Classmancers - A MOBA Esport Story 143 The Reserved Spo
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"Rather than the design," Yuel said. "The fields are a little lacking. For example, there's no field asking for the player's main role."
"True," Vincent admitted. "The captain from last year said he wanted to keep the form as simple as possible because there are lazy b.u.ms who give up on the spot if they see a long questionnaire."
"Oh, I know the feel!" Lars nodded repeatedly. "Totally gives ya that exam PTSD, doesn't it? Ya see all these questions and you're like 'Daim, I didn't know there's a quiz exam today!'"
"But, that wouldn't make you give up on registering to a Mancers club, would it?" Yuel asked.
"Nah, no chance. I'd even write an essay if I had to! Ain't gonna give up on Mancers like that, yo."
"Right, that's what I wanted to hear," Yuel nodded. "So, the people who give up on the club just because the form is a little long aren't worth our time. May as well give up on them."
"Harsh," Vincent nodded with a sense of respect. "Though, I can't help but wonder. Why do you want to know their main roles? We're going to pick the best player by rank anyway."
"The more data, the better," Yuel explained. "Knowing the main roles of the candidates will help us make more educated decisions. For example, if there are two players with close ranks, we can prioritize one of them based on the main roles they play. Say, Mid and Jungler are the more desirable roles for the club at the moment. We got enough people who can play other roles."
"Oh! I see, I see," Vincent nodded. "Knowing what they're maining will help you pick the optimal tools for the team. As expected from the Chessmaster! Always thinking practically."
"Sure," Yuel shrugged. "Another thing that's missing is an explanation for how to retrieve the player ID from the game."
"Isn't that something anybody with half a brain would know?" Kai raised an eyebrow and threw a glance at the others.
"I'd think so," Vincent agreed.
"Yeah," Lars nodded. "Even I know how to do that stuff."
"Oh, you sure do," Yuel nodded. "But, when did you learn it, again?"
"Hm?" Lars c.o.c.ked his head. "Dunno, I probably knew all along. Yeah, I was born with that knowledge! The first word I said as a baby was my player ID, yo!"
"Yeah, right. You actually didn't know how to get it until you had to fill it for our entrance exam"
"Yeah, seriously. You even asked me for some help because you somehow went into the wrong menu at first."
"Did I? Don't remember for the life of me."
"Of course you don't," Yuel sighed. "Anyway, it's better to add a brief explanation on the form. Something small that explains how to navigate to the profile screen and where you can find the ID on it. It'll save us a lot of trouble. You don't want every other candidate to ask you how to retrieve it."
"Sounds good," Kai said. "Now that you mention it, I think there was a freshman last year who came to me and asked what's their player ID was."
"Oh, I remember that! It was pure gold!" Vincent burst into laughter. "She gave that poor kid a look that's like 'Are you dumb or something?' and he ran away. The poor kid got scared for his life. Kai is such a bully."
"I-I didn't mean it like that," Kai turned away. Her white cheeks turned reddish. "It's supposed to be common knowledge, okay? Not my fault he was asking dumb questions."
"Maybe that boy was destined to become one of the best players in the world but you scared him away. Maybe you even ruined his entire Mancers career! He was going to be next Maker!"
"Yeah, yeah. I'm sorry. Sue me, okay?" Kai grumped. "Maybe retrieving the player ID isn't that obvious to everybody."
"The more you know..."
"Anyway," Kai killed this stupid topic. "I agree with Yuel's suggestion. Let's add something about how to get the player ID. It should lower the number of people who come asking stupid questions."
"Which is great," Vincent snickered. "This way, you won't scare anybody away."
"Would you drop it already!?" Kai hissed. "Besides, it's not like there are going to be that many real candidates this time."
"Why is that?" Yuel asked. "Something is different this year?"
"Everything is different," Kai answered. "The school cut down the number of students we can recruit to three and we already got ourselves two transfer students who are Challenger rank. That leaves only one spot open."
"So, what of it? That doesn't mean we have to do any less work."
"It does, actually," Kai claimed.
"How so? We still have to go over all the applications, right?"
"No, only the applications by girls."
"Huh?" Yuel blinked. "What gives?"
"Because, the last spot is reserved to a female player," Kai explained. "You took the two spots for males, so the last one will be a female."
"Wait, I thought you were selected based on rank?" Yuel raised an eyebrow.
"Yeah, based on rank within each gender group."
"Huh," Yuel crossed his arms. "Is that how you've always been doing things here?"
"No, that's how [I] chose to do," Kai stated. "I believe that's the fairest way."
"I'll to disagree with you on that," Yuel said. "Why does gender matter? We should take the best players we can get our hands on. I'd even say that picking players solely by rank is lazy as well. We should test each and every one of them personally."
"That's asking for a lot from such a small club," Kai said.
"Yes, I agree," Yuel nodded. "That's why I didn't push that idea. But, if we're not going to hold a proper entrance exam, we should at least be effective at picking the 'best players'. Their rank matters but their gender doesn't."
"Sure, that's probably the safest way to raise the club's level," Kai nodded. "But, it's not fair. The available spots should be divided by gender. Otherwise, girls will never make it in."
"Well, you made it in, right? Because you're a good player, not because you're a girl."
"Oh, yeah. I made it in," Kai sneered. "But, you want a funny story? The seniors of that year only allowed boys to apply. They were trying to keep it as a boys-only club."
"That's dumb," Yuel said. "Then, how did you make it in?"
"I couldn't let it stand and applied anyway. They couldn't guess I was a girl from my name, so they let me pa.s.s because I was Gold II back then. By the time they learned the truth, it was too late and the school didn't let them change anything."
"Wow, dude," Lars nodded repeatedly. "Ya showed 'em derps who's da real boss! You're even the captain now and everything!"
"Thanks," Kai glanced away with a wry smile. Apparently, she wasn't telling this story to boast or anything. This must have been the objective truth of how things went down.
"Yeah, it's all true," Vincent answered Yuel's questioning eyes. "Kai snuck into the club like it was Mission Impossible."
"That's really impressive," Yuel had to agree. The girl wanted to play Cla.s.smancers so much she pretended to be a boy to break through the discriminating rules. It was a respectable dedication.
[Is that the "harsh experience" Vincent was alluding to regarding Kai and boys?] Yuel wondered. [It's sure nasty. Wouldn't be surprised if I developed gender bias too after something like this. But, sorry to say this, but it still doesn't give any legitimation to her new policy.]
"I understand that previous captains made asinine rules for the selection process," Yuel said. "But, it should be enough to just get rid of that filter. We'll open our sign-ups for both boys and girls. That should do it."
"No, it's not enough," Kai insisted. "Even if girls are given a chance, most of them won't be able to compete with the boys in terms of rank. There aren't many girls our age playing Mancers and the boys often don't want to play with them, so girls don't get to progress as much in Ranked even if they're dedicated players."
"That's..." Yuel didn't know what to say to this. From his experience, boys didn't have any problem playing with girls. He and Lars treated Julia seriously like a fellow player and she progressed far in Ranked together with them.
However, then there was Lars's story about how many boys in grade school didn't want to play with Julia because she was a girl. On top of that, Taison and Gregory often made fun of her simply for the fact she was a girl. These two were sc.u.mbags in general and acted hostile toward everybody, but it felt like they ridiculed Julia more than anybody else.
So, perhaps Kai had a point. Even if girls were given a fair chance to apply to the club, they had a huge disadvantage compared to boys. They had a lower rank, less experience and probably overall less exposure to Cla.s.smancers. Therefore, no matter what criteria the examiners were to use, most girls would fall short by default.
Interestingly, StormBlitz's entrance exam didn't take any of this into account. Was it an oversight or a deliberate choice? Considering how seriously StormBlitz valued compet.i.tion, there's a good chance the people who came up with the entrance exam deliberately chose to prioritize the most promising candidates instead of pus.h.i.+ng for more gender equality.
Honestly, Yuel shared the same sentiment. For clubs with such a restricted number of allowed members, it was absolutely necessary to recruit the best candidates possible for winning tournaments. As harsh as it sounded, these clubs didn't have the luxury to pull inferior players to the compet.i.tive level. They had to prioritize the candidates who either knew how to play or exhibited great potential.
But, it's not like Kai's idea was entirely unreasonable. She claimed that girls had an early disadvantage when it came to Cla.s.smancers and that gatekept them from joining. However, if they [did] manage to join, these girls could perhaps become amazing players.
By now, Yuel has met a number of strong female players: Julia, Ellen, Ignis, ComboBreaker and even Kai herself was a solid player. Was it possible some of them only made it this far because somebody played favorites for them? It was hard to imagine but it might be the case.
In fact, Yuel once heard a peculiar rumor. Apparently, Ellen strongly pushed for Julia to be accepted into StormBlitz. It seemed there was another promising candidate who competed with Julia for the last spot and most of the club favored him, but Ellen used her usual manipulative shticks to get the club under her thumb. Supposedly, thanks to that, Julia was accepted into the club over that other guy.
There was no telling how much truth there was in this tale, but it sounded plausible when a fox like Ellen was involved. Back then, Julia had plenty of flaws in her playstyle, so it won't be surprised if another candidate was better than her at the time.
Nevertheless, Julia was the one who ultimately got into the club and she flourished there She developed immensely throughout the past year and even got all the way to the first-string. It was amazing progress that could've been denied for Julia if Ellen didn't play favorites.
[This all feels so skewed.] Yuel shuddered. He understood the "fairness" argument behind giving at least one girl a chance to get in but, at the same time, it'll have to be done at somebody's expense. The club might get a candidate who was a genius player but the guy won't make it in because he had the wrong gender. It didn't feel right.
[This topic is a dead end.] Yuel sighed. No matter what arguments he came up with, there was no clear-cut answer to this dilemma.
"I understand what you're saying," Yuel finally spoke. "But, if you reserve the last spot for a girl, you deny the chances of all freshman boys. Isn't that unfair?"
"You're free to step down if you think that's unfair," Kai shrugged. "It's you and Lars who are taking the male spots right now. You can always quit if you think that's unfair."
"Wowie, harsh," Lars scratched his head. "It's really kinda our fault, isn't it? Some newcomer dudes not gonna make it because of us."
"Well..." Yuel didn't a retort at hand. The club could only get three new members this year and two of the slots have been occupied by transfer students. Not exactly the epitome of fairness either.
Because of Yuel and Lars, two promising freshmen were going to be denied entry this year. Even if some of these freshmen were more talented than Yuel and Lars, they won't make it in because Yuel and Lars were a year ahead in terms of experience. It was a cruel world.
"Still," Yuel said. "At least, Lars and I are high-level players and got our spots thanks to skill. I admit we got an unfair advantage compared to freshmen but at least it's guaranteed we're going to be more valuable for the team in this year's tournament. Compared, accepting a girl regardless of talent just doesn't sit right with me. It robs others of a chance even though they could've contributed more to the team."
"Winning isn't everything" Kai stated. "A club is also supposed to be an environment where players can improve. That's important too."
"I'd agree with you if we weren't talking about a club that can only get up to seven members. We barely got any wiggle room to work with. Seven is so close to five that we might be forced to deploy the freshman in the tournament."
"Use a freshman in the tournament?" Kai raised an eyebrow. "Surely you jest."
"Think about it. If Lars and I hadn't joined, you would have had three freshmen this year. You'd have to deploy at least one freshman, no way around it."
"Yeah, I suppose so."
"And, in general, having only seven club members is dangerously close to five. We can't ignore the possibility we'll have to deploy the freshman to matches," Yuel glanced around the room to confirm Luke wasn't here. "Take Luke, for example. Do you really think we can entrust our Jungler position to somebody who plays memes? He's a decent player. But, for compet.i.tive play, he's practically a joke. Our opponents are going to hard counter him every time because he chooses to play suboptimal cla.s.ses."
"Well, that's..." Kai had nothing to say back to that.
"So, wouldn't it be great if we get a more serious Jungler? In fact, I'd go as far as saying we should prioritize searching for a Jungler among the freshman. That's why I added a role field to the registration form. I know this is me putting the tournament before everything else but this tiny club needs every help it can get."
"That's true, but..." This time, it was Kai's turn to be stumped.
[This is a little frustrating.] Yuel frowned. It felt like he saw eye-to-eye with Kai about the state of the club and they agreed what was more important for winning the tournament. Nevertheless, ultimately, each of them prioritized something different. Yuel wanted a strong freshman, preferably a Jungler. Meanwhile, Kai insisted on getting a girl for more equality.
"Oh! The everlasting battle of Barong and Rangda!" Vincent stretched his arms theatrically. "No matter how many times they strike each other down, they revive and resume their eternal battle!"
"Are you implying we're getting nowhere??" Yuel made a face. It was rude but true. It didn't seem like Yuel and Kai will be able to reach an agreement.
"You both make valid arguments," Vincent said. "But, the club doesn't belong to you two, you know. We're also here."
"Right," Yuel nodded. He just realized he has been treating Vincent and Lars like air all this time. These two, despite being a clown and a goof, were also important members of the club and must have had their own opinions.
"So," Kai turned to the other two. "What do you two think? Not that it means I'm going to change my stance just because you disagree."
[Tyrant detected.] Yuel rolled his eyes.
"Hmm," Lars crossed his arms and thought hard about this problem. Or, at least, he pretended to. "I dunno. No matter who we gonna pick, we still gonna take the nationals, yo!"
[He wasn't thinking at all after all!] Yuel facepalmed.
"So," Kai said. "You're fine if we give the last spot to a female, right?"
"Eeeeh," Lars scratched his head. "I mean, probably? I think all dudes should get a fair chance. But, I know girls have it harder sometimes because some dudes in grade school are like 'ew, girls'. Sad story, yo."
"In short, you got no real stance," Yuel said.
"Welp, I guess I don't. I'mma let the smart people handle this one. No matter who joins, I know we gonna win in the end."
"That's some confidence," Kai noted.
"Yes, foolish baseless confidence. The usual." Yuel shrugged. "What about you, Vincent?"
"Hmhmhm~" Vincent giggled suspiciously. "So, mortals, you have come to seek the advice of the Old One?"
"Okay, Vincent got no valuable input either. Moving on-"
"Alright, alright!" Vincent begged. "Here's what I think: you both got some good points so we probably won't agree on anything at this rate. Then, how about we first get some data to work with? Let's wait until we have the list of candidates and then decide."
"Sounds like you're suggesting to postpone the inevitable," Yuel said.
"Perpahs. But, want to hear an interesting story? Last year, the club already allowed girls to apply. Do you see any female Juniors here?"
"Right, because only two girls applied and they weren't even Lv.50 so they didn't even have a rank. So, n.o.body vouched for them. Even Kai didn't s.h.i.+ll for them."
"Of course," Kai crossed her arms. "There's a limit to how lenient we can be. Lv.50 is a little out there but there's no excuse for not being at least Lv.30. You get that far alone in like two/three weeks if you're at least a semi-serious about the game."
"I see," Yuel nodded. "So, at least you got a standard. It's not like you're going to just accept any girl that shows up. We can work with that."
"You want to set minimum requirements?" Kai asked. "I'm down. As far as I'm concerned, if she's at least Lv.30 then it's good enough."
"I think we should set Lv.50 as the minimum," Yuel argued. "It should be somebody who is at least qualified for Ranked."
"Lv.50 can be pretty rough alone, I know that from experience. You have to carry all these toxic a.s.sholes who think they know what they're doing just because they're 'higher level'. It's a pain in the a.s.s."
"Yeah, I know that feeling," Yuel nodded. He had plenty of such experiences while grinding in Casual mode. He only started making real progress once Lars and Julia joined the effort. If he continued grinding alone, it would have taken him a long time to hit Lv.50. In fact, he might have quit the game before reaching that point.
"Okay, Lv.30 is fine, I guess" Yuel conceded. "But, we shouldn't give them a free pa.s.s. We need to hold at least a minimal test to confirm their motivation and see serious they are about the game."
"Something like an interview?"
"I suppose. Maybe play a match or two together to get a feel for how they carry themselves."
"Sounds like a ha.s.sle if we have to do it for every single candidate."
"I wouldn't worry too much about that," Vincent said. "Remember, last year we only got two female candidates. Who knows how many we're getting this year? Might as well be zero."
"Hey, don't jinx it," Kai grumped.
"I think Vincent is onto something," Yuel said. "It might be premature to discuss the selection process now. Let's see how many students actually apply and then make our decision."
"Fair enough," Kai nodded.
With that, the judgment was postponed until next week. The group finished polis.h.i.+ng the registration form and played a few Ranked matches together, then called it a day.
Will any girls apply to the Cla.s.smancers club? Will any of them be skilled enough to get Yuel's approval? Only time will tell.
Classmancers - A MOBA Esport Story 143 The Reserved Spo
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