Translated by Team DHH at http://dhh-workshop.blogspot.com/.
You’re Beautiful When You Smile
Chapter 6 Part 2
Just as she had anticipated, Yu Ming stood on the stage, microphone in hand, and began telling a long story.
He talked about how he had first come across with this game, how he was stopped by his parents, and how in the end he made the decision to play professionally…...In the beginning, his family didn’t approve of his profession. He even got the silent treatment from his parents for a long time. He had stayed in Shanghai by himself, struggling for an unrealistic dream in the eyes of others.
At that time, esports in China was just sprouting and League of Legends had just gotten popular. There was a huge gap between the professional players back then compared to now. He survived with on just a 3,000RMB monthly salary at the time in the big city and persistently strived for his dream-- --
Until he earned his first League championship with ZGDX.
Until he watched old teammates retire, change clubs, and had welcomed new teammates.
Until his family finally understood and supported him. Nowadays, whenever ZGDX was in any competition, his parents, who didn’t understand games at all, would put on their glasses to watch the game in front of a computer.
Yu Ming’s career was a representation of the birth of esports in China from non-existence to a solid profession. He had witnessed a lot-- --
“I always dreamed that one day, my teammates and I will be the champion in the World finals. Then we can hold the trophy and tell all the people who have supported us all along, those who have paid attention to the LoL Chinese regional competitions: We have done it.”
Facing the quiet audience, Yu Ming bowed deeply-- --
“I’m sorry, I have failed to realize my promise. In the end, we have never fulfilled that dream…...And now, I realize that I have reached the point where I have to put down my own dream and make way for new blood.”
Yu Ming straightened up, with reddish eyes, and continued with a low voice as if he was trying hard not to choke-- --
“We used to be very close to that dream trophy. But now, we still haven’t been able to reach it…...I hope one day, when LPL finally brings that trophy back to China, I’ll still be here and you all will still be here……”
“However, it’s time for me to say goodbye for now.”
“I, Yu Ming, the mid of ZGDX, will be officially retiring after the Spring finals.”
After saying so, Yu Ming, tightly grasping the mic, bowed deeply again to the silent audience.
-- --It was such a rare scene: hundreds of thousands people gathered in one place, yet no one spoke a peep……
It seemed that the fans, no matter which team they were rooting for, hadn’t fully realized what had just happened. They stared sillily at the player on the stage whom they knew so well with mouths agape. Some of them probably didn’t like him, had no particularly feeling towards him, or even had sneered at him on the internet, yet at this moment, they acted as if they couldn’t understand the Chinese language all of a sudden. They couldn’t comprehend what this person was talking about……
Why was Yu Ming leaving?
This guy couldn’t be retiring?
How could the ID “Ming” from ZGDX disappear from the competition stage?
Until someone sitting in the front row abruptly raised high a placard with the name “Yu Ming” spelled on it with LED lights-- --
It was a silent movement.
Immediately afterwards, there was a female voice that sounded as if it came through gritted teeth, “Go! Ming god, go!”
The shout broke the silence and woke up the stupefied audience!
“-- --Ming god! Ming god! Ming god!”
“-- --Ming god! Go for it!”
“-- --Ming god! We’ll always support you!”
“We’ll win S6 (The sixth World Tournament). That trophy will belong to LPL one day!”
“Go team ZGDX!”
“Go Ming god! Go team ZGDX! Go LPL!”
The sporadic shouts finally filled the whole arena. Each shout louder than the other as if they wanted to blow open the roof of the arena……The audience waved cards, banners, and those who didn’t have anything in hand simply clapped loudly-- --
…...This was probably the best retirement ceremony for a professional player?
There was no flowers, no grandiose ceremony; it was simply a man holding the mic, standing on the stage, and calmly saying goodbye to everyone.
Her cell phone vibrated, Tong Yao looked back to her phone and saw a simple text from her team manger, Rui Ge: [Posting on Weibo.]
Tong Yao put her phone away and raised her head. As expected, there were many ZGDX fans outside the arena with red eyes. The men lowered their head without words, the women could cry out without concern for their own image……
“Ming god is retiring.” Jian Yang scratched his head without disguising his surprise. “Then there aren’t many old generation players left…...I heard the news that Ming god may be retiring, but they haven’t said which mid is going to switch to ZGDX? Are they recruiting someone from Korea?”
“ZGDX is always all Chinese.” Tong Yao glanced at him and reminded him.
“Oh, that’s true. But there aren’t many top mid in China. Where are they going to find one to replace him-- --”
“......” Jian Yang stopped scratching his head and turned to look at Tong Yao. He slightly frowned and asked, “What are you talking about?”
“Didn’t you ask me why I’m taking a year off of school?” Tong Yao bent over a little bit and put her hands into her pants pockets. “Because I’m coming to Shanghai to play professionally.”
Jian Yang gave a nervous laugh. “What? Stop kidding, Tong Yao. How is it possible for a girl-- --”
“Possible or not, you’ll soon find out.”
Jian Yang was dumbfounded.
The crowd behind him who happened to overhear the explosive news were also too shock to react.
Tong Yao just checked the time on her cell phone and told Jian Yang, “The next round is about to begin. Go back now and don’t play so lousy like the last round. The way you played just now was really hard to look at……”
She started to walk back to the arena, then as if she had just remembered something, she turned her head to face the guy who was still in shock. She waved her hand and said calmly, “Yeah, almost forgot, see you at the Summer competition.”
Translated by Team DHH at http://dhh-workshop.blogspot.com/.