Classmancers - A MOBA Esport Story 105 Bait Twis
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"Ah," Julia exclaimed. "And Howard came over here."
[What?] Yuel looked back and forth between the two sides of the map. Ellen cut through the jungle to intercept Lars near the beginning of Bot Lane, whereas Howard abandoned the Golem's area to engage Julia at the end of Bot Jungle.
[Is that supposed to be a defensive tactic?] Yuel couldn't wrap his head around it. This looked nothing like Howard's typical plays. The intention here was clearly to stop Lars and Julia from regrouping, which made some sense from the defenders' perspective. Dealing with two aggressive DPS enemies in one place was often harder than stalling each of them separately.
But, was the goal behind this play just to stall Lars and Julia? Or, could it be enemy were aiming for a kill here?
If this play was Howard's idea, then it's unlikely this play was intended for scoring kills. However, if Ellen came up with this play, it could have twenty ulterior motives packed into it.
[Okay, what do I do here?] Yuel frowned. Should he let Lars and Julia engage in 1v1s? Or, should they regroup and then fight in a 2v2? No, that'd be suicide. The team play between Howard and Ellen was frightening. Making Lars and Julia 2v2 the enemy's aces was risky beyond measure. However, at the same time, holding two 1v1s wasn't exactly appealing either...
"Okay!" Lars shouted. "This time, I'mma finish this!" He charged at Ellen without thinking twice, as expected from that goof. Where there was a battle to fight, Lars would fight it no matter what.
"Wait, don't be reckless," Yuel warned. "Something is afoot."
"Hmph," Julia scoffed. "No s.h.i.+t, Sherlock. They totally timed this stuff." Unlike Lars, Julia understood this wasn't a normal situation. And yet, just like Lars, she attacked her opponent without wasting any time.
[They're both like hungry beasts.] Yuel smiled meaningfully. When Julia entered her Attack Mode, it's she channeled Lars's playstyle. She wasn't quite as strong and overwhelming as Lars, but she had unexpected explosive strength which has been proving effective so far.
Therefore, with Julia joining the offense, Yuel felt like he was carrying two shotguns this game instead of just one. If he just fires them at the right targets, he'll completely destroy what little remained from Howard's flimsy defense!
However, he couldn't handle the shotguns careless. To make the right call, he first had to understand the enemy's intentions for this peculiar play. Even though separating Lars and Julia made some sense from the defenders' perspective, the Yuel wasn't convinced this was just a defensive stunt.
If the enemy's goal was to defend, a 2v2 should work in Howard and Ellen's favor because they had a high level of team-play which they've been polis.h.i.+ng for years. Compared to them, this was Lars's first time playing alongside Julia's Attack Mode, so their synergy won't be nearly as effective. Therefore, the enemy's play didn't make much sense for defense.
So, was it an offensive play? Was the goal to kill Lars or Julia? That didn't seem likely either. Howard didn't have the damage to take Julia down. In fact, given Julia's performance so far, she might even kill Howard instead in a 1v1.
Similarly, Ellen won't be able to kill Lars under fair conditions. They've both just returned from their bases and had full HP, so Ellen didn't have any advantages over Lars. In fact, Lars had a big advantage because he was Seraph, the notorious late-game Hyper Carry. Ranger was more of a mid-game cla.s.s, so its strength didn't peak nearly as high as Seraph during the late-game.
On top of that, there was no threat of Taison teleporting to aid in any of these fights. Based on the last time he used Teleport, it should still be on cooldown for about a minute. Therefore, Ellen couldn't even bait Lars into fighting Taison like she has been doing the entire day.
[No, wait. I'm being too optimistic again.] Yuel shook his head. His a.n.a.lysis seemed airtight, but he felt the exact same way about his previous a.n.a.lysis regarding the 2v2 situation with Gregory and Taison. And, how did that one turn out? It was a disaster. Yuel was too greedy and underestimated his opponents.
The late-game was the worst stage in the game to commit mistakes. Even the smallest slip-up could turn the entire game around. Therefore, Yuel absolutely couldn't make the wrong call here. Any mistake that'd result in Lars's death might decide the entire game on the spot.
[Think. What are they planning here? What are they expecting us to do?] No matter how hard Yuel thought, he couldn't get to the bottom of that play. It was the first time he saw such a puzzling play from Howard's team today, so he had no references to work with. This late-game surprise felt like something Ellen would pull. Dammit.
"Geh! C'mon!" Lars fired a laser beam. A beautiful hit! "Okay! Got her this time!"
While Yuel was locked in a.n.a.lysis paralysis, the battle between Lars and Ellen was in full swing. As expected, Lars dominated the fight like every other time.
This could be huge. If Lars scores a kill here, they'll get the luxury to push hard for a while. It was a great chance!
Therefore, distracting Lars with a retreat order seemed foolish right now. Yuel had no evidence of any immediate threats, so there was no justified reason to retreat.
Nevertheless, this situation reeked of danger. At the very least, Yuel wanted to set up a safety net.
"Julia," Yuel said. "Go help Lars."
"Huh? I'm not done with this dumba.s.s over here," Julia fired one wind blast after another at Howard. After she unleashed her Whirlwind and Squall, Howard was already down to 50% HP. Julia was dominating this 1v1.
Alas, as much as Yuel wished for this situation to convert into a kill, he knew that killing Howard will be tough, And, in the first place, killing the Support wasn't exactly the greatest achievement. Therefore, keeping Lars alive and killing Ellen were much higher priorities.
"We have to make sure Lars doesn't die," Yuel insisted. "I don't know what they're planning with this play, but I'm sure their plan isn't suicide. I need you to keep Lars alive."
"Okay, got it." Julia stopped her aggression and turned her back to Howard. However, just as she was about to head deeper into the jungle, an ice wall blocked her path. "s.h.i.+t! That dumba.s.s...!"
Julia turned around again and shot a wind blast at Howard. "Doesn't look like this b.a.s.t.a.r.d gonna let me go that easy. So, I'mma kick his a.s.s first!"
"Just make sure you head toward Lars once the path opens."
"I heard you the first time," Julia said as she shot Howard again. Despite what her words, her actions implied she was 100% focused on beating Howard right now. Yuel will have to observe her carefully and remind her to rotate again once the ice wall melts. It was his first time playing a real match with "Attack Mode" Julia, so he had to handle her with caution.
Meanwhile, the clash between Lars and Ellen was approaching a turning point.
[Okay!] Lars landed another shot. That made it six hits so one more shot and Six Wings will activate. Then, he'll wreck Ellen for sure! It was time to defeat the fake G.o.ddess of victory once and for all!
Throughout the entire day, Ellen has never faced Lars for real. She always poked him from afar or baited him into 1v1s against Taison. So, there was no doubt she'll pull something this fight too. After all, Athena just ain't strong enough to beat him in a fair fight.
Whatever was coming, it gonna happen any moment now because Lars has already gained a huge life lead over her. He was at 60% HP while Ellen was at 30%. He was totally owning her, yo!
This time, there won't be any baits. Only Howard and Taison were alive to help Ellen but, according to Yuel, their Teleports were down. So, there won't be any surprise gank shenanigans. Lars and Ellen gonna duke this out all the way to the end, fair and square! ... yeah, right.
[Geh, like I thought.] Lars made a face when Ellen turned her back to him. Yet again, she gonna try to escape. Every. Single. Time. Dang it!
However, this time, Lars will chase her all the way! To the end of the world! He won't let her slip away! He gonna get this kill and prove he has surpa.s.sed this fake G.o.ddess of victory!
After spending an entire year in the club, Lars has grown a lot. He was no longer the same scrub who got completely outplayed by Ellen's tricks during the entrance exam. Now, he now had more than enough strength to overpower her no matter what c.r.a.p she pulled. It's payback time, yo!
[Should I stop him?] Yuel frowned. The fight between Lars and Ellen progressed too quickly for Julia to get there on time. It has already reached the most critical part: the moment when Ellen retreats. This always followed by some unexpected trap.
But, what could Ellen possibly do in this situation? Taison should still be pus.h.i.+ng Top like before. He wasn't visible on the mini-map at the moment because he just finished clearing a wave, but that's not a big concern. Even if Taison starts running now, he won't make it in time to do anything at Bot Jungle.
Likewise, Howard was too far. He seemed more interested in stalling Julia than in rotating to support Ellen. Then, what was the trap? What was Ellen's trick this time around? The fox's intentions eluded Yuel.
"Julia," Yuel called. "The ice wall is about to melt, so start rotating."
"Huh? Ah, sure," Julia finished firing two more shots, then activated Jet Stream and dashed through the wind trail into the- FREEZE!
"Wh!?" Julia jumped. "You freakin' degenerate! Leave me alone already!"
Howard was faster. He blinked after Julia and froze her in place with Ice Coffin. While she was stuck in place, he maneuvered around her and blocked her route with his body.
"So, that's how it gonna be, huh." Julia's face twitched. [You're saying I gotta beat the s.h.i.+t outta ya to reach Lars, huh? Fine by me!]
As soon as Julia broke out of the ice, she launched another a.s.sault at Howard. She gonna get a kill here and then help Lars! This stupid d.a.m.n idiot won't stop her!
[d.a.m.n.] Yuel clicked his tongue. [Howard got everything covered as always. I should've told Julia to go for a different path instead of insisting on the shortest. Now, it's too late to go around. Her only option is to break through Howard.]
At the same time, Lars was closing on Ellen. Since she used her Wolf Companion earlier to drive all the way to enemy territory from base, the skill was on cooldown and she didn't have any escape tools at her disposal. She only had her base movement speed and her trickery to rely on.
Or, so Lars thought. Just as he was about to get Ellen within his firing range, she sped up like a freaking' Sonic! She gained a huge boost of speed from Sprint, her second utility skill. At such a late point in the game, it was common for everybody to have two utility skills and Sprint was a pretty good second choice.
Unfortunately, Lars didn't have the luxury to get himself Sprint. Seraph's early-game was too weak and Yuel forced him to play safe, so his farming suffered as a result. Lars just got enough gold to buy Sprint, but he couldn't return to base right now. So, he didn't have any utility skills to quickly close the distance.
But, he didn't need any either. He'll just use the Seraph's chasing tool: Angelic Leap! He fired into the sky and took aim while in mid-air. Whis.h.!.+ A clean hit from the sky!
It was the seventh hit, so it caused Six Wings to activate. Now, Lars was in a great position to bombard Ellen to death!
[My, how infuriating...!] Ellen flinched after a laser beam pierced her back. [You must be kidding me. How can a human being land that kind of shot so quickly from mid-air at this distance? Oh, right. Larsy isn't a human, he's a beastie.]
This was rough. With that Angelic Leap play, Lars closed the distance and made Ellen's Sprint look useless. She began her retreat right before Lars got all the way to Six Wings, but now it was in full bloom and it was coming after her! In just about two hits, she'll be a goner.
[Larsy has really grown strong.] Ellen had to admit. The potential that beastie showed during the entrance exam was no sham. Unlike a certain trash-tier former member of the club, Lars was the real deal. He was a beast through and through.
He was rough around the edges during the entrance exam, but he brushed up his skill a lot since then. At this point, Ellen couldn't figure a way to beat him in a straightforward 1v1. The simple mind games, that messed with Lars during the entrance exam, were no longer effective.
[But, even so,] Ellen smiled confidently. [You will lose here.]
Whis.h.!.+ Another a quick shot at Ellen's back!
[Geh! So close!] Lars twisted his lips. Ellen turned aside in the last second. It's like she had eyes on her back and saw the shot. But still, Ellen was totally within range. Lars gonna seal the deal with the next two shots!
He landed on the ground and darted forward while firing another shot. Whis.h.!.+ A hit! That's it! Just one more! He gonna win- SNAP. It was the metallic sound of something shutting down.
"Oh, c.r.a.p..." Lars knew exactly what it was: a bear trap. He just stepped on one shortly after landing.
"No way, dude..." Lars smacked his forehead. All his attention was on Ellen's back, so he didn't see anything underneath his feet. He didn't buy Cleanse because he prioritized finis.h.i.+ng his build first, so there was no way to get out of this stun. Nooooooooooo! Ellen gonna get away... [Huh? She's turning back!?]
Instead of fleeing, Ellen turned around and ran back toward Lars!
"N-No way!" Lars blinked. That was a first today. Ellen never turned around and fought back like this. Every single time, she ran away to bait Lars into a fight with somebody else. This was crazy, yo! c.r.a.p, this might actually be bad news!
[What a good little beastie you are~] Ellen smiled. This was such a delightful moment. Her numerous retreats and baits throughout the day were all building up for this one surprise attack~
Since Ellen always avoided battle, it created the impression she didn't have it in her to confront Lars in a 1v1. No matter how cautious the enemy was, eventually they began seeing Ellen as an inferior fighter to Lars. So, no way she'd ever kill him in a fair fight, right?
But, they simply forgot: Ellen wasn't some Bronze player with zero combat skills. No, she was the gorgeous G.o.ddess of victory who turned every situation in her favor! This grand finale play was also a bait but it was a bait by Ellen for Ellen herself! A one-man bait play! 1000 IQ!
"The hunt is on!" The Ranger shouted as Ellen activated her ult and fired without further ado. Each of her bolts. .h.i.t like a truck thanks to the power buff from her ult. It was time to punish a bad, bad beastie~ She'll tear him apart piece by piece until he regrets ever underestimating her!
"C-c.r.a.p..." Lars clenched his jaw. Gah, this sucked! He almost got her but, in that last second, she pulled an insane switcheroo. Lars was stronger than her this match and he has been beating her the entire day, and yet...!
The plan was to catch up to Ellen and kill her, then carry the team to victory. Lars was the Carry and Ellen was his greatest nemesis, so it was his job to settle all of this. But, he blew it. He f.u.c.ked up everything.
Yuel always said that a Carry dying in late-game was one of the worst things that could ever happen to a team. And, it was ten times worse when the Carry died while the enemy Carry was still alive. So, the enemy team might win the entire match if Lars dies here.
[Why? Am I really a worse player than her?] Lars couldn't help but wonder. Why!? He poured hours upon hours into practice and matches, so he should have gotten way better! Way better1 He should have been able to kick Ellen's b.u.t.t by now!
[You can't win,] Ellen smiled from ear to ear as she skewered Lars with bolts. [It's because you're a beastie like that. As long as you keep chasing me like I'm a tasty snack, you'll keep falling for my traps. Opponents like you are the most fun to mess around with~]
[But, I ain't gonna lose!] Lars shook his head. [Since it came to this, I'mma at least take ya down with me! You won't have this game! Me and Yuel gonna win this thing and play at the nationals!]
Lars readied his aim and waited for the stun to run out. As soon as it does, he'll snipe Ellen and take her down! Even if it gonna result in a double KO, Lars had to do it. He won't hand this game to Ellen! If he dies, Ellen will have to die too!
The gauge for the stun's duration was running out. Beartrap had a h.e.l.la long stun compared to most skills, but even its stun only lasted a couple of seconds. So, the shackles binding him were about to shatter and then he'll deliver the decisive blow- gah!? Ellen sent her wolf at him!
"s.h.i.+t!" Lars jumped from his chair. This couldn't be real! She already got Wolf Companion again!? No. No. NO! [S-Stop! You can't do that s.h.i.+t! N-No way...]
Before the stun ended, the wolf leaped on Lars and pushed him to the ground. It was a cla.s.sic Ranger play that chained one stun into another.
[I-It's useless. I... I can't do anything...] Lars slid back into his chair. His entire body was limp. It felt like the stun CC jumped outta his monitor and struck him in real life too. He couldn't even budge.
It was over. Lars lost. All the small victories he has gotten against Ellen until now were completely pointless. In just one play, Ellen stole the win for this entire match. She was truly Athena, the G.o.ddess of bulls.h.i.+t victories. Even after all his training, Lars still couldn't defeat her...
[Goodnight~] Ellen delivered the final blow at the immobile beastie.
『You have killed an enemy!』
[We won.] Ellen licked her lips. Until the enemies resp.a.w.n and regroup, Ellen will have all the time in the world to push to her heart's content. She'll push so hard that all the advantage the enemy had until now will poof out of existence. They'll win this match and Ellen will get her sweet, sweet reward~
[It's my fault.] Yuel's lips trembled. [I should've ordered Lars to retreat. It was an obvious trap. I knew it. We all knew it. And yet...!] He slammed on the table. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid! He was so stupid!
[Is this the end?] Yuel's hands trembled. Because of this one mistake, they were about to lose all the momentum they've built. Without a Carry to terrorize the enemy's lanes, they couldn't push this game to victory. Until the team resp.a.w.ns and regroups, Ellen might push this game all the way to victory.
"Sorry," Lars mumbled with a lowered head. "If only I beat her..."
"It's okay," Yuel said. [It's my fault for not forcing you to retreat. This is supposed to be my job as the shot-caller. What good is a shot-caller for if he can't make the right calls!?]
This was most certainly the end. Without Lars to carry the team forward, they couldn't seal this game. Howard and Ellen will slowly but surely strangle them to death. Without anybody alive to threaten the enemy with, Yuel's team was done for...
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"Ellen, you b.i.t.c.h!" A roar thundered across the room. "I'mma destroy you!"
"Ah, right," Yuel gasped. Julia was still alive! In this game, she transformed into a wild card with offensive capabilities on par with Lars's.
[There's still a chance.] Yuel smacked his own face to kill his negative thoughts. [Not yet. If I lead Julia properly, we can still win this. This isn't over!]
With Lars out of the picture for now, the responsibility of carrying the team fell upon Julia's shoulders. Yuel will have to formulate the winning game plan with this wild card as the center. It'll be difficult, but not impossible.
It was too early to give up. With how strongly Julia has been playing this game, Yuel will find a way to break through this predicament and make Julia carry the team to victory!
Classmancers - A MOBA Esport Story 105 Bait Twis
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Classmancers - A MOBA Esport Story 105 Bait Twis summary
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