Su Mucheng, Bao Rongxing…
Tyranny had studied Happy for three days, and now, it was time for them to conclude their findings. They outlined a summary of these two players’ performances in their match against Blue Rain.
This obviously wasn’t all the information that they had obtained. Under Zhang Xinjie’s meticulous guidance, they analyzed every piece of information.
What should we do?
Everyone had the same thought, much like how Zhang Jiale had tacitly understood earlier the role that he would need to play. However, because of Zhang Xinjie’s caution and seriousness, even Han Wenqing, who had known Zhang Xinjie for many years, had to confirm that everyone was on the same page.
Everything was conducted anxiously but orderly.
Tyranny, Samsara, Tiny Herb, and Happy, who had entered the quarterfinals despite this being their first year in the league.
The next step was the finals.
The next step was the championship cup itself.
At this moment, who could relax? Who could give up?
Every year, when it reached this point in time, the atmosphere would turn abnormally heavy. Even the wars between in-game players would turn exceptionally heated.
The teams that made it to the semifinals were all teams with a strong fanbase. When expectations were high, people would often become sensitive and weak. Since four teams had qualified for the quarterfinals, that meant four teams had been eliminated. None of the four eliminated teams were weak teams. How could any of the fans be content with these results?
One day, two days…
Day after day of tension passed.
The first round of the semifinals was about to begin.
The first round would be Happy’s home game against Tyranny. It would take place in Happy’s stadium in City H.
Happy’s home stadium was formerly Excellent Era’s. In the Glory Alliance, there were no two teams with more enmity towards each other than Excellent Era and Tyranny. When Excellent Era was relegated from the league, countless people thought that the Alliance had now lost a piece of history. Afterwards, Excellent Era disbanded and went away… it seemed like this piece of history would never return.
But then, Happy joined the Alliance. Their leader was Excellent Era’s former captain, Ye Xiu. Happy also succeeded Excellent Era’s home stadium in City H. For a moment, Tyranny’s fans took their hostility towards Excellent Era and placed it all onto Ye Xiu alone.
Of course, Ye Xiu played an important part in the the relationship between the two teams.
It was just that Happy was Happy. Say that Happy was the continuation of Excellent Era? How could that be said? In the Challenger League, Happy was the one who eliminated Excellent Era and led to their disbandment.
Fortunately, Excellent Era was rescued in the end, leaving a few key remnants of the organization. The New Excellent Era had won the Challenger League this season and would be returning to the Alliance. Beside them was also a group of loyal fans who would never abandon the team.
But there were many people who felt like Happy was more like the original Excellent Era, even if they were the team that led to Excellent Era’s disbandment.
It was because Happy took over the original Excellent Era’s home stadium. It was because Happy’s captain was Excellent Era’s former captain, Ye Xiu.
The Ye Xiu that had founded Excellent Era’s dynasty.
The Ye Xiu that had earned the title of Battle God for One Autumn Leaf.
No matter what, these were all of the past, things that had already become reality. These achievements would never be separated from Ye Xiu, nor would they ever be forgotten.
As a result, when Happy and Tyranny met in the playoffs, many people brought up the often-talked-about subject of old enemies.
It wouldn’t be good to talk more about one person’s name.
Everyone kept on talking about Ye Xiu. Even Su Mucheng, who used to be a core player on Excellent Era, was mentioned less.
After all, when Excellent Era won their three championships, Su Mucheng hadn’t been a part of the team yet, and most of the enmity between Excellent Era and Tyranny had been established during that period of time. Su Mucheng happened to join the season that Tyranny beat Excellent Era. As such, the hostility towards Su Mucheng from Tyranny’s fans was naturally far less than Ye Xiu, who had led the team that had eliminated Tyranny three times in a row.
The match between Happy and Tyranny was discussed heavily by the media, who hyped up the match by flipping through talking point after talking point.
The day of the match was about to arrive.
And the sight of the fans that had assembled at the stadium was astonishing to see.
Although Happy was a popular team nowadays, their home game against Blue Rain was nowhere near as crazy.
As the beginning of the match approached, the number of people gathered at the stadium was so large that not only were there no empty seats, it might even be hard to find space outside the venue.
This sort of scene could only be found before when Excellent Era played against Tyranny.
Had City H’s Glory fans regarded Happy as an alternative to Excellent Era?
It was a reasonable possibility, but it shouldn’t be to this extent. After all, Happy defeating Excellent Era in the Challenger League was a fact that no loyal Excellent Era fan could ever forget.
There were Excellent Era fans that hated Happy. There were Excellent Era fans that were indifferent about Happy. But those who liked Happy could only be ones who liked fads.
Then, where did all of these Glory fans gathered here come from?
The playoffs was a popular topic among the media. There were, of course, special reports about the various histories behind the teams. Just taking a look at a few articles would give a good overview of the situation.
It was true that many of the people gathered here didn’t have any love or Happy, but their hostility towards Tyranny was as strong as ever.
That was why they came. Not to cheer on Happy, but to see Tyranny fall. There was no Excellent Era these days, but many Excellent Era fans continued their tradition of hating on Tyranny. Many of the reporters that were here to conduct interviews sighed at this scene. Although Excellent Era had already been gone from the Alliance for two years, their influence remained. The players could be gone, the characters could be changed, the stadium could be replaced, but the history that they had left behind would always remain.
Excellent Era was a memory, one whose glory would never be forgotten. And their enmity with Tyranny was a part of that memory.
As a result, there was now another point of discussion.
Happy was the one that led to Excellent Era’s downfall, yet now they were going to carry on the tradition? It was a very contradictory situation.
Of course, there were no lack of optimists in the interviews. They cheerfully expressed that they were here today to see the drama. It didn’t matter who won. Either way, they would be able to vent their anger…
All sorts of topics were pushed to the peak of attention because of this match. There were even fans who were certain that they had seen Huang Shaotian in the crowd. Others claimed to see Yu Wenzhou, Yang Cong, Tang Hao…
In short, the pro players who were no longer in contention for the championships all seemed to be somewhere in the crowd.
Who would win? Who would lose?
Everyone had come here to see the answer to this question.
That night at 8 o’clock, at the sold-out Xiaoshan Stadium, many of the Glory fans gathered outside without seats did not leave. They didn’t need to appreciate the course of the match. Just being able to know the results first-hand was enough for the wait to be worth it.
Inside the venue’s prep rooms, the two teams were getting ready for the match.
“It’s really lively today, huh.” Fang Rui was relaxed, talking to everyone as if this were normal. Team Happy had done what they had always done. At around seven, they left the Internet cafe, ready to cross the street to Xiaoshan Stadium. But when they saw the giant crowd outside, they got scared! It’d be a miracle if famous players like them could make it inside without any trouble!
In the end, Chen Guo urgently contacted the stadium employees.
Xiaoshan Stadium had hosted Glory events for many years. They had experienced the rivalry between Excellent Era and Tyranny and were familiar with handling it. As soon as they took Chen Guo’s phone call, they immediately told them that a special passageway had been prepared for them. The stadium even sent out a staff member to guide Happy inside. In fact, they already knew that Team Happy was right across street from them.
When they got inside the venue, the sea of people outside the stadium left a deep impression on them.
Ye Xiu and Su Mucheng weren’t too surprised. They had been a part of Excellent Era and had experienced it before. But even Fang Rui, an All-Star, had never seen such an army before. As a matter of fact, despite having more experience than the rookies, he felt more surprised than them.
“Why aren’t these people leaving? The match is almost about to start,” Chen Guo said. She was too naive. Chen Guo thought that those Glory fans outside were hoping for a ticket, and since the match was about to start, they clearly hadn’t gotten any tickets and should be leaving. How could she have known that their passion was no longer something that could be stopped by a ticket to the match. Just waiting outside, awaiting for the results with everyone else, was a type of joy to these people.
“I just know that the crowd gathered here today probably isn’t here to support us. Don’t feel too pressured by them,” Ye Xiu said solemnly.
Chen Guo stared blankly.
His intentions were good, but how come the logic didn’t seem to make sense?
“Tyranny has this many fans here?” Tang Rou asked. No matter how much of a rookie she was, she knew quite a bit about the scene now. Their opponent was Team Tyranny. And having worked at Happy Internet Cafe in City H, Tang Rou knew about the people of this city’s relationship with Team Tyranny long before she became serious about playing Glory.
“They’re probably here hoping for Tyranny to fall,” Ye Xiu said.
“Then, aren’t they hoping for us to win?” Tang Rou said.
“They’ll probably be happy if we lose too,” Ye Xiu said.
Tang Rou was smart. She quickly understood.
“Too bad we won’t!” she said.
“That’s why I’m saying we should just treat them as if they didn’t exist,” Ye Xiu said.
Just as he said this, they heard a knock on their door. The staff were calling the two teams to get ready to go on stage.
Ye Xiu led the way out of the room and came across Team Tyranny’s captain and his old rival, Han Wenqing, who was also leading his team out.
They looked at each other face to face, without any expression. Soon, the two teams lined up next to each other in the passageway.
“When are you going to retire?” Ye Xiu suddenly asked Han Wenqing an especially depressing question.
“It’s still early.” Han Wenqing’s gaze was firm.
“You still want to win a championship?” Ye Xiu smirked. “You’ve got no chance this year.”
“Humph,” Han Wenqing snorted.
Ye Xiu turned his head and gave an upward nod at the third Tyranny player in line. “You’ve got no chance at a fifth second-place finish, either.”
Zhang Jiale wished he could give Ye Xiu ten middle fingers.