Chapter 1388: Each Making Their Own Preparations
After the end of the first playoffs match, there was an outpouring of reviews praising Samsara’s champion-like performance. As for Hundred Blossoms, they hadn’t made any major mistakes worthy of criticism, but it was exactly for that reason that Samsara seemed all the greater.
In the blink of an eye, it was the next day. The first match hadn’t even been fully digested when the second match of the playoffs had arrived. Team 301 was playing their home game against Team Tyranny. Tyranny had conserved their energy all through the regular season, so how would they explode now in the playoffs? Because so many were curious about this question, this match received extra attention.
But Happy needed to pay attention to this match for a bigger reason than mere curiosity. According to the playoffs bracket, if Happy eliminated Blue Rain and advanced to the semifinals, then their opponent would be the victor of 301 vs Tyranny. If everything went smoothly, then Happy would be facing one of these two teams.
But on this night, Team Happy hadn’t gathered together to watch the match. They weren’t watching this match, nor had they watched recordings of the previous playoffs match.
The next day was Happy’s match, and throughout this entire day Happy’s training had been focused on small adjustments and regulation. After dinner, everyone was free to do whatever they wanted. They could each use their own methods to reduce the pressure of this upcoming life-or-death match.
In the meeting room, Chen Guo once again set up the projection screen to watch the match, and like before, the two who came by were Wu Chen and Guan Rongfei.
The players came onstage, the match was about to begin, but Chen Guo couldn’t focus.
What was everyone else doing?
Chen Guo really wanted to know. After dinner, everyone had split up without talking about what they were all going to do, and although she was curious, she ultimately hadn’t bothered them. But to be honest, she still had some small hope that one of the players would stay with her, because she was very nervous too! She wished that she could do something with someone who was going to play the match tomorrow.
“Has it started?” At this moment, she suddenly heard Ye Xiu’s voice.
“Huh?” Chen Guo turned her head to see Ye Xiu walking through the door.
“You want to watch?” she asked, surprised.
“Yeah, I have nothing to do, so I’ll watch,” he said, casually finding a seat and sitting down.
Chen Guo looked at him and realized, that’s right! This guy didn’t need to do anything to relieve pre-match pressure, right? To him, wasn’t this all as natural as eating and sleeping? He would just do it however he was supposed to.
“It’s just about to start,” Chen Guo said. Ye Xiu might not feel any pressure, but Chen Guo was extremely nervous. Still, once Ye Xiu arrived to watch this match with her, she suddenly felt that her heart relaxed quite a bit.
“These guys actually know how to conserve strength,” Ye Xiu mused. “I do want to see what kind of match they can play now.”
“Mm…” Chen Guo of course knew to whom Ye Xiu was referring with “these guys.”
The match began.
Tyranny’s first player: Lin Jingyan; 301 sent up Li Yihui.
A face-off between two Fighter class players. The final winner was Li Yihui, with a small advantage.
And then Tyranny sent up their second player, the rookie Song Qiying. After defeating Li Yihui, who’d only had a small amount of health remaining, he also defeated 301’s second player Gao Jie.
“This kid has a bright future,” Ye Xiu said, giving his judgment of Song Qiying. Even though he lost the Best Rookie award to Tang Rou, that was largely because he was in a well-established team like Tyranny, and as a rookie he hadn’t had as many chances to play in real matches like Tang Rou had. If not for Tyranny’s three old generals rotating out this season, Song Qiying might have had even fewer chances onstage.
If Song Qiying had had the same chances as Tang Rou, or if he had been used by Tyranny like Lu Hanwen last season, maybe he would have posed a threat to Tang Rou in the contest for Best Rookie. With a personality very similar to that of Zhang Xinjie, even though he was young, he gave people the impression of being extremely reliable.
But after defeating Gao Jie, Song Qiying was very quickly sent off by 301’s third player Qian Wenju. Then, Tyranny’s Zhang Jiale went in and defeated Qian Wenju. 301’s Yang Cong came up, but in the end he too died in Zhang Jiale’s brilliant Hundred Blossoms display.
“These guys are in pretty good condition today!” Ye Xiu said. Qian Wenju had dealt a good amount of health when Zhang Jiale took him down, and then Zhang Jiale had continued on to defeat Yang Cong’s full-health Scene Killer. It was practically a 1v2. After that, however, 301’s group arena anchor Bai Shu came onstage. By this point, Tyranny still had three players left, so their advantage was clear. Zhang Jiale played a very relaxed match, and although he didn’t complete a 1v3, he still did his job in whittling down Bai Shu for the next player. Tyranny’s fourth player was their captain Han Wenqing, and in the end Bai Shu’s Tide fell to Desert Dust.
“They all have a lot of spirit!” Ye Xiu exclaimed, after seeing Tyranny take the lead in the group arena, 5 to 3.
Next was the team competition. Tyranny finally revealed how their rhythm was different from what it had been during the regular season. In the regular season, even towards the end when they stopped rotation and come onstage together like this, the focus had still been on maintaining condition for the playoffs. There had always been worries that such rotations that prevented all three from being onstage together would cause their cooperation to become rusty.
Reality proved that for these generals, such concerns were unnecessary. For these experienced players, it was like riding a bicycle – once you learned, then no matter how long you went without riding one, you would be able to pick it up again very quickly.
Three out of the four Tyranny old generals appeared in a match during the regular season, but when they started making their adjustments for the playoffs, they swiftly readapted to working together, and didn’t need much time to get used to each other again.
They continued to repress their excitement and save their strength. They were waiting to unleash it at the playoffs.
And now, it was here.
They’d restrained themselves for this season, they’d heard all sorts of comments like “these guys can’t keep up anymore.” But at last, Tyranny entered the playoffs, and they didn’t need to save their strength any longer. They’d endured this kind of talk, and could now launch their powerful counterattack. Of course, however, they weren’t doing this because of the talk. This was the rhythm that Tyranny had prepared for this season, since the very beginning.
6 to 2.
In the end, they won a crushing victory. 301’s strategy had only been refined through half a season. Now that it had lost some of its newness, it couldn’t stand up to this most experienced team in the Alliance.
The final score was 11 to 5, quite a large difference, and this had been 301’s home game…
Hundred Blossoms, 301, they had barely clawed their way into the playoffs, only to lose their home games in the very first round.
Some were delighted, some were crying; this was how all competitions were destined to end.
“It looks like Tyranny will win,” said Ye Xiu. 11 to 5, this was a large advantage. Not many people would favor 301, who would have to make a comeback on Tyranny’s home field.
“Alright, let’s head back and rest!” Ye Xiu stood up and announced, as though he were about to go onto a battlefield right now. In his mind, probably, tonight’s rest was a very important part of preparing for tomorrow’s match.
One after another, they exited the meeting room, only to see that there was still a light on in the training room. Ye Xiu casually pushed the door open, and found that Mo Fan was still inside.
“What are you doing?” Ye Xiu asked.
“Video.” Now, finally, Mo Fan wouldn’t completely ignore people when they spoke to him. When it was a question, he would at least answer it.
“Oh?” Ye Xiu walked up, followed by Chen Guo. The two of them stood behind him and saw…
“These are all videos of Blue Rain’s players!” Ye Xiu realized that Mo Fan was watching the performances of Blue Rain’s players in the group arena. Happy of course had all of these match recordings, and they had organized them. Matches that were particularly worthwhile were picked out to serve as final summary data of Blue Rain. Mo Fan was watching all of Blue Rain’s 1v1 battles from the regular season.
And tomorrow, Mo Fan would be appearing in the group arena. Ye Xiu didn’t have the habit of waiting until right before the match to announce the roster; typically he’d announce it the day before the match.
The roster they were using against Blue Rain had been announced that morning. This round, Mo Fan would be the second player in the group arena. Now, it was already the night before the match and everyone was relaxing and adjusting their condition. Mo Fan, however, was still stubbornly studying the data on the Blue Rain players.
“Don’t stay up too late!” Chen Guo, feeling moved, gave him a heartfelt reminder.
Mo Fan didn’t answer, he just nodded his head and continued watching the video intently. The few of them realized that there was no possibility of chatting with Mo Fan, so they didn’t say anything else and merely left.
Downstairs, the match had ended, and people should have been dispersing after watching the broadcast in Happy Internet Cafe. But right now, it seemed even more lively than it had been during the match. From the top of the stairs, Ye Xiu and the others looked down and saw that their three players, Qiao Yifan, Luo Ji, and An Wenyi, had been enthusiastically surrounded.
“What’s going on?” Chen Guo immediately ran downstairs to ask the manager.
It turned out that these three youngsters had sneakily joined this crowd of gamers to enjoy the match with everyone else, but when the crowd was dispersing, they were accidentally discovered and recognized. Gamers who came to Happy Internet Cafe, did their attitude toward Team Happy even need to be mentioned? They swiftly surrounded them and sent their well-wishes toward these three young players.
“Hey hey!!” Chen Guo directly rushed for the PA system at the front desk of the cafe and shouted to get everyone’s attention.
“Let our players rest!” she shouted.
“Ye Xiu!!” In the end, everyone hollered even louder than Chen Guo. Ye Xiu hadn’t taken the back door, instead walking down the steps through the Internet cafe. Chen Guo’s shout had attracted everyone’s attention, and instantly everyone discovered this even more exciting presence.
“Calm down!” Ye Xiu decisively made his way to the front desk and plucked the microphone from Chen Guo’s hand.
“Everyone calm down! If you want to cheer us on, everyone is welcome at the stadium live tomorrow!” Ye Xiu shouted.
“Go Happy! Go!” Everyone chanted enthusiastically. They were all fairly in control, actually, because everyone knew that tomorrow was Happy’s match, and no one dared harass them too much at this time. If someone was being particularly difficult, then the other gamers wouldn’t accept it and would take care of the problem themselves. So, Ye Xiu’s simple two shouts were enough to let everyone understand and settle down. The three youngsters extricated themselves, thanked everyone for the support, and left with Ye Xiu.
Halfway back to their residence, they saw two familiar silhouettes squatting on the curb. One had cigarette smoke curling all around him, while the other was playing with what looked like a bicycle chain in his hands.
The group quietly approached, and heard Wei Chen telling Steamed Bun all about his glory years.
“In those days, I was Blue Rain’s soul and backbone, a person they could never be without!” Wei Chen was saying, his face full of sadness from reflecting on the past.