting it,” Ye Xiu said helplessly.
The individual rounds were acceptable. Happy had been prepared to lose points when they sent up Luo Ji and Wei Chen. The thing was that in their team competition this time, Misty Rain completely ignored the criticism from both outside and inside the circle. This time, they were even crazier. Chu Yunxiu took Shu Kexing and Shu Keyi, and the three ranged fighters fought elegantly and without a care for a world. Li Hua’s Ninja didn’t bother acting as a close ranged guerrilla tank anymore, instead running around and launching sneak attacks. Misty Rain had gone completely off the rails, leaving Happy floundering to react, and swept a victory for themselves.
“How was it? Our strategy?” Chu Yunxiu was enthusiastically asking for Ye Xiu’s opinion.
“Be happy about catching us off guard elsewhere. Stop shoving it in my face, would you?” Ye Xiu said.
“Heheh,” Chu Yunxiu didn’t mind this at all. It was clear she understood that their performance had simply caught Happy off guard. If Happy had prepared and dealt with this more carefully, Misty Rain’s strategy wouldn’t be all that reliable. “Good luck!”
After Ye Xiu walked past Chu Yunxiu, Su Mucheng came over and grasped Chu Yunxiu’s hand, giving her words of encouragement, as if they had been the one to win and not Misty Rain.
Chu Yunxiu naturally understood what Su Mucheng was talking about. Her encouragement wasn’t about this match, but Misty Rain’s overall situation.
Faced with her good friend, Chu Yunxiu didn’t bother with the triumphant demeanor she had worn in front of Ye Xiu, shaking her head and giving a strained smile.
“Let’s hang out after this!” Chu Yunxiu suggested.
“Alright!” Su Mucheng didn’t reject the offer. The two didn’t dawdle any longer. After the players of each team finished giving each other their post-match regards, they each returned to their prep rooms to prepare for the post-match press conference.
Misty Rain were the victors, so their press conference was after Happy’s. The sudden victory was exciting for the reports, and they enthusiastically tossed questions about the playstyle Misty Rain had used this round as well as what they thought about the playoffs.
Chu Yunxiu answered the questions one by one. Their strategy was something the team had been figuring out and researching. With the victory today, it seemed pretty good, so the team would continue to look into it and hone themselves. As for the playoffs? No one would know until the last moment, and Misty Rain wasn’t planning on giving up.
Watching the satisfied reporters, Chu Yunxiu could only sigh to herself. Was there really any hope for Misty Rain this season?
After the press conference, Misty Rain’s players bid each other goodbye. Chu Yunxiu was the last to leave the prep room and she flipped open her phone to a text from Su Mucheng: “Waiting at Exit E.”
Chu Yunxiu replied before heading for Exit E.
The moment she stepped out from Exit E, Chu Yunxiu saw the somewhat blurred but elegant figure of her friend in the night lightning. Next to her was another, a fitful spot of red light fading and burning.
The elegant figure waved at her and Chu Yunxiu quickly walked over.
“How come you’re here, too?” Chu Yunxiu didn’t greet Su Mucheng, instead choosing to side eye the smoking Ye Xiu.
“I felt like the Great God Chu seemed after uncertain and was wondering if she needed some advice from a helpful senior,” Ye Xiu replied.
“Give me a cig!” Chu Yunxiu demanded.
Ye Xiu didn’t hesitate to take out a cigarette and hand it over and even offered a flame. Chu Yunxiu accepted the cigarette and lit it smoothly.
“Let’s go to the coffee shop over there!” Chu Yunxiu suggested after taking a puff from the cigarette.