Fiery Bird's Yanzhou branch, live broadcast studio.
"The practice match started?"
"Just started. Other than the ten people from 2S and BOOM, of the other 100 players that obtained a spot, 99 are already online... Eh, the last one just came online! Just now he wasn't even on."
"Don't mind it. After all, these people are just here to have a bit of fun. Just take it as giving VIP guests the benefit of having an up-close interaction with the clubs. When they come online or how they want to play is all up to them. All you people need to do is follow the action between those few people from 2S and BOOM closely."
"Understood, of the 110 people, eight of them have disconnected one minute in. All from the back."
"In a bit, the gap between the front and back will increase. Pay attention to where the cameras are pointing at."
"Got it... two more have disconnected. Only a hundred left. No idea how many will remain after five minutes."
"There will be more crashes once we enter the city. Got to let them suffer a little and not let them think this is a walk in the park."
"Eh?" Someone at the side was staring at the screen, flabbergasted. "That one at the back, so fast!"
"Which?" The few others stretched their necks over to take a look.
"This dot. It was in last place, but now it's already in the middle of the pack." The person in front of the screen pointed out a little dot. The map had been minimized and all participants appeared as bright dots on this screen.
"It's easier to crash when you are going too fast," someone else said. Everyone knew what he meant: the faster one went, the narrower the field of vision and the harder the vehicle became to maneuver. Racing along a straight path without anybody was fine, but when it came to speeding along turns and bends, it was easy to lose control.
"Another one at the front crashed, 99 left. I shall see when this fellow crashes and disconnects."
The start of the race course was flat and smooth ground, and the road was a straight path with not many turns. After a while, the number of bends would gradually increase, and the number of mishaps would increase alongside it.
Just as Fiery Bird's staff had predicted, 5 minutes later, from the 99 players, there was a sudden drop to 67. Those at the back were getting further and further away. They also probably felt no reason to continue racing and had voluntarily disconnected. As this continued, the number of players dropped to 51.
A few entertainment workshops saw this as a chance to increase their popularity too. Fiery Bird's public broadcast prohibited others from taking videos, so they could only take screenshots. Every time there was a crash, they would excitedly snap away and post it up, letting everyone know what the crashes looked like and adding commentary, making the crashes even more interesting.
When speeding along bends, even a professional race driver was faced with the dangers of crashing at any time. The screenshots kept getting uploaded, and they were taken from all angles. Included were the players who'd crashed out of the server, other players that had been affected by the crash, and which players had withdrawn due to injuries.
Even for those that wore professional racing gear or were armed to the teeth with all sorts of in-game equipment, once they were riding at high speeds, the crashes were too brutal and they would disconnect immediately.
To them, this was merely a game and the accidents were virtual; they took it as all fun and games.
Although this was just a source of laughter for the people watching the live broadcast, for people who had been professional drivers, when riding the bike, they already did not differentiate between game and reality. These people treated it seriously even though it was just a game.
At the front, 2S e-Sports Club's Ke Zimo and BOOM e-Sports Club's Olaf had gradually pulled ahead of the others.
2S and BOOM e-Sports Club's had a total of ten people participating, and they had pulled away from the other players after starting. Furthermore, as they were the focal point of this competition and were coined the "front ten," the cameras focused mainly on them. The rest of the players were filmed by a different camera, but as the race went on, of the front ten, the distance between the two professional race drivers, Ke Zimo and Olaf, and the other eight kept increasing. The cameras following the front ten were split once more, with a portion following Ke Zimo and Olaf's head-to-head race while the remaining members of the front ten had one other camera following them.
Ke Zimo was a braggart, but as a professional e-sports athlete and professional race driver, he adjusted rather well to this race.
At that moment, the race had been underway for 20 minutes.
One of the participants from 2S e-Sports Club who was last among the front ten had not heard any sounds from behind him for some time. He thought to himself, See, amateurs are just amateurs. You just can't compete with us professional gamers. Even if we are not professional racers, as e-sports athletes, there is still a gulf between us and amateur players, and we will crush you! Since the start, not a single one of you outsiders could do anything!
When they'd first gotten their hands on the bikes, they had still ridden carefully, but later on, as they got more familiar with the technique, they had been able to push themselves even more and truly harness the power of the machines as their intense competitive spirit showed. They were enjoying themselves and showing off at the same time, attracting even more fans.
But still, the one languishing at 10th spot was not contented. Ahead of him at 9th spot was a BOOM member. He had to overtake that BOOM member! In two more turns, they would be entering the city. The difficulty would increase then, so it would be best to pass before the city.
Why was there noise from behind?
And it sounded like it was getting closer?
Someone had caught up?!
Doubting someone could actually catch up, he grew distracted. Getting flustered, he made an error and went off a bend and smashed into a hillside.
The 9th place BOOM member heard the sound of the crash behind him and felt pleased.
Regarding a member of the opposition camp who had been following him tightly and finally crashed, in his heart he was secretly delighted. Until now, the front ten only had one crash, what a disgrace! Later on, they could gloat over 2S!
But very quickly, the 9th place gamer's delight disappeared as he heard the sound of an approaching engine behind him.
How could it be?! Didn't he crash into a hill?! Even if he did not disconnect upon crashing, but even continuing to race, there's no way he could catch up that fast!
But if it was not the other party, who could it be?
Thinking of a possibility, the gamer in 9th place was unable to contain his curiosity and turned his head behind to take a peek. Just one peek and it was too late for regret.
From time to time, rocks would appear on the highway, they were rather large, and as long as one was alert, they were simple enough to avoid. Turning back for a look, he realized that the person behind was in default system attire and wasn't the adversary that had been following him tightly. He was surprised, and that rider was gaining on him at high speed. His heart panicked, and in those few moments of carelessness, when he faced the front once more, he realized that there was a rock in his path. He tried evading, but the bike brushed against the rock and skidded forward as the rider was thrown off.
Tumbling on the ground, the corner of his eyes caught sight of the onrushing bike. At its speed, even if the person could evade the rock, he could only continue speeding forward into his path.
Tires revolving against the ground created an earsplitting screeching as the engine produced a roar that sounded strained. The sounds were more than enough to make anyone nearby disorientated.
The 9th place racer was still hurtling forward; his field of vision was all over the place. All he could see was a black shape brush past him. As if a spectre had ghosted past him, in a flash it was gone. All that was left was the rippling wind created by him.
The sound of friction produced by the tires disappeared, and the roaring of the engine gradually grew farther away. He struggled to get up and look at the surrounding ground. Beside him were only strange tire marks and the smell of burnt rubber.
Even though it was only a game, he could feel cold sweat dripping down his back. He felt as if he had just survived a narrow miss by the foot of a colossal monster and had somehow lived to tell the tale. His heart was beating rapidly as he stood there in a daze, his mind still not recovering from that scene. When he sobered up, he looked down the highway; the other person's figure could still be seen!
As for the people operating the camera for the live broadcast following this area, they forgot their original motive in that moment; their eyes had been captured by that thrilling scene.
Those online watching this feed were also stunned.
"The f*ck, who was the lunatic who just went past?"
"No... no idea, that that scene was just too thrilling. Just a little more and it would have hit... It did not hit just now, right?"
"Evading like this is possible? The bike did not flip over!"
"Did anyone see clearly how he dodged it? When I try to recall what happened, my head is blank. Professional screen capturers? Did you all manage to snap anything?!"
"Perhaps an e-sports club's main member went into battle without their attire?"
"Probably not. If it was from another gaming club, with his skill, there would be a lot of fanfare and he would definitely be wearing his uniform. What that guy was wearing was just the default system attire.
"Could it be a professional race driver who decided to play around?"
"That can't be right. At yesterday's public announcement, other than 2S's Ke Zimo and BOOM's Olaf, there were no other professional race drivers taking part."
"Then who was the person who passed by just now? Someone who came over specially to sweep the competition?"
"Hahaha, two out of the front ten crashed after being spooked! Looking at the situation, who is going to get the last laugh is anybody's guess. Now that there is one more mystery person, who knows how many more he can overtake."
Those watching the second camera's feed hurriedly called their good friends to stop watching the main camera feed of the duel between Ke Zimo and Olaf. There was a monster rushing from the back!