Classmancers - A MOBA Esport Story 140 The Arbiter Of Talents
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『An ally has been killed!』
The enemy Ranger took Kai out. Last time Yuel checked on her, Kai was doing just fine in Bot. Alas, it seemed she overextended at some point and that was her undoing.
And, these weren't the only bad news. The flood kept coming.
The enemy Sorcerer joined hands with the Lancer to chase Lars out of Mid. They nearly killed Lars but he somehow got out of the lane alive. Unfortunately, with the remainder of the team gathered near Top, Lars's retreat from Mid left the lane completely unprotected.
『An allied Turret has been destroyed!』
Mid Turret fell but the Sorcerer and Lancer didn't stop there. They cooperated to maximize their wave clearing speed and pushed onward toward the Mid Golem. The Sorcerer pulled minions into one area with Dimensional Collapse and the Lancer swept through them.
[As Vincent said, these two have solid teamwork.] Yuel nodded to himself.
Vincent called these two the "Silver Duo" and claimed they were a pair to watch out for. In other words, long before anybody else, that clown realized the danger of the Sorcerer & Lancer duo. Yuel got this information a long time ago from Vincent but he didn't have a chance to verify it, so he didn't prepare any countermeasures.
If Yuel were warier of letting these two join hands, he could've prevented this strong push. Alas, it was too late now. The Sorcerer and Lancer were busting their way through Mid and that put the entire game at danger.
By the time the team regrouped to defend Mid, the enemy already pushed all the way to Mid Golem. The Sorcerer and Lancer retreated after running into the defenders but it was too early to celebrate. Instead of giving up on the offense, they rotated to Bot and joined hands with the Elf in order to push the Bot Turret.
So, while Yuel and the rest were busy clearing Mid, the enemy invaded their territory through Bot. This was a losing position. The Sorcerer and Lancer were on a roll and there was no good way to shut them down.
Yuel's team still held an overwhelming advantage in Top thanks to all the pressure they've been applying there against the "ungankable" Viking. However, in exchange, they completely lost their positions in Mid and Bot. Eventually, the pressure from both lanes overwhelmed them.
"My bad," Yuel apologized. "I shouldn't have focused on their Viking so much. I even dragged Luke into it."
"No problemo, man," Luke waved his hand. "I also wanted to challenge the almighty Ungankable. I wanted to take the guy out with my meme force but, lemme tell ya, dude was one tough nut to crack."
"C'mon, dude," Lars pouted. "You should've helped me out a little over here. That Sorcerer dude sure knows how to play Mid. I'm telling ya, dude gave me a real hard time. He must have been maining the cla.s.s from birth, haha."
"Heh, got it," Luke said. "Next game, I won't let Yuel drag me into silly stuff"
"So, Chessmaster," Vincent smiled meaningfully. "I take it you're satisfied with your futile struggle against the Ungankable? You may have lost the fight but you earned something of irreplaceable value."
"Like what?" Yuel asked.
"You have learned about my absolute accuracy as the Arbiter of Talents! If I say somebody got a special power, you better believe they do. I'm not just goofing around giving people random abilities on a whim."
[You kinda do, though.] Yuel retorted silently. With that said, there was no denying Vincent was right on the money with both about the "Ungankable" and the "Silver Duo". Even though that clown always made noise and blew everything out of proportion, there was some value in his a.n.a.lysis. Perhaps, the same way Yuel had a knack for discovering the enemy's weaknesses, Vincent had a talent for figuring the enemy's strong points.
[Nah, I'm probably giving him too much credit.] Yuel shook his head. [For now, I'll listen to what he has to say about the opponents we meet so I gather statistics about the accuracy of his a.n.a.lyses.]
In the next game, Vincent dubbed the enemy Chronomancer as the "Ultimate Rotator".
"He is here! He is there! He is everywhere!" Vincent made noise. "The Ultimate Rotator always strikes the right lane at the right time! If you ever feel like gambling on the possibility that no enemy will rotate to your lane, perish that thought at once. You'll lose your entire life in that gamble!"
"True story, dude," Lars nodded. "That Chrono dude always comes over here at the worst timing possible. I could've gotten like two kills by now if not for him. Instead, I almost died twice from his ganks. Dude is wild."
"Yeah," Luke tuned in. "He also always rotates faster than me to the interesting events. The guy is running on nitro, I'm tellin' ya."
["Ultimate Rotator", was it.] Yuel wondered. On paper, there was nothing unusual about a Chronomancer being able to pop up all over the map to gank on-demand. That was one of the cla.s.s's main strengths because it could greatly boost its movement speed with Haste.
With that said, this particular Chronomancer was indeed persistent with his rotations. Every time the team started gaining an advantage in a particular lane, the Chronomancer showed up and shut down that momentum. He truly had the worst timing imaginable.
[Okay, let's a.s.sume for a moment this Chrono player is really an "Ultimate Rotator".] Yuel's body jerked in response to using that silly t.i.tle. Nevertheless, he pressed on with that line of thought. It was all for science and victory.
According to Vincent's description, the "Ultimate Rotator" was good at rotating to the most relevant lane in a timely fas.h.i.+on. Then, how will that "Ultimate Rotator" deal with a scenario where two lanes were attacked simultaneously?
"Luke, wait," Yuel called out. "Don't gank Top yet."
"Hm? But I'm right around the corner."
"I know but please stay over there for a moment. I plan to gank Mid and I want to synchronize our ganks. This way, we get to pressure two lanes at the same time."
"Oh, how brilliant!" Vincent exclaimed. "No matter how G.o.dlike are the rotating skills of the Ultimate Rotator, one man can't possibly be in two places at the same time. Ergo, a double gank across two lanes shall break down the Ultimate Rotator!"
"Wording aside, yes, that's the gist of it."
"Absolutely brilliant! As expected from Chessmaster, the man who holds the Mystic Eyes of Weakness Perception! He tore apart the Ultimate Rotator like it was nothing!"
"We haven't even executed the play yet."
"Oh, that's right. My bad. I was running ahead with the script, haha."
"Heh," Luke smirked. "This sounds like a plan so count me in! I'll wait with my gank. Give me the sign when I should go all in."
Yuel rotated to Mid and gave Luke the green light. The simultaneous gank began. Luke ganked the Monk in Top whereas Yuel ganked the Sage in Mid.
The Chronomancer could only defend one of the lanes and he chose Top. So, he thwarted Luke's gank. Meanwhile, Yuel successfully trapped the enemy Sage with Ice Wall and stunned the target with Ice Coffin. From there, Lars swiftly executed the Sage. The double gank was a success.
[Okay, this is how we'll attack while that Chrono is alive.] Yuel concluded. Delaying a gank on purpose had its downsides but it boosted the surprise element. Striking two lanes at exactly the same time was bound to take the enemy off-guard and hinder their decision-making.
Even though it was a.s.sured this Chronomancer will rotate to one of the two ganked lanes, he might hesitate for a moment while making the decision. That'll delay his arrival no matter which lane he picks and that might prove fatal.
『An enemy has been killed!』
"Phew, I got him." Vincent exhaled. By the time the Chronomancer showed up on the lane, Vincent was already delivering the killing blow to the enemy Dragonborn. If the Chronomancer showed up just a few seconds earlier, he would have stopped this kill. But, apparently, the Ultimate Rotator was cracking under the pressure from the frequent double ganks.
[We got him.] Yuel smirked. No matter what "special abilities" Vincent claimed these players had, everything boiled down to playstyle and skill. As long as Yuel knew what to look out for, he could find a way to counter it.
As such, Vincent's information was very useful. Everybody noticed the Chronomancer was on point with his ganks but Vincent was the only one who hammed it up as an "ultimate ability". It was silly but, if not for this grandiose setup, Yuel wouldn't have taken enough interest in how the efficiently Chronomancer rotated.
Of course, Yuel would have eventually caught on and figured that himself. But, thanks to Vincent's shenanigans, Yuel began countering the Chronomancer much earlier into the game. It played a big role in making the path to victory smoother.
"Say, Vincent," Yuel called. "Are there any other special abilities the enemy got?"
"Oh? Oho? What's that? Is the ever doubting Chessmaster seeking the advice of the Arbiter of Talents!?"
"N-Not really," Yuel s.h.i.+fted his eyes away. "I was just wondering what else you think about this team. Even though your information is total fantasy, it's still information."
"You hurt my feelings. Sob." Vincent pretended to wipe a tear. "Alright, other abilities, you ask? Let me activate my third eye. By connecting my brain to the records of Akasha - all shall be revealed before me!"
[Is it too late to regret my actions?]
"I see, I see it!" Vincent waved an arm theatrically. "It's faint but there's a glimmer of potential there. You may think BacksideSniper is just your typical Ranger, but nay! He is none other than the Platinum Split-Pusher!"
"So, you're saying that Ranger is good at split pus.h.i.+ng."
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"Indeed. At nightfall, when a lane is deserted, the Platinum Split-Pusher strikes from shadows!"
"Why is he only 'platinum'? Does it mean he's not good enough to be 'ultimate'?"
"Indeed. That youngling still has a long way to go before he masters the art of split-pus.h.i.+ng. Will there come a day when his potential reaches ultimate levels? Will he terrorize the pro scene with his relentless split pushes!? Only time will tell."
"I see," Yuel filtered out the nonsensical commentary and only focused on the meat of the a.n.a.lysis. Long story short, the enemy Ranger was good at split-pus.h.i.+ng. Or, at least, he had a habit of doing that often enough to leave a lasting impression on Vincent.
[I wonder, how did Vincent conclude this Ranger is good at split-pus.h.i.+ng?] From what Yuel could recall, that Ranger has only split-pushed twice so far and neither occasion left any particular impressions on Yuel. It was true that the Ranger's split-pushes were quite effective but that's about all Yuel had to say about them. It didn't feel like they deserved a t.i.tle like "Platinum Split-Pusher".
But, maybe the exact reasoning didn't matter. Yuel was no stranger to drawing quick conclusions from minimal observation. Often times, his teammates were left unconvinced even after he explained his reasoning to them.
[So, that's how it feels to be on this side.] Yuel smiled wryly. Truly, it was difficult to force himself to act upon dubious information he couldn't fully comprehend. Not to mention, the information came from a clown who spouted nonsense like "Ultimate Rotator" and "Platinum Split-Pusher" with a straight face.
[Remember, this is just a test.] Yuel tried to convince himself. This wasn't a life-and-death match he had to win no matter what. Right now, his top priority was to test Vincent's mettle and judge who deserved to play Top for the team.
So, all that mattered right now was whether Vincent's read was correct. If that Ranger was truly all about split-pus.h.i.+ng, then he should have certain habits a.s.sociated with that. For example, a player like that might jump on any inviting opportunity to split-push. After all, everybody liked playing to their strengths.
Lars was defending Bot alone in Kai's place at the moment so this was the perfect opportunity to test Vincent's a.n.a.lysis.
"Lars, retreat into the Jungle."
"I want to see how the Ranger reacts," Yuel explained. "Don't go too far away, though. Pretend you're rotating to Mid but stop around here." He drew a route on the mini-map.
"Okey-dokey." Lars finished clearing the minion wave and ran into the jungle. Things were about to get interesting.
From the Ranger's point of view, this was most likely a rotation toward Mid. On top of that, such a rotation would leave Bot completely undefended. Therefore, this was a golden opportunity to push Bot while everybody else was busy elsewhere. So, if that Ranger was truly such an amazing split-pusher, he should take the bait.
At the very least, the Ranger had already arrived on the lane to defend against the incoming minion wave. It wasn't proof the Ranger will go on to push the lane but it was a start.
"So, how long do I wait?" Lars moved in circles while waiting behind a jungle wall.
"Depends on the Ranger," Yuel said. "If he overextended after clearing the wave, go for him."
"Okay, sounds like a plan," Lars moved around in even faster circles. This beast was clearly hungry for some meat.
While Lars was waiting for the Ranger's next move, the Lancer and Sage in Mid began retreating. The Ranger must have filled them in about Lars's "incoming rotation" to Mid so they were bracing themselves for a gank.
[That's a nice bonus.] Yuel nodded to himself. Forcing the enemy in Mid to retreat was going to help the team big time, regardless of how the situation with the Ranger will turn out. Unlike in the previous game, when he was too focused on toppling the "Ungankable", Yuel didn't let himself get caught up in trivial stuff this time. Winning came first and testing Vincent was second.
"Oh, dude is going for it!" Lars licked his lips. He sensed a tasty prey. The Ranger a.s.sumed the area was clear and pushed onward after he cleared the minion wave.
[He took the bait.] Yuel smiled meaningfully. "Gank him as you see fit."
"You bet I will!" Lars has completely s.h.i.+fted into predator mode. All that mattered to him now was to tear that Ranger apart.
Once the Ranger approached the Turret's area, Lars jumped out of the jungle and opened an attack with Thunderstorm. The battle ended in just a couple of seconds.
『An enemy has been killed!』
[At this point, I can't call Vincent a clown anymore, can I?] Yuel smiled wryly. Well, the guy sure acted like a clown but his ability to a.n.a.lyze enemies was serious business. To be honest, now it was hard to tell who was better at a.n.a.lyzing opponents: Yuel or Vincent?
[No wonder they sent him to spy on the Leopards and StormBlitz's scrimmage last year.] In fact, even back when Yuel first met Vincent, that clown already said a bunch of interesting things.
For example, Vincent said Yuel had the "Mystic Eyes of Weakness Perception". It sounded so dumb that Yuel immediately wrote it off on the spot. But, now that Yuel better understood what that t.i.tle implied, it was kinda scary. This implied that, just by watching Yuel play in the scrimmage against the Leopards, Vincent somehow figured that Yuel was good at spotting enemy weaknesses.
[Is that guy for real?] A s.h.i.+ver jolted through Yuel. It was the kind of information no observer could possibly get. Even players from the Leopards probably didn't understand the true nature behind Yuel's tactics. Yet, Vincent figured it out with ease.
What other types of information did that clown have up his sleeve? This was getting interesting.
"Say," Yuel addressed Vincent. "Are there any other weaknesses you spotted in their team?"
"Weaknesses? That's your field. After all, you're the one and only heir to the Mystic Eyes of Weakness Perception!"
"Then, you got any other interesting information you'd like to share? More silly names you got in mind?"
"Hmm, not really," Vincent shrugged. "The rest of that team feels normal. They're decent but nothing stands out about them. Maybe they haven't solidified their playstyle yet."
[Weird.] Yuel thought. [I can list at least two weaknesses for each of the remaining opponents but Vincent got nothing?]
For example, the enemy Sage had a slow reaction time. That became apparent when he and the Lancer began their retreat from Mid to dodge Lars's "gank". The Sage was so slow with the retreat that Lars could've actually catch him if there was a real gank on Mid.
On top of that, the Sage didn't pay much attention to the camps around Mid. That made it easy to steal the Griffin Camps, which were supposed to be heavily contested by both teams for extra exp and gold. So, Yuel has been advising Luke to steal the Griffin camps every time they sp.a.w.ned. Thanks to that, Luke maintained the same level as the rest of the players despite being a meme Jungler with a slow camp clear.
In addition to these faults, the Sage also seemed rather panicky. He was the type to press all the b.u.t.tons when somebody launched a surprise attack on him. That has already happened twice this game and Yuel confirmed it was a recurring pattern by arranging a few more surprise ganks on Mid.
So, there were at least three glaring flaws with the Sage. Yuel had a similar list for the rest of the enemy team, save for the Ranger who came across as a rather high ranked player. But, even though there were so many visible flaws all over the place, Vincent's amazing a.n.a.lysis skills didn't pick up any of them.
[Did I give him too much credit?] Yuel couldn't wrap his head around it.
Vincent was capable enough to make observations that even escaped Yuel. And, Vincent drew conclusions that Yuel hasn't reached yet. Yet, at the same time, Vincent failed to notice basic tendencies that even Lars figured out.
"I'mma gank that Sage," Lars grinned. "Betcha he gonna mash b.u.t.tons again. Just gotta dodge that stuff and kick his b.u.t.t. Gonna be ez."
"You do you," Yuel approved.
Yes, even Lars noticed the Sage's tendency to unleash the entire kit when in danger. Yet, Vincent didn't give that tendency a name or even half a name. Why not call it something like "Panic Masher"? Anything, really. This was a mystery.
Nevertheless, the fact remained Vincent had a good observation, even if it worked in mysterious ways. It'll surely become an a.s.set for the team during tournament matches so it gave Vincent a lot of points as a Top Laner compared to Ben.
On top of that, Vincent's skill seemed more refined than Ben's overall. He didn't come across as exceptionally skilled but his plays were more polished than Ben's, probably because he was one year older.
With all that considered, the winner was obvious. Vincent should be the one to play Top for the team after Yuel returns to his rightful spot as the Support. Of course, that's provided the moody captain will even let him play Support after today.
[Still radio silence, huh.] Yuel threw a glance at Kai. She was silent like a wall and her huge headphones seemed to completely isolate her from the environment. It's like she was in an entirely different dimension.
Playing Support for such an uncooperative Carry was a huge pain in the neck. Yuel has been doing everything in his power to set up favorable situations and reach out to her with a helping hand, but Kai just slapped it away. Yuel thought they'll patch things up by playing together enough but Kai was stubborn.
[Getting on the captain's bad side is the last thing I want.] Yuel sighed. This endangered his plans of taking over Bot with Lars. If this dictator starts hating them, she might insist on locking them away from Bot for the rest of the year. Not only that, but she might even refuse to accept them into the club at all. After all, club recruitments haven't even officially started yet; Yuel and Lars have just been freeloading here, pretending to be official members.
[I'll have to think up a solution by tomorrow.] Yuel nodded to himself. Hopefully, Kai will cool down after a good night's sleep and they'll be able to talk this out. Though, did Yuel even have the necessary communication skills to mend things? The last time he tried to be friendly with a girl... yeah.
Nevertheless, he had to do something about this situation. He couldn't let miscommunication drag him and Lars down. They had to fit into this new team and be accepted as the official Bot duo. To that end, being on good terms with the captain was absolutely necessary.
So, Yuel will do something about it. He had to. He'll talk to Kai tomorrow and sort things out. Hopefully...
Classmancers - A MOBA Esport Story 140 The Arbiter Of Talents
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