Classmancers - A MOBA Esport Story 174 The Jungler's Help
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[Will her gimmick work a second time?] Yuel wondered. Last time, Nia caught the Dark Knight off guard with that suicidal roll. Will the Dark Knight be dumb enough to fall for it again? This was a qualifier match, so there was a chance this Dark Knight wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed.
Unfortunately, the Dark Knight cooked up a counter of sorts. After he eliminated Nia's entire minion wave, he backed away and let his minions push on their own. He didn't dare to get close to Nia, which stopped him from overextending. It was overcompensation but the guy clearly learned a lesson. Nia's play successfully seeded terror in him.
Though uncharacteristically defensive for a Dark Knight, this response made a lot of sense. Even without joining any pushes from now on, he has dealt more than enough damage to the Turret at this point. Nia's Turret was hanging by a thread and she couldn't stop the minions from invading because the Vampire lacked fast AoE clear. So, even without the Dark Knight's help, the minions delivered damage on the Turret with every push.
[This isn't good.] Nia sulked. The team's Ninja didn't go out of his way to gank Top, so n.o.body was there to help her stop the invaders. It was over.
『An allied Turret has been destroyed!』
In the end, the Turret crumbled. Despite all her efforts, Nia lost her important line of defense.
Wham! A dark slash wiped out her entire army again. And, this time, she couldn't even fall back to her Turret to defend. Her line of defense was now all the way back near the base, at the Top Golem. She had no choice but to retreat all the way back there and surrender lane control to her opponent.
Even in this desperate situation, there was no news from the team's Jungler. The guy was sleeping on this whole development.
"We lost," Nia pouted and started a surrender vote.
"Wh!?" Yuel was taken aback. "Cancel that at once. It's too early to give up."
"It's less than 10 minutes in and they're already pus.h.i.+ng the Golem. GG. We're ded."
"I agree, that's a severely disadvantageous position to play from. But, it's no reason to give up."
"Hrm, ok," Nia canceled her surrender vote. Only a few MOBAs out there allowed people to change their surrender votes like that before the voting was over. The game allowed even Nia, the one who initiated the voting, to change her mind.
Truly, this feature was a G.o.dsend. With its help, Yuel convinced many of his online teammates to not give up even when the circ.u.mstances seemed dire. By changing the mind of at least one person, it was possible to avert a disaster.
Thankfully, only one other person voted for surrender. The vote remained anonymous so they couldn't tell who on their team was the quitter. Most likely, it was somebody who was currently flaming Nia in chat for the situation in Top. After all, with all said and done, losing a Turret so early into the game was demoralizing. In a compet.i.tive match, it a.s.sured defeat.
However, this was just a qualifier match with players of unknown caliber, so anything could happen. That Dark Knight only won the lane thanks to the Dark Knight's early-game advantage. Other than that, he wasn't a particularly impressive player.
On top of that, the one time he died seemed to have shaken him badly. He probably won't be taking any risks in the near future. So, despite losing the lane, Nia was still indirectly stalling the Dark Knight.
The Dark Knight was overwhelming the team right now but his power advantage won't last forever. Once they hit mid-game, the guy will be exposed as the mediocre player he was. At that point, Nia's team will mount a counter-attack. Hopefully.
"Phew, finally," Nia sighed as the Dark Knight finally decided to give her a break and stop pressuring her at the Golem. The guy turned around and vanished into the jungle.
[Is he recalling?] Nia wondered. [Well, not like I care.] She turned around and ran into the base. She was so close to the base it was faster to get there by foot than via recalling.
"I wouldn't be so happy about this," Yuel said. "There's a chance he went to steal your camps. Or, even worse, to gank Mid. You need to call missing and warn Mid."
"Oh, ok." Nia used a macro for missing enemy in Top and a ping that told their Sorcerer to watch out. Alas, that didn't quite help...
『An ally has been killed!』
The Dark Knight rent asunder the Sorcerer and proceeded to attack the Turret.
『An allied Turret has been destroyed!』
"See? Told you." Nia pouted. "We're ded."
"This is indeed rough," Yuel didn't have any rea.s.suring words to spare this time. Dark Knight was a "noob stomper" for a reason. A dysfunctional team like this had a very hard time dealing with this harbinger of doom.
『A surrender vote has started for your team.』
This time, it wasn't Nia. The Sorcerer initiated the vote. Though, his reasoning was probably all the same: "I lost the lane so it's over."
[Such a weak will.] Yuel shook his head. As he thought that, another player voted in favor of surrendering.
"What's that supposed to mean?" Yuel asked. "You're throwing again?"
"But, we lost," Nia pouted.
"You haven't lost until you see the『DEFEAT』 message on your screen. Stop acting like every little problem means the end of the world."
"Hrm, ok," Nai withdrew her vote again. Another player placed a surrender vote but two weren't enough to decide a surrender. Yet again, the team dodged a disaster.
"Defend Mid for now," Yuel said. "You'll have to play the patience game for a while."
"I dunno how we gonna win with two Turrets down..."
"It's rough but not impossible. You just have to wait until mid-game. The Dark Knight will become much less of a threat by then and you'll be able to-"
『TheGoldenStar (Sorcerer) has left the game!』
"Wow," Yuel narrowed his eyes. "People ragequit even during qualifiers? I heard that makes the system think poorly of you."
"Ok, now we're ded for sure, right?"
"If he doesn't return then, unfortunately, yes. Give him a couple of minutes. If he's not back, you're free to surrender."
If it were up to Yuel, he'd fight 4v5 to the bitter end. However, that'd be playing on uneven ground so it was reasonable to quit. A 4v5 of this type was an "unrealistic" scenario as far as compet.i.tive play was concerned, so there wasn't much practical knowledge or skill to gain from it.
Three minutes later and there was still no sign of the Sorcerer returning. So, the team surrendered. It was an anticlimactic and unfortunate finale.
[Thanks for nothing, Thep.o.o.pStar.] Nia grumped as another red X appeared on her qualifier record. After this match, she now had one win and four defeats.
"Gufu..." Nia sunk in her chair. At this rate, the devs gonna invent a new Wood league below Bronze and throw her in there.
"You're not queueing for another game?" Yuel asked.
"Break time," Nia put down her controller and fished in her bag. She threw a glance at Yuel and returned to her fis.h.i.+ng. Then, she pulled out a bunch of chocolates.
"Hrm," She stretched a bar of chocolate toward Yuel.
"Why, thank you," Yuel accepted the offer. "I see you don't discriminate against me this time."
"It's payment for replacing Tipmancer."
[So, I'm just an app, huh.] Yuel smiled wryly but accepted the payment for his hard work. Frankly, it wasn't easy dealing with Nia so a reward was nice. The dark chocolate hit the spot. [Just how many different snacks this does girl carry in her bag, anyway?]
"Yo, we're done with the match," Lars called out. "Wanna join us for the next one?"
"No, you can go ahead," Yuel said. "I rather watch Nia's matches some more. She got a lot to learn."
"Welp, okay then," Lars shrugged. "Let's go, my dudes! Another ez victory!"
[They seem to be doing well.] Yuel thought. Ben was in the clubroom for a change so they formed a full team even without Yuel. The fact they were on a winning streak only proved how little difference Yuel made as a Top Laner. Even Ben, with his relatively unpolished skill, was more than enough for the team to fare well.
After a needlessly long half-hour break, Nia queued into her 6th qualifier match. This time, the other players respected her early role call and let her play Jungler.
"Guh, Tipmancer still saying Rogue isn't that good right now," Nia scrolled through the Jungler tier list.
"It's correct," Yuel nodded. "Rogue is lacking some tools to be truly compet.i.tive."
"Weird. I played it a bunch before discovering Tipmancer and it worked. I even steamrolled sometimes."
"I'm sure you did. Rogue is like Dark Knight, it's good at steamrolling uncoordinated teams. Especially, teams which don't ward enough."
"Yes, it's a nice advantage to have in online matches. But, in the end, it suffers from the same problems Dark Knight got, except for Rogue the payoff is much lower. Even when Rogue gets ahead early, it's not going to be as dominating as Dark Knight."
"Sad story," Nia said. "I'll take Ninja then, since Shadow is banned as always."
This match proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Ninja was one of Nia's best cla.s.ses, both in Duel and in MOBA. She knew how to farm camps efficiently and she frequently snuck up to enemies for a gank. She lay low during the early-game, then went on a killing spree during the mid-game.
『You have killed an enemy!』
She snuck up to the unsuspecting Electromancer and smashed him into the ground with Izuna Drop. It was over in a matter of seconds.
[He should've hugged the tower with that HP.] Yuel criticized the Electromancer. The guy refused to fall back despite being at 60% HP. It's as if he didn't even consider the possibility of being ganked by Nia.
And, this wasn't a one-time occurrence. Almost every kill Nia scored had a similar pattern. For some reason, the enemy team never saw her coming. The way she blended into the background and made her enemies lower their guard was impressive. It almost felt like a real superpower. Almost.
["Vanis.h.i.+ng Phantom", huh.] Yuel smiled wryly. Even though he understood the theory behind it, the way it played out in practice took him aback every time a new. If this approach works in the compet.i.tive scene as well, it'll be huge.
Unfortunately, despite Nia scoring kills on Mid and Bot, their Top was in a difficult situation. The enemy Monk has been pressuring their Knight for a while now and Nia has been neglecting the lane. Her excuse was that she "won't get any kills" there. A silly argument. Yuel will have to eventually tell her to-
"Hm, Top is in trouble," Nia mumbled. "Anything I can do about it? I don't think I can get a kill on that Monk."
"Ah," Yuel blinked. Yes! Finally! Nia saw the light! "If you can't convert a gank into a kill, just pressure him into retreating. If you feel like experimenting and want to optimize time, you can just send your clone over there and scare him away, without actually going all the way over there yourself."
"Oh, that's smart," Nia nodded. She snuck up toward Top and sent a clone in the direction of the lane. [Will this work? Hehe, will be funny if it does.]
The trick worked like a charm. Even though the Monk has been confidently dominating the lane the entire match, he ran away like a scaredy-cat the moment he saw the approaching Ninja clone. He had no way to tell whether this was the real Nia or not and, either way, it was a big red flag.
From his perspective, either that Ninja was the real deal and was coming to kill him, or it was a clone, which implied the real Ninja was nearby in stealth. Either way, it was a dangerous situation so it was safer for the Monk to retreat and surrender some lane advantage.
"Kuku, it really worked," Nia smirked. "I didn't get a kill, tho."
"That again?" Yuel spat a sigh. "As I said, a Jungler's job isn't just to get kills. Sometimes, you have to apply pressure on lanes even if you won't get kills from it."
"Yeah, I kinda get it now," Nia said. Ganking a lane for something other than a kill or split-pus.h.i.+ng seemed weird at first, but it was actually pretty effective sometimes. Just by spooking the Monk with her clone, she stopped the guy's aggression and let the allied Knight regain some footing on the lane. It was a little hard to immediately appreciate the consequences of this play as the Jungler, but their Top Laner surely appreciated this gesture. She kinda knew how it felt because she played Top just the other match.
Just like this Knight, Nia was pressured hard on lane during the previous game and needed some help from the Jungler. However, that Jungler had none to spare. That sc.u.mbag neglected Top and never helped her out. Maybe he was scared of the Dark Knight (a legit concern) or maybe he didn't see any opportunities to get kills. Either way, Nia got stuck in Top alone without any help. It wasn't exactly what one would call a fun experience.
So, now Nia understood that any help she could give the Knight this match will be much appreciated, even if she couldn't get a kill for herself this way. Still, she had no idea how to go about making such weird unintuitive plays. So, good thing she had the Yuelmancer app with her, the successor to Tipmancer!
Yuel was a tad harsh and liked lecturing like he was some professor, but he knew a lot. So, it was a good idea to consult him as often as possible. He had all the answers to everything. Nia should definitely make it into a habit to ask him for advice on every little thing. Ez high-level decision making.
Classmancers - A MOBA Esport Story 174 The Jungler's Help
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Classmancers - A MOBA Esport Story 174 The Jungler's Help summary
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