Classmancers - A MOBA Esport Story 30 The Stage Of Those Who Didn't Make I
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By Howard's order, Lars was also mixed into the second string's core training. This allowed the second string to hold intense 3v3 matches, helping them polish their teamwork in team fights. Even though Lars didn't get to partic.i.p.ate in the scrimmage, he had no problem sacrificing his free time even after school, all for the sake of the second string.
"I gotta make sure you win your debut match, dude." Lars proclaimed to Yuel. "If you dudes can improve by playing against me, then I'm available anytime."
"Thanks." Yuel smiled wryly. How did Lars feel as he played with the second string? Yuel couldn't even imagine.
Lars thristed to play compet.i.tively as strongly as Yuel, maybe even more. Yet, he didn't make the cut this time. It took real strength to be able to help the second string around the clock despite that. Yuel wasn't sure he could had done the same in Lars's shoes. Lars was truly amazing.
As the second string practiced together, it became apparent that Trever, despite being nominated as the captain, couldn't lead the team at all in the strategic department. "Just pick your best cla.s.ses and we'll stomp these guys." That was Trever's typical response whenever team strategy was brought up. Thus, Yuel and Gilbert handled most of these matters, Trever was just there to provide moral support or whatever.
Before long, the important day was here. The scrimmage took place in ProCenter, a game center which also hosted various Esport tournaments. Some came here to play casually with friends, whereas others came to fight to the death in serious tournaments. Since Yuel barely played video games with others before Cla.s.smancers, he had no idea such places even existed until this year.
ProCenter hosted tournaments for a myriad of game genres, such fighting, racing, battle royale and, of course, MOBA. Since Cla.s.smancers was an Esport recognized in schools, it received extra attention. Huge halls and well-kept rooms were reserved for both teams today, even though the upcoming matches weren't even part of a tournament.
The halls were designed to satisfy any compet.i.tive needs, coming with cutting edge computers, a large stage, huge monitors, tons of crowd seats and literally everything. There were even larger and flas.h.i.+er stadiums deeper into the center. These were reserved for the regional tournament and pro matches. Yes, even some pro matches were hosted here.
This wasn't the first time Yuel came to ProCenter in the past year. Most of the first string scrimmages were hosted here and the whole club accompanied the team for these matches. However, this was the first time he came here as a fellow partic.i.p.ant, not just as part of the crowd.
s.h.i.+vers danced across his skin. For the first time, he felt pressure as he stepped inside. This was the compet.i.tive stage he was yearning for, the one he trained so hard for. Even though it was only going to be a scrimmage and he was merely on the second string, he was definitely here - on the same stage pros played on.
"Hey, what's up, kid?" Trever asked. "You look like a zombie."
"Nothing, just a little tired." Yuel wobbled, barely keeping himself on his feet. His brain ran game simulations the whole night, so he barely got any sleep. He somehow managed to pull himself together until now, but the fatigue started getting to him.
"Haha, so nervous you couldn't sleep?"
"Something like that."
"There are some nice sofas in the back, you should lay down a little. We still got like an hour until the match anyway."
"That sounds greaaaaaa ah." Yuel almost collapsed as he imagined himself relaxing on comfy sofa. With Trever leading the way, they went to the private room arranged for the second string team.
It was a mere scrimmage, yet each team got a personal room. At the back of his head, Yuel understood the rooms were just built side-by-side with the stage, so it was a no-brainer to let teams borrow these rooms. Nevertheless, he couldn't help but feel like a VIP. He was almost like a pro! A pro who was about to pa.s.s out... ugh.
"You look like s.h.i.+t." Howard appeared beside them, coming from the first string's room. "Sure you're good to go today? I can switch you out, there are plenty players here raring to go.."
"I'm perfectly fine." Yuel mustered a serious expression.
"Pft, you look like some zombie lord." Howard chuckled. "But, these are good eyes. From the moment you accepted your spot on the team, you're no longer playing just for yourself. You're obligated to put on your best performance for those who didn't make the cut. So, I don't wanna hear excuses like 'I was tired'."
"I understand. I'm here to win, nothing less."
"Good, because their first string is pretty strong. It probably gonna be a close one for us, so the second string better do its job." Howard wrapped his arm around Yuel's shoulder and lowered his voice. "If you mess this up, everybody gonna be on your a.s.s later."
"I-I got it." Yuel gulped, a s.h.i.+ver jolted through his spine.
"Good, I trust you." Howard smacked Yuel on the back, then left. His words put quite the pressure on Yuel, but it was understandable. Even though the second string match wasn't the main event, it also played a role in determining today's overall winner.
Each string was scheduled to play five matches and the team with the most points by the end of the day was going to be declared victor. Each won game in the first string granted the team 2 points, whereas a win in the second string granted 1 point. In case the first strings were going to have a close match like Howard antic.i.p.ated, the performance of the second string could determine today's winner.
For example, if StormBlitz's first string were to go 3-2, the points were going to stand at 6-4. In case the second string were to be crushed with an embarra.s.sing 1-4, the final score would be 7-8, resulting in StormBlitz's loss. In other words, StormBlitz would lose the scrummage despite the first string winning more games, just because the second string sucked hard. No wonder Howard was so serious about this.
At the minimum, the second string had to win two out of five matches. As long as they went 3-2 or 2-3, the result of the second string matches would be rendered irrelevant for the total score. In this case, everything would be riding on the first string's achievements and the second string wouldn't be a liability anymore.
At first glance, the requirement to go at least 2-3 didn't sound that scary. However, 2-3 was just one loss away from 1-4, which could spell a disaster. They couldn't relax until they scored the two wins they needed.
But, that's just the bare minimum. Yuel wanted to put on a strong performance during his debut, so he needed to win at least four matches today. Not only would that showcase his skill and bring him a step closer to the first string, but it'd also provide backup for the first string. In case the first string were to stumble and go 2-3, the second string's 4-1 would transform that into a win for StormBlitz.
Not good, I'm getting lost in numbers again. Yuel shook his head. It's small thoughts like that which robbed him of his sleep last night, he always turned them into a full session. Right now, he had to use what little time he had to rest before the scrimmage, so he tried emptying his mind.
There's no need to worry so much about whether the team could win two or four matches today. Of course, if they could win 4 out of 5 and that'd be the reason StormBlitz won today, that'd put him in a great spot and- Ugh! Enough already!
He set up an alarm for 45 minutes from now and laid down on the sofa. After he finally defeated the nagging thoughts, he shut down his eyes and succ.u.mbed to slumber.
When he woke up, it was already time to head to the stage. As a custom, the two teams were to greet each other on stage before the match started. Trever was technically the "captain" of the second string, so he went ahead, dragging Yuel with him. Gilbert was more of a vice-captain than Yuel, but he shoved the job on the freshmen after calling it "a pain".
The representatives from the Leopards were a tall girl, most likely a senior, and an even taller guy, who looked like he didn't even want to be here.
"ComboBreaker, captain of the second string." The girl introduced herself and stretched her hand.
"Heh, a chick for captain? Pretty hot." Trever grinned and shook her hand. "WildDragon, nice to meetcha, sweetie. I don't have a girlfriend, in case you're wondering."
"I don't remember asking." Breaker made a face and pulled her hand. "And you?" She turned to Yuel.
"Um..." Yuel flinched. Apparently, the tradition was to introduce themselves using their nicknames. Ugh, how embarra.s.sing. "It's Chessmaster..."
"Chessmaster? Pft, you're sure modest. Then again, WildDragon isn't exactly tame either. Might as well call yourself TheBestPlayer."
"Believe it or not, we actually got somebody in the club with a nick like that"
"You don't want to know." Yuel sighed with a wry smile. It was a weird interaction. The girl standing in front of him was the captain of the enemy team, the one Yuel was about to fight against. Yet there they were, casually chit-chatting like it was the most natural thing in the world.
Were compet.i.tive matches normally like this? The image of cold and ruthless battles began crumbling in his mind. He was stiff like a statue at first, but the conversation helped him relax.
"Don't just stand there." Breaker turned to the guy accompanying her.
"Ah, what a drag..." The guy sighed and stepped forward. "The name's Freezer, let's have a good game and all that c.r.a.p."
"Haha, someone sure looks hyped up." Trever laughed.
"I know, right?" Breaker shook her head. "Guess he doesn't expect much from you. Honestly, neither do I."
"Hoho, confident, aren't we?" Trever grinned. " Then, how about we make a bet? If we win more matches, you'll give me your phone number."
"Is this clown really your captain?" Breaker raised an eyebrow.
"Yes, at least on paper." Yuel shrugged. "He's the senior, so we make him feel good by calling him 'captain'."
"Haha, you little...!" Trever smacked Yuel on the back.
"So, you also got seniors in second string." Breaker nodded to herself. "I see why you agreed to this match. Maybe you won't be a total bore after all."
"What do you mean?" Yuel asked.
"Our club is pretty big compared to others in the region." Breaker explained. "We got 28 members, so the second string is filled with seniors who didn't make the first string. We're all aching for some action, you know?"
"I-I see." Yuel flinched. Even though they were still chatting casually, he could sense burning determination behind Breaker's words. More specifically, the determination to mop the floor with StormBlitz's makes.h.i.+ft second string.
"That's why I'm glad you also got seniors on your team." Breaker said. "Otherwise, this rare opportunity to play an official match would be a total waste. This is our last year and probably the last chance we get to play in ProCenter, so we wanna make it count. Just imagine if you came at us with a bunch of freshmen, haha!"
"Yes, that'd be hilarious..." Yuel forced a smile.
"Speaking of which, which year are you, midget? You look pretty fresh."
"Err, that's..." Yuel averted his eyes.
"A freshman, of course!" Trever smacked Yuel's back. Gah! That goof had to come and say it! "He's a total rookie, so please go easy on him. Haha."
"You seriously put a freshman against us?" Breaker's smile vanished "And he's your vice-captain? Are you for real?".
"Let's just get this boring stuff over with." Freezer sighed. "I heard they don't even have an official second string, they literally put that team together for today's match."
"Are you serious? You guys didn't even practice as a team?"
"Hey, hey!" Trever exclaimed. "We did a bunch of training over the week, we're good to go!"
"A week..." Breaker mumbled. "Tch, I got up my hopes for nothing. You're right, let's just get this farce over with. Get ready to be styled on, scrubs." Breaker and Freezer turned around and strutted away.
"Heh, we'll see who gonna cry by the end of it!" Trever shouted their way, but they ignored him. They were confident they had this match in the bag, so they didn't feel like chatting anymore. Before the match even started, Yule's team disappeared from the enemy's radar. Ugh, such humiliation!
But, it was understandable. Even though he was just a freshman, he related Breaker's frustration as a senior. She and her teammates had been training for the past two years with the goal of making it into the first string, same as Yuel right now. Alas, even though this was now their last year of middle school, they were left to rot in the second string.
Not only that, but most teams in the region didn't even have a second string, so Breaker probably didn't get to play many official matches, if any. And now, when a rare opportunity to play in ProCenter finally presented itself, turned out Breaker was playing against a makes.h.i.+ft team that was a formed a week ago. It's only natural to be upset.
Right now, on this stage, gathered everybody who didn't make it. His opponents were the spitting image of his greatest fear: What if he also wasn't going to make it into first string during middle school? The mere thought of it depressed him to the core.
Fortunately, today was his first chance to destroy this grim future. Even though he was just a freshman, he already set foot on this stage. If he were to surpa.s.s the second string seniors today, it'd prove he was at least as good as them in his first year. From there, it'd take just one more step to get into the first string.
"Hey kid, what's wrong?" Trever called from the other side of the stage. "We gonna start warming up. Come on!"
"Coming." Yuel returned to earth and shook off the stressing thoughts. To achieve his grand ambitions, he first had to focus on the match at hand. He was going to conquer the stage of second strings, no matter what!
Classmancers - A MOBA Esport Story 30 The Stage Of Those Who Didn't Make I
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Classmancers - A MOBA Esport Story 30 The Stage Of Those Who Didn't Make I summary
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