This novel is based on a real-life MOBA game. If you're unsure with some terms, here's a helpful like for you all! https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Jhv433XKRIvYdjFRGH-6thbw7NHOy8Kk0qKeUPAwDuk/edit?usp=sharing
[Welcome to The King's Glory! The enemy will arrive in 5 seconds, please get ready!]
The system’s clear voice rang throughout the huge hall, and everyone could feel their excitement pumping as they cheered for their own teams, causing a huge uproar. Even the commentators for the match, Lu You and Tuan Zi was affected by the hype as well and spoke with much vigor, “Hello my dear friends. Welcome to this year’s KPL Autumn League’s final match. Today, we have Team Zhong Nan up against Team Tian Ze. I am commentator Lu You.”
“I am your commentator Tuan Zi.”
“This season’s KPL has been truly interesting, and we’re finally at the last stage. I have already been feeling the tension and agitation ever since the BP section. I wonder if you felt the same too, Tuan Zi?” Lu You continued. (BP - Ban/Pick)
“Of course! Both sides were really aggressive back then, as they tried to pick the best combinations for their teams while banning the picks that suited the opponents.”
“But there was one move that was within my expectations. That was when He Liang’s Li Bai was banned by the Zhong Nan.”
“Of course! We all already knew just how differently the professional players played Li Bai compared to the casual players. But this time, we found the third type of Li Bai - ‘He Liang’s Li Bai’!” Tuan Zi announced.
He Liang’s Li Bai!
Elsewhere, a boy who was watching the live stream before his computer could not help but feel his blood boil with pride. After all, the person they were praising was his brother!
“Exactly, I can’t even describe his playstyle for that hero. I can only hope this data will help you understand it. The win rate for Team Tian Ze when Li Bai got the hero was… 100%!!! That itself just explains how good of a player he was for this hero.” Lu You also sang praises for this upcoming new rookie. After all, his performance was just too impressive.
“That’s why, from a certain perspective, I think he should give up on this hero. No one was gonna let him pick it!” Tuan Zi joked.
“That’s correct. That’s why in today’s final match, he chose to jungle with Dharma.”
“Yep…… There are more experts who played Dharma. He has a team fight initiating skill, and was not heavily reliant on gold as well. He must be thinking of giving the others his experience points this round,” Tuan Zi analyzed.
“The battle has begun. Both sides have made contact. But they’re inspecting their opponents and there are no initiations. We can hope to see a more peaceful early game this time.” Lu You began his commendation.
“Tian Ze has given the blue buff to the mid and the red buff to the sharpshooter… Wow, I didn’t think that Dharma would be giving out his experience points to the others that much!”
Tian Ze’s Midlaner was Zhou Jin, known for his extremely high damage output. Even in KPL leagues, his damage output was around 40% of the entire match, and sometimes he could even reach a spectacular performance at 50%!
The sharpshooter, Zhang Shi Chi has especially proficient moves and his best hero, Marco Polo was often banned too. However, in this competition, that particular hero was not banned and his team immediately locked onto it for him. (TL: why didn’t they just pick Li Bai instead if they would have a miraculous 100% win rate with him?)
Just from the fact that they had taken the two buffs in the beginning, it was clear what their intentions were. They were the best amongst the pros, so this move was not surprising. However, they had one flaw.
They could not reap the kills when it counted.
They were usually too cautious when they attacked. And when they needed to reap the kills, they were usually off by a little.
Could it be that to fully develop their levels and items, the team was hoping to resolve the problem of not getting the kill? But if the problem laid in them not being able to secure the kills, wouldn’t it be better for He Liang to play an assassin role?
He Yu continued to watch with the doubt in his heart growing.
“Both sides are gathering on the top lane now to target Tyrant Ruler. But Tian Ze’s Dharma is too weak at level four! Will Tyrant Ruler be able to get away?”
“Tian Ze is not giving up despite Dharma’s levels! They’re going in for the kill!”
“They’re not letting him go! They’re coming! Dharma leaps over the walls to secure the kill! And he gets it! Both sides executed Divine Retribution and He Liang got the kill. But it seems like he can’t run now… Aiya, he died. Dharma dies, but he manages to take down Tyrant Ruler, so this trade was still not too bad.”
“Yep, he playing a support role this time after all.”
On the other hand, He Yu’s face was grim. Due to Zhou Jin and Zhang Shi Ci overprioritizing their healths, they didn’t suppress the enemy hard enough, forcing Dharma to go up and ‘steal’ the kill. And that kill heavily relied on Dharma’s skills and timing, which was overdependent on luck. What if he didn’t get the kill? Tian Ze would definitely fall into a disadvantageous position!
“Nice! They can advance onto the towers. Dharma has made his move and used his Ultimate! Very clean! Eh? The others are not following up with him… Dharma is tanking two towers… The enemy has arrived! He’s going to get killed!... They’re doomed… There seems to be some coordination problems with Tian Ze this round…”
“Exactly, if they coordinated better, even if Dharma were to die, they should have been able to get two kills. And they would've been able to get the tower as well. Totally a profit for them!”
“Yep…… Dharma’s now at 1/3/0. Things are not looking good.”
“Dharma is in! There are three of them now! Perfect! Eh? They’re deciding to leave? Tian Ze’s truly wasting their chances…”
“Zhong Nan is planning to gank in the middle lane!”
“Dharma went to clear the wave! He Liang sure is smart.”
“Eh? Tian Ze’s remaining members are fighting the enemy back and not retreating?”
“This… Five versus four… They lost four of their people in one go…”
“Zhong Nan’s destroying the crystal! Dharma is trying to get back…”
“Seems like he;s not gonna make it…”
“Nice! Congratulations to Team Zhong Nan for becoming the champions for this season!”
The crowd was immediately split into two sides. One was rowdy with victory cheers while the other was sulking in disappointment. He Liang looked back on the crowd, and then on the scoreboard, his heart was extremely uneasy. If he could have just done a little more, maybe the outcome would have been different.
“Don’t feel down. You just began. Your performance as a rookie is already really impressive.” The judge patted him when they crossed paths. Tian Ze’s other members watched with cold glares outside.
“Thank you,” He Liang thanked him, and was reinvigorated. Yep, this is just the beginning. It’s just my first KPL league. The days are still far and one day I will definitely stand in the middle of the stage.
While he watched the prizes being awarded on the stage, he could hear the irritated sounds of his teammates.
“Are you leaving?”
“Oh... Coming.” He chased up to them. During the interview, he did not look sad, but rather, he had a face full of hopes. “I’ll try harder next season.”
He Yu laughed when he saw his brother saying with such a look. But he totally agreed with his brother. I believe he’ll be standing in the middle of the stage one day, holding the champion trophy.
But the next season…
And the next season…
And the one after that…
For five years and ten seasons.
Ever since the defeat on that day, Tian Ze had never made it to the finals again. Eye-catching? High expectations? Genius jungler? All that reputation was gone.
“His abilities were overestimated and was not capable to be the core of this professional team.”
“He did strive to improve. After he got into the top team, he relaxed.”
“He’s too selfish. His greed caused the lack of communication with his teammates.”
All the words of praise were gone. And in its place came the negative comments. Five years passed, and he was not discussed anymore. No one had expectations for him anymore. The genius of the past was just a normal player on the KPL now.
“I’ll try harder next season.”
Those words, He Liang stopped saying it after those years.
And a few days after the competition, He Yu saw the news.
Tian Ze officially announced He Liang’s retirement.
When it was posted, there were not many words of pity, only the anger of a few old fans.
Back when they talked bad about He Liang, He Yu would argue with them. But this time, he did not care anymore. He messaged his brother whilst rushing out of the house, only to see a person who was carrying some luggage. A man that he had never met for the past five years, who dedicated all his time to competitions and training.
It was He Liang.
“Brother…” He Yu could feel his throat clogging up.
“I’m back,” he smiled. Five years ago, he smiled after his first failure. That was the beginning, and he was full of aspirations for his future. Those were the smiles of hopes. But five years later, after his defeat. His smile was meant to hide the sour feeling in his heart. his emotions were leaking out.
“It’s not your fault,” He Yu said. These were the words he gave He Liang when he first lost. And after every loss his brother made, he would have sent him words of encouragement just like this.
“I’m just not good enough, I’ll try…” He shook his head. He was repeating his words. But this time, he cut off halfway.
“You’ll be in senior three next year, right? So you should be preparing for your college entrance exams?” He Liang tried to change the topic. [senior three is equivalent to 12th grade in China.]
“How about you?”
“Me?” He Liang turned his head away. “Back then, I decided to quit school to go pro. But I didn't give up on studying and I even got the certification through corresponding education! I’ll look for a job first and then decide whether or not I’ll further my studies.”
“I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about The King's Glory.”
“The King's Glory… If you want to play, I can join you!” He Liang laughed.
“You know I’m not talking bout that…”
“I know what you’re talking about. You’re asking if I’m satisfied with quitting after five years, right? I’ve done all I could in those years, so there’s nothing for me to be unsatisfied with. I chose to retire because I’ve made my decision to not regret it anymore. So, there you go!” He patted He Yu enthusiastically.
“I’ll go up first. Dad and mum are home, right? Don’t come back too late!” He Liang said as he turned to his room. He Yu could only watch him from behind, the guilt he had was inexpressible. How could he just walk away without regrets? But now that things are like this, there’s nothing I could do.
“Brother, I’ll help you take your luggage,” he said as he chased after his brother. But when he got near the door, he could hear it.
The miffed cries.
He Yu stopped before the door and did not go in. He could only hear it grow louder and louder until it became a crying howl.
Are you not regretting your decision? Are you satisfied with just that?
Those were obvious words, why did I even ask…