"Please have a seat first," the judge said to the five from Team Lang Qi.
He Yu saw a row of tables and chairs in front of them, where five headsets that looked high-end sat. Another row of tables was arranged about three meters away from their row, which presumably should be Team Huang Chao's seat.
The whole stadium was divided into similar sections. To avoid distractions, nobody could enter these areas except for players and judges.
The five of them sat accordingly and checked their headsets. For them to communicate during the game, there would be a private channel. These were not unfamiliar to Gao Ge and Zhou Mo, so they helped the others set up before the judge came to explain to them.
"Hello, can you hear me?" Zhou Mo tested his mic.
"Yes," He Yu answered.
"Is it clear? Any noises?" Zhou Mo asked.
"It's clear. No noises," He Yu said.
"What about the others?" Zhou Mo looked at the other three.
"Yes," Gao Ge responded, while Zhao Jin Ran and Lee Si Jie only nodded.
"You two, can you at least make some noise. We need to see if we can hear you both," Zhou Mo said frustratedly.
"It looks stupid," Zhao Jin Ran said.
"It reminds me of my English listening test," Lee Si Jie said.
"Alright, clear." Zhou Mo stayed serious and ignored their complaints.
"Clear," He Yu said.
Gao Ge did not say anything and gave an OK gesture.
"Please don't say anything unnecessary later in the channel," Zhou Mo was worried about the two fillers.
"Take care of yourself," Zhao Jin Ran said arrogantly, making Zhou Mo angrily rub his screen.
"They're here," Gao Ge suddenly said. Team Lang Qi lifted their heads and saw the five from Team Huang Chao walking into the stadium spiritedly. As a consistently strong team, Team Huang Chao had some reputation in the social circle of The King's Glory in the university. They even had their customized uniform and attracted a lot of attention when they entered.
Only a group of matches would be conducted together at a time. Team Huang Chao was the star of this group of competitions. When everyone had their eyes on Team Huang Chao, they were also interested in their opponent. Many started to look at the five from Team Lang Qi.
Zhou Mo was awkward, and He Yu too was uneasy being stared like this. Zhao Jin Ran and Lee Si Jie were pretending to be calm, like two big-tailed wolves. Only Gao Ge was genuinely at ease, her body relaxed.
He Yu took a deep breath in and switched his focus away from his surroundings, his heart much calmer. Team Huang Chao did not go directly to their seats but walked towards Team Lang Qi's tables.
"So early." A typical greeting became annoying when Zhang Cheng Hao said it.
"Stop your bullshit, please." Gao Ge wasn't friendly either.
"Why are you rushing? Enjoy this atmosphere before today, since it'll be your last chance to sit here for this semester." Zhang Cheng Hao did not get angry and boasted smugly, looking confident.
"Oh, then take your time. I won't disturb you. But don't take too long, the judge might not be happy," Gao Ge said.
"You-" Zhang Cheng Hao could not beat Gao Ge in gaming or arguing. The result always left him humiliated by her sharp tongue. He tried to get revenge in the game but was defeated in Battle Plains at the beginning of the semester. Posters were everywhere on campus. Thus, Zhang Cheng Hao threw away his integrity and manipulated the game schedule to win Team Lang Qi. However, before the match even began, he had lost to Gao Ge in quarreling, so the smile on his face dropped immediately.
"See you at the match. Ten minutes. That's how long you'll last in this semester's competition," Zhang Cheng Hao said fiercely.
"Why? Don't you want to enjoy the competition longer?" Gao Ge said leisurely.
Zhang Cheng Hao turned his head and walked away. Staying any longer would have caused his short fuse to blow.
"Why do you have to do this…" His teammates followed him, sighing.
"Are both sides ready?" The judge said after seeing both teams in position. There were no unnecessary words, and the game was ready to begin. Facilities and space were limited, so the next group of competitors was waiting to be started.
"Ready," Gao Ge was Team Lang Qi's captain, so she nodded for her team.
Zhang Cheng Hao showed a grump face, but he didn't say anything, only nodding.
"The captains of both teams, please come out," the judge said. Gao Ge and Zhang Cheng Hao stood up from their seats immediately.
"What is this for?" He Yu asked Zhou Mo.
"To determine who picks first, since this one game will determine who gets to proceed to the next stage. It's all luck," Zhou Mo said.
"Oh," He Yu nodded. Currently, this action was mainly to decide which team would ban and pick first, but it wasn't always advantageous to be the first to pick and ban. It all depended on the strategy of the team. Some preferred to be the first, while others preferred to pick later.
The judge brought out a coin for them to guess the head and tail. Zhang Cheng Hao said confidently, "No need, let them choose."
The judge and Zhang Cheng Hao knew each other before this, so the judge wasn't too serious about it. He kept the coin and said to Gao Ge, "Then you choose first."
"Then let their team first." She sounded like she just gave the advantage back to Team Huang Chao. Zhang Cheng Hao was a little pissed and wanted to say something, but to avoid being humiliated, he decided to keep quiet and go back to his seat.
The judge then created a room and started to pull the players in.
It was a simple feature of the game; every player's ID and their rank were shown to the public. Everyone in Team Huang Chao was in Legend rank. Zhang Cheng Hao was even Legend 26 stars, the highest in the team. On Team Lang Qi's side, Gao Ge and Zhou Mo were in Legend rank but only had a few stars. Zhao Jin Ran and Lee Si Jie were Diamond three and Diamond five, respectively. He Yu was using his account, He Liang Yu, which was in Platinum one. Let alone the five from Team Huang Chao, even Zhao Jin Ran and Lee Si Jie, showed a disgusted face.
"This is the so-called strong support? If he's that strong, he should at least be in Legend rank by now after playing with Gao Ge and Zhou Mo, shouldn't he?" As a supporter in Team Huang Chao, Zeng Xiao Bo was particularly worried about his opponent of the same role. After seeing He Yu's rank, he couldn't help but doubt Zhang Cheng Hao's statement.
"It's not from me. The president said so," Zhang Cheng Hao did not explain much and used Su Ge's name.
Zeng Xiao Bo became silent immediately, Zhou Mu Tong who was beside said, "He hasn't been playing recently."
"Hasn't been playing?" Everyone looked at him.
"Yeah, I checked using The King's Glory Assistant, the number of games played using this account did not increase," Zhou Mu Tong said.
"Indeed, it's a subaccount," Zhang Cheng Hao proudly said as if he had predicted it.
"Why should we care? It's impossible to lose with the two noobs on their team," Xu Kai Huai said.
"Right," Zhang Cheng Hao responded, glancing at Zhao Jin Ran and Lee Si Jie.
The two fillers had no idea that they were being judged like that in the other team. They felt good after seeing He Yu's rank, which was the bottom of the group. When they saw Zhang Cheng Hao glancing at them, they still smiled back politely.
"The game starts now," as the judge announced, the match official began. It was the Ban/Pick section, and Team Huang Chao was the team to ban first, without hesitation, Zhuge Liang was banned.
He Yu turned his head to Gao Ge. It was her favourite hero. Their opponent was so afraid of her to the extent that her hero was banned without a second of hesitation, but Gao Ge did not show the slightest reaction.
When it came to Team Lang Qi's turn, they had discussed and agreed beforehand, Xu Kai Huai's best hero, Lady Sun, was banned.
Zhang Cheng Hao raised his head and looked at the other side. He was surprised that his Luna wasn't the first to be banned,
It was Team Huang Chao's turn again. They had agreed on the second hero to ban, but everyone looked at Zhang Cheng Hao after seeing that Luna wasn't banned.
They might have planned to ban Luna using the second ban, but it wouldn't make a difference. However, at this moment, everyone in Team Huang Chao had the same thought. Which is what if Luna wasn't banned? If so, they should ban Dong Huang Taiyi so Luna would not be countered. But it could be a trick of Team Lang Qi. They might ban Luna after they chose to ban Dong Huang Taiyi, which would then waste the ban spot they intended to use for Zhou Mo's Liu Bang.
"Dong Huang Taiyi!" Zhang Cheng Hao made a clear decision.
"We are at an absolute advantage, is this so important?" He gave the other team a provocative face, I've banned Dong Huang Taiyi, do you dare to give me Luna?
Gao Ge looked into his eyes and smiled. She opened her mouth and said something, then the second hero banned by Team Lang Qi was Taiyi Zhenren.
Team Lang Qi gave them Luna! The five from Team Huang Chao were surprised. While feeling surprised, Zhang Cheng Hao was also excited, at the same time feeling a bit disappointed.
The excitement was because he had seldom had the chance to use Luna in tournaments like this. It was a day he had been waiting for. The disappointment was because he felt belittled by his opponent as they were not afraid to give him his best hero.
Did Team Lang Qi make a silly mistake?
Zhang Cheng Hao, who felt good, did not overthink. It was their turn to pick, Zhang Cheng Hao immediately picked Luna, and gave the opponent a thumbs up, praising them for their bravery. At this moment, in their channel, Zhou Mu Tong said, "This won't be a trap, right?"