He Liang realized that He Yu not only liked the game, and deep down, He Yu was really fond of the game. From He Yu’s deep understanding of The King’s Glory, He Liang could imagine that his brother had put in a great deal of effort into it. For instance, the high-risk but feasible strategy that his brother had figured out was never discovered by him during his 5-year tenure in Tian Ze.
Was this due to the fact that the spectators see more of the game than the players?
That wasn’t important anymore. He Liang had already retired, but He Yu displayed his deep understanding of The King’s Glory through He Liang’s previous games. This talent was really rare. Skills could be trained and sharpened, experience could be accumulated, but the ability to analyze matches made him believe that it was nothing short of an endowment. Players with such talent would not be just a warrior, but also the commander and the brain in the matches. They could enable the team of five to synergize and perform beyond the capability of five players through commanding.
“Just try,” He Liang told He Yu, “This is a game that normal people can play too, so try it first.”
He Yu was in a daze. After replying to his brother’s question, he was a little perplexed. I originally wanted to stand up for my brother. How did it turn into him encouraging me to play The King’s Glory in a split second?
But there was a sentence that pierced He Yu’s heart.
“Nothing will change no matter what is done.”
It was true. The five years spent were in the past. There was no meaning in getting to the bottom of the truth, whether Tian Ze was contemptuous of He Liang or was implementing their own idea of winning strategy. Time would not flow backward and what was left of He Liang’s career was remorse. His thorough analysis of the previous professional matches was tantamount to rubbing salt into He Liang’s wound. Since his brother was willing to believe that it was Tian Ze’s strategy to win, why did he still tear it apart by himself? Did it mean anything to his brother that was retired?
No, not at all.
What he did was utterly useless.
However, at this moment, his brother wanted him to give The King’s Glory a try. Perhaps, this was what he should have done. Not performing endless analysis to his brother that retired and started a new life, but walking up to the stage of the tournament venue instead, and telling everyone that He Liang’s playstyle was not wrong. He wanted to let people know that He Liang was seriously underestimated and had held up his true capability, and make Tian Ze, the team that underestimated He Liang, understand what they had actually missed in He Liang’s five years as a professional player.
“I want to give it a try,” eagerness quivered in He Yu’s tone.
“Relax, it’s a happy thing. Why so serious?” He Liang said smilingly.
“Oh,” He Yu also laughed at the reply. He felt that there was no need to tell his brother what he was thinking in his heart. His brother need not burden himself with sorrow anymore. He would take it on by himself.
“Let’s go, we promised to have a meal together,” He Liang patted He Yu and took the lead in the front.
“Yep,” He Yu nodded and followed suit. The two of them moved on from the topic of the incident. They had a casual talk about events that happened in daily life while He Liang brought He Yu to the school cafeteria. It was lunchtime and the cafeteria was noisy. Every stall was met with a long queue.
“I’ll show you around campus, so we won’t be eating outside of the school,” said He Liang.
“Wow, there’s so many people,” He Yu was astonished. He was a day student in high school, so he had never experienced a collective life in a big community.
“We’re a little late, so let’s go up to the second floor,” said He Liang. He had developed many habits from his past professional career. Daily training would often take away a huge amount of time, and to add on to that, he partook in correspondence courses, so burning daylight was something he would never tolerate. Lining up? This act was a waste of time and such a concept would not be allowed to exist in He Liang’s dictionary.
“Second floor?” He Yu followed He Liang in confusion, not knowing the mystery behind the second floor.
“Our school has 3 cafeterias. The one we are at now is the second cafeteria and the largest one on campus. The one on the second floor is contracted out and considered a restaurant. There will be less of a crowd there,” uttered He Liang.
He Yu followed He Liang to the second floor. The people there were indeed much fewer. Freshman probably did not know of such a place as most of the people around were seniors that had not met during holidays.
They ordered a lavish spread of excellent food to celebrate their reunion. Nonetheless, since this was in school, the people that gathered here would not appear too rampant, and it was overall quite peaceful and quiet. The loudest noise across the second floor appeared to come from a digital television hanging from the ceiling instead. It had been a long time since the voice from the television was heard, which was nostalgic.
“Hello everyone, you are tuning in live to this year’s opening scene in the KPL Autumn League. The two teams battling it out today will be this year’s Spring League’s champion, Team Yi Shi Guang, and runner-up, Team Tian Ze. I am your caster for today, Lu You.”
“I am your caster, Tuan Zi.”
The television was broadcasting this year’s first match that was about to commence in the KPL Autumn League. The casters, Lu You and Tuan Zi, were KPL’s most experienced casters, and would often pair up to commentate on important matches. They could be referred to as He Yu’s mentors in The King’s Glory. He Yu had started following The King’s Glory by watching KPL professional matches. Even though he did not know about the heroes in-game at that time, he slowly developed an understanding of the game through their commentaries. During the first season, he had fully accepted their commentary as it was. In the second season, he had started to analyze on his own, and by the third season, he would have differing opinions from the two. He also realized his accuracy was increasing more and more when his ideas were implemented in matches.
Without a doubt, his understanding of The King’s Glory was above the level of the two broadcast talents, but it did not hinder his fondness towards them. Suddenly hearing the two familiar voices made He Yu feel as if he had returned to the five years where he was closely heeding KPL.
He Yu glanced at his brother secretly. He noticed his brother did not appear odd. Instead, his brother picked a good position facing the television and waved at him, “Come here, it’s nice to eat while watching.”
“The match will take a while to start,” He Yu sat down and uttered.
“It doesn’t matter, the food will also take a while to be served,” He Liang spoke while ordering food. He Yu raised his head to watch the television. As he heard the voice and watched the content that he had not done in a long time, the voice of a discussion traveled from a table of students nearby.
“It’s Tian Ze versus Yi Shi Guang!”
“Didn’t Zhou Jin and You Ya Zhong from Tian Ze show up in our school for an activity just now? I saw it all.”
“It’s not really considered an activity, it’s more like The King’s Glory club took the opportunity to invite them to provide support while they came to Dong Jiang for the tournament. They left abruptly after saying a few words.”
“But they still visited our school just before the tournament started. This is considered courteous, don’t you think?”
“Indeed, although the tournament venue is quite near to our school, they were still willing to pay a visit to our school. It shows that Su Ge has a close relationship with them.”
“Who is the Su Ge that they are talking about?” He Yu overheard their conversation and could not help but ask his brother.
“He is the student that stood beside Zhou Jin and You Ya Zhong, and the president of The King’s Glory club. His skill level in-game is also pretty good. He also built a team which has always championed the intra-school league,” He Liang told He Yu.
“Ohh,” He Yu nodded. He immediately remembered the boy who was hosting the stage beside Zhou Jin and You Ya Zhong. He looked outstanding in appearance, was personable and spoke decently, giving a good first impression. If Zhou Jin and You Ya Zhong did not have the title of professional players on them, they would not have been gathering more attention than Su Ge.
“What’s the intra-school league?” He Yu heard of it when he somehow got himself into a match between Team Lang Qi and Team Huang Chao during the Battle Plains Showdown, but he had not given it much thought at that moment.
“It’s an event organized by The King’s Glory club. Students in school can form a team and join the tournament. You can try it too,” He Liang laughed.
He Yu thought of Gao Ge’s invitation and could not help but feel excited.
The two casually talked. Indeed, the restaurant on the second floor served food quite unhurriedly. When the first dish was served, players from both teams were making their way to the stage. Zhou Jin was wearing Team Tian Ze’s uniform instead of the casual wear he wore to Dong Jiang University, and led the team as the team leader, receiving a round of applause and cheers as he entered the tournament stage. As a veteran in KPL, Zhou Jin had garnered quite an amount of fans, and would always rank in the top five in the “Most Popular Player” category.
However, the applause became more enthusiastic when Team Yi Shi Guang entered the tournament stage. For one, Dong Jiang was Team Yi Shi Guang’s home court. Additionally, Team Yi Shi Guang’s leader and jungler with the title of “Number 1 Jungler in The King’s Glory”, Li Wen Shan, had never faltered in popularity when compared to Zhou Jin. They also managed to defeat Tian Ze and won the tournament in the Spring League. It was where the rivalry was at its peak. This wave of cheers had overwhelmed the previous cheers from passionate Tian Ze fans.
As the foreign team, Tian Ze would not devise anything to overshadow the limelight of the home team. Players from both teams exchanged handshakes and smiles. From time to time, both teams were also seen to briefly converse, which really made it hard to believe that the two teams were rivals who competed for the championship last season. When the players from two teams went to their seats, the smiles gradually faded from their faces.
“Alright, now players from both teams have taken their seats, and the match will begin very shortly. We know that although Yi Shi Guang defeated Tian Ze in the Spring League, the team leader of Tian Ze was absent at the moment! Now, with Zhou Jin back to the tournament stage, can Yi Shi Guang still maintain their composed look when they face Tian Ze as a complete squad?”
“I think Yi Shi Guang should have done their homework before the match, by emphasizing to the players that they cannot have the same mentality in today’s match and the match in last year’s finals. Tian Ze with Zhou Jin and Tian Ze without Zhou Jin are two completely different teams!” caster Tuan Zi added.
“I agree with you. Now both teams have entered the Ban/Pick stage and as the home team, Yi Shi Guang will have the privilege to pick the first ban. The first ban…...it’s out! Without hesitation, the first ban is Zhuge Liang, aimed at Zhou Jin. It seems that they had already planned this out in their preparation.”
“Yeah, even though Zhuge Liang may not be considered a top-tier mage in the current patch and people may not think of banning the character in solo queue, it’s different here. Zhou Jin’s Zhuge Liang under Team Tian Ze’s composition is normally able to lead the tempo. This ban isn’t only targeted towards Zhou Jin, but Tian Ze’s entire team composition too.”
Both casters’ commentary was in sync as they articulated Ban/Pick of both teams. The four dishes and one soup that He Liang ordered were also served at the same time when the Ban/Pick stage completed.
“What is your view on the team compositions?” He Liang asked He Yu.
“I haven’t paid attention to the pro scene in a year, so I will have to observe first before commenting,” He Yu did not give out his opinion rashly. Esports was different from other sports as itemization and hero abilities were adjusted after every patch. Not only that, but the addition of new heroes, playstyle, and strategies also changed accordingly.
Since he had not followed up with The King’s Glory for a year, he did not know what had changed in the meantime, hence he was careful not to make rash comments on both teams’ Ban/Pick.
He Yu’s attitude was undoubtedly admired by He Liang, and He Liang smiled from his heart. But when he raised his head and watched the tournament with He Yu, Tian Ze’s strategy at the start of the match stunned the two.
As the bot laner, Zhang Shi Ci picked the marksman that he was best at. However, he did not focus on farming under the protection of his teammates, which was the strategy He Yu and He Liang were familiar with. Instead, he started by following the team’s jungler and support to invade the enemy’s jungle.
The strategy that He Yu had envisioned was happening in front of the two.