Chapter 1439: Not Easy
The second round of the group arena finally ended. As Li Yibo had predicted, Song Xiao had won.
Ye Xiu had been limited by his mana. After sandbagging for seven minutes, he leaped out and gave Song Xiao’s Receding Tides a fierce beating. He used up all of his mana, though, and lost in the end.
Song Xiao won, but even so, Team Blue Rain’s braindead fans weren’t excited. If this were an individual competition, the outcome would have been worthy of celebration. But this was only a part of the group arena. Ye Xiu had not only defeated Yu Wenzhou, Song Xiao’s Receding Tides only had 28% of his health left. How could they be excited?
When Ye Xiu walked off from the stage, the Blue Rain fans didn’t know what sort of attitude they should display. Applause? Not possible. Boo? They couldn’t do it. The reason the match had turned out this way was because of Blue Rain’s own strategic arrangements. Not only did they fail to accomplish their goals, Ye Xiu had sandbagged and fooled them. If they booed Ye Xiu, Team Blue Rain would be the ones losing face.
“This match went on for 19 minutes and 21 seconds, which is probably a new record for a 1v1 on the competitive stage,” Pan Lin said.
“Probably,” Li Yibo nodded his head.
They just mentioned this record in the passing. They didn’t actually care too much about it because it wasn’t a record worthy of being proud of. In a 1v1, the faster the match ended, the more impressive it was. Only those sorts of records were worthy of being remembered.
“Ye Xiu had the dominant position in the last parts of the match. I feel like if he had conserved his mana a bit better, he might have been able to beat Song Xiao,” Pan Lin said.
“Uh… I think he probably held back intentionally, so he wouldn’t waste too much energy in this match!” Li Yibo said.
“He was that in control?” Pan Lin muttered in disbelief.
“Nice job.” The members of Team Happy got up to welcome back Ye Xiu.
“Sit, sit. That must have been exhausting?” Chen Guo was worried. Blue Rain’s intentions had been obvious. Even though Ye Xiu had been able to relax for 7 minutes, the two 1v1s he played had lasted nearly half an hour. He had played for a long time.
“I’m good,” Ye Xiu smiled.
“No need to be worried. He’s definitely fine,” Wei Chen said.
“How do you know?” Chen Guo said.
“He’d played the online game day and night for a year, yet he was still able to maintain his skill level. How he could he not know how to conserve his energy? To think those youngsters at Blue Rain would actually employ this sort of strategy! They definitely messed up. If they wanted to tire him out, they should be fighting him directly,” Wei Chen said.
“That… seems to make sense!” Chen Guo thought about it for a second. In the regular season, in their second match against Wind Howl, Tang Hao had fought a 1v1 against Ye Xiu in the individual competition. The two sides had fought each other in a direct confrontation. That 1v1 hadn’t lasted long, but Ye Xiu had clearly looked exhausted after winning the match against Tang Hao. Using a direct method was a better way of tiring out Ye Xiu.
“If we knew those guys would make this sort of arrangement, I should have gone up to play too,” Wei Chen joked.
Everyone laughed. After knowing that Ye Xiu wasn’t too tired, everyone felt more relaxed. Happy’s second player was Mo Fan. This map was clearly suitable for him. After seeing this map, everyone already had high hopes for Mo Fan. It was just that no one could see any sort of enthusiasm or excitement from him. Mo Fan mumbled a “mm” and then went up on stage.
When the third round of the group arena began, Pan Lin and Li Yibo could tell that this map was rather suitable for Mo Fan. As expected, Mo Fan didn’t hesitate to take a roundabout route. However, he went along the west path, while Song Xiao’s Receding Tides went along the east path. Thus, the two characters passed by each other. When Song Xiao approached the central path but didn’t see Mo Fan, he said a few words in the chat. Mo Fan did not respond though. When he didn’t see Receding Tides on the west path, he directly cut to the east path.
Song Xiao’s Receding Tides only had 28% of his health left. He didn’t dare be as bold as Mo Fan. Receding Tides went in a circle and cut across the center. When the viewers saw their movements, Song Xiao running around randomly might really end up with him circling behind Mo Fan.
“Ah, this… I’m not sure if I should say that Song Xiao’s luck is rather good, or if Mo Fan is being too careless!” Pan Lin said.
“Careless? If you look closely, Mo Fan is being very careful,” Li Yibo chuckled.
“Oh?” Pan Lin took a closer look after Li Yibo’s reminder and soon noticed the hints. Mo Fan’s Deception wasn’t just rushing forward mindlessly. When he made the horizontal cut across, he borrowed the dense forest as a cover.
“Mo Fan’s this familiar with the map?” Pan Lin was surprised.
“I remember you saying that Ye Xiu had picked up a rock and smashed his own foot with it?” Li Yibo joked, “I think those words are more suitable for Blue Rain!”
“What? Oh…” Pan Lin suddenly remembered, “Blue Rain wanted to tire out Ye Xiu, but after playing for so long, not only did they fail to do so, by dragging on the match, Happy had a lot of time to familiarize themselves with the map through the spectator omniscient view.”
“Correct. Mo Fan is only a first-year rookie. How could he coincidentally be familiar with the map Blue Rain chose? His understanding of the map is because of the nearly thirty minutes of time Blue Rain had gifted him!” Li Yibo said.
“Today, Blue Rain has truly… miscalculated,” Pan Lin sighed.
“It looks like Ye Xiu might have had a method to finish the match quickly, but he intentionally went along with Blue Rain’s pace to give his teammates time to understand the map,” Li Yibo said.
“This… is that true?” Pan Lin was astonished.
“Beating them at their own game, isn’t that his usual style?” Li Yibo said.
“But it didn’t feel that excessive during his time with One Autumn Leaf!” Pan Lin said.
“Probably because he didn’t have as much pressure on him before!” Li Yibo said.
Pan Lin stared blankly and realized that it was true. Ye Xiu wasn’t as young as before to the extent that Blue Rain would intentionally try to exhaust him. The current him probably couldn’t charge forward fearlessly like before. He needed to use his brain more in these matches. In addition, Team Happy was not a powerhouse like Team Excellent Era. Although the sudden appearance of a bunch of Level 80 Silver equipment in the first round had given everyone a fright, after observing them in real combat, the pro teams could see that Happy’s Level 80 Silver equipment seemed rather superficial. The equipment didn’t reach their theoretical might.
They were at best as good as Level 75 equipment.
The R&D departments of the participating playoffs team all had talented people. Before the first round of Happy versus Blue Rain had ended, there were already people who had reached this conclusion.
Happy was trying to catch up to everyone else. The level that their equipment could reach could only approach the level of these powerhouses. Level 80 Silver equipment weren’t miracles. They were tricks. They could only approach but not exceed.
For Happy to reach this stage was already impressive. People were perhaps no longer surprised by Happy’s outstanding performance to the extent that they had forgotten how Happy had achieved such incredible results under such disadvantageous conditions.
And how much effort had Ye Xiu put in during these hardships?
Leading a powerhouse and leading a new team, there was no need to explain which one was more difficult, no?
Leading this new team, Ye Xiu had beaten Team Excellent Era in the Challenger League. He had won 37 1v1s in the regular season. Team Happy finished sixth in the regular season and entered the playoffs and had the lead right now against Team Blue Rain.
Was Ye Xiu truly not as good as he used to be?
None of that could be seen!
The current Ye Xiu might be the best Ye Xiu.
He was able to utilize all of his talents in Glory to lead Team Happy to such heights! Many people should open their eyes and look again more clearly.
Li Yibo’s nonchalant remark made Pan Lin suddenly feel emotional. Ye Xiu had built Happy up from nothing, starting from that Internet cafe all the way to the playoffs stage, step by step, difficult yet brilliant.
“He really has gotten behind him!” At this moment, Li Yibo shouted, bringing Pan Lin back to the match. Pan Lin saw that Song Xiao’s Receding Tides had taken a roundabout path, making an arc behind Deception’s horizontal cut across. But…
“He doesn’t know!”
Song Xiao repeatedly looked in all directions, but he didn’t seem to notice Deception.
“How unfortunate,” Pan Lin said. His heart had swayed towards Happy, but he had to maintain a professional attitude.
At this moment, Mo Fan’s Deception suddenly stopped.
“Has Mo Fan sensed something? What keen intuition!” Pan Lin shouted.
“It’s probably because while he cut across, he had traversed quite a bit of distance yet still didn’t meet his opponent. From this, he was able to deduce that his opponent had chosen a different route. What do you think he deduced from that?” Li Yibo said.
“Turn around and retrace his steps!” Pan Lin said excitedly.
“If Song Xiao doesn’t make any large adjustments, they’ll soon run into each other,” Li Yibo said.
“But Song Xiao needs to pay attention to where he looks! If he doesn’t focus and misses it, he’ll be on the defensive,” Pan Lin said.
“That will depend on what he thinks Mo Fan is doing,” Li Yibo said.
The two had started talking faster, matching the increasing tension in this life and death match.
“They’re getting closer, closer, closer!” Pan Lin shouted non-stop.
“Song Xiao… ah!” Li Yibo sighed. Because Song Xiao wasn’t looking at where Deception was coming from. And after Mo Fan discovered Receding Tides, he had Deception hide behind a tree. By the time Song Xiao turned towards his location, all Song Xiao could see was dense fog.