Yet another seemingly peaceful morning.
Every day, there was countless news to attract the public. Numerous promoters talked about their assigned topics and entertainment reporters busily tracked down online and offline activity, trying to unearth news not known by many.
Whoever's placing rose once more, which celebrity had a sex scandal, XX e-sports club signing a promising talent, XX's transfer saga... this sort of news occupied the headlines of the entertainment circle's news and was mostly about e-sports celebrities. However, seeing these every day, this sort of information would no longer be considered big news and would be a hot topic for that day only. Generally speaking, it could be considered peaceful.
In "Battle of the Century," at District 79, reporters camping every day to catch AliveAfter500Years followed the same routine everyday: log in, wait, nothing, log off. After doing this for so many days, they were starting to lose hope.
However, on this morning that seemed relatively peaceful, Silver Wing, which had been continuously followed by the media, released a piece of news.
"Silver Wing's virtual projects department collaborated with the gaming department to form the 'SilverWing50PolarLight' project team, specializing in "Battle of the Century," and have signed Yanbei University of Finance's rising star, Schwarzer."
The matter of Silver Wing's virtual projects and gaming departments combining to form the SilverWing50PolarLight team was not really considered news. Even before, when Silver Wing had remained silent, everyone could have guessed as much. Today was just their official announcement.
And the news of them signing Yanzhou's talented rising star was not such a big deal. Schwarzer's name was only associated with university e-sports, and only those medias that covered such areas would understand better. Other people, including professional e-sports athletes, might not have necessarily heard of this name.
"Schwarzer? The student who just started year two of university? Was he signed up to be kept in reserve? Or will he be thrown straight into the main team? None of this was mentioned."
"This time, Silver Wing's actions disgust me. The kid is only in year two of university. He's full of ignorance and was just tricked to go over."
"Using AliveAfter500Years as bait, probably?"
"University kids are just so gullible. A seedling with potential, wasted just like that."
In the mainstream line of thinking, most people thought that only AliveAfter500Years was strong, not Silver Wing. Who knew what shady business they were up to? Therefore, even if the gaming industry was frequently being flooded by this ID that had abruptly risen up, people that were serious about going down the path of e-sports would not consider an entertainment company like Silver Wing.
Regarding this piece of news, the people who were following Silver Wing closely let the news pass and did not place any importance on it. Instead, they felt a little disappointed. They had kept silent for so long, as if preparing a big move, but it turned out that instead of a wave, it was just a small ripple. Disappointing, a complete letdown!
Ocean University of Yanzhou.
When students of Ocean University saw the news, they broke into hysterical laughter. They had always been at odds with the students of Yanbei University of Finance.
"Hahaha, is that fool that short of money? Instead of joining a proper e-sports club, he actually went and signed with an entertainment company!"
"Does he mean to go into singing or acting? Do you reckon he wants to be like those has-been e-sports celebrities and have a dual profession?"
"Signing a contract shows he wants to walk down that path. Did he not consider it carefully and plan it properly?"
"Idiots just love doing stupid things!"
"Do the people at Yanbei University of Finance only think about money?"
"He will surely regret it. Anyway, us at Ocean University would never do something so foolish!"
Many at Ocean University scoffed at Schwarzer's decision. However, an hour later, they were given a smack in the face, a full-forced smack.
An hour after the news of Schwarzer signing, Silver Wing released yet another piece of news.
"Silver Wing has signed Yanzhou Ocean University's recent graduate, a champion in many continental university e-sports competitions, Jake."
Schwarzer had only suddenly risen in prominence in the first half of the year. Although his performances were outstanding, the time he had been well-known was short, and it was only within the university e-sports scene. Jake was different. Although Jake had not officially stepped into the professional circle, he had made a name for himself a few years ago and he'd won numerous awards during his university days. His reputation was bigger than Schwarzer's, and Yanzhou's best clubs were also keeping an eye on him.
Compared to the previous news, this piece attracted even more attention.
"Yet another one has been fooled."
"That is why I said university students are all naive. A recent graduate is the same. Wait till he has experienced society for two years—no, one year is enough. At that time, he will surely be regretting."
People in the industry only took it as a small laughing matter, feeling sorry for two newcomers that were about to be ruined by Silver Wing. But at Ocean University, it was as if the news had instigated a raging tsunami.
"What the f*ck! Did I see wrongly?!"
"What is going on? Why did J-god sign with Silver Wing?!"
"Fake news! I don't care, this is surely fake news! Where is the school's rumor-refuting association? Quickly come and clarify!"
Although Jake did not have that great a reputation within professional circles, and he was still a far cry from those really famous, within the university circles, especially within Yanzhou Ocean University's e-sports circles, he was considered a godlike figure, and almost everyone believed that, as long as Jake marched into the professional circles, he would surely soar! Previously, it had been speculated that he would enter a professional e-sports club, not an entertainment company.
Yesterday, on the school's forums, there had been people discussing which e-sports club would sign Jake in the end. After all, the game had been out for nearly a month already. Generally, all transfers and contract renewals would be completed within the first month. Never had they expected to get a rude awakening today!
"Could it be that J-god has some unspoken difficulties?"
"Was he forced into it? I heard that these sorts of big entertainment companies that stick a foot in everything have some hidden tricks up their sleeves!"
On social platforms, Ocean University's student union condemned the news at Silver Wing's site and demanded to know what underhand methods they'd use to compel Jake to sign a contract. There were others who went to Jake's social profile to inquire, but regardless of whether it was Jake or Silver Wing's public site, there were no replies.
Popular media Prairie Fire's chief editor, Qian Cheng, gravely instructed his subordinates, "All of you watch closely. My sixth sense is telling me that today Silver Wing will make a big move."
An hour after the news with Jake, Silver Wing once more released another piece of news. "God-tier player August from the amateur e-sports circles has signed with Silver Wing."
Many people in the amateur circles knew that August's family owned a company. His parents and brother managed the company, and he had a stake in the company but was idle. On normal days, he stayed in the company playing games. Last year, August had said that he wished to change from being an amateur to a professional, but there had been no news of him signing a contract. Nobody expected that news to come out now.
People in the amateur circles were stunned.
It was reasonable to say that August did not lack money, and he had always placed top ten within the amateur circles, so why would he not think things through and instead sign with Silver Wing?
But after the third piece of news was released, Silver Wing once again kept their silence. August did not appear either, instead allowing everyone to make all sorts of guesses.
And as this third piece of news was published, many people realized that the news had been released in one-hour intervals! And the degree of shock was greater each time! In an hours time, would there be even more earth-shattering news?
With the outside world making all sorts of guesses, Wayne, who was sitting in his office, smirked. He just wanted to let everyone experience his mood yesterday, how he had felt his insides churn everytime Zuo Yu answered a call. Everyone was probably experiencing the same, right?
Only three so far! It was still early!
Indeed, many people had begun waiting for the hour to pass. An hour was actually not a long time. A round of games was enough for an hour to pass by.
One hour later, as many people expected, Silver Wing released another piece of news once again.
"Yu Zhongqing, who has a higher ranking than August in the amateur circles, has signed with Silver Wing."
Yu Zhongqing kept a lower profile in the amateur circles and rarely interacted with others, but his control was good and he had great battle sense, and he had a higher ranking. Many e-sports clubs wished to rope him in, but unexpectedly, Silver Wing had beaten them to the punch!
These two famed players in the amateur circles, August and Yu Zhongqing, had actually been signed by Silver Wing. The previous news of Schwarzer and Jake could not even be considered important now.
Look, two more seniors from the amateur circles have been conned. When the students of Ocean University thought this way, they felt a little better.
At this moment, many people could not even continue gaming and were now waiting for more news from Silver Wing's side. They felt even more anxious. The media no longer treated it without any importance. People within the industry with a keen nose knew that Silver Wing had not completed their move. They were waiting for bigger developments to come.
It was noon, and many people who were having their lunch breaks. Some ate from lunch boxes in front of their screens while others gathered in cafeterias and discussed as they ate.
An hour later, Silver Wing released their fifth piece of news, which made many who were eating spew out their food.
"Freelancer Milo?! That renowned freelancer 'BlackWizard' Milo?!"
"So he is the BlackWizard. No wonder I found the name familiar."
"To actually pull this freelancer over, how did Silver Wing actually convince him? Did they throw money at him? Milo isn't poor either."
"Maybe BlackWizard wants to say goodbye to his life as a freelancer?"
Although "BlackWizard" Milo had his own store, his heart was bent on gaming and he taken part in many professional competitions. He had risen to prominence a long time ago, and his reputation compared to August and Yu Zhongqing was even greater.
However, at this time, although everyone was curious about the reason BlackWizard had signed with Silver Wing, they were even more curious as to who else would would follow.
"What I really want to know now is, other than BlackWizard, who else has been poached!" This was what many internet users and media wanted to know. Now paying close attention to Silver Wing were not only similar entertainment companies but every e-sports club as well.
An hour later, Silver Wing announced that freelancer "Jasmine," who had been given the nickname "Little White Flower" by the masses, had signed with Silver Wing.
"What the hell!"
"Why did Little White Flower also sign?"
"This Little White Flower is not pure and white at all. Calling her a man-eating flower is more appropriate. She ranks even higher than BlackWizard!"
"I'm not interested in BlackWizard or Little White Flower. Now I really want to know who else they have lined up."
"Can't they release all the news in one go? Why do they have to announce one every hour! This sucks!"
Many people went to the social platforms where Silver Wing had announced their news and posted "Who else?"
Silver Wing had not done a conclusion, so there would still be more!
They felt that an hour was so g*ddamn long. Why couldn't time hurry up?
Another 60 minutes finally passed. As before, Silver Wing continued dropping bombshells, and this time an even bigger one.
"Silver Wing has signed e-sports athlete Dorrian, previously from HWR's first team and a core member."
This piece of news stunned a lot of people.
What? Dorrian? A core member of HWR's first-string team?
Wouldn't renewing his contract with HWR be good? Even if he didn't wish to sign with HWR, weren't other e-sports clubs good enough? This was a true powerhouse produced by one of the Big Five! Didn't he have a number of clubs in contact with him already?
In the eyes of the many who paid attention to the Big Five, Dorrian was most definitely a pure-blooded e-sports athlete of the highest quality. How could he sign for an entertainment company like Silver Wing?
After their initial doubts, the online masses became delighted.
"Impressive, to think Silver Wing actually poached from the core of HWR!"
"No, this can be considered poaching from the Big Five! A core member of their first-string team! This is an exception!"
"Hahaha, you never get to see an entertainment company poach from the Big Five and actually be successful. Dorrian is in his prime, his skills and body capabilities are in peak condition."
"Dorrian surely didn't sign with Silver Wing to retire. There is surely some reason that we don't know."
"Seven already! I've waited since noon and even skipped my afternoon nap just to wait for this moment. Finally a piece of shocking news; looks like I didn't wait for nothing!"
"Speaking of which, there are already seven and Silver Wing hasn't released a concluding message? Are there still... more to come?"
"Given the increasing magnitude of shock the seven pieces of news have brought, the following people after Dorrian are going to be even more unexpected."
"Could it be that Silver Wing poached not just once from the Big Five but twice?"
"I am already shivering."
If bystanders could guess that much, the media could too, which scared the Big Five into hurriedly checking on which of their talents wanted to jump ship. Whether their contracts were up or not, they also needed confirmation, but they could not find a single one. The situation of Dorrian signing with Silver Wing had been beyond expectation, but since his contract had already expired, HWR could not control it. But after Dorrian, who else was there?
At this time, even without Silver Wing promoting, the entire Yanzhou e-sports scene, whether students, media, or other players, had their eyes peeled on this matter.
This round, everyone felt that time was crawling especially slowly. The audience felt like they were holding their breath up until the appointed moment and collectively breathed out once it was time. But before they even had time to take a second breath, Silver Wing announced this:
"Jinro has signed with Silver Wing."
There was no need for introductions. Just this name was more than enough.
Anyone who saw the news thought their eyes were playing tricks on them and slowly reread this piece of news a couple of times, as if they were deciphering an ancient language scroll.
A minute after the news was released, Prairie Fire published a screenshot of an ID search within the game. On it was an ID many senior players were familiar with, "Jin9ro," a name that had accompanied students during their primary, secondary, or university days. Perhaps a few newer players weren't that familiar with the ID, but eight years ago, there hadn't been anyone in the circle who wouldn't have recognized this ID! That was none other than the captain of 2S, one of the Big Five!
The ID that had vanished eight years ago had reappeared and returned to the professional circle.
Although the points this account had accumulated were still zero, fans who had once supported him did not doubt his ability. They believed that this ID would once again rush to the very top of the leaderboards.
Inside 2S e-sports club, the atmosphere was strange.
There were still a number of active players from the same period as Jinro who had once served under him. There were still a few in their first-string team, while some had already been demoted to their second- or third-string teams, or even switched clubs. Other people might have had no idea of Jinro's ability now, but they used other means to find out.
This eight years for Jinro had been a settling period for him as he got rid of his hot temper and impatience. He was now more matured and harder to deal with.
Back then, Jinro's agreement with 2S was to not sign with any professional e-sports club for the next 10 years. However, entertainment company's did not count as e-sports clubs. 2S had never felt the need to bother about these sorts of entertainment companies and had even hoped that Jinro would sign for them, waste his talent, and go on the decline, but Silver Wing was different!
This was a Silver Wing that had produced the number one on the global leaderboards! No one knew what they had installed, but since they could already produce the number one AliveAfter500Years, could a second or third or more be in the cards?
In the eyes of many reputable e-sports clubs, Silver Wing was like a monster that had revealed its sinister intentions, and they had to guard against it! They might not have suffered any serious setbacks, but they had all received a huge shock.
After the eight pieces of news had been announced, Silver Wing finally posted a concluding message that said they were happy to be able to sign the eight, and signing with Silver Wing would not disappoint them.
Seeing the concluding message, many e-sports clubs and entertainment companies heaved a sigh of relief. However, for the general public, when they sighed, they felt a little regret. They were still anticipating even more explosive news to come out, but still, they had seen enough excitement for the day.
Some reviewers posted their comments on Silver Wing's news today. "Silver Wing could become Yanzhou's Big Six."
Ranked sixth in terms of skill in Yanzhou's e-sports world was by no means a disparaging remark.
An entertainment company that had previously only had film and music as its core—a company that had only followed the crowd to dabble in gaming to earn more money—would actually be assessed as being capable of squeezing ahead of all other e-sports clubs and placing right behind Yanzhou's Big Five as the number six? This was considered to be a really high evaluation in entertainment circles!
"What lofty ambitions!"
These three words summed up the evaluations by critics and reviewers in entertainment circles after the conclusion of Silver Wing's eight pieces of news.
The internet was also abuzz.
"Eight successive bombshells! Silver Wing wants to fly high!"
"Hooking one could be considered a trick. Landing two could be considered as having high deception skills. But three, four, five... eight! These eight are still old hands within the circle and at their prime, how could these people be so easy to deceive?!"
One braindead, two braindead, all eight brain dead?
This time, nobody said anything about AliveAfter500Years fishing again.
"Indeed, the low-profile kept by Silver Wing previously was to prepare for such a big move!
As for the press conference that was going to happen, before Silver Wing had sent out the invites, many medias outlets had taken the initiative and applied to participate in this press conference. Even the big and popular media firms that would be invited even if they did not apply had also done so just to be safe.
Over at Silver Wing, the staff in charge of handling the invitations was about to cry from staring at the screen full of emails. The venue had a limited capacity and they had received too many applications. They were not too familiar with the gaming circles, and Silver Wing had never experienced such a situation before. Some of the names and companies on some of these emails had never been heard of before. Even though their reputation did not seem high, he did not dare to reject them. This matter was very important, and any mistakes would not just be met with a paycut. Therefore, he could only request that management provide more manpower and send over a few more people who were better versed in the gaming circles to make the decisions.
At the same time, the eight players that starred in Silver Wing's news today had also updated their statuses on their own social platforms. They all had the same reply to all the interrogating from the online audiences:
"Our boss is AliveAfter500Years."
Many online users started to understand.
"Does this mean that AliveAfter500Years is going to personally lead a team?"
"Definitely, Jinro was even willing to give up his captain position to sign with Silver Wing. Surely he acknowledges that person's strength and recognizes the team's strength and future prospects."
"Are the eight that signed with Silver Wing... really foolish? Why do I feel that they have made a very wise choice?"
"Following the global number one, I wonder how that feels like?"
"I suddenly feel a little envious of them."
"They have surely seen god AliveAfter500Years already. I'm so jealous, I also wish to see that god in person.
"The more we talk about it, the more I wish to enter Silver Wing."
Many people had seen the video of AliveAfter500Years's godly maneuvers. With the general public's opinion being swayed, a number of other professional gamers had a thought. Maybe signing with Silver Wing is not a bad choice?
However, while the online audiences were discussing this, the eight who had just updated their statuses had a raging fire in their hearts. This is not what I wanted to say! You guys don't know that the truth lies behind this line! You people have spent so much time and effort to find the truth, entertainment reporters have spent so much time trying to dig out the truth, but it is right there within that one line! This was today's ninth and biggest bombshell! These statuses transmitted the most important information, and it was literally put in front of everyone!