Classmancers - A MOBA Esport Story 130 The Road Ahead Is Still Long

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The first day of club activity ended after ten matches. From start to end, Luke stuck with Rogue. It was truly a "cla.s.s of the day" routine, as advertised.

Out of the ten matches, Luke was shut down in three games, played fine in five games and put on a strong performance in the other two. In other words, the enemy ripped him apart about 30% of the time. This was a small sample and Yuel will have to get more data by examining Luke's match history, but this didn't look promising.

If these were the statistics in Ranked, what will be the numbers in a compet.i.tive environment? In a best-of-three match, the enemy team will have more time to adapt to any unusual picks Luke goes for. So, at the very least, picking Rogue more than once in a match was out of the question. Hopefully, his routine of one cla.s.s a day didn't extend to compet.i.tive matches.

But, even if Luke mixes up his meme picks between rounds, the memes will surely become an Achilles heel for the team. Luke was the best Rogue player Yuel has ever met in Ranked and the guy even made Rogue look strong in some of the matches. If only Luke picked a meta cla.s.s and practiced it as extensively as his Rogue, he might become one of the more threatening players in the region.

[I'll have to find a way to convince him.] Yuel concluded. This was of utmost importance because the club was small and so it was almost guaranteed Luke will end up as the team's Jungler.

There were only two more candidates left for Yuel to meet. The first was Ben, whose name was the only thing Yuel knew about the guy. Ben was supposed to be another junior member of the club but he hasn't shown himself in the clubroom even once so far.

[I hope I'm wrong, but I have a feeling that guy isn't serious about this.] Yuel couldn't draw any other conclusion at the moment. Perhaps Luke was easygoing and uncompet.i.tive but at least he bothered to show up for club activity and play seriously with the team. That already made him a million times better than Ben in Yuel's book.

There was one more member Yuel hasn't met yet, for that member hasn't been recruited yet. The club was allowed a maximum of seven members, so they'll recruit one more member next week. Yes, only one. It was a far cry from getting five freshmen like StormBlitz always did.

[Oh, I guess they might get seven this year.] Yuel smiled wryly. His defection with Lars left two open spots in StormBlitz so the school might allow them to recruit seven members this year.

Fortunately, that didn't concern Straus and their chances of winning the regionals. No matter whether StormBlitz will get seven freshmen or twenty, none of them will make it into StormBlitz's main lineup. The senior team of Howard, Ellen, Gilbert, Roi, and Dan was too solid to be invaded by a rookie. Julia miraculously made it in despite being a junior, but she had the skill to justify that and even then her position on the team was a tad shaky.

Unlike StormBlitz, Stratus didn't boast a threatening lineup of seniors. The only seniors in the club were Kai and Vincent. Nonetheless, these two were solid veteran players and they'll definitely be on the main team. Likewise, Yuel and Lars will definitely be on the main team even if they don't get to play their main roles.

So, realistically, there was only one spot open on the main team. Between a skilled memer, a guy who never shows up for practice and a freshman, right now the memer sounded like the best pick. It was unfortunate but that was the situation.

[I have to find a way to change Luke's mindset. The sooner, the better,] Yuel concluded as the club wrapped up its activity for the day.

The club didn't have a fixed schedule at the moment so they spontaneously agreed to gather tomorrow again. If it were up to Yuel, he would have insisted to hold club activity every single day. However, he wasn't the captain and there was no telling how the other members will take it. Hopefully, Kai will establish a training regime that has at least three days a week.

The club adjourned but the day wasn't over yet. It was still only 5 pm, so there were at least seven more hours for Yuel and Lars to practice.

"You want to play some more?" Yuel asked.

"Totally!" Lars nodded without thinking twice. "Mid is cool and all but I'm tellin' ya, I was born to play Carry."

"Tell that to Kai, not me. I already know."

"Yeah, I gotta figure how to convince that stubborn gal," Lars scratched his head. "Maybe I gotta challenge her to like a hundred 1v1s and whoever wins more gets to be the Carry."

"I doubt that'll convince her."

"What, you think a hundred matches is too little? Then, a thousand 1v1s! Let's goooo!"

"That's not the problem," Yuel said. "Being better at 1v1 doesn't mean you're a better Carry. Just look at Taison."

"What about Tai? I totally rek that dude in 1v1!"

"Right, of course you do," Yuel rolled his eyes. "Let's lie low for now. No need to compete for roles just yet. I'm sure Kai will come around after seeing you play some more."

"I sure hope so. Anyway, I had enough Mid for one day. I wanna go wild with Shooter and Slinger and stuff!"

"Shooter and Slinger? Sounds like you wanted to bully some people."

"Haha, gotta a.s.sert dominance, yo!" Lars pumped a fist. "Ah, but whatcha got at home? I'm sick of them noodles."

"Oh, but they're no ordinary noodles. They're instant noodles! They're like noodles with insta cast."

"Yeaaaah, go preach your noodle religion somewhere else, dude," Lars rejected the cult recruit. "Okay, let's grab a burger or something on the way."


They took a short stop along the way for Lars to buy himself a burger. He even went all out and bought himself two.

"Here," Lars shoved one burger into Yuel's face.

"You want me to hold it?"

"Nah, it's yours, dude."

"Huh? I didn't..." Yuel twisted his lips as he accepted the burger. Refusing was awkward but accepting it was awkward too. "How much was it? I'll pay you back."

"Just eat it, yo," Lars shoved the burger toward Yuel's mouth. "Gulp down dat bad boy and forget whatever difficult stuff you've been thinking about all day."

"Huh?" Yuel blinked.

"You've had this super serious expression this whole time," Lars narrowed his eyes and turned his forehand wrinkly. "Ya look like this, dude."

"I don't think I do but okay," Yuel chuckled and took a bite from the burger.

"So, what's eating ya anyway? I thought we had pretty good matches today. The other guys at the club are pretty cool."

"Yeah, they're alright. They do have some issues, though."

"What a shock. Yuel thinks players got issues. More news at 11. I swear, yo. You'd make the best player in the world sound like a total scrub if you a.n.a.lyze him."

"Because everybody got weaknesses," Yuel said. "But, only focusing on weakness isn't always enough."

"Wait, wut? I thought that's like your super skill and stuff. How did Vincent call it again? The Supah Eyes of Weakness Lecture?"

"Yes, exactly. You nailed it," Yuel sighed. "It's true I've been focusing on enemy weaknesses for most of my shot-calling. But, today I felt that wasn't enough."

"How so?"

"It's a bit hard to explain." How was he going to convey such a high-level tactical concept to a goof with zero understanding of tactics? Yeah, that wasn't going to happen.

The core of the issue was the difficulty to calculate the outcomes of certain plays. For example, the plays in which Luke attacked isolated targets with his Rogue. Yuel took the Rogue's kit into account and compared them against the various weaknesses of the opponent, but that's about all he could do. Beyond that, he didn't have any concrete data to work with. Therefore, it was difficult to estimate whether Luke had a chance to win these fights. Sometimes Luke won, other times he didn't.

"In short," Yuel tried to convey this in plain English that even a monkey could understand. "I feel like I don't see the entire picture. There is a lot of data about the players that I know exists but I can't see it."

"Can't see it?" Lars scratched his head. "What [do] you see, then?"

"A chessboard, I guess." That sounded awkward, especially considering Yuel had a silly nickname like Chessmaster. "I can see my teammates' positions on the map and I know what tools their got available, but that's about it."

"So wait," Lars t.i.tled his head. "If you see the map like a board, then you also see everybody else like pieces?"

"Um, sort of." This was getting more and more awkward by the moment. Yuel should have just kept his mouth shut.

Viewing allies as "chess pieces" had a terrible connotation behind it which Yuel didn't mean to imply. It's not like he was thinking of allies as p.a.w.ns. It's just that, by drawing an a.n.a.logy with a chessboard, it helped to simplify the game a.n.a.lysis for him.

"That's pretty cool!"

"... huh?"

"Ya really all like a supah Chess Dude and all that."

[Seems like the Chessmaster connotation flew over his head.] Yuel smiled wryly.

"So, if everybody is like chess pieces on your map," Lars pointed at himself. "What piece am I?"

"The Queen."

"Eeeeeeeeeeh!?" Lars jumped. "What the heck, yo? Why not something cool like Knight or King? I'm not a girl, yo!"

"The Queen is the strongest piece in chess. She has the most overwhelming strength and often dictates the flow of the game."

"Well, if you put it like that, it does sound kinda awesome," Lars crossed his arms. "But, why the heck the Queen is the strongest dude? I thought the King was the most savage dude around there."

"That's just how it is."

"What a weird game," Lars shrugged. "So, why you think it's not good to see the map this way? Your shot-calls have been working like a charm."

"Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. Also, there are many shot-calls I would have liked to make but can't."

"Like what?"
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"For example, imagine there's an opportunity to send a teammate to gank somebody. But, it won't be a smooth gank and the ganker will have to beat the target in a 1v1 to seal the deal. In scenarios like these, it's hard to predict whether the gank is going to succeed for sure so I can't carelessly ask somebody to go for it."

"Just lemme at 'em and I'mma kick their b.u.t.ts!"

"Yeah, you make that kind of judgment easy most of the time," Yuel smiled wryly.

As far as giving Lars orders was concerned, it really felt like playing chess. Lars could be trusted to beat virtually anybody when he had an advantage, so Yuel only had to consider the positions, resources, and tools of the enemy to determine the outcome. If an enemy was within the Queen's attack range, that enemy was guaranteed to be executed.

"But," Yuel continued. "Not everybody is going to win 99% of their fights like you."

"I win 200% of my fights, yo!"

"Sure," Yuel chuckled. "Anyway, that's my problem. I'd like a better way to tell the outcomes of such situations."

"Man, sounds like ya wanna be an oracle," Lars shrugged. "Ya think it's even possible to tell such stuff?"

"I think Howard can. At least, to some degree." Yuel gazed at the clear blue summer sky. "It's like the board he sees is different from mine. We both look at the same map but we see completely different drawings."

"Deep, yo," Lars nodded with admiration. "No idea what the heck you're on about, but it sounds cool."

[Went right over his head, huh.] Yuel didn't expect much in the first place so it was fine. He just wanted to get this off his chest.

"So, if you think Howard got the answers, why not ask him?"

"I'd rather die."

"Haha, I get that. I wouldn't wanna ask Ellen for s.h.i.+t either. I'd rather get completely wrecked than ask her for help."

"Exactly," Yuel nodded. He knew it was childish of him but he couldn't bring himself to ask Howard for advice on something like this. Besides, that guy probably won't grace Yuel with an answer anyway. So, in the end, it was up to Yuel himself to figure this out.

"I wonder what the dudes at StormBlitz are up to," Lars said. "I still haven't spoken to July. She doesn't answer my calls. She only sent me like one message saying she's okay. Is she really, though? Think I should visit her?"

"I'm not sure that's a good idea," Yuel wasn't sure how to explain it to this thick-headed goof. "I think she doesn't want to see you right now."

"But why? Did I do something bad to her without realizing? She hates me or something?"

[It's the opposite, you dummy.] Yuel sighed. "She just blames herself really hard for our defeat. You both were the pillars of the team's offense in the third game, so after you died she felt she had to fill in your shoes. But, she couldn't carry the team to victory so she feels like she didn't live up to your expectations."

"But, that's wrong on so many levels," Lars said. "July was a beast that game. She did way more than anybody expected."

"Yes, I tried to explain that to her as well. But, she's stubborn like that."

"Feels bad, man. I hope she'll let it go."

"I'm sure she will," Yuel averted his eyes. Most likely, Julia has already overcome her slump but not the way Lars imagined it. The last time Yuel spoke to her, she was clearly set on destroying Yuel and Lars the next time they meet. Gulp.

"Okay, mphfhf!" Lars shoved the rest of his burger into his mouth. "I'm fueled up! Time for some Carry action!"

They went to Yuel's place and played Cla.s.smancers late into the night as the Bot duo they should have been in the club as well. For now, Yuel was fine with playing by Kai's rules during club activity. However, in their free time, they'll keep practicing Bot.

By the time the middle school tournament comes around, they'll definitely reclaim their rightful spots as the team's Support and Carry.

Classmancers - A MOBA Esport Story 130 The Road Ahead Is Still Long

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Classmancers - A MOBA Esport Story 130 The Road Ahead Is Still Long summary

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