Chapter 3 Part 1
The weekend after she signed onto ZGDX, Tong Yao flew to Shanghai. Before boarding, she did two things while waiting at the gate-- --
The first was to WeChat her friend, Jin Yang, informing her that she was going to Shanghai to play professionally. Tong Yao was going to be the Mulan of the esports.
The second was to post on Weibo telling her streaming fans that she was going to Shanghai to watch this year’s Spring Tournament Finals. She made it clear who she was rooting for: Go Team ZGDX!
Soon after her Weibo post, the official Weibo site of Team ZGDX reposted it with the comment [Thanks for the well wishes, Smiling. Looking forward to seeing you]. The unexpected interaction excited Tong Yao’s fans, quickly creating a giant comment chain-- --
[My goodness, when did you get hooked up with the team of the competition sponsor, ahhhhhh!]
[You’re really going to watch the game! I’m going too! I want to go and guess which one is you!]
[So happy Smiling likes the same team as I! Promise me to get an autograph from Cheng Ge, alright?]
[Is the competition sponsor buying a ticket for you? Make sure to ask for business class since they have money. Ah……]
Usually when she had free time from school or was on vacation, Tong Yao would live stream, either playing games or simply chatting to earn some spending money-- --Unlike other stream hosts, she never turned on the camera. Yet, since she was a girl at the ‘Challenger’ tier on both the Chinese and Korean servers, she had gathered quite a following-- --about thirty to fifty thousand fans. In a normal day, her post on the Weibo would receive several dozen replies at the most. At the moment, probably because the official ZGDX site had shared her post, her post about going to watch the game in Shanghai received more than 300 comments in less than ten minutes……
[Posting on Weibo just about going to a game. You have no life! Why don’t you go compete yourself if you’re so good? You don’t even turn on the camera when streaming, are you afraid of exposing yourself!]
Tong Yao, “......”
Because she never turned on the webcam, there was always a rumor circling around that someone else was playing for her, especially after the scandal where another ‘Challenger’ tier female streaming host had someone carry her through her ranked matches…...that was the reason why there were so many malicious comments as well……
It seemed like he was having a lot of fun.
Tong Yao twitched her lip and stared at this comment for a while when she heard the boarding announcement. She grinned and replied with a smiling face on the spot with [That’s right! Don’t you know women like to post on Weibo for the smallest of reasons? That’s what makes it cute.] Then she calmly signed off the Weibo.
Her phone started vibrating, an incoming call-- --
The caller id was Jin Yang.
Tong Yao could guess what Jin Yang would say, so she pretended that she was too busy boarding the plane to notice it. The phone hung up after ringing twice, but before Tong Yao could breath a sigh of relief, a message from her arrived-- --
[Answer the phone! Don’t pretend you’re not there. I saw your Weibo! You were talking smack with someone just 35 seconds ago!]
Tong Yao, “......”
Tong Yao, afraid of losing her friend after she got off the plane, called back and listened patiently to her friend’s ranting-- --
“To hell with the Mulan of esports! !”
“Dammit, my boyfriend plays esports and now my best friend’s going to play as well. In the future when I’m watching a game, other people asked me what I was watching and I reply that I’m watching my boyfriend and my best friend. They would think I’m insane! !”
“Where are you? Are you really on the plane already! Get the hell off! I’m going to hijack it! !”
Tong Yao spent a long calming her friend down, especially since she was sensitive to the words “esports player.” They talked until the flight attendant nicely reminded her that the airplane was about to take off. Just as she was getting ready to hang up, the agitated one on the other end suddenly quiet down-- --
Tong Yao knew what was coming.
As expected, she heard her best friend speak the next second, “You aren’t playing professionally because of Jian Yang?”
“......No.” Tong Yao said, “I play for the 800,000 yearly salary.”
“Aiya, I’m really not! I haven’t talked to him for a long time…...besides, people on his Baidu fan page say that recently Yang god has a new girlfriend, a pretty streaming host-- --”
“What? Aren’t you a streaming host?”
“Pretty, streaming host.”
“Don’t be like that. Though I despise Jian Yang, that jerk, I haven’t heard anything about a new girlfriend from Ai Jia. They said CK wouldn’t allow love affairs……”
“Anyway, I’m not going to look for him.”
“Then, that’s ok.” The one on the other end seemed to want to make sure. “A good horse will never turn around to graze on an old pasture. I remember you said just a couple days ago that if you had a chance to do it again, you would never date a professional player ever.”
“I know, I know.”
“If you have to date one, then I’ll go to your wedding only if it’s Cheng Ge.”
“........................then you don’t have to come to my wedding.” The face of Cheng Ge flashed in her brain and Tong Yao replied, “Cheng Ge has a face which doesn’t like any human beings.”
Jin Yang burst into laughter at the other end of the phone.
At this time, the flight attendant came over a second time to remind Tong Yao to turn off her cell phone.
Tong Yao hastily bid goodbye to her friend and put away her phone. She looked out through the window as the airplane gained speed to take off. She saw a silly face yearning for the LoL League stare back at her in the window with the blue sky and white cloud in the background.
“Be modest.” She murmured while patting her face. “Be cool.”
It took about two and half hours to fly to Shanghai.
After she got off, the lady sent by ZGDX to meet her took her directly to the hotel where all the players would be staying for the finals happening the day after tomorrow-- --
Tong Yao was nervous for a while thinking the lady was going to introduce her to her future teammates. She found out when they were almost at the hotel that it wasn’t the case. The manager of the team just wanted to treat her properly since she was travelling on her own, so they booked the same hotel for her.
As for the meeting with her new teammates, it had to wait till after the retirement announcement of their current mid player, Ming god.
“That’s good. That’s good.” Tong Yao kept nodding. “I also feel it’d be a bit too rushed to meet them.”
The lady laughed at Tong Yao’s reaction. “I thought you couldn’t wait to meet Cheng Ge and the others. The other trainees who came to our base before were like that.”
“I do want to meet them.” Tong Yao said matter of factly. “But I haven’t washed my hair today.”
“Not even yesterday.”
Tong Yao laughed embarrassingly. They were close to the hotel at the time and could see many reporters holding long-focus cameras swarming outside. The outside had so many people bustling about as if a superstar was going to show up there-- --
The lady shook her head. “Who knows where the media people learned about Ming god’s retirement. They all want some scoop……”
Tong Yao, “Oh.”
The lady glanced through the rearview mirror at Tong Yao who didn’t seem to have much of a reaction. She raised her eyebrows and proudly said, “Those stupid people don’t know that the biggest news is sitting at the back seat in my car.”
“Don’t, don’t, don’t.” Tong Yao giggled as she shook her hand. “The big news hasn’t washed her hair.”