Chapter 1451: No Tactics
Fang Rui had barely exited the player booth when Tang Rou stood from her seat at Happy’s bench.
They had finally gotten to the playoffs stage, but Tang Rou didn’t get a chance to fight at all in the first round. She was, naturally, extremely disappointed.
She hadn’t been a member of the team competition last round, but she was the anchor for the group arena. But Happy ended the group arena with their fourth player last round. Tang Rou had been eagerly anticipating a fight that night, yet had been no more than a spectator.
Logically speaking, it would be better for Happy if Tang Rou, as the anchor, didn’t get a chance to fight. That was something Happy would be happy about.
Tang Rou naturally wasn’t hoping that Happy did badly, she just wanted to fight.
This round, Tang Rou was positioned fourth and finally got her chance. Without waiting for Fang Rui to come down, she was already charging up onto the stage.
“Little Tang is pretty much the antonym of Blue Rain’s Zheng Xuan!” Ye Xiu exclaimed.
Chen Guo paused for a moment in surprise before considering it again. That was… true.
Zheng Xuan’s lack of motivation was infamous, always ready with a “how stressful” on his tongue. As for Tang Rou? Tang Rou had the most motivation for competition. She loved a challenge and being under pressure.
“You think they’ll go up against each other?” Chen Guo was suddenly very interested in watching the two antonyms face off.
“Probably not?” Ye Xiu said.
“There’s still another player on Blue Rain’s side!” Chen Guo exclaimed.
“Huang Shaotian,” Ye Xiu reminded her.
“Oh yeah!” Chen Guo slapped a hand on her forehead. She had forgotten; Blue Rain’s Huang Shaotian hadn’t fought yet, today! She was so used to Zheng Xuan having a set spot in the 1v1 matches, but today Blue Rain decided to try something new and gave Yu Wenzhou a spot in the group arena, and thus Zheng Xuan managed to get out of playing today. As for Blue Rain’s anchor, that was definitely Huang Shaotian. He was the core and ace, after all!
Happy’s two, one heading onstage, the other coming offstage, met halfway.
“You’re eager, aren’t you?” Fang Rui grinned.
Tang Rou just smiled, not saying anything.
“That brat’s a straightforward sort of guy, just close in directly and overwhelm him!” Fang Rui said.
“Alright.” Tang Rou nodded.
“Good luck.” Fang Rui returned to Happy’s player bench after giving his blessings.
Though it was Blue Rain who had won, it was Happy’s player coming back, so the applause was restrained. The wildest applause came from the west stands. That was where the Happy fans congregated, offering thunderous applause for Happy when they came on and off stage, no matter if they won or lost. Though Blue Rain had won a round just now, the Blue Rain fans were pretty solemn due to the overall situation not being in their favour.
“Young people nowadays sure are something!” Fang Rui exclaimed, having returned to Happy’s bench. When discussing Lu Hanwen, he obviously did have the right to act the veteran.
“Did you think you could defeat him easily?” Ye Xiu asked.
“Actually, I really did think so at first. I’ve fought the brat a few times in these past two years,” Fang Rui admitted.
“He’s improving really fast, isn’t he?” Ye Xiu said.
“He has a limitless future ahead of him.” Fang Rui’s expression was uncharacteristically serious.
Chen Guo was listening in on the side, and after a good while, she turned her head to look at Fang Rui. “So you mean to say your loss was reasonable?”
“Ah, boss, you really know how to start a conversation!” Fang Rui slapped his leg excitedly.
Chen Guo rolled her eyes. She had thought it was weird that these two were suddenly feeling generous and nice enough to complement their juniors. She should’ve expected that they were just shamelessly setting up a scenario to make this loss seem reasonable! Seems like Fang Rui was rather embarrassed at losing to this second year rookie.
“Haha.” Ye Xiu laughed, sitting to the side, but afterwards, he said seriously, “Boss, I think we should keep an eye on him. He’ll become a powerful rival that Happy won’t be able to shake off for ten years.”
“Like Han Wenqing!” Chen Guo blurted out. Rivals of ten years, Chen Guo, used to seeing things with One Autumn Leaf in mind, immediately thought of Han Wenqing and his Desert Dust.
“How?” Ye Xiu didn’t agree. “I destroyed him ages ago. It’s him who can’t avoid me.”
“Hey, hold your horses! In season four, he destroyed you.” Wei Chen couldn’t help but interrupt.
“Haha, everyone who walks by the river will get their shoes wet some time,” Ye Xiu replied.
This analogy… how come it sounded no less arrogant? Chen Guo was speechless.
The reason why Happy’s players had the energy to chat was because the match had yet to start. Although Tang Rou went up early, the break between each round was set. Tang Rou had already gotten up there, but now she still had to wait.
After about half a minute, the battle between the fourth position players on each side began.
Tang Rou, having accumulated her aggression for so long, had full health. Soft Mist charged right out. Lu Hanwen, with Flowing Clouds only at 23 percent health, resolutely choose to play tactically after the match began.
“Lu Hanwen is planning on being tactical!” From Pan Lin’s tone, it was clear that this choice was rather surprising.
With what Lu Hanwen had shown so far in terms of personality and play style, he was definitely not a tactical player. Plus, as a second year rookie, could he really do tactics well?
“His opponent is Tang Rou, after all!” Li Yibo’s words cut through everyone’s doubt.
Although Lu Hanwen only had two years of experience, that was more than Tang Rou, who had only played one regular season and was in her first playoffs.
Lu Hanwen wasn’t a tactical player, but Tang Rou… wasn’t one either, no?
Hoping for a battle of wits like what Yu Wenzhou and Ye Xiu had from two brute force style players wasn’t realistic. Lu Hanwen’s tactics might not be very methodical or deep, but Tang Rou was the same. His not-so-good tactics might just be enough here. They were both at the same level, so who knew.
“Speaking of, this is Tang Rou’s first playoffs battle!” Pan Lin brought up.
“You’re right. She didn’t get a chance to play last round,” Li Yibo said.
“She doesn’t seem nervous at all! She was so impatient, coming up,” Pan Lin laughed.
“Nervous? Think about it. She’s the player who said she would 1v3, then faced all those accusations, yet could still still play normally onstage. Think of what sort of mental fortitude she has,” Li Yibo reminded the other.
“That’s true. It seems like the usual problems that newbies would face won’t be an issue here,” Pan Lin said.
“Indeed. The problems Tang Rou faced never came from the environment. They were mostly self-focused, like her grasp of rhythm, her defensive ability, etc. which we discussed in the regular season,” Li Yibo added.
“That’s right, we did discuss some of her problems in the regular season, but with each battle until now, I can see a clear improvement,” Pan Lin commented.
“Now it’s time to test these improvements,” Li Yibo said.
These two talked with a hint of pride, like it was they who had guided Tang Rou to where she stood now.
“Tang Rou has gone directly for the middle while Lu Hanwen’s decided to head to his right, and thus circling to the map’s west side.” Pan Lin focused on the match and began to commentate.
Tang Rou had charged quickly and Soft Mist soon arrived at the center of the map. She carefully looked around, but didn’t see her opponent.
“Have you yet to arrive or are you circling around?” Tang Rou asked in the chat.
As expected of someone from Happy, who spent all her time with Ye Xiu and the others. Tang Rou asked this question so reasonably and straightforwardly, as if she hadn’t considered this to be a crucial match of the playoffs. There was no reason for an opponent to give you a straight answer to that sort of question!
Lu Hanwen, that poor child, answered ever so honestly, “I’m circling around.”
“Which side?” Tang Rou asked.
The entire stadium was filled with whispering. Why did none of Happy’s member care for these courtesies? They were all wondering.
“Guess.” Lu Hanwen sent an emote with its tongue out, finally not being so honest anymore.
“Alright then, I’ll wait for you,” Tang Rou replied and then Soft Mist just stopped there, turning her head back and forth and observing her surroundings.
Lu Hanwen was, naturally, very familiar with this map. Flowing Cloud soon circled around to the central route’s west flank before starting to carefully approach, using the forestry as cover. Finally, when he peeked out from behind a tree, he found Soft Mist.
How should he strike?
Seeing Soft Mist who was turning her head back and forth, Lu Hanwen scratched his head. This really wasn’t his forte!
After thinking for about five seconds, Lu Hanwen made a decision.
He’ll ambush from behind!
He thought to himself. So, he carefully watched Soft Mist turn her head around, and when she was facing away from his direction, Flowing Cloud darted out!
“…” Pan Lin was rendered speechless for a moment. After being given a top tier dirty performance, Lu Hanwen’s Flowing Cloud charging out like that just seemed so lacking. Pan Lin was too embarrassed to call it an ambush.
“Flowing Cloud circles around to the west side and strikes!” In the end, he summarized it with that.
Offstage, Fang Rui was rolling on the ground with laughter as he gestured wildly towards Blue Rain’s other players. Over on Blue Rain’s side, Yu Wenzhou also changed the topic immediately when it was brought up. He didn’t want to talk about Lu Hanwen’s attempt at being tactical because there was nothing to talk about.
Such a simple and direct ambush from behind… those who would be caught off guard by that would only be the newest of newbies.
Tang Rou wasn’t that new anymore, and her mental fortitude was far greater than many veterans.
Lu Hanwen’s very, very simple sneak attack didn’t do anything a sneak attack was meant to.
Soft Mist immediately rolled to avoid it, and when she got up, she already had a counterattack at the ready.
Lu Hanwen’s tactics ended there.
Clang clang clang!
Their weapons slammed against one another.
Everyone immediately felt much less awkward.
This was how the juniors should be fighting! Direct and intense. Leave those sneaky, crafty tactics to those old men!
Clang clang clang!
The clash of weapons, the collision of skills. The terrain was nonexistent and the map no longer had any effect. For two players like them, just them a small space and they could turn the world upside down with their battles.
This was a battle purely of mechanics and skill.