The next groupings for the twenty teams would be determined by drawn lots. What opponents you would have was clear. If this was important or not, it was obvious from what had happened with the teams Everlasting and Sunset Fire.
These teams both had pro backgrounds and, under usual circumstances, wouldn’t have too much of a problem getting into the offline match portion of the League. Yet the two hadn’t draw lucky lots. Everlasting had gotten Happy and Sunset Fire managed to draw Excellent Era, being eliminated from the Challenger League early on. Everlasting had completely disbanded, and there hadn’t been any news from Sunset Fire since. How many people would care to notice a poor eliminated Challenger League Team?
Such an important drawing of lots had to happen offline, of course, for transparency and fairness. Team Happy obtained messages via email and then phone, wanting them to confirm that they understood that they had to arrive at the Alliance’s headquarters before January 18th for the lot drawing ceremony.
January 18th was a Saturday. Putting this on a weekend was an act of kindness from the Alliance. After all, many of the players had work or school and were only free on the weekend.
However, this kindness ended there. Following that, all the teams were gathered together for the offline matches, which would occur over the course of a full month. The work and school of the participants would be affected. Their own decision on how to proceed was on themselves.
"For this, I think I should just go?" Chen Guo suggested to everyone after getting the message from the Alliance.
To be honest, Chen Guo was feeling quite nervous. The captain or someone should be the one attending this sort of ceremony. However, Ye Xiu and Wei Chen had spent the past few days and nights organizing all of the knowledge they had accumulated over the years regarding materials. Chen Guo couldn’t bear to trouble them with such an errand. The headquarters of the Alliance wasn’t in H City, which would make this trip take even longer. Seeing how these two practically looked like they were trying to crack a minute into two halves to use, Chen Guo decided that she should be the one to handle the task.
"Sure, it doesn’t matter who goes." Ye Xiu didn’t care.
"Get a good draw." Wei Chen, on the other hand, had to give Chen Guo some pressure.
"I’ll go with you?" Tang Rou said.
"No need, you should stay and continue training with the others!" Chen Guo said with a smile.
"That’s true." Ye Xiu nodded, "We need to focus on preparing ourselves mentally for the matches to come."
In the end, Chen Guo, represented Happy to attend the Lot Drawing Ceremony.
January 18th, Glory Alliance Headquarters, the lot drawing ceremony began at 2 PM. Chen Guo arrived timely and sat in a random spot after registering her arrival. Taking a look around the place, she saw that a large group of people were crowding around one place. It was only after the host’s urging that they slowly dispersed. Looking again, Chen Guo saw that Excellent Era’s captain and vice captain were sitting there, Sun Xiang and Xiao Shiqin. Were those people crowding around to get autographs?
After watching everyone leave, the two spotted Chen Guo as well.
The two sides hadn’t met each other many times, but they knew each other. Xiao Shiqin smiled and nodded in greeting and Chen Guo nodded back in acknowledgement. This scene was seen by many people and they all began to guess what relationship this beautiful lady had with Xiao Shiqin. It was only under the host’s urging, again, that the crowd quieted.
As the host announced the lot drawing ceremony in motion, the first one to walk onto the stage was the biggest Boss of the Glory Alliance, Chairman Feng Xianjun.
Though the Challenger League wasn’t on the same level as the Pro League, it was still an official event hosted by the Alliance. No matter how limited the attention given to the Challenger League was, the Alliance itself still needed it. The big Boss Feng Xianjun had to come to such an event to say a few words, even if it was just civilities about his gratitude, well-wishes, and hopes.
After that, the ceremony started. First, the computer randomly gave each team a number and the teams began to go up one by one to draw their lots.
Team Happy was randomly assigned to draw their group fourth and their turn came quickly. Chen Guo rose and walked on stage, and the audience burst into a wave of discussion. Even though the attention given to the Challenger League might be limited, the teams that were in the Challenger League themselves were very well acquainted with the rumors and hot topics going around within the League. Team Happy had gained a lot of attention by challenging Excellent Era, and shortly after they defeated Team Everlasting, becoming the hottest topic in the Challenger League. In comparison, Excellent Era, who had also defeated a pro team, Sunset Fire, wouldn’t become such a hot topic because it was to be expected!
Rumor had it that god Ye Qiu was at Team Happy. The representatives from each team had hoped to see him at the Lot Drawing Ceremony. Yet who they actually saw was this beautiful woman.
No matter how mysterious Ye Qiu was, there was no doubt that he was a guy. When the audience saw, they at least didn’t have any strange and convoluted ideas and guesses about how Ye Qiu might actually be a beautiful lady.
"Team Happy, Group B."
After Chen Guo drew her slip, she took a glance at it before handing it over to the host. The host announced the draw and on the big screen, in the list of Group B teams, Team Happy’s name appeared.
At that moment, four teams had been assigned groups. A and B each had a team and C had two, but D had yet to get any.
Chen Guo returned to her seat, taking a deep breath.
The teams that everyone took notice of was the pro teams. They all hoped to god that there wouldn’t be a pro team in their group. Chen Guo was the same, so she had memorized the the number of Excellent Era, Mysterious Fantasy, and Jade Dynasty were positioned at, 12, 8, and 15 respectively.
After Chen Guo, number 5, 6 and 7 went up to draw their groups. The seventh team, called Seven Steps One Kill, managed to draw Group B, the same as Team Happy. Then, Chen Guo saw that, when the member of Seven Steps One Kill came down, he shot her an anxious glance and she realized that while she was focused on the three pro teams, Team Happy was a team of note, one to avoid for the other normal player teams.
This felt… pretty good!
Chen Guo enjoyed this feeling, but then the eighth team Mysterious Fantasy came onstage to draw their lot and the host soon announced their result: Group B.
Chen Guo paused for a moment and then looked over to see that member of Seven Steps One Kill again. Now he didn’t just look anxious, he looked like he was about to cry.
Excellent Era, Mysterious Fantasy, Jade Dynasty, and Happy. These were the teams that were hard to deal with, which meant that each team would take a place for themselves.
Team Happy had gotten Group B, taking a place from there. It could be predicted that the competition for the remaining place would be intense, so the member of Ten Steps One Kill began to become nervous. Yet, Mysterious Fantasy took a spot in Group B. That meant that the remaining place had been taken as well. From now on, the result of Group B’s competition was set. Seven Steps One Kill’s member naturally wanted to weep.
Those who had drawn their lots and not gotten Group B felt immense relief. Those who had yet to draw their group watched Group B warily, silently praying to themselves. Everyone had the same wish in their hearts: Excellent Era and Jade Fantasy, if only they had also went to Group B.
Then, the tenth team, Team Trader drew Group B. When that player came down from the stage, his demeanor made him seem like he was the twin brother of Seven Steps One Kill’s player.
Soon enough, it was number 12, Team Excellent Era’s turn. The one who went on stage was Captain Sun Xiang, and he didn’t even bother to check his group after drawing it, handing the slip directly to the host and leaving the stage before anything was even announced. This was a portrayal of Excellent Era’s atypical status: these draws were meaningless to them.
"Team Excellent Era, Group D," the host announced.
All of the present players were stoic. Though everyone had been crowding around the two gods present at Excellent Era, the reality was that, with the current circumstances, no one wanted Excellent Era here. No one enjoyed seeing Sun Xiang’s display of arrogance. Though everyone was willing to admit that they were, by far, no match for Excellent Era, they were all still hoping to win. Everyone loved miracles.
After Excellent Era, three of the strongest teams had already been assigned to a group, and only Jade Dynasty was left. Currently, the most nervous ones were Group D’s teams, praying desperately that Jade Dynasty wouldn’t fall into Group D
This time, their prayers were answered.
"Team Jade Dynasty, Group A."
As the host announced this, the audience seemed to erupt. Everyone’s tense and on edge nerves had finally found relief. Those in Group C were the luckiest, then Group A. Group D had Excellent Era, so there was little hope for that spot, but at the very least there was another for people to compete over. As for Group B… The teams in Group B didn’t even want to speak.
The audience exploded into a ruckus, as if the drawing was already over, making number 16, who was coming onto the stage, extremely awkward. The host knew the reason for this commotion and knew that it would be futile to try and maintain decorum. The numbers 16 to 20 quickly went by. Among them, one team had gotten Group B, but no one cared at all, so they could only silently go to one side and weep.
The assignments for the twenty teams had been completed, and the schedule of the matches was automatically generated and printed out by the computer, then distributed to all the representatives.
After all the members of the teams obtained a copy of the schedule and got their souvenirs, they took a group photo. This was an event that the chairman had to participate in. After Feng Xianjun took a picture with everyone, he started to chat with the two gods of Excellent Era and then turned, catching sight of Chen Guo.
"Team Happy," Feng Xianjun referred to Chen Guo by saying this, "How come Ye Qiu isn’t here?"
Everyone’s ears perked up.
Was Ye Qiu in Team Happy? This question was passed around, one day he wasn't there, and the next he wasn’t Ye Qiu. No one ever gained a precise answer. Was the chairman’s words a revelation?
"Er…" Chen Guo had no idea how to respond to this question. She had always had a thought: Ye Xiu had used his brother Ye Qiu’s identity to play matches and now he was switching back. Would the Alliance acknowledge this?
Chen Guo had been tripped up by this, yet unexpectedly, someone came to her rescue. She wouldn’t have ever expected this person to be Sun Xiang.
"As the captain, how could he not come to such an important event? Does Happy think themselves above the Challenger League?" Sun Xiang said.
Sun Xiang felt like he had made a very impressive taunt and the others did find it impressive: you clearly thought yourself above this, yet you still used this. Using eight hundred to strike down a thousand*, that was truly a god, so courageous!
"Team Happy’s captain hasn’t come, but their boss has," Chen Guo smiled and said. After being around the old foxes Ye Xiu and Wei Chen for so long, Sun Xiang’s taunt could only be called weak to Chen Guo.