Chapter 803 - Opening Match
Not a bad start!
Chen Guo was ecstatic, but seeing how everyone else seemed so calm, she knew that this sort of easily-won victory didn’t mean much. In comparison to Happy, the ease at which Team Excellent Era achieved their victory was even more absurd.
After they landed such a terrifying match, Team Excellent Era’s opponent didn’t seem to have any plans to back out. Instead, their members all arrived timely and enthusiastically. Yet upon opening fire, their characters seemed to just be dolls; they weren’t really here to PvP, just here to meet their idols. When they went up against One Autumn Leaf, Life Extinguisher, and Dancing Rain, this was especially obvious. Happily losing while taking every chance to try and kowtow to them made the members of Team Excellent Era feel extremely awkward.
The amount of attention gained by the first round of this season’s Challenger League far overtook any other round in history. But compared with the Pro League match the following day, it was nothing to write home about.
On this day, Chen Guo broadcasted the match like usual, but if the week after the free Internet event had anything to say, it was that Happy Internet Cafe’s business had taken a hit. Their demand had fallen by at least a third, especially the regulars. Many of them never came back. The influence Team Excellent Era had in this area was immense.
Out of the 10 ongoing opening matches, Chen Guo chose the one between Team Samsara and Team Heavenly Sword. This was one of the league’s traditions. Among the opening matches, one would definitely be fought between a new team and the defending champions. Team Heavenly Sword and Team Happy had quite a bit of history, so Loulan Slash had been coming to Ye Xiu anxiously to get advice.
Loulan Slash and his team prepared thoroughly for their match. Things like snatching bosses were allocated to others in the guild. They had become like pro players, not appearing much ingame anymore. For this new team, the Alliance also did some introducing and advertising.
Loulan Slash’s team had eleven members in total. Apart from the core five, there were another six. Even though Ye Xiu had been a part of their group for so long, he had never heard of these people, and had no idea were Loulan Slash had found them. But with Loulan Slash and co as the core members, these six people were just backups, so Ye Xiu knew they wouldn’t be very strong.
The match was on Team Samsara’s turf. One of the major changes made for the new season was upgrading all the screens on hand into holographic projectors. Of course, this wasn’t a decision made lightly, but one long planned by the Alliance. All the major teams had made an investment on this in their stadiums, and these first came to use at All Stars on Team Samsara’s stadium.
This perfected technology received very positive feedback, and the plans they had made for so long finally came to fruition this season. Not just at Samsara, but the projections for all the opening matches flickered on.
With an all new method of viewing, the effect on the spirit of the audience was tangible. The lifelike Glory arena was revealed to them, eliciting the passion of everyone in the audience.
The match between the defending champions and the new team wasn’t anything shocking. Team Heavenly Sword lost with a resounding zero to Team Samsara. Not long after the match, Ye Xiu received a column of tearful emojis from the Team Heavenly Sword five.
“Keep trying!” Ye Xiu could only reply with mild encouragement. Because of the difference in skill, along with nerves from their debuting match, Loulan Slash and co couldn’t perform to expectations. But this first match showed Ye Xiu that there was some depth to these players that he didn’t know of before. Their equipment, upon the start of the official matches, had undergone a complete makeover, including several pieces of Silver equipment. Ye Xiu had no idea how they obtained them.
With solid characters and an understanding of their ability through in-game interaction, Ye Xiu judged that Team Heavenly Sword could count as a mid-tier team in the league. He relayed this conclusion to the five, just to give them a boost in morale.
But the opening match that was the most popular wasn’t this match. Chen Guo broadcasted Loulan Slash’s match out of their friendship. Among the opening matches, it was usually the teams that had undergone major adjustments during the summer transfer period that would catch people’s attention. People would be curious as to how good these new line-ups were.
This, of course, didn’t include Team Samsara and Team Heavenly Sword. Team Samsara simply bought an All Star character to fortify their strength. Yet what they did in the end wasn’t to use the grappler Flying Drops directly, but to salvage its equipment and re-equip their own grappler. It was clear that they weren’t aiming for the account in the first place, but the equipment. A character’s ability was mostly determined by their equipment. With Flying Drops’ undressing, this All Star Grappler would most likely fall from fame. Many fans of this account were furious at Samsara for that they did.
It wasn’t as if Samsara hadn’t taken this into consideration. An All Star character could sometimes bring fame. But Flying drops was, ultimately, not a God-level character like One Autumn Leaf or Desert Dust, so Samsara could make the decision to scrap it, taking its place with their own Grappler account. This sort of move to increase the influence of their own accounts revealed Samsara’s ambitious heart.
But that was all Samsara had done. It was not enough to become a hot topic, especially when looking at Tyranny, Blue Rain, Tiny Herb, whose core line-up had gone through some immense changes. It wasn’t very fresh.
After the end of the opening matches, people had some idea of Team Tyranny’s new style.
Zhang Jiale using Hundred Dazzling Blossoms to fight for Team Tyranny was something no one had ever thought could happen even in their dreams, yet now it had become a reality. The flamboyant hundred blossom style was as eye-catching as ever; some were ecstatic, some were melancholy.
And Ling Jinyan, controlling the brawler character Team Tyranny had specially made for him, was a uniting figure in the team. The people that supported these veterans weren’t small in number, with some who was just here just to see what would happen. They hoped that Team Tyranny would meet Team Hundred Blossoms or Team Wind Howl. These matches that had potential for drama were always more interesting.
Zhou Guanyi from Team Tyranny also gained much attention. In the press conference after the match, the reporters were intent on him, asking if he felt pressure when fighting alongside these Gods. But Team Tyranny was prepared for such questions, and Zhou Guanyi’s reply sounded rehearsed. Obviously, their PR department had gone over this with him. Reporters hated this kind of answer the most, but there was nothing they could do about it.
Team Blue Rain and Team Tiny Herb had both lost All Stars, and had not made any moves to fortify their own strength, yet shocked every everyone in their opening matches.
The most important adjustment Team Blue Rain had made in this season was to take the young 14 year old Lu Hanwen from their training camp, using the account Flowing Clouds he used in-game, and put him down as a core member!
This phrase could be used perfectly on Lu Hanwen. With one victory in the individual competition and an amazing performance in the team competition, everyone witnessed this 14 year old’s technique and skill.
Everyone immediately placed titles like genius to Lu Hanwen’s name, curious and hopeful about his future performance. It was a shame that he didn’t attend the press conference after. It was clear that Team Blue Rain was very protective of this child.
In contrast, Team Tiny Herb’s Gao Yingjie and his Kind Tree’s debut in Team Tiny Herb’s main roster wasn’t as eye-catching. After all, Gao Yingjie had chances to fight in official matches ever since last season’s All Star Weekend. This season, becoming a core member was just the next step. Though his position on the main team was rather conspicuous; he was taking the place of an All Star, after all.
But this situation was the same fo rTeam Blue Rain. Lu Hanwen was also taking the place of the transferred Yu Feng. In comparison to Gao Yingjie whose debut was carefully planned out and revealed, Lu Hanwen came out completely unexpected, making Team Blue Rain’s actions far more surprising.
The other teams that people were keeping an eye on were Team Hundred Blossoms and Team Wind Howl.
Coming to a new team, getting a new character and becoming a team leader, Tang Hao’s performance in their match was admirable. Under his leadership, his other team members fought spectacularly in their opening match. Like Team Samsara, Team Wind Howl also managed to win with a full 10 points, standing currently in joint first place with Samsara, causing their fans to swell with excitement.
In contrast, Team Hundred Blossoms’ opening match was a terrible embarrassment. Their opponent, Team Misty Rain, didn’t make many changes during the summer transfer; their line-up was stable, as was their performance. They took away 8 points from the match, leaving Team Hundred Blossoms with a measly 2 points. The media, of course, blew things out of proportion. Though they just messed up on the opening match, Hundred Blossoms was described as being in peril, and even being compared with Zhang Jiale’s amazing return.
Among all the topics and debates, the Glory Alliance’s ninth season officially began. And immediately a topic exploded among the players, being something everyone had noticed about this season: veterans and newcomers.
The veterans that had rallied under Team Tyranny’s banner for victory.
The very new, but already core team member and youngest ever pro player, Lu Hanwen.
Just in the opening matches, they had caught everyone’s attention, and were already looking to be the main character’s of the coming season.
With the eruption of such a dramatic Pro League opening round, the spectators of the Challenger League, had decreased. The topics surrounding Happy and whatnot were immediately replaced by Tyranny, Blue Rain, Tiny Herb, Wind Howl, Hundred Blossom, etc. After all, this was where the real action was happening!