Edited by Tin
After the national preliminary competition ended, the news about HOG’s team took up most of the headlines of the media outlets that published news concerning eSports.
There were congratulatory ones, there were ones that were trying to guess what happened, there were people expressing doubts. There were constant debates in the forum and Weibo. The team’s fans and the fans of individual players kept arguing with each other harshly.
HOG, Drunk, Drunk killed Yu Qianxi, Youth killed Yu Qianxi, HOG killed Yu Qianxi at the start of the match, HOG can’t win if they don’t kill Yu Qianxi, who else wants to kill Yu Qianxi in HOG… A whole list of topics was constantly on the trending list. Everyone’s enthusiasm and attention for this invitational cup were focused on HOG’s internal strife. It was comparable to the festivities after the World Cup.
“I, Banana, my real name is Bu Nana, I’ve been playing eSports for five years. It’s been five years and something I regret…” After the competition, on the ride back to the base, Bu Nana rubbed his tummy and sighed, “…is that I didn’t kill Yu Qianxi a single time during the competition.”
Lao Kai also sighed. “During the tenth match, I saw that Youth wanted to kill him, so I secretly managed to shoot him once, but the kill wasn’t mine.”
“The main problem is that Youth moved too quickly. I had only just landed when Yu Qianxi died.” Bu Nana sighed. “That young kid’s temper is so explosive. He’s also always on guard. Were you scared that we would steal your kill?”
Yu Yang was still regretting a mistake he made in the ninth match. When he heard those words, he said in a muffled voice, “Nope. I was scared that he would turn around and kill me.”
“You’re overestimating him. He’s already flustered, would he dare to kill you?” Bu Nana rubbed his tummy back and forth, shaking his head. “It’s a pity… In the future, when we meet, we probably won’t be part of the same team anymore.”
Qi Zui said coldly, “Isn’t that good? If you kill someone in the same team, it doesn’t count as points. If he’s in another team, killing him is at least worth 10 points.”
Bu Nana slapped his thigh. “That’s right!”
“Are you guys done talking? Don’t you know that I’m annoyed to death?!” He Xiaoxu’s face was black as he sat on the front passenger seat. With such a large problem cropping up internally, as the team’s manager, he could not avoid absolve himself from the blame, and he had just been scolded harshly by the main management of the eSports team, and his mood was extremely bad. He picked on the ones that were easy to pick on and scolded Bu Nana. “Why aren’t you reflecting after the competition! Why are you shit talking!”
“Even if someone has to reflect, it shouldn’t be me…” Bu Nana had gotten onto the car the latest and had yet to react to what was going on. He looked to the front and the back. “Where’s Yu Qianxi? Did you stuff him in the trunk? If the police find out, you’ll get points deducted1. Just to make it clear right now, for this year, no matter whose points get fully deducted, you’re still not allowed to take my driver’s license to get my points deducted instead of yours…”
“No one wants to use your driver’s license!” He Xiaoxu lost his temper completely and was barely breathing. “Coach Lai brought him away first. Otherwise, what do you want him to do? To get in the same car as us and let you guys beat him up? Is living on the edge so insufficient for him that he wants to try touching a high-voltage wire to feel good2?”
Bu Nana’s mouth twitched, and he stopped.
On the way back to the base, Qi Zui suddenly offered to treat everyone to a meal. Naturally, no one disagreed, and they noisily went to eat hotpot. After they had drank enough alcohol and eaten enough food and returned to the base, it was already 1 a.m.
Outside the main gate of the base, there were a few paper boxes and some random things here and there. Yu Yang glanced at it and suddenly understood why Qi Zui wanted to treat everyone to supper…
Yu Qianxi had already left.
Qi Zui used the time they had been eating supper, to allow him to maintain his last shred of dignity.
Bu Nana and Lao Kai were pushing and shoving each other as they got off the car. When they saw the items on the ground, they became quiet.
Bu Nana let out a breath, then placed his arm around Lao Kai’s shoulders as they entered the base.
He Xiaoxu glanced at the items on the ground before he instructed the driver to help clean it up, as if nothing had ever happened.
Although the team had not gotten first place, being able to turn the tables in this sort of situation and getting the second-place silver trophy was already very difficult. Normally, the children in Team Two would stand at the doorway and congratulate the older brothers of Team One and take the chance to bug Bu Nana and the rest for red packets. However, after such a thing happened, every one of them was as quiet as a rabbit, hiding in the first floor training rooms and pretending to be diligent while looking at the forums and Weibo on their computer screens.
The eSports management side had already sent the people in the law department over, and He Xiaoxu gave orders to everyone to tell them that they were not allowed to livestream tonight, and they were not allowed to post on Weibo before he went to the lounge with the people in the law department to discuss what they should do next.
Qi Zui returned to his room and removed the elastic bandages that had been tied all around his arm, took a bath, changed his clothes, and went to the training room.
Lai Hua sat in the corner, his head lowered as he used his phone. Qi Zui did not know who he was contacting.
Lao Kai’s brows were knitted together, and he was looking at the Weibo comments.
Yu Yang was playing solo in the European server to increase his rank.
Qi Zui could not help but laugh.
It was already the final circle and Yu Yang was playing very seriously. Qi Zui did not disturb him and sat back on his seat.
Qi Zui pulled out the recordings from the competition today, and directly adjusted the video to show the part where Yu Yang substituted him.
Qi Zui watched the video and observed Yu Yang’s play, clicking his tongue silently.
If Bu Nana was really a little brash, then Yu Yang was truly very aggressive.
In the last two matches, the only task Lai Hua gave Yu Yang was to fully experience a big-scale competition and immerse himself in eSports.
But obviously, Yu Yang had not listened to him.
He had never considered the fact that Lai Hua and He Xiaoxu sent him there simply to let him experience things and did not expect him to do very well. His goal had never been just the tickets of the top six teams. He was truly trying to fight for first place.
Even though he already knew that the point difference between HOG and the first place, TGC, was so large that getting first place was impossible.
He could tell from the chosen landing point and his plans for entering the zone that Yu Yang was playing extremely aggressively, and he was in a frenzy trying to squeeze out all the points he could possibly squeeze out. Every step and every shot was all progress towards the first place.
Trying his best to do something that was impossible.
Qi Zui closed the video and turned his head to look at Yu Yang. He had just finished playing one match.
Qi Zui knocked on the table and Yu Yang raised his gaze and looked over.
“Come on out for a moment.”
Yu Yang took off his headphones and hesitated for a moment before he followed Qi Zui out of the training room.
The lounge was being used by He Xiaoxu and the others, and Qi Zui wanted to find a place where they could not even hear their teammates talking, and thus, he could only have the conversation in the hallway.
However, for some strange reason, it felt like they had been transported to their schooling days and were a couple whispering in the hallways.
Qi Zui did not want to alarm Bu Nana and the rest, so he lowered his voice. “You played very well today, I was surprised.”
Yu Yang quickly raised his gaze to glance at Qi Zui, then, he lowered his gaze, after a while… his ears turned red.
Qi Zui had praised him.
“I heard from He Xiaoxu that you kept defending me in the lounge?” Qi Zui turned his head to look at Yu Yang. Then, he smiled. “You even talked back to Coach Lai?”
Yu Yang’s face turned even redder.
Qi Zui was quite curious. “How did you know that I would only kill him for three matches?”
Yu Yang was silent for a moment before he said in a low voice. “You’re just like that.”
Qi Zui raised his eyebrows. “Like what?”
“That is… you have self-restraint.” Yu Yang was a little shy, and said in an ambiguous way, “Otherwise, you won’t treat me like that.”
Qi Zui really did not understand this time. “How did I treat you?”
“You…” Yu Yang said in a small voice. “You…You bullied me.”
Qi Zui was lost.
“No, you…” Yu Yang did not know how he should phrase things, and he stammered and said, “I’ve already delivered myself to your door, and you didn’t…take revenge on me.”
Qi Zui understood.
The corners of Qi Zui’s lips curved up. He did not know why, but he could feel a sense of regret coming from Yu Yang’s tone.
“When you first joined the team, how did you think I would take revenge on you?” Qi Zui leaned against the wall, pursing his lips. “You should know that I’m the one making the rules here right? Basically… I can do whatever I want to do. Not just He Xiaoxu, even the management at the main branch, no one dares to restrict my actions.”
Yu Yang nodded. “I-I know…”
Qi Zui smiled slightly,
Yu Yang was so embarrassed that he wished he could hide in the large flower pot nearby.
When Qi Zui was done laughing, he lowered his voice and asked, “Yu Yang… When you first came to join the team, were you looking forward to anything?”
Yu Yang’s face turned completely red instantly.
“How many fucking chances did I waste…” Qi Zui cursed softly, then said, feeling regretful, “Can you tell me your limits? What was your plan at that time? What am I able to do… before you’ll leave.”
Yu Yang’s face was red, and he straightened his neck, not saying anything.
“Fuck.” Qi Zui really regretted it.“As expected, I can’t become a human5…”
“Anyway…” Yu Yang had been ‘interrogated’ by Qi Zui so much that his whole body was turning red, and he said sullenly, “I won’t leave.”
Qi Zui closed his eyes, and repeated the words that had been said by the mental health counsellor in his heart for ten times before he was finally able to calm the fire in his heart.
“You two…” He Xiaoxu pushed the door, and was stunned for a moment. “Did I… interrupt something?”
“Nope.” Qi Zui took a deep breath, then he turned his head to look at the documents in He Xiaoxu’s hand. “Are we having a meeting?”
He Xiaoxu nodded awkwardly. “Yes.”
“Then let’s start the meeting.”
Yu Yang felt extremely awkward. He did not want others to see his red face and he turned around to go to the washroom to splash his face with water.
When he walked past Qi Zui, Qi Zui turned his head slightly, and said quickly in a low voice by Yu Yang’s ear, “Don’t let yourself be brainwashed by them. I’m not a man of noble character and I’m not a gentleman. You better prepare yourself.”
Yu Yang’s ears instantly started to burn.
A little later, they convened in the small meeting room on the first floor.
“… This half year, Yu Qianxi has also contributed to the team. When we found out that he had contacted members from other eSports teams, our club felt deeply shocked and hurt. The manager of the club had also tried to communicate with Yu Qianxi multiple times, to chat with him, but it was of no use. In the preliminary competition today, Yu Qianxi had even maliciously influenced the match and tried to drag the team’s results down, and sully the image of the team. All of his actions made our hackles rise.”
“Using our full strength to compete in each competition, to not have a negative competition, to not fake a competition’s results, to keep in mind the responsibility and glory you carry as eSports players, and to respect the competitive spirit of eSports are the basic qualities that every professional eSports player should have. In view of Yu Qianxi’s breach of contract and his beliefs in eSports that contradict with the club’s views, the HOG club has decided to terminate the contract with Yu Qianxi immediately, and to reserve the right to pursue legal action.”
“As said above.”
“In 2003,” He Xiaoxu looked at the four people in Team One, and the three people in Team Two, and said seriously, “Our country’s General Administration of Sports officially authorized the listing of eSports as the 99th official sporting event.”
“In 2008, our country’s General Administration of Sports officially changed eSports to the 78th official sporting event.” He Xiaoxu knocked on the desk. “It’s been more than ten years, and although a lot of people still do not acknowledge our industry, do not acknowledge the hard work you guys put in, are full of bias towards your career, and do not know that you have once represented our country in America, in Germany, in Korea, and all over the world, a flag wrapped around your shoulders as the national anthem played, but!”
He Xiaoxu took a deep breath. “As a member of the eSports community, please remember the beliefs that you guys have to uphold.”
“Alright.” He Xiaoxu picked up another document. “Now let’s talk about the punishment the club has decided on for the Team One captain and Team One substitute player Yu Yang.”
“Eh?” Bu Nana raised his head. “What do you mean? Why are you punishing them?”
He Xiaoxu’s expression was cold. “Killing teammates with bad intentions during a large-scale competition, do you think that this sort of thing is that simple? Do you think that there won’t be a punishment for this sort of situation?”
There was a slam as Bu Nana indignantly hit the table. Yu Yang frowned slightly.
“Our club, since we have been established in 2005, in line with fairness, friendliness, harmony, progress…”
Qi Zui yawned.
Five minutes later, He Xiaoxu drank a mouth of water, and continued to say, “For the bad influence that had been caused by the two players, the club expresses our deep distress and decided to carry out the most severe ideological and moral education punishment, with a deduction from your bonuses by 10000 RMB and 3000 RMB respectively. We also ask that the netizens supervise and critique them, as above.”
Xin Ba from Team Two could not hold back and chuckled, but after he was stared at by Lai Hua, he immediately shut up.
After the punishment was complete, the people from the main branch of the club left.
“Sign the bill.” He Xiaoxu passed the punishment notice to Qi Zui and Yu Yang, then rubbed his hands together. “Quickly, quickly, quickly, it’s finally my favourite part!”
Qi Zui quickly signed his name, Drunk, with beautiful penmanship, then he smiled. “Add Yu Yang’s portion to mine.”
“There’s no need, I have the money.” Yu Yang bit on the pen cap and pulled it off. He lowered his head to sign the name Youth, before he murmured, “It’s only three thousand…”
“Hand it over, hand it over, hand it over.” Qi Zui collected the punishment notice and announced happily. “Thirteen thousand! Let’s have a meal together tomorrow! Alright, dismissed, dismissed, those who want to sleep, go and sleep, those who want to train more, go and train. But remember how good your Captain is! He’s treating you to another meal! Day after day…”