January 6 was the day where every big e-sports club could make their presence felt the most.
Even if any of Yanzhou's famous entertainment companies had New Year's films or promotional activities, they would avoid this day. In the past, Silver Wing had only been able to cast coveting glances at these e-sports clubs, unable to do anything about it. But this year, Silver Wing's gaming department was soaking up all the excitement.
After Silver Wing's gaming department was reformed, Wayne had realized his ambitions. The publicity channels had all been arranged, and the promotional events were on standby, not yet started just in case something unforeseen really happened. After all, this was the first time they had encountered such a situation. Even if they were in the top 10 of the team leaderboards, there were still what ifs. What If Fiery Bird decided on only the top 5? Then wouldn't they have celebrated for nothing?
Until the invitation letter with the bright-red Fiery Bird insignia was in his hands, Wayne was in an apprehensive mood. This was the first time he had been so excited in his few decades in the Silver Wing gaming department.
His fingers were still shaking when he reached out and pressed a button to release the news that had been prepared beforehand.
The SilverLight team would have a huge role in today's hot entertainment topics!
The Big Five getting invited was not even considered news. In the eyes of the masses, it would only be considered news if they had not received an invite. On the other hand, the SilverWing50PolarLight team, better known as SilverLight, that had only been established this year and had rushed into the top 10 was the focus of attention for a lot of people.
Other teams that had squeezed into the top 10 had done quite a lot of publicity, and the masses felt that it was no longer fresh. However, SilverLight was different. Today was the release of their first ever publicity film for the team.
Everyone knew that a publicity film was a chance to do a short self-introduction to the masses and to give the masses a profound impression of the team. However, until now, the Silver Light team had released too little information. The impression the masses had was still limited to the news conference where Silver Wing had revealed the members of the team as well as the leaderboard details.
At 12 p.m., on Silver Wing's broadcasting platform, official website, video streaming sites, and over 10 large screens in city districts, a short, three-minute publicity film played both online and offline.
In the New Era, this sort of publicity film could not be too long, as audiences did not have the patience to watch it, yet it could not be too short either, as time was needed to express the things they wanted to express. Therefore, two to three minutes was the norm.
When Silver Wing's wing emblem and the SilverLight team's tree insignia appeared simultaneously, Many hurriedly rushing people stopped what they were doing and looked at the large screens in the plazas.
A familiar electronic music tune played—the brief default music that played when logging onto "Battle of the Century." Familiar images showing the grave conditions of the Period of Destruction continuously appeared.
Mournful cries, loud gunfire, and the sound of a large building collapsing accompanied the buzzing that sounded like an electric current, which continued rising, building the atmosphere up.
Explosions in line with the sound effects filled the screen, drummed up by the increasingly frantic electronic music as the succinct rhythm repeated itself, carrying about a thick Period of Destruction flavor. Then the effects faded, and an expansive horizon appeared.
The video showed a certain office building. The people inside were watching the screen in front of them displaying scenes from "Battle of the Century" with eager anticipation, as if the little seeds in their hearts had sprouted.
A slightly pump middle-aged man who was watching turned around and walked out, his footsteps coinciding with the drumbeats, and the music's tempo and his movements were one!
Following the person's movements, the scene continued to zoomed out. As he was walking out, words "Gaming Department" appeared suspended on the wall behind him.
The audiences understood what it meant. Oh, so this is the fabled Silver Wing gaming department.
The music heard by the audiences was a not-so-gentle, formulated electronic tone that carried with it a mystical feeling, modulating with extremely detailed changes. The rich tones alternated with a high pitch, bringing about a lively intensity that built upon layers of electronic sound effects, creating a terse and magnificent melody.
As the pulsating music connected, some rapidly edited cutscenes from different angles were shown.
When the plump middle-aged man arrived in front of the elevator, at that moment, an elevator had descended from the upper floors. The doors opened, and there was a young man inside. The two men nodded at each other, the expressions on their faces slightly serious.
People who paid attention to the SilverLight team found them familiar. Weren't they Silver Wing gaming department manager Wayne and the young manager Fang Zhao of the virtual projects department?
On the screen, inside the elevator, the displayed number changed from 51 to 50. The elevator doors opened and Silver Wing's 50th floor's virtual projects department appeared in front of their eyes.
The two men stepped inside the department, and the camera closed up as the sliding doors closed behind them, showing a simple tree-shaped image, the team's emblem.
The imaged faded to black and a line of words appeared—
"Something that we are slowly unable to control..."
During the intermission, after a momentary pause, the music resumed, this time without so much of a rousing melody. It was different from Fang Zhao's previous works. Beneath the electronic sound effects, the melody seemed grave, sketchy but not losing any of its density. The tempo was both thrilling and powerful.
After the caption faded, in the dark background, someone opened a door.
Sunlight poured in from through the doorway. Against the dark backdrop, the doorway was extremely bright in contrast. The scene seemed both cold and warm, the darkness and light combining to form a divine image.
And the man who had opened the door stood in the only bright spot in the dark background, his back facing the screen. However, the guy standing there gave viewers an uneasy feeling, like a sharp, rigid, and silent knife.
The scene faded once again.
"Been waiting for so long..."
After the caption, in the video, a person in the midst of strength training raised his head and looked straight at the camera with a purposeful gaze, beads of sweat dripping off his face.
Veteran gamers watching this scene could recognize him right away.
The former 2S team captain Jinro, who had disappeared from the scene for eight years.
Eight years was long enough.
Behind Jinro, Dorrian was undergoing stamina training.
Jasmine was doing reaction training.
Milo was doing balancing training.
August, Yu Zhongqing, Jake, Schwarzer, Qi Zi, Ferrerya, Nibali, Mamun, Oz...
Every team member appeared in succession, either running, jumping, working out, or training with others. The video focused on their flexed and protruding muscles and the sweat glistening on their skin.
The music's tempo gradually increased in intensity, drumbeats similar to the heartbeats of viewers as they gradually beat faster. Those watching were unclear whether it was the background music or the video itself that was affecting them this way.
"We have long been itching to get on with it."
As the words appeared, new electronic tones entered the fray, the rhythm gradually strengthened, and the atmosphere became more and more ferocious.
In the video, analysts clad in work clothes were watching a screen full of data and discussing something. People wearing white robes with a simple Polar Light icon on their sleeves and chests were giving the team members checkups. Beside the team members, there was also another group of people, moving about hurriedly but orderly and serving the team members drinks and handing over towels.
Engineers in charge of maintaining the game consoles were scrutinizing complex holographic illustrations.
This was the first time that SilverLight team's assistants, medical team, and behind-the-scenes personnel had been shown in public!
As the music gradually built up the atmosphere, the engineers did an "OK" hand sign, the head of the medical team nodded his head, and assistants helped the members put on their "combat attire." Once equipped, the team members walked briskly toward another room.
Doors bearing the tree-shaped emblem opened, revealing ninth-generation Fiery Bird consoles arced in a semicircle that filled up the entire screen.
Under the lights, the exterior of these machines reflected with a terrifying luster. The Fiery Bird insignias on the machines seemed as if they were about to burst into flames!
Team members entered the cabin-style game consoles one by one and closed the doors. As the camera panned backward, a white-colored humanoid robot was already standing in the front.
A lot of eyes widened as they saw this scene. Silver Wing still had a second 10th generation console? Or had they brought out the same one for somebody to use?
However, at this moment, viewers could not be bothered to do any deep thinking.
The pounding of drums continued to push on, as if foreboding a pandemonium that could not be controlled.
The person wearing the 10th generation console raised a hand then put it down, as though giving a signal.
Almost at the same time, all the "in operation" lights of the 9th-generation cabin consoles flickered on.
In the video, everything seemed to turn into neurons, transcending space and matter. The whole world seemed to turn into data and computer code as the virtual world spun rapidly.
Gradually, it got darker. The fast-paced music abruptly stopped at that moment.
Silence carried an irrational tension, and even the air seemed to stiffen.
The sound of a glass object smashing and shattering jolted people's hearts!
The explosiveness breaking the silence with such force seemed to assault the ears and mental states of viewers!
Everything thoroughly exploded to life.
A group of people entered into a building through the broken window, toting firearms. Their actions were well-coordinated, as though they were a team of elite paratroopers.
Close-ups of the firearms flashed by and the camera switched from the wielders point of view until it was face to face with the sinister visage of a mutated beast.
Straight between the eyebrows.
Bang, bang, bang!
Blood-splattered bullet holes in the wall, shattered glass, corpses on the ground, a chandelier swaying and on the verge of crashing down, a messed-up corridor...
Music and special sound effects perfectly assimilated and extremely incisive, as though they had deeply penetrated the listener's nerves.
"There is nothing that can stop us."
The scenes rapidly changed, from indoors to outdoors, from the cities to outskirts.
Flashes as bullets sprayed, blood dripping, flying limbs...
Sounds of a sharp knife tearing through flesh, the thuds of a blunt weapon hitting flesh, beastly howls and wails of anguish, the sound of bodies hitting the ground...
The camera fully displayed the violence of these bloody close-combat life and death struggles. The overwhelming and shocking scenes told the audiences everything that happened.
A combination of those two tended to make people shudder. However, behind the images were music and sound effects with a strong and unyielding tempo. From the start, it had been the video's keynote and had set the atmosphere.
These were the circumstances of the Period of Destruction. This was mankind's fight for survival!
Violence and blood, but behind it all was overflowing hope!
Quick cutscenes accelerated the violent images. The audiences were unable to fully comprehend all the scenes that flashed through, but they could feel each and every cutscene provoking their senses.
The music and acoustics perfectly complemented each cutscene and increased the acceptance levels of the scenes reeking of blood, completely permeating and battering the audiovisual senses and relaying the message of the video.
Extraordinary camera work coupled with the intricately weaved music made these violent and bloody scenes much more aesthetically exquisite and terrifying! They gave audiences the impression that they were not that grim but brought about a bizarre infectiousness.
These were typical entertainment manufacturing techniques and were more suited to mainstream tastes.
Changing to a final cutscene, a speeding truck charged straight at an enormous mutated beast. Under the overcast sky, incendiary rounds like rays of light flew straight at the oil tanks of the truck.
An ear-splitting boom resounded as the blaze of an explosion filled the sky and the music reached its climax.
"We are the kings of the battlefield!"
The concluding scene showed all the main members of the SilverLight team in-game, gathered together, clad in their combat attire and walking towards the camera. Some wore helmets, while others didn't.
With the static image of the final scene, the music also ceased.
At the bottom right of the screen, the Silver Wing insignia and the SilverLight tree emblem appeared once again.
Of the three-minute film, the first minute and a half was an introduction of the team as well as the support staff, and the latter minute and a half was all edits of in-game footage.
The accompaniment music had been composed by Fang Zhao. During the arrangement, he had used the same style that built up the majestic atmosphere. This was the skill he was most proficient at. Even when trying out new elements, he did not give it up one bit. In order to better compliment the scenes and their sound effects, compared to his previous works, Fang Zhao had lowered the rhythm but maintain the strong tempo. This was his first try at this new method, in line with what Wayne had told him before of more direct explosiveness, yet he had still kept some fine traces of the academic essence.
For people not used to electronic tones and sound effects, they might find it raucous, but people in the New Era had long gotten used to this sort of lively static and knew how to appreciate the aesthetics of this era's electronic styles.
And in the latter minute and a half of the video, the sounds of gunfire, impacts, explosions, and the footage of bullets flying and blood splattering were all real footage. They hadn't used any special effects to touch it up. It was extremely life-like and infectious, and combined together with the sound, the impact with which it battered the senses of audiences was powerful.
The video did not hard sell the cruelness or the mood and did not overly emphasize the e-sports athletes' considerable efforts behind the scenes. Too much and it would have seemed pretentious.
This video was not like the encouraging styles that other e-sports clubs liked to use. Rather, it portrayed a group of bold and valiant individuals with extraordinary skills, "superhuman" heroes.
This, was also the fastest manner for Silver Wing to break into this market!
And the results of showing this to the public was in line with what Silver Wing had anticipated.
On the internet:
"Oh my! Do these Silverlight people want the sky? Are these even e-sports athletes? More like saviors of the world."
"I thought I was watching a blockbuster!"
"Suddenly feel that gaming at Silver Wing is awesome!"
At the Qi'an City center plaza.
A middle-aged man in a suit carrying a briefcase retracted his gaze from the screen. Looking around, he asked the nearest youngster close to him, "Sorry to bother you, but I would like to ask something. That movie trailer that just played, do you know which Silver Wing New Year's blockbuster it is? When is it going to be released?"
The youngster was stunned for a moment. "Ah?" When he finally understood what the middle-aged man was talking about, he laughed. "That was no movie trailer. It was the publicity film for a gaming team."
Disbelief was written all over the middle-aged man's face. "You mean that all those people just now are actually e-sports athletes... playing a game?"
"Uh, yeah, that's right. Did you see the tree emblem? That's the emblem of the gaming team formed by the collaboration of Silver Wing's virtual project and gaming departments."
"...A game's publicity film can even be more amazing than a blockbuster trailer," gasped the middle-aged man. He did not play games, but he loved watching movies. However, after watching that publicity film, he now had some interest in that team.
There were many people who felt the same way as that middle-aged man. The SilverLight team's first publicity film had not only attracted the views of gaming fans, it had attracted the attention of a lot of people outside the gaming circles.