Seven days before the Glory World Championships began, the sixteen participating teams arrived in Switzerland and started meeting for the first time. Among these teams were some players who had already gotten to know each other at smaller international competitions; when they saw each other, they exchanged many passionate hugs and passages of trash talk.
Chu Yunxiu discreetly admired their figures. “What kind of world do we live in? Why are there so many handsome guys who play esports professionally?”
Ye Xiu: “There’s no reason to be surprised about that. Doesn’t our team have quite a few?”
Zhou Zekai smiled bashfully.
“Like Sun Xiang or something.”
Zhou Zekai was no longer smiling.
Sun Xiang had been harmed by Ye Xiu so many times that he now experienced a stress response whenever Ye Xiu talked about him. Right now, he also suspected that Ye Xiu’s words were hiding something between the lines.
So even though his heart skipped a beat, he also felt very uneasy.
This topic was quickly forgotten, but as countries started to bump into each other before the tournament started, sparks began to fly. When passing by the assembly hall, one would often see two countries’ pro players testing the waters. They were all esports competitors, after all; regardless of place, when they wanted to throw down, they threw down.
Every time Ye Xiu saw these sorts of scenes, he would somberly instruct:
“You guys can’t fool around like these other kids. Especially Tang Hao, don’t fight with someone just because he provokes you, understand?”
Tang Hao got pointed out, even though he hadn’t done anything. But since it was Ye Xiu pointing at him, he could still accept it. He did, however, maintain the defiant expression on his face.
The next day, when Ye Xiu was puffing on a cigarette in the smoking room, he received a call from Tang Hao.
By the time Ye Xiu arrived on the scene, Tang Hao had already run out of patience.
There were two dark-skinned Westerners sitting across from him, and after they saw Ye Xiu, they blabbered for a bit. Ye Xiu still hadn’t figured out what was going on before Tang Hao pushed him into the seat.
Tang Hao: “You go.”
Ye Xiu: “Go do what?”
Tang Hao: “Fight them.”
Ye Xiu: “...Why?”
Tang Hao: “You won’t let me play with them.”
—He sounded like a little kid who was upset by his father ordering him not to play with children from bad families.
Ye Xiu looked across the table. Those two fellows were gazing at him with eyes full of derision; the moment before, they had already figured out that Tang Hao had called over his country’s coach.
And all the World Championship competitors universally acknowledged that coaches were outsiders with no understanding of how to play Glory. After all, most teams’ coaches were selected from their respective countries’ esports administrative bureaus. The better ones had competed before becoming coaches, but they had also retired many years ago and now had no idea what was going on in today’s esports world.
Therefore, in the eyes of the foreign contestants, Ye Xiu pretty much had that image.
In addition, the guy had skin that models would die for. At first glance, one could tell that he hadn’t really labored much in his life.
And unlike their coach, he wasn’t balding, and he looked upright and proper. This made them feel very displeased.
Why did their team’s coach have to be a pot-bellied baldy?
The foreign players muttered a couple of insults. Ye Xiu’s eye twitched, and then he said in Chinese:
“You can look down on Tang Hao, but you can’t look down on me.”
Tang Hao: “???”
Is that how it is?
The foreign players couldn’t make heads or tails of what Ye Xiu had said.
Ye Xiu said to Tang Hao, “We can understand what they say, but they can’t understand what we say. We won.”
Tang Hao: “...”
Is this a type of spiritual victory?
Ye Xiu: “It’s a mental battle.”
Tang Hao: “...”
I don’t think it is.
And I also can’t understand what they’re saying.
So you understood, huh.
Ye Xiu stretched his hands. “Looks like I’m gonna be trending again.”
Tang Hao: “...”
Is that something the person himself should say.
Ye Xiu was confused. “Why aren’t you responding?”
Tang Hao: “...”
I don’t know what to say.
Ye Xiu didn’t ponder that question for too long. He immediately inserted his account card and went on the computer, accepting the battle request while he rebuked Tang Hao.
“If you bump into something like this again, don’t just think of finding me.”
Tang Hao: “Weren’t you the one who said not to randomly fight other people?”
Ye Xiu: “Those are two totally different things.”
Tang Hao: “They’re very clearly the same thing.”
Ye Xiu: “Usually there’ll be people who’ll PK opponents before competitions, and players from other countries like to go easy on them.
Tang Hao: “They definitely won’t show their hand.”
Ye Xiu nodded. “So watch me force that hand out. Wait here.”
In the end, Tang Hao didn’t know if that hand had been forced out or not, but he could tell that the opponent had lost so terribly that he was blushing up to his ears.
While pounding loudly on the keyboard, he pointed at Ye Xiu disbelievingly and said a bunch of stuff.
Ye Xiu retrieved his account card and very politely said his farewells.
Pulling Tang Hao with one hand, he said, “Let’s go. Let’s go back and watch the video recording.”
After returning to the Chinese national team’s territory, Ye Xiu recapitulated the entire event. Yu Wenzhou contemplated it for a minute. “This might not be a bad tactic.”
Ye Xiu: “Huh?”
Huang Shaotian: “We’ll go entice the other pro players, and once they get interested in us, we’ll call you over. And then as you tear them to pieces, you can record a video.”
Zhang Xinjie: “Then we can use the video to carefully investigate our opponents.”
Chu Yunxiu: “I feel like this scene sounds a bit familiar.”
Wang Jiexi: “This is probably called bait and switch.”
From that day on, a terrifying legend began spreading amongst the World Championship competitors.
In this legend, there was a country whose players were always loitering around the battle area, but they never accepted requests to do battle.
Every time you wanted to PK with them, they would pitifully phone their MIA coach.
Some players with more thespian inclinations would even start fake-crying.
Acting like they’d been horribly wronged.
Causing the entire esports community to roll their eyes at the contestants who’d requested battles.
But very soon they stopped caring about all that.
Because that mysterious coach would be grinding their faces into the dirt.
This coach’s Glory class was extremely novel, even a bit perverse.
Some youngins who didn’t recognize this class just called it a demon.
And this gave rise to even more panic before the championships began.
The players spread the word:
I heard that on the Chinese team, even the coach is super freaking amazing. If they really start to actually compete…
This was left blank.
And there was also a legend like this, spread among players who were endowed with knowledge but who stayed on the fringes of their teams:
I heard that after PKing, that exotic eastern coach would slide in next to his opponent, and then, with a hand cupped around his mouth, he’d lean in close to their ear, exhaling hot air that caused their ear to itch, their face to redden, and their heart to skip a beat. And then he would say this:
“Team Happy. Look it up.”