Chapter 1534: A Change in Eras
Translator: Nomyummi Editor: Nomyummi
Samsara, Tiny Herb. These two teams were currently the only two teams in the Alliance with two championships. However, Samsara’s two championships were consecutive, more impressive than Tiny Herb’s, which were interrupted in between. In addition, they were also on their way to their third consecutive championship, but Tiny Herb? They had already gone two years without anything.
The majority of the current Tiny Herb was no longer the Tiny Herb that had obtained two championships. Their God of Healing, Fang Shiqian, their unassuming yet diligent and reliable Knight, Deng Fusheng, had already left Tiny Herb and Glory.
After Tiny Herb’s two championship wins, they went through a reconstruction. People could see that now, Tiny Herb’s most important player, Magician Wang Jiexi, had began the countdown on his time at Tiny Herb. Many players who debuted in the third season had already retired, and though team aces would usually retire later than normal players, of the Season 3 debuts, Seaside’s All-Star level ace Zhao Yang had already retired last year and 301 Degrees’ captain Yang Cong had also abdicated from this position as the core of the team after Bai Shu joined. He was clearly getting ready to leave things to his juniors as well.
Wang Jiexi was still a member of Tiny Herb’s main roster, an irreplaceable ace player. The most irreplaceable player.
How much longer would Tiny Herb spend depending on Wang Jiexi? Everyone who cared about Tiny Herb cared about this question. Just from onstage performance, it didn’t seem like Wang Jiexi had declined in any way, but he was still getting old. There was only one explanation for his stable performance despite the erosion of age: he was over-exerting himself.
Yang Cong, having abdicated from his position of ace, might slowly only play in rotation and become a substitute player if he continued to lower the standards to which he held his own performance. With this pace, he’d still be able to play at decently high level for a good two, maybe even three years.
What about Wang Jiexi?
If he continued the way he was, leading Tiny Herb on this charge to the finish, how long would he be able to last?
Everyone was worried, but they couldn’t help but admire him for his spirit and willingness to sacrifice himself for his team. If he was willing to persist, then they were willing to bear witness to what he had left to give and hope this kind of sacrifice could earn him something in return.
However, the obstacle in Wang Jiexi’s way, in Tiny Herb’s way, was Samsara. The mighty Samsara.
Compared to Tiny Herb, Samsara was a team currently in its prime. Their players had mostly joined in Season 5 and 6, and they were all at the peak age of their pro careers. Even the younger ones, like Sun Xiang, for example, had debuted in Season 7 with experience in weaker teams and powerhouse teams and even the Challenger League before coming to Samsara. Sun Xiang’s four years in the pro Glory scene had been even more comprehensive than many veterans.
In Season 8, Samsara beat Blue Rain in the finals.
In Season 9, Samsara struck down Tyranny in the finals.
This season, they met Tiny Herb in the semi-finals.
Samsara was going through these former championship teams one after the other. It seemed like they were using this method to announce to the people of Glory that a new chapter had begun in the Alliance, and Samsara was the author of this new chapter. Though many people were unwilling to accept this, they couldn’t deny that Samsara was a strong team.
Take the two teams currently watching this match together.
Tyranny was an old team with old players who refused to leave the stage. They felt an even deeper desire. As for Happy? As a new team with newcomers, they should’ve been a team of an even newer era than Samsara, but this team just had to have Ye Xiu in it, and Wei Chen, and Su Mucheng from the Golden Generation, as well as Fang Rui who was from the same generation as Samsara’s Zhou Zekai. It was complicated and hard to say what sort of attitude Happy would have for Samsara.
However, for this match between Tiny Herb and Samsara, the two teams didn’t hesitate to place their bets on a Samsara victory.
The home team Samsara didn’t choose any map with particular strategic value, just something the were more familiar with, and then faced Tiny herb head on.
Five to three.
Zhou Zekai, the fourth player on Samsara’s side, closed the curtains on the group area.
In the following team competition, Samsara used their map advantage, not underestimating their opponent in the slightest.
Zhang Xinjie generally never gave uncertain answers, and therefore very rarely made predictions of matches. However, this time, he gave a very clear cut answer, “Samsara will win.”
Yes, Samsara will win.
The situation was already clear enough.
“Any opinions on Samsara? Feel free to tell us; it’s not like you’ll need it.” Ye Xiu smiled.
There was no way that Zhang Xinjie wouldn’t get what Ye Xiu was after. He smiled and ignored the question. Behind him, Zhang Jiale leaned over, rebutting Ye Xiu. “How about you talk about your opinion on Samsara.”
“They’re really good,” Ye Xiu said.
“No shit,” Zhang Jiale replied.
“Even better than last year,” Ye Xiu then added.
Last year, Tyranny had fallen to Samsara in the finals. Tyranny’s players had been unable to keep up the fight against time. This time? Their abilities had been eroded by yet another year, while Samsara had only grown stronger.
It really was time for a new era to begin.
Even if one of them managed to snipe Samsara this year, no matter if it was Ye Xiu or Tyranny’s veterans, they didn’t have the power to compete with Samsara further.
Samsara would start anew next year, but what about them? Their era had was one to be left behind.
“Even if we’re just a rock they stumble over, we’ll make them fall as harshly as we can,” Han Wenqing said.
Everyone understood what he meant. They could only make their trip and delay them, but they wouldn’t be able to trap them. Today, they could only be that small rock in their way. No matter how stubborn Han Wenqing was, he still had to accept the inevitable.
“Then we’ll crush them under our feet.” Unexpectedly, someone spoke up from behind Ye Xiu.
Ye Xiu turned his head and saw Tang Rou, as well as Steamed Bun, Qiao Yifan, Mo Fan, An Wenyi, Luo Ji…
They weren’t from the same era as the veterans. The veterans might be worn-away pebbles, but they weren’t. For Ye Xiu and co, this was an ending, but for them, it was only the beginning.
“You’re right,” Ye Xiu chuckled. “Then, let’s lay the best path possible for you!”
“Crush Samsara!” Zhang Jiale added.
“What are you spazzing out about? Your destiny is to be crushed by us,” Ye Xiu mocked.
“Fuck!” Zhang Jiale bristled. He got too into it, forgetting for a moment that these guys were fighting to the death with them next.
“Let’s go. You guys should go and prepare for your defeat as well!” Ye Xiu said, getting up.
The match wasn’t over, but even Zhang Xinjie dared to say the result. There was no more suspense to the match. It had been over for a while now. Ye Xiu led Happy’s players out first.
“Is it really okay to let those guys walk off all smug like that?” Zhang Jiale raged. He was very much displeased with the lack of response to Ye Xiu’s trash talk.
“If there was any use in trash talking, then why even bother competing with matches?” Han Wenqing said.
“Actually it’s because we can’t win in trash talk, no?” Lin Jingyan said honestly.
There was a moment of silence.
“Fuck.” Shockingly enough, Han Wenqing cursed, unable to say anything against that.
“Hey!” That was when Song Qiying, attention still on the match, suddenly gave a cry of surprise.
Everyone looked over.
The match that they had thought was set in stone had suddenly rippled. Though in the end it didn’t manage to change the final result, but…
“I made too hasty a judgement,” Zhang Xinjie decided. That meant that while those ripples made by Tiny Herb’s new generation players Liu Xiaobie, Gao Yingjie, and the others didn’t manage to turn the tables, it did create the hope of a comeback.
Samsara won, one step closer to their goal of three consecutive championships. Tiny Herb lost, but people unexpectedly saw in this match that Tiny Herb had a future that wasn’t as simple as it seemed at first glance. Perhaps it wasn’t as people had feared, that Tiny Herb would crumble with Wang Jiexi’s departure.
Tomorrow. Everyone had a tomorrow.
For Happy, tomorrow was the last day off before the deciding match of the quarterfinals.
“Well, what must be said must be said.” Happy’s members gathered in the practice room once again in the morning, with Ye Xiu making a speech.
“Never mind all of you, even I’ve never played in the third game of a set before,” Ye Xiu said.
“Neither have I,” Wei Chen added.
“You haven’t even done this for as long as I have!” Fang Rui retorted.
“Shut up, all of you!” Chen Guo yelled.
“Continue,” Chen Guo directed at Ye Xiu.
Ye Xiu let out the breath he had held in, as he was used to thinking that the “shut up” was also directed at him.
“We don’t know the map beforehand, so there’s no way of making arrangements for it. Even the lineup will be decided last minute. So we all have to prepare to be called up at any moment. I want you all to keep that in mind,” Ye Xiu continued.
“Understood.” Everyone nodded.
“We won’t make arrangements today. You should all take time to prepare yourselves however you want. Either way, we need to be in top shape for tomorrow’s match. You heard what we said last night. Since Tyranny’s Han Wenqing has casted Tyranny as a pebble, then we have no choice but to adhere to that and kick them aside,” Ye Xiu said.
Everyone laughed. They had all heard Han Wenqing’s words, but they all knew that this wasn’t a role he had casted Tyranny for, just musing over things from the perspective of a veteran. Ye Xiu had obviously been included as part of the pebble metaphor, but now Ye Xiu had decided to go off from that. It was obviously a joke!
“Kick them aside!!” Steamed Bun cheered.
Happy’s members facepalmed. Okay, so it wasn’t that obvious to some people.
“Our target is the championship. Did anyone take a look at what happened last night after we left?” Ye Xiu asked.
“I saw some comments online and went to finish watching the match,” An Wenyi said. “Tiny Herb almost made a comeback.”
“Oh?” Many of them made noises of surprise. As expected, most of them hadn’t bothered to pay the match any attention after leaving.
“See that? That’s competition. Nothing is certain until the very last moment. Even like last night when we were all certain of a steady victory on Samsara’s side, miracles can still happen,” Ye Xiu said.
“To most people, our victory in the Challenger League was a miracle, and winning the championship will be even more of a miracle. Since they like miracles so much, then we have no choice but to create another miracle for them to witness,” Ye Xiu said.
They all laughed again. Miracles were miracles. He was joking again.
“Let’s create our miracle!” However, this joke gained everyone’s support. Whether out loud, or silently to themselves, they all cheered.