Chapter 921 - Four New Faces
The team that brought the most new faces to the All Stars was Team Tiny Herb.
Xu Bin, transfering to Tiny Herb and now operating Deng Fusheng’s Knight Angelica, had performed spectacularly in the past season. A player that always performed well had finally gained enough popularity upon entering a powerhouse team, reaching an All Star level.
Another was Gao Yingjie. The renowned young prodigy from Team Tiny Herb that grew up under careful guidance. He had missed his opportunity to receive the Best Rookie award, but after becoming a part of Tiny Herb’s starting roster, was immediately elected as an All Star. The performance of this prodigy had satisfied the expectations that other people had set for him. He had performed as was expected of a core player of a team, developing the composure of a general. He was also of the same class and team as the God Wang Jiexi; the votes obtained under such circumstances were very stable.
This was because fans often gave votes to the player they supported and liked the most. Since Glory fans were usually Glory players, the classes they liked limited the players they liked to some extent.
Gao Yingjie was on the same team, and had the same class as Wang Jiexi. The votes for Tiny Herb and Witches had to be split between them. The difficulty in getting into the All Stars was higher than usual.
Lu Hanwen was also in a similar situation to Gao Yingjie.
Lu Hanwen was called the greatest discovery of the season. As the youngest pro player in Glory history, he was eye-catching from the moment he stepped onto the stage. His mechanics weren’t fully developed yet, and he didn’t have much experience, but his passion and energy on the field was something many Gods didn’t have.
If you had experts analyzing and voting, Lu Hanwen probably wouldn’t be able to enter the All Stars. However, the players that participated in the All Stars were chosen by the fans, so there was much less rational analysis. The votes didn’t mean you were strong, but it represented the support and love, expectations and well-wishes you gained. Lu Hanwen had gained that from the player base, and thus became an All Star.
Another new face belonged to the new champion team’s Grappler player, Lu Boyuan.
Lu Boyuan had performed amazingly in the playoffs last season, leaving a deep impression in everyone’s minds. After obtaining the championships, he had naturally gained a lot of popularity. During the summer transfer market, Samsara paid a hefty sum to buy the All Star Grappler from Tiny Herb. However, at the start of the season, everyone found that Lu Boyuan was still using Samsara’s account, Grappler Chaotic Cloudy Mountains, and soon they also discovered that the Silver Grappler equipment belonging to Flying Drops was now equipped to Chaotic Cloudy Mountains. Samsara didn’t seem to care for the popularity of the All Star level Grappler account, Flying Drops.
This action meant the fall of an All Star account and roused hatred from the fans of Flying Drops. Chaotic Cloudy Mountains had, inevitably, lost a portion of its supporters, but no matter what, Lu Boyuan and his Chaotic Cloudy Mountains had still received enough votes to become a participating member of the All Stars, becoming the new Grappler All Star.
The aforementioned four were the new faces appearing in this season’s All Stars. Apart from them, the others were all players that had participated at least once before. The players who had already gained fame had a steady fanbase, so it was rather hard for them to fall out of the rankings in a fan-based vote like this. Especially for some gods, their fans’ support would be enough to bring them to this stage even if they had performed extremely poorly or barely appeared.
Out of the 24 voted in, the one in the most awkward position would be Hundred Blossom’s Zou Yuan. It was already Zou Yuan’s second time being voted to participate in the All Stars, but in reality, with his skill, his fame, and even his performance, he would probably never see such high popularity.
Last year, he had been voted in because of the God-level account he was using: Spitfire Dazzling Hundred Blossoms. The fans voted for his account and pushed him onto the All Stars stage. As for this time? With Zhang Jiale joining Tyranny upon his return, and then Tyranny bought Dazzling Hundred Blossoms for him, many people were seething with anger. So, throwing their votes at Zou Yuan’s Blooming Blossoms became a way to vent that anger for them.
With this special circumstance, Zou Yuan was once again voted into the All Stars, but he didn’t feel lucky at all. Apart from awkwardness, all he felt was still awkwardness.
Actually, the four new faces in this round’s All Stars was because of a special reason.
The All Star player Deng Fusheng’s retirement created an opening amongst the All Stars, but the one who made the most contribution was Excellent Era, the entire team had been relegated to the Challenger League, leaving three usually stable spots open for the taking. And, behind these empty spots, was a huge amount of ownerless votes. Deng Fusheng’s votes were easily relocated, since most of his votes came from Tiny Herb fans anyways. So, all they had to do was give their votes to Xu Bin, who took Deng Fusheng’s place, or another member of Tiny herb. It was a little more awkward for Excellent Era though. With the entire team out of commission, Excellent Era fans had no place to put their votes. In the end, they would just give these votes to whoever else that they liked, or their rivals who they didn’t like… So,it was reasonable that eye-catching rookies like Lu Hanwen could skyrocket right into the All Stars. In this season, the number of neutral votes was a little too many.
In the end, this season became the season in which the All Stars lacked the most classes.
Glory had 24 classes, and there were 24 All Stars, what this meant was rather obvious. However, since the very first All Stars, there had never been one where all 24 classes were present. The most tragic class was the Summoner, in which there had never been an All Star player. Comparatively speaking, the last All Stars had a rather even distribution of classes. Only Summoners and Paladins were missing, while Ghostblade and Brawler each had two All Stars.
In contrast, the current season’s All Stars had 5 duplicate classes.
Li Xuan and Wu Yuce’s Ghostblades were obvious, always being voted in. Apart from these two, two powerhouses Tiny Herb and Blue Rain had also made contributions, giving duplicates for Witches and Blademasters respectively.
Then there were the Brawlers, recreating the situation from last year. Tang Hao and Lin Jingyan were both voted in again, but this time Three Hits had become Tang Hao’s character, and Lin Jingyan held the character Team Tyranny had built for him, Brawler Dark Thunder.
Yet, the resentment that festered between the last pair of class duplicates had a much deeper impression on people than the Brawler pair. What a coincidence that this pair had an interesting relationship with Tang Hao and Lin Jingyan, too.
This was because Tang Hao came from Hundred Blossoms, and Zhang Jiale was currently Lin Jingyan’s teammate in Tyranny. Now with Dazzling Hundred Blossoms, he had returned after a year, clashing directly with his and Dazzling Hundred Blossoms’ successors, Zou Yuan and Blooming Blossoms.
What would happen between them in this season’s All Stars? Those busybodies had long since become restless to know. It was unfortunate that these four could no longer go up against each other through the Rookie Challenges anymore. Whether they would face off or not, that was something no one knew.
The All Star Weekend would bring all of these pro players and accounts together, and amongst them ran all sorts of tension.
Enemies on the field, friends off the field.
This was easily said, but there weren’t many who really managed to achieve it. Especially those who transferred away due to their old team’s displeasure, how many of them could act as if nothing had happened when facing their old teammates?
No one would be as crude as to extend this to a PK off field, but on the field, it was normal for people to use matches to relieve this stress. And this sort of cathartic action made the matches much more interesting for the spectators.
Everyone was eager for the issue of Esports Home that was published before the start of the All Star Weekend, wanting to read up on all the drama that was hopefully about to occur. And so this year’s All Star Weekend begun under the excitement and noise. Team Happy, represented by Ye Xiu, Steamed Bun, Chen Guo and Tang Rou, arrived on that day at B City.
With their plane unfortunately delayed, the four accepted Lou Guanning’s escort arrangements. A car came to pick them up and took them directly to Tiny Herb’s stadium. When the person responsible for leading them inside was still trying to figure out how to actually do that, Ye Xiu had already lead them into the building, obviously familiar with it. However, when it came to finding their seats, Ye Xiu wasn’t too familiar. He rarely sat in the audience seats before.
The seating that Lou Guanning had gotten them was, of course, top notch, much better than the three that Chen Guo had bought last year. Because of their delayed flight, the opening show of the All Star Weekend was over by the time they got there. The first order of business had begun already: the Rookie Challenge.
In this season, the Hologram Projection technology had been completely integrated into Glory matches. After half a season, the audience had completely gotten used to and fallen in love with this new method of viewing. The viewing quality had seen great improvement, and the ticket sales for each team’s home matches had hit a new high. The All Stars were no different, also using this sort of technology.
By the time Ye Xiu’s group had managed to find and sette in their seats, the first match of the Rookie Challenge was already over. The four who only cared about finding their seats didn’t even know who had been fighting who.
The onstage commentator was already announcing the player for the second match.
It was the most eye-catching rookie of the season, Lu Hanwen that was up next. It had only been half a season, but this youngest-ever pro player rookie seemed to already be viewed as Best Rookie; that was Blue Rain’s Lu Hanwen.
Blue Rain and Tiny Herb were archrivals and the current season’s All Stars was played on Tiny Herb’s home turf, so the treatment Blue Rain players would get was evident. However, when this 14 year old pro player stood on the stage, the Tiny Herb fans weren’t mean enough to boo him. The applause was a little scattered though.
The host knew that Lu Hanwen was a very popular figure of debate, so he chatted with him a little more than usual. Lu Hanwen was as open as always, saying what came to him and bringing up the mood.
It was only at the end that the host asked what everyone cared about most, "Then, Little Lu, who are you going to challenge today? Let me take a guess, is it your senior from your team, God Huang Shaotian?"
"Nope." Lu Hanwen shook his head.
"Oh, then who is it?" The host had been confident in his guess, so he was surprised upon hearing this.
That was when Lu Hanwen took the mic and turned to the pro player stands. "Tiny Herb’s senior Liu Xiaobie, let’s settle this once and for all!"