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Chapter 802 - Challenger League Round 1

Worldwide Insomnia.

After seeing the name of their opponents, everyone in Team Happy was speechless for a long time. A short pause later, Ye Xiu said: “I think our name Team Happy is very very good.”

Everyone nodded their heads fervently. To everyone present, an imposing name like Worldwide Insomnia made it hard for them to take things seriously.

Chen Guo searched up this team and looked at their team members. Their classes were all listed out. Public information on teams would only report classes. Anything else you wanted to know would have to be found through the course of the Challenger League. Finding information at the beginning was unrealistic. There were over ten thousand teams. How could you pay attention to them all? Usually, teams would fix onto their own opponents and examine their tactics and strength.

Of course, only teams, which cared about winning the whole thing, would plan meticulously. Teams, which just participated for fun, didn’t need to have such foresight.

After Chen Guo finished looking over the classes of the team members on Worldwide Insomnia, she looked up their final opponents, Team Excellent Era.

Excellent Era may be a powerhouse, but after being relegated, they had no special privilege as a participant in the Challenger League. Of course, because of their fame, the Alliance didn’t mind using them for marketing. But from a tournament format, Excellent Era was just one of the 14,218 teams.

When Chen Guo searched for Excellent Era, she almost fell off her chair.

Too terrible.

Chen Guo stared at the various team names, sighing while laughing.

“Team Universally Unrivaled Relegated Excellent Era”, “Excellent Era, I’ve Been Your Rival Since the Day I Was Born”, “Excellent Era’s Challenger League Future Is Good”...... team names mocking Excellent Era could be found everywhere. These teams definitely weren’t here to seriously participate in the Challenger League. Their entire purpose here was to slander Excellent Era’s name. Powerhouse! Team Excellent Era might have numerous fans, but they did not lack haters either. This type of sharp and unkind conduct invigorated Chen Guo’s spirit of hatred towards Excellent Era.

She actually clicked on these teams and took a look. These were clearly randomly put together teams. When she finally found the real Team Excellent Era, she checked the publicly-released information on the members of Team Excellent Era.

“Hm? Excellent Era has two Battle Mages!” Chen Guo was incomparably familiar with Team Excellent Era’s team composition. However, the familiar names she recognized no longer gave her the same feeling as before. Among these characters, there was an unfamiliar Battle Mage, Combat Form.

“Who’s this?” Chen Guo asked Ye Xiu. No matter how familiar she was with Excellent Era, she couldn’t be more familiar with it than Ye Xiu. Su Mucheng had returned to her team already, so Chen Guo couldn’t ask her.

“Combat Form…..” Ye Xiu saw this character and immediately recognized it.

Qiu Fei. This was the Battle Mage that the Club had given to Qiu Fei. As the previous successor to One Autumn Leaf, Qiu Fei would not have been given a weak character. Now, Qiu Fei’s character was among the team roster. Had he been summoned by the team?

This was the Challenger League. Because of the tournament format, Qiu Fei appearing in the team roster didn’t necessarily mean that he had been given a contract. Team Excellent Era may have added the All Star, Xiao Shiqin, to the team, but they also lost three players this summer. Xiao Shiqin was an All Star and God, but he couldn’t replace three regulars, even with his powerful All Star character, Life Extinguisher.

Excellent Era needed to fill in their vacancies, but as a relegated team, their position was awkward. If they picked pro players from the competitive scene, let alone how many pro players had the same confidence as Xiao Shiqin, signing on players for a considerable price for the Challenger League would seem somewhat excessive.

In the trade for Xiao Shiqin, Excellent Era lost two players, but all of the second-string players were there. As second-string players of a powerhouse like Team Excellent Era, weren’t they already more than good enough to crush some Challenger League opponents? Even if this time’s Challenger League had Ye Qiu, Excellent Era still didn’t need to be so cautious.

Excellent Era had carefully studied Team Happy’s strength. In the beginning, they had been overly wary of Qiao Yifan, but they now knew that he wasn’t some secret weapon. He was leftover trash tossed out by Team Tiny Herb. On the other hand, this type of player would be like treasure to a grassroots team like Team Happy.

Then, there was Tang Rou. During this period of time, she had risen to the spotlight, but at the same time, Excellent Era could conduct thorough analysis of her. When she bullied normal players, it was hard to tell the depth of her skill. However, Excellent Era wasn’t an ordinary group. They had Glory specialists for this type of work. In front of these specialists, Tang Rou’s skill was thoroughly examined.

On the other hand, Steamed Bun was a new sight. No form of strategy could be gleaned from his way of fighting, but his reckless fighting brought down his opponents. His technical skill was quite good, but if he could even beat the trainees from the training camp, that alone wouldn’t cut it. His brainless fighting was truly difficult for these systematically trained experts to figure out.

However, as professionals in a famed team, they wouldn’t be stumped by this problem. In short, after serious analysis by Excellent Era, Team Happy didn’t need to be worried about. No one should be an obstacle to Excellent Era in the entire Challenger League. This was the reason for why they did not wave around money to sign players and only used their team’s current resources. The top second-string players would be promoted to the first-string. The top trainees would be promoted to the second-string.

This method was a healthy way to develop a team, especially when they possessed absolute dominance over their opponents. Letting every level of the team grow was important. As a result, Excellent Era did not do anything during the transfer window, letting them avoid any controversy at the same time. If Excellent Era had signed any players, that may have actually been more astonishing.

Under this background, Qiu Fei and his Battle Mage, Combat Form, became a member of the team. Whether or not there would be others was hard to say because the Challenger League allowed team members to be adjusted at any time before the offline competition stage started. 

Numerous players anxiously waited for the opening match of the new season, but before that, the Challenger League would start.

Regular league matches were played every Saturday. The Challenger League matches  were played every Friday night, so they wouldn’t conflict with the regular league matches. Online competitions were played in the in-game Arena. The game would specially cut out a section in the Arena dedicated to the Challenger League. Every week, the rooms would be automatically arranged. Teams would be given a room number to look for. The match would need to be played on time for the system to record it.

Last season, Samsara won the finals 3-0, ending the finals quickly. As a result, the Alliance wanted to find a new tournament format to use. Usually, the new tournament format would be tested in the Challenger League, but it seemed like the Alliance had yet to come up with a breakthrough over the summer. The elimination format was announced for the Challenger League, which was no different from the past. Both sides would each play each other on their home stage and then the winner was decided based on the total number of points obtained. As for who would play first or second, there was no record to consult, so it was decided by a flip of the coin.

Friday night, the Challenger League’s first round of matches began. Because this year was different than last year, there were more people paying attention to the Challenger League this year. Excellent Era didn’t need to be said. Even though they were against a weak team made up of random players, loyal fans still came to watch, expressing their support for their team. The Excellent Era room was filled with spectators.

At Happy, even though they had been in the spotlight for half a month, when the Challenger League began, they still received less attention than Excellent Era. However, compared to the other grassroot teams, it was simply no comparison. Moreover, Excellent Era wasn’t the only pro team in the Challenger League. The previous season and previous previous season and even the previous previous previous season had relegated teams that had yet to return to the Alliance. But even their rooms, apart from last season’s second relegated, Team Mysterious Fantasy, couldn’t compare to Happy’s. Even though Team Mysterious Fantasy was a truly weak team, as a team that had been in the pro scene, they had still accumulated a number of fans. Despite getting relegated, many loyal fans still hadn’t given up and still had hopes for their team. They also came to express their support, so their room wasn’t any less lively than Happy’s.

In the room, the competing teams flipped a coin and figured out the order of their home and away games. After the home team chose a map, the spectators would just be waiting for the two sides to start fighting. There was a limit to the preparation time. Once the map was chosen, if a team failed to press ready, the team would automatically forfeit the match. 

The first round of the Challenger League had many many teams. All sorts of crazy possibilities could happen. Under the system’s impartial and incorruptible decision, there was no mercy. Who knew how many teams would be forced to forfeit this round. But for ambitious teams like Happy, how could they make such a mistake?

On the other hand, their opponents Worldwide Insomnia only had four players show up at their schedule time. The four players were frantically asking each other where the other two players were. One of them said “He said he’d take a nap in the afternoon. Did he oversleep?” The crowd booed.

Aren’t you Worldwide Insomnia? How ironic was it that your team member overslept! 

In the end, the four couldn’t wait for their two other team members any longer. The Challenger League had lax rules thought. Six players must sign up at registration, but in the actual match, it was fine for four players to participate. However, if four players participated, how could they hope to win according to competition rules?

Under the disappointed gazes of the crowd, Happy easily took their first victory.

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