Chapter 1536: An Opportunity Not Seized
Translator: Nomyummi Editor: Nomyummi
The roiling heat from the lava caused the outlines of the two characters to appear hazy.
“Han Wenqing’s in a shaky situation!” Commentator Pan Lin exclaimed, after seeing Desert Dust repeatedly close in, only for Lord Grim to use a movement skill to pull away again.
“But he hasn’t been shaken off,” Li Yibo said calmly from the side.
This thrilling fight had put Pan Lin in an excited state, commentating almost nonstop. But Li Yibo, during this intense match, was in fact uncommonly calm.
This match, for him, was also filled with many memories!
As first-generation players, Ye Xiu and Han Wenqing’s rivalry was a symbol of their time. In that era, the Alliance had just begun, and many technical and tactical aspects of Glory were still in their formative stages. In that setting, individual strength would become the deciding factor of a match. And Li Yibo, as a member of Team Tyranny, could be said to have completely experienced this symbol of that era. To this day, he still remembered when Excellent Era had won their third consecutive championship, the helplessness and despair that Ye Xiu’s domination had brought upon them.
Everyone in the team had felt discouraged and frustrated. But their captain Han Wenqing had never bowed down. Even if he only had a sliver of health remaining, he was the kind of person who would fight relentlessly until the very end.
Scene after scene from those old seasons played through Li Yibo’s mind. In comparison, he truly didn’t feel that Desert Dust closing in or widening the gap was any problem. Han Wenqing had faced far more despairing situations in the past without wavering.
It was just as Li Yibo had calmly said to Pan Lin: He still hadn’t been shaken off!
“Ah, chance!” Pan Lin suddenly shouted.
The expanse of lava to the right of these two characters came to an end and suddenly narrowed. Lord Grim was sticking to the side, looking like he wanted to turn right, but at this moment if Desert Dust suddenly used a jumping skill, it should be strong enough for him to directly leap across the lava to arrive in front of Lord Grim.
It was indeed a chance! Li Yibo’s eyes lit up.
But to everyone’s surprise, although Lord Grim looked like he was about to turn right, after taking one step, he suddenly began to Swift Run left.
“Ah!” Pan Lin already let out a shout of surprise. If Desert Dust had leapt like he thought he would, never mind catching Lord Grim, he would simply be a thousand miles off.
But Desert Dust hadn’t moved, as though Han Wenqing hadn’t detected that chance at all.
“Hehe, it was a feint, but unfortunately he didn’t fool Han Wenqing,” Li Yibo said, as though nothing had happened. With regard to this match, his position couldn’t be clearer. He resolutely supported Tyranny’s Han Wenqing! But he couldn’t let it show too obviously, so he pretended to be very calm.
“Right now, Lord Grim is heading left, Desert Dust continues to chase him. But Coach Li! If Han Wenqing had seen through Ye Xiu’s feint, then he should have also seen that Ye Xiu was preparing to control Lord Grim to move left, right? Then why didn’t he make any anticipating movements? If he had, then he’d be able to catch him, right?” Pan Lin asked.
Li Yibo hesitated.
That was right, why hadn’t he? Desert Dust also had a few explosive instant-movement skills, and Han Wenqing had been saving them all this time. But just now had been a pretty good opportunity. Why hadn’t he used them?
“There was a chance, but it still wasn’t good enough…” At this time, Yu Wenzhou was also responding to Huang Shaotian’s message.
“This still wasn’t good enough? I’d say it was pretty perfect!” But this time, Huang Shaotian disagreed with Yu Wenzhou’s analysis. His earlier message had been just like what Pan Lin had said, about how Han Wenqing could have made a predictive movement in that moment.
“To you, maybe it was enough, but for him it may not have been enough.” This was what Yu Wenzhou replied.
Huang Shaotian paused, understanding Yu Wenzhou’s meaning.
Huang Shaotian hadn’t had a firm grasp of that opportunity either, but a 50% chance of success was good enough for him to take action. In desperate times, 10% was good enough too.
But for Han Wenqing? He was no longer at peak performance, and judging from his attitude and choices over the course of this season, he was very aware of this fact as well. A few years ago, if faced with that opportunity, Han Wenqing probably would have controlled Desert Dust forward without a second thought. He might have even been fooled by Ye Xiu’s feint. But now, a false action, or an opportunity with a lower chance of success, wouldn’t spur him into action lightly.
He had changed, but in reality he wasn’t actually beginning to retreat or anything. He was just valuing his own drive and vigor, because he knew that he no longer had the ability to repeatedly enter a high-intensity explosive state.
While Yu Wenzhou and Huang Shaotian discussed Han Wenqing’s choice from the perspective of opportunity, a discussion amongst the players of another team took it a step further.
“He didn’t seize that chance, but he established a stronger suppressive atmosphere,” said Jiang Botao of Samsara.
Samsara had already entered the finals. The outcome of this match would tell them their opponent. Everyone on the team was curious about the result, and they were now gathered in front of the television to watch this match.
“From the performance, it looks like Ye Xiu has the advantage, but in reality he doesn’t have the initiative, hm?” Jiang Botao said, consulting the teammate next to him.
“Mm.” Zhou Zekai nodded.
“If it continues like this…” Because he also didn’t fully understand the map, Sun Xiang couldn’t make any particularly insightful predictions either.
“Who do you think will win?” Jiang Botao, smiling, suddenly asked Sun Xiang.
Sun Xiang was silent for a while, before opening his mouth. “I hope Ye Xiu wins.”
“Understood.” Jiang Botao continued to smile. After a year on the same team, he of course understood Sun Xiang’s personality. He hoped that Ye Xiu would win, and he hoped that Happy would win, but it definitely wasn’t because of any feelings of attachment toward Excellent Era or One Autumn Leaf. He hoped for this only because of last year’s failure in the Challenger League.
He received One Autumn Leaf from Ye Xiu, only for Ye Xiu to turn around with a new character, pull together a new team, and ferociously defeat him. Never mind an arrogant and proud youth like him, anyone in his place would feel incomparably depressed.
Even though Samsara had won twice against Happy during the regular season, those matches didn’t have the decisive finality that the Challenger League finals or the League playoffs did. Sun Xiang’s frustration and depression couldn’t be soothed by those two victories. He needed a more decisive stage.
Seeing that Happy had the chance to make it to the playoffs, Sun Xiang was genuinely happy. The reason for this was, naturally, that he wanted to meet them on this stage. And then, when the final rankings and the playoffs bracket came out, it was revealed that there was only one chance for the two teams to meet – in the finals.
For Sun Xiang, this stage couldn’t be more perfect. It was a hundred times more decisive than the Challenger League stage had been. But Sun Xiang was still a bit worried for Happy, fearing that that they wouldn’t be able to enter the finals.
But now, Happy, Tyranny, this last match’s outcome would determine who would meet Samsara in the playoffs. Out of all of Samsara, Sun Xiang was the most concerned about this. Half an hour before the match began, he was already waiting in front of the television.
“Turn around and face him! What are you running for!” Sun Xiang was much more immersed in the battle than anyone else.
But Ye Xiu’s Lord Grim still didn’t turn around.
The chase continued for another round, and a fork appeared up ahead once again. This was already the end of the map. Straight ahead was lava, so there was no way to continue forward. Only left, or right.
All this time, it had looked like Desert Dust was Ye Xiu’s kite, only responding to his attacks. But at this moment, he suddenly made a movement before any attack came.
Desert Dust suddenly headed left.
Just as everyone was wondering whether it was intentional, Ye Xiu’s Lord Grim was already moving right.
A mistake in prediction?
Even as everyone wondered this, Desert Dust was already nimbly switching directions to head right. But it looked like the path he took wasn’t headed directly for Lord Grim. It seemed to be slanted, leaving him some space.
Positioning himself to force Lord Grim toward the right!
The experts all saw through it.
Slanting leftward was a predictive move against the scenario that the opponent would go left. Ye Xiu of course could very easily not go left. And Han Wenqing didn’t care that his prediction wasn’t correct, because his goal was simply to force Ye Xiu to go right.
What was the point of going right?
Turning right here meant sticking to the very south of this map. Not far from here was the position where Desert Dust had spawned. That was to say, that area was the area that Han Wenqing had studied at the very start of the match, before the two sides had met. And to Ye Xiu, that area was a foreign area he had just stumbled into.
The difference was between having glanced at it once before, and only beginning to glance at it now.
Would victory be determined by such a small difference?
Everyone watched as Ye Xiu’s Lord Grim headed toward the area that Han Wenqing had seen before. But then, he suddenly moved horizontally to the right, straight toward the lava!
What was he doing?
Everyone was only wondering, but Han Wenqing’s actions were even faster than their questions.
Desert Dust also immediately cut toward the lava.
Lord Grim jumped up…
Suicide? Of course not. In midair, the Myriad Manifestations Umbrella opened, the spokes of the umbrella unfolded, Rotor Wing!
Lord Grim directly flew across the lava, heading toward the path that he had taken here.
What about Han Wenqing? He could turn right and see the path he had taken, but this lava in the middle wasn’t something he could cross just with a jump. Ye Xiu had clearly waited for him to reach this position before taking that action.
What was more awkward was that Han Wenqing couldn’t control Desert Dust to immediately turn and run after him. Ye Xiu had full control over his flight path with the Rotor Wing, so if Han Wenqing tried to seize a position, Ye Xiu could simply turn around in midair. Lord Grim jumped first, then activated the skill, giving him many possible positions to choose and leaving himself this room to breathe.
Just a bit of maneuvering, with so much hidden within. The audience couldn’t grasp any of this in this moment, but all of the experts understood the difficult situation Han Wenqing was currently in.
But the more difficult the situation, the faster Han Wenqing made his decision. Desert Dust resolutely rushed forward.
Had he judged where Lord Grim would fly? But after seeing him move like this, Ye Xiu could simply control Lord Grim to fly back! But just at that moment, Desert Dust’s legs left the ground. He had actually jumped…
Was he crazy?
Everyone was shocked. It seemed as though Han Wenqing wanted to directly attack Lord Grim in midair, but no matter what, a Striker couldn’t jump that kind of distance, right?
And this jump, wasn’t it a bit short? It definitely wasn’t at the limit…
Wait a second. That thing sticking out of the bubbling lava, what was that?