Chapter 933 - Cocktail Party
The third day of the All Star Weekend was always the main act. The All Star competition actually only referred to this one day as well.
Twenty four All Stars would, on this day, be split into two teams of twelve to battle. If it wasn’t for the fact that the All Star Weekend was more of a show than anything else and the players wouldn’t be so serious about victory and defeat, this could be seen as the creme de la creme of matches.
The teams for the twenty-four All Stars was decided through official channels. On principle, they wouldn’t divide the members of a team into different groups. Historically, the number of players coming from each team had always been a good number to work with, so there was no circumstance in which they ever had to forcibly separate the members of the teams in order to form two groups with an equal number of people.
Today was no different. The twenty-four participants were harmoniously divided into two groups.
Samsara’s three, Tiny Herb’s three, plus Wind Howl and Hundred Blossom’s pairs as well as Royal Style, Seaside’s singles formed a team of twelve.
Tyranny’s four, Blue Rain’s three, plus the duos from Void and Misty Rain, as well as the single from 301 Degrees formed another team of twelve.
Though the split was peaceful, the alliance would usually separate the teams so that there would be some tension between the two. For example, last year’s champions and runner-ups Samsara and Blue Rain wouldn’t be placed together. Tiny Herb’s Gao Yingjie and Blue Rain’s Lu Hanwen were the two most eye-catching rookies in the alliance, so their two teams were also on different sides, attempting to create a match between the two. Wind Howl and Hundred Blossom’s veterans had both transferred to Tyranny, and Zhang Jiale’s transfer was especially nerve-grating for Hundred Blossoms fans, so these two teams were placed against Tyranny.
Apart from that, they had to make sure that the divisions didn’t repeat too much. After all, many gods always made it into the All Stars year after year. What the audience wanted to see was different participants becoming teammates and opponents. If it was the same few people fighting each other every year, it would get tiring very quickly.
These arrangements were to make the All Stars as spectacular as possible. In reality, the All Star competitions were usually rather dense. Even though everyone knew this was just a show, they also knew that this was a show that gained the attention of many fans. The normal players were all too willing to use this match to judge which characters did better or worse. The pro players didn’t want the normal players to misjudge them so easily. In addition to that, there was the tension that was purposefully injected, so the All Stars wouldn’t give too much slack.
However, there was one awkward reality that had plagued two consecutive years of the All Star competitions. That was that there was only one healer among the All Stars last year, Zhang Xinjie, and the same was true for this year too.
The one thing that no pro team would ever be without was a healer. Healers were a very important aspect of the team competitions, so their skill had to be good. For the healers of each big team, it was hard to rank them by strength since they usually didn’t battle. This meant that most healers got approximately the same amount of votes for each All Stars. Zhang Xinjie was the current number one healer, but it was difficult to say how many of his votes were because of his identity as a Master Tactician. . When talking about pure healing ability, there was one undeniable God of Healing in the history of Glory and that was the player behind Tiny Herb’s Paladin Wind Guard, Fang Shiqian. It was a shame that he had retired after the seventh season when Tiny Herb won their second championship. It was after his retirement that the Alliance had fallen into this awkward situation of only having one All Star healer on stage. And by the looks of things, this awkward situation would continue for a while.
The performance and skill among the current healers were steady, and there were no signs of anyone having abrupt improvement. As for the rookie healers, none of them seemed to have the same level of talent that Fang Shiqian had, who rose up above the other experts.
However, not having a healer wouldn’t influence how spectacular the All Stars were. In last year’s All Stars, the healerless side had gone wild, their team members unleashing burst after burst of intensive techniques, eventually defeating their opponents. It had to be said, however, that such a victory would probably only appear in the All Star Weekend. In this show, there wasn’t as much pressure to win on the players, so they would be a lot more relaxed. There wouldn’t be any particularly serious tactical limits either, so unpredictable situations weren’t too unusual.
For this year’s All Stars, the situation of these gods unleashing burst after burst of skill didn’t appear again. The presence of a healer became the eventual deciding factor between the two sides. The side with Zhang Xinjie obtained the victory for this year’s All Star competition.
This season’s All Star Weekend had come to an end. In comparison to last year, there wasn’t as much to talk about, but it was still a highly successful All Star Weekend.
As the event ended and everyone left, Lou Guanning’s group had to exeunt via the pro player exit. Ye Xiu’s group of four made their way out by following the crowd. Lou Gianning had already arranged for a car to pick them up afterwards, directly taking the four directly to the cocktail party.
Lou Guanning’s party was in a place that wasn’t very far from the Tiny Herb stadium so they arrived rather quickly. With Lou Guanning having notified the staff of their arrival, they made their way in without experiencing any hitches. Lou Guanning and co had already arrived at the party, dressed immaculately. Seeing Ye Xiu’s group arriving, they hurriedly came over to welcome them.
"So cool! It’s just like watching a movie!" Steamed Bun had obviously never seen such an event, and looked around in curiosity.
"Haha," Lou Guanning laughed.
Chen Guo was more composed than Steamed Bun, and after looking around for a moment, she asked Lou Guanning in confusion, "How come I don’t see anyone else."
"Anyone else?" Lou Guanning turned his head to look around a little. There weren’t many people here, true, but it wasn’t like there was no one here either. What did she mean by "anyone else"? Lou Guanning was bewildered.
Chen Guo seemed to be afraid of missing anything and swept her gaze around again, carefully. "I don’t see any of them!"
Hearing this, Lou Guanning managed to decipher the meaning behind her words, smiling and saying, "You mean the other pro players? Of course they wouldn’t be here. I didn’t invite them after all."
"Ah?" Chen Guo looked back in confusion. She had thought that this party was hosted in hospitality as a gathering for the teams out of friendship.
"Haha, it is Tiny Herb’s turf, after all!" Lou Guanning said.
Chen Guo didn’t understand, but Ye Xiu did immediately. At first he had thought this party was a gathering for the teams, but now he realized that this guy truly had tact.
This time’s All Star Weekend was hosted by Tiny Herb. Heavenly Swords might also be a home team, but if they used this occasion to throw a party, there would be suspicions of trying to steal the spotlight. Especially since Heavenly Swords was very conspicuous from the start, if they did such a thing now, the other teams probably wouldn’t believe that this was done out of hospitality, but was rather a chance for this rich guy to gain attention and boast again. So, at this time, it wasn’t very appropriate to invite the teams over for a party. Chen Guo’s personality was rather bold, so she might not have considered such small details. After hearing what Lou Guanning had to say about Tiny Herb’s turf, she was still rather confused and asked, "Then what are we here for?"
"Making more connections with people is always a good thing!" Lou Guanning said.
"Who are all these people?" Chen Guo looked left and right.
"Come on, I’ll introduce you." Not many of the guests had come yet. Lou Guanning took care in guiding Chen Guo and the others, joining a random pair’s conversations and introducing them.
These two people were some sort of investment consultant and an executive director of a kind, rather imposing titles. No matter how big Chen Guo’s Internet cafe was, it wasn’t very upscale, so she had never interacted with thse kinds of people before. Then she heard Lou Guanning introduce her as Team Happy’s boss and she finally understood the point of this party.
"Getting sponsors?" Chen Guo quietly asked Lou Guanning after chatting about nonsense with the two for a bit.
"That’s right." Lou Guanning nodded.
It was only then that Ye Xiu’s group understood what connections Lou Guanning wanted them to make at this party. Bringing them here was extremely generous. Both being teams in the alliance, they could be considered rivals.
"Little Lou, you’re really too nice!" Chen Guo had completely accepted Lou Guanning by now, not having any further reason to dislike him.
Chen Guo had no experience in this sort of situation, but she had guts and the heart to give her all to the team. She wanted to be a good boss, so she dutifully went to find people to establish connections with. With Chen Guo’s openness, she was good at making friends on the fly, but her attitude became a little rude in this situation. Chen Guo evidently understood that as well, so she was careful to be a little more reserved. However, there were many people among Lou Guanning’s guests that didn’t really understand Glory and it’s competitive scene, so Chen Guo was having some difficulty communicating. However, she refused to give up, still inserting herself into conversations wherever she could.
This sort of thing wasn’t something Steamed Bun could manage either. This guy acted like he was in a zoo, wandering around randomly and occasionally running back to Ye Xiu’sgroup to gush about something he had just seen. Whenever someone came up to talk to him, he would introduce himself as Steamed Bun and sometimes show them the tattoo on his left arm, shocking people left and right. Being able to expose your arm to this cold winter was rather impressive.
As for Ye Xiu and Tang Rou, the two stayed curled in a corner. Tang Rou had casually taken a glass of wine to sip at while Ye Xiu held a very deep ashtray, going through cigarette after cigarette and filling the air around them with smoke. Tang Rou was a radiant-looking lady, yet no one had come up to talk to her, all thanks to Ye Xiu.
They didn’t ask when the party ended. From when they arrived, guests continuously came in. Lou Guanning was at the center of it all, being able to chat a bit with everyone, no matter their age or gender. Then, when he glanced over at Ye Xiu and Tang Rou, he tapped his glass twice and dragged Happy into the spotlight. "Today, I have a few good friends that I would like to introduce to everyone."
"This guy…" Ye Xiu was helpless and could only come over with the others cooperatively as they were introduced.
Who would’ve thought that after this introduction, a voice of discord would appear in the party.
"Hahahaha, since when did a bunch of gamers get so serious as if they did anything of note?"
Everyone turned to look at the voice. The owner was a tall, handsome young man. He was rather rude, but he looked to be gentle and refined with an extraordinary air.
"Who on earth is this?" Ye Xiu asked Lou Guanning.
"No idea!" Lou Guanning replied.
"I say, isn’t this your party?" Ye Xiu was a little exasperated.
"I threw it very casually and didn’t send out invites, so anyone who passes by can come in and see what’s going on," Lou Guanning answered.