The first round of the semifinals had cast a shadow over Team Tyranny, whose chances at the championship seemed to be the highest. Last year's champions, Team Samsara, had managed to take a firm step on their path to defend their championship with their impressive performance.
Soon enough, the second round of matches of the semifinals began and Tyranny and Samsara met Tiny Herb and Wind Howl respectively on their home turfs.
In the group arena, Team Tyranny won 5 to 3.
The veterans wouldn't fall just because of one loss. They had experienced too many victories and defeats, and no matter which one it was, it would become their motivation to go on.
The veterans performed powerfully in the group arena, ending it at their fourth player, Han Wenqing.
Then, in the team competition that followed, Yuan Boqing became a focal point. How would the player who had exhibited the air of the God of Healing last match perform this time?
In this match, Yuan Boqing used the Cleric Aweto once more.
Logically speaking, you would be more cautious and defensive in an away game, which suited a Paladin's style more, but Tiny Herb still chose to use a Cleric.
This was a sort of attitude. It seemed like Tiny Herb didn't want to drag this out to the third round. They wanted to take their final victory in this away game. They would probably fight even more fiercely in the team competition.
That's what everyone thought, but Tyranny didn't seem to think that way.
Was it another oversight?
Of course not, they were just continuing at their own pace, completely unaffected by their opponent's changes in tactics.
This time, they would pay more attention to Yuan Boqing's Cleric, but not too much. This was because they knew very clearly that Yuan Boqing wasn't Tiny Herb's core. Even if the actual God of Healing Fang Shiqian was on the field, Team Tiny Herb's core was still forever another.
Wang Jiexi, Vaccaria!
This was Team Tiny Herb's true core. Don't even dream of the veterans of Tyranny overlooking this order of importance.
At the beginning of the match, Tema Tyranny immediately launched a fierce assault. Under the cover of Zhang Jiale's Hundred Blossom Style, Han Wenqing's Desert Dust darted into the enemy's formation.
Zhang Jiale managed to integrate himself into Tyranny extremely quickly, extremely smoothly. Some people said that this might have been because Tyranny's captain, Han Wenqing, had a very similar style to Zhang Jiale's old partner, Sun Zheping, so Zhang Jiale easily found a place on the field.
Then, whenever there would be the slightest opening, another figure would appear to patch it up.
Dark Thunder, Lin Jingyan's Dark Thunder. Speaking of fame, Lin Jingyan was the one with the least fame in Tyranny's four Gods. Speaking of ability, he was also the one whose ability was slipping the most clearly, having already been surpassed by his junior. No longer being the tactical core, he had much more room and choice in his play. When there was Zhang Jiale's Hundred Blossom Style to provide cover, he would hide within and throw a few sneak attacks. When Han Wenqing's Desert Dust couldn't come over, he could turn into an strong DPSer. The Brawler class was one that was suited to multiple styles and it's potential was fully unleashed under the hands of an old veteranlike Lin Jingyan.
Team Tyranny launched a powerful offense. They would no longer overlook any player in Tiny Herb, but they wouldn't cast away their own style aside either. They had to keep the tempo at their pace, otherwise they would be led around by the nose. Team Tyranny held the initiative from the very beginning, accumulating advantages and walking towards victory step by step. As for their Master Tactician, Zhang Xinjie carefully watched over the entire battlefield. He was like a machine, always making sure to minimize possible mistakes. This sort of healer was the most secure shield at your back.
Tyranny eventually managed to earn back a victory on their home turf.
Yuan Boqing, who had been the center of focus before the match, had performed well as well. It was just that, this time, he wasn't a surprise for Tyranny anymore. To a group of people who had experience fighting Fang Shiqian, Quan Boqing wasn't an uncounterable presence for them.
In the post-match press conference, the words of Tiny Herb's captain, Wang Jiexi, were very cliche, but were also an accurate depiction of the match. "We played well, but our opponents did better."
Just like when the two teams fought in the regular season, neither side committed any serious mistakes that had clearly affected the victory of the match. Everyone had performed well, they exchanged blows, slowly accumulating their advantage until, in the end, Tiny Herb fell and Tyranny still stood.
Tiny Herb and Tyranny had fought to a tie, 1 to 1, and needed to use the third and last match to decide their victory. It would be held on Tyranny's turf, but they wouldn't have the right to choose the map.
In the other match of the second round of the semifinals, Samsara fought their home game against Wind Howl.
Wind Howl, who had lost their home game, was obviously not in the right headspace for this match. Although their captain Tang Hao had expressed a determined attitude after the last match, the fact that Team Wind Howl lacked playoffs experience was clear in this match. They weren't like Tyranny's veterans who could face a loss with such ease, their mindsets remaining unaffected. The young members of Wind Howl had been obviously over cautious and hesitant. Their uncertainty in tactical decisions were extremely apparent.
The Wind Howl of the regular season pressed forward with determination They were fearless, and their spirit was indomitable. However, in the playoffs, they began to become afraid. This was because the rules of the playoffs were different, A single loss might cut of their future path and turn all their efforts to dust. Now, they were standing at such a crossroads. Victory meant that they might be able to survive, but failure meant that everything would end there.
This sort of pressure wasn't something that was present in the regular season. They had managed a smooth journey in the first round of the playoffs, crushing Misty Rain in two rounds and entering the semifinals. That was all until they had lost their home game to Samsara in the first round of the semifinals. Team Wind Howl had suddenly fallen into a dire situation.
The pressure they were under caused the members of Wind Howl to panic. Even though they had a veteran like Fang Rui, he couldn't save the whole team. Fang Rui wasn't the head of this team, and his dirty playstyle wasn't one that gave him any advantage in boosting everyone's morale.
The second round ended in Team Wind Howl's defeat. Team Samsara walked towards the finals with their heads high and shoulders back, and Wind Howl? They had caught everyone's attention during this season, yet ended on such a pathetic note. All the players who hated Tang Hao's attitude were delighted.
However, Wind Howl was young, no matter if it was Tang Hao or Zhao Yuzhe, they still had plenty of time to fight for what they wanted. It all depended on if they could learn something from their defeat or not.
After two rounds of the semifinals, Samsara had managed to get into the finals, while Tiny Herb and Tyranny would have to duke it out in a third round.
After three days, the final match between the two began on Tyranny's turf and a foreign map. The two had been careful from the group arena, eventually fighting to each of their last members again. In the end, it was Tiny Herb that won 5 to 4, taking the lead.
Entering the team competition with a lead of 1 point was still some form of an advantage. However, in the team competition, Tiny Herb, who had the lead, seemed to be even more cautious than Tyranny.
On a foreign map, the two sides didn't rush to fight. The characters of both team were scattered across the map, but within supporting distance. It seemed that they were trying to get a hold of the terrain before striking.
After two minutes, the two sides still hadn't met, but they had swapped places. Tiny Herb's characters were all in Tyranny's half of the map while Tyranny's characters had all come to the side of the map Tiny Herb started on. Both sides continued to scout out the map.
The first contact between the two sides finally occurred then.
It only occurred, but it didn't erupt because the contact they had was rather shameless. Team Tyranny's Lin Jingyan had seen Tiny Herb's Aweto as he wandered across the map and dexterously hid his character, Dark Thunder. He didn't immediately find a chance to attack and carefully began to tail the other instead. At the same time, he kept up a string of messages to the team chat, reporting on what was occurring. Team Tyranny began to make a tactical movement. All the characters closed in on Aweto's position.
However, the audience could see with their omniscient view that even if Tyranny successfully trapped Aweto, they would only be able to steal the initiative. It wouldn't be so easily to take out Aweto in one wave. This was because Tiny Herb's characters weren't scattered at random. They were all within supporting distance. If anyone sent out a message for help. Other characters would be there to support them within seconds.
However, Team Tyranny's members weren't impatient either. Their characters arrived at the appointed positions one by one, but no one rushed forwards to attack. Even when all five had arrived, they were still adjusting their positions.
Tiny Herb's possible support was all within their expectations! Their current arrangement was made to restrict this sort of support. With these veterans, they would still pry out openings even if there were none. Now that this chance had appeared in front of them, they had to take hold of it firmly. Everything had to be prepared before they struck.
These adjustments without any sort of direct clash was boring to watch. However, any spectator with a bare minimum knowledge in Glory would feel the tension in this situation.
Was it time to strike?
They could strike, right?
Are they still not going to strike?
Countless spectators felt that the time was ripe again and again, but reality told them, again and again, that these veterans of Tyranny were far calmer than they. With these three veterans and the careful and precise Master Tactician Zhang Xinjie, did Team Tyranny intend to make a flawless arrangement?
There was no such thing as a flawless arrangement on the battlefield. What Zhang Xinjie hoped to do was simply minimize the chances of an accident occurring.
"Forward!" The order appeared into the chat.
Bang, the sound of a sniper rifle split the air. Qin Muyun had been aiming for a while now, and finally shot upon receiving this order.
With that gunshot, he was exposed. However, once the battle started, everyone would be exposed. Tyranny's arrangements were made to deal with what would happen after they were exposed. The five characters had already charged forth as one.