Classmancers - A MOBA Esport Story 8 Friends
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To maintain a good win ratio at this high level, Yuel and Lars had to execute finer plays than ever.
"Let's go, dude!" Lars charged toward the enemy. His HP was low, but he trusted his partner to follow up with the appropriate CC.
"Eh!? W-Wait!" Yuel flinched. Weren't they going to retreat!? Sure, the enemy Pirate was fleeing, but he was healthy with 50% HP. Lars barely had 10% HP, there was no way he'd survive more than two hits from the Pirate. Attacking was suicide!
[Wait, I think I see it.] Yuel took a moment to a.n.a.lyze the recent events. The Pirate had just used Backfire Cannon, which meant he didn't have any escapes right now. The angle at which he fired the cannon was far from optimal, so for a brief moment he found himself in a bad position. If Yuel took a couple of steps forward and froze the Pirate with Ice Coffin, then Lars could barrage the frozen Pirate to death. They'd make a huge comeback in the match!
Alas, by the time Yuel finished processing all of that - it was too late. He missed the brief opportunity for executing that play and couldn't keep up with Lars's pace. In other words: Lars was charging alone to his death! Ugh!
[If he dies here it's all over for us...!] Yuel had to prevent the worst case scenario by all means! Therefore, he froze Lars with Cryo-Freeze. Lars was rooted in place, unable to pursue the enemy any further. But, at least he was alive.
"Gah, he got away!" Lars pouted.
"My bad." Yuel apologized. "I figured out what you were going for, but I didn't make it in time. You made the right play there."
This wasn't the first time it happened. By playing with Yuel every day, Lars also learned how to punish enemies' mistakes. On the large scale, his ability to punish mistakes paled compared to Yuel's. However, when it came to small fights, he could make amazing split-second decisions which even Yuel missed.
In the end, they lost that match. If Yuel acted faster, they could had taken out the Pirate and would had swung the match in their favor. He truly missed a golden opportunity there.
"Sorry, I don't know how I missed that play." Yuel bit his lip. Even though n.o.body blamed him, knowing that the team lost because of his misplay was depressing.
"Hey, look over here for a second." Lars said.
"Hm? Wh AH!?" Yuel flinched. A fist! A fist came flying straight into his face!
He raised his arms and retreated, nearly falling off his chair. He closed his eyes and braced himself for a strong impact... which never came.
"So slow, dude!" Lars's punch stopped right in front of Yuel's nose. "If I tried to hit ya for real, your nose would be inside yo brain by now."
"What was that for?" Yuel frowned.
"Just testing your reaction time. You're real slow as h.e.l.l, yo."
"Sorry for not practicing self-defense." Yuel made a face. "But I admit, reacting quickly isn't exactly my strongest point. Everybody have a weakness or two."
"Tch, it must be because you're too used to chess. They give you like 5 years to make a single move, right?"
"No, there's actually a time lim-"
"And what's with all these games?" Lars flipped through Yuel's drawer as if he owned the place. "Almost everything you got is turn-based! Don't you have any action games? Where are your shooters, dude?"
"I don't play shooters."
"Huh? Why's that?"
"Because... I always die without achieving much." Yuel averted his eyes.
"Heh, lemme guess: You're one of 'em noobs who spray bullets all over the place once they run into somebody, right?"
"Yeah, my aim isn't that good."
"Dude, please. That's not a problem of aiming, you're just startled and don't react fast enough. It's like how you took a freakin' millennium to react to my punch just now. I could have scored like fifty headshots in that time."
"Isn't it common sense to be surprised by an unexpected attack?"
"Sure, but you're supposed to brace yourself before the attack hits you, not after."
"Well sorry, but that punch was too fast for me."
"Nah, I'm tellin' ya it's your reaction that's slow. Hmm." Lars crossed his arms. "Oh, I know! It must be because you're holed up at home the whole day!"
"Excuse me? We both spend most our time on Cla.s.smancers."
"Yeah, but I work out in the mornings and evenings."
"Seriously?" Yuel was taken aback. "I thought you're playing Cla.s.smancers first thing in the morning."
"Nah, I begin my mornings by jogging two kilometers."
"Is that so. Well, you're a basketball ace, after all." Yuel nodded to himself. "Of course you'd keep yourself in shape."
"Nah, that's not it." Lars shook his head. "We didn't even jog in the club, we always sprinted like crazy. The coach even told us to not jog too much because it develops the wrong muscles or some s.h.i.+t."
"Guess that makes sense." Yuel vaguely remembered reading something like that while researching basketball. "So why jog then?"
"It's a good way to keep myself in shape. And when you're in shape, you do literally everything better. You can even react to punches faster, yo! You should totally try jogging too!"
"I'll pa.s.s. I'm not athletic enough for that." Yuel had enough bitter memories from trying sports at school. Now that he had Cla.s.smancers, he didn't want anything to do with physical exercise ever again. He was playing an esport, not a sport.
"Don't worry! Jogging is easy! You did that in PE, right?"
"You mean walking? Sure did."
"Geh, you're on of these lazy b.u.ms, aren't ya?" Lars made a disappointed face. "Betcha didn't even try running."
"I tried a few times. Always ran out of breath and almost collapsed."
"Lame! So lame! And you call yourself a man!?"
"You know, being a boy doesn't immediately turn me into a Hercules like you."
"Pft, haha! At least the reaction speed of your tongue is pretty good!" Lars took a deep breath after laughing for a whole minute. "Anyway, remember that pro match you showed me the other day? Remember that cool play by the Carry and Support? The one you said was a split-second decision."
"Yes, of course." Yuel nodded. It was a brilliant play which was stuck in both of their heads.
The Carry and Support, Elf and Knight, were running away with low HP. But then, they noticed how the Warlock pursuing them got a little too close. It was just for a moment that the Warlock's positioning was poor, he was definitely going to correct that right away. It was just a matter of a couple centimeters, really.
Nonetheless, the Elf and Knight immediately turned around to punish that tiny error. The Knight used Blink to instantly teleport behind the Warlock, which was only possible thanks to the Warlock's slightly poor position. If the Warlock were just two steps behind, Blink's range wouldn't had reached all the way behind his back.
Right after teleporting, the Knight activated s.h.i.+eld Bash without giving the Warlock any time to react. He rammed his s.h.i.+eld into the Warlock's back, stunning and pus.h.i.+ng the Warlock closer to the Elf.
On the other side, the Elf was already prepared with Elven Sight, a skill which changed his POV to first person. It granted him a zoom in and extended the range of his shots just enough to hit the pushed Warlock.
This was a potentially game swinging moment, so the camera switched to the Elf's first person view for extra drama. Needless to say, the commentators and the audience were going wild.
To take down the Warlock, the Elf had to quickly land 5 shots. Was that even feasible considering the relatively short stun of s.h.i.+eld Bash? The Elf didn't waste a single moment! He fired the first arrow while the Warlock was sill in the middle of being pushed.
The first arrow hit. The second arrow also hit. The third hit. The fourth hit as well! That was it! One more arrow and the Elf would finish it! He nocked the arrow and was about to draw-
The Warlock broke free of the stun and rolled toward the Elf! He performed that roll the very instant the stun ended, he undoubtedly spammed that command the whole time he was stunned. This roll was a smart play which threw a wrench in the Elf's plans!
Knowing that he had no chance of escaping, the Warlock chose to roll straight toward the enemy. The Elf was so low on HP that a single basic attack would prove fatal. If the Elf's next arrow missed, the Warlock would be able to land the finis.h.i.+ng blow! It'd be over!
After firing four arrows in a row into the same exact spot, would the Elf commit the mistake of firing the fifth arrow to the same place?! With the arrow already nocked while the Warlock was rolling, n.o.body could tell how this fight would end!
The Elf didn't misfire. Even under such pressure, he wasn't tempted to release the winning arrow too soon. He carefully watched the Warlock's movements and shot down the Warlock in the middle of the roll. In such a tight spot, the Elf and Knight turned the situation around and sw.a.n.g the game in their team's favor!
Lars shouted like a fanboy during the Elf's last shot, but Yuel was more impressed by the how this whole engagement started. The Knight's decision to teleport behind the Warlock was simply genius. It was a split-second play which required an inhuman reaction speed. It was also extremely risky, as even the tiniest mistake would had offered the enemy a double kill on a silver platter. All these factors combined to create a breathtaking high-risk high-reward play.
"Doesn't that kinda remind you the play I tried this match?" Lars asked.
"That's true, I guess." Yuel averted his eyes. Even though the circ.u.mstances were quite different, Lars also attempted a high-risk high-reward play which was based on the enemy's mispositioning. [I see, so that's where he got the idea for that risky play.
Even though Yuel also watched the same pro play and even a.n.a.lyzed it in detail, he failed to execute a similar play himself. It wasn't like he lacked the game knowledge to notice that play. No, he [did] in fact notice the play. But, unlike Lars, he wasn't fast enough to execute it.
"Now tell me for real." Lars stared deep into Yuel's eyes. "Think you could ever pull such a sick play the way you're now?"
"Who knows. These pros are adults with lots of experience. Once I get that far, then surely..."
"Really? Even though you said that play requires 'inhuman reaction speed'?"
"Practice and experience help with executing plays faster."
"You really think they practiced this one super specific scenario? Dude, please."
"That's..." Yuel bit his lip. More experience would definitely help him execute common plays faster, but it wouldn't help with crazy plays which were born in the heat of the moment. That kind of brilliant play might had been forever impossible for Yuel.
"Remember I told you how Tai's brother plays Cla.s.smancers compet.i.tively in high school?" Lars asked. "You know Ivy High, right? It has the strongest high school team in the region. I actually heard a little about their training regime from Tai."
"Oh?" Yuel's eyes lit up. "They do anything special?"
"They jog, among things."
"They must work out regularly to stay in shape, yo. They even have two coaches: a Cla.s.smancers coach and a fitness coach."
"You're kidding..." Yuel thought he left physical exercising behind when he discovered Cla.s.smancers, but it returned to haunt him again in the worst way possible. Ugh.
"For the dudes on the main roster the training is like seriously strict, yo." Lars explained. "They gotta jog at least two kilometers every day."
"Oh, so that's why you..."
"Yup." Lars grinned. "I wanna join the strongest team when I get to high school, so I'm getting ready for that day!"
"Is that so." Yuel hung his head, unable to handle how dazzling Lars looked right now. While Yuel was busy leveling up his account the whole day just to get into Ranked, Lars was thinking far beyond and was preparing himself for the compet.i.tive scene. Yuel felt completely beaten.
"If the best team values exercising so much, then it must be truly important..." Yuel mumbled. "But, unlike you, I've always been bad at sports."
"Bad at sports? And who exactly decided that? Anybody can jog."
"Did you ever see my PE grades? They're abysmal."
"And what exactly did you do about it, yo?" Lars sneered. "Lemme guess: You read some dumb manuals to make up for brawn with brains, right?"
"I... yeah." Yuel hung his head. That's exactly right. Whenever he faced a difficulty with sports, he consulted books and online articles. After running out of breath during a jog, he studied how to improve his running form and how to breathe correctly. When he performed poorly at soccer, he researched positions, roles and team strategies.
"That's all s.h.i.+t, yo! You gotta exercise if you want results! You think I was born holding a basketball or something!?" Lars grabbed Yuel's collar. "Just look at me! I bet you thought I'd never learn how to play smart in Cla.s.smancers, right? But I kept playing and playing and playing, always listening to your freakin' advice! I may not be smartest dude in the world, but even an idiot can learn stuff if you drill it into him!"
"That's true..." Yuel bit his lip. Indeed, Lars barely made any glaring mistakes these days. He built the right items, retreated when necessary and sometimes even made sophisticated plays. He was a completely different person compared to the Lars from one month ago.
"So don't give me that s.h.i.+t, yo! Don't just give up without trying anything!" Lars shook Yuel. "I wanna play on the strongest high school team. But, even more than that, I wanna play on that team with YOU!"
"With me...?" Yuel's eyes went wide.
"Yeah, dude! We gonna form the strongest duo! The strongest combo of Carry and Support, yo!"
"Ah." Yuel trembled. Why? How was he supposed to react? Something about Lars's words set his insides on fire. "But why? Why me?"
"Huh? Isn't that obvious?" Lars smiled. "Your Support is sick and you taught me tons of stuff about the game. But most importantly: we're friends!"
"Friends..." Yuel stared at Lars with a dumb face. "Friends"? What exactly were "friends"? He realized the word felt alien to him.
Was there ever anybody Yuel truly called a "friend"? There was none. n.o.body at all. He wasn't exactly a loner, but he was alone.
He talked to some of his cla.s.smates from time to time, they even played Cla.s.smancers together. But were they friends? No really. In the end, they gave up on him and he gave up on them.
He always thought they'd become friends by playing a team sport together. Right, he... he wished for that, that's why he was so drawn toward team sports. Even more so than competing against others or outwitting them, what he really wished for was to play with other kids, to play with friends.
That's why he felt so terrible when John gave up on Cla.s.smancers because of him. He played lots of Cla.s.smancers with John and they shared some hobbies. He was sure they could become friends, but John gave up on him. Everybody gave up on him.
But Lars was different. Even when Yuel was trying to run away, Lars didn't give up on him. Lars kept reaching out, no matter what excuses Yuel gave. A true friend, huh. Perhaps.
"Whoa, what's with the silent treatment?" Lars blinked. "Don't tell me I'm the only who thought we're friends!?"
"H-Heh, who knows." Yuel forced a sarcastic smile while averting his eyes. His heart squeezed and his eyes turned gla.s.sy.
"Hey, are ya crying, dude? Sorry if I yelled too much..." Lars scratched his head.
"No, it's not that." Yuel covered his eyes. "I was just thinking of the h.e.l.l awaiting me."
"The h.e.l.l that is exercising." Yuel smiled. "I don't promise anything, but I'll give it a shot."
"Really!? Cool! Let's run two kilometers right away!"
"Wh!? W-Wait!" Yuel was dragged outside. [Two kilometers!? Is he trying to kill me!?]
It was absurd! Even so, Yuel secretly smiled because he wasn't alone anymore. With such a trusty friend by his side, he'd surely be able to endure anything... or so he thought.
"Haa... ugh... I'm... I'm dying." Yuel panted and wobbled as he tried to run. All his muscles screamed from pain.
"What the heck? We barely covered 400 meters, yo! Lame!"
"That... That's it... I'm done for... Ah!" Yuel's shaky legs gave in.
"The heck ya doing, dude?" Lars grabbed Yuel's shoulder before Yuel crashed into the ground. Phew, that was close.
"Haa... I... I can't keep up with this pace..." Yuel was about to pa.s.s out. "I can't do this after all. I quit."
"Hey, you just started! You gonna run away again!?"
"Heh, just kidding." Yuel smiled. "I just need to lower the pace because I'm not a sports beast like you. But I'll do it properly... starting tomorrow." He added after barely getting back home by leaning on Lars's shoulder.
Exercising was going to be h.e.l.l, but he promised to stick with it. He, too, wanted to attend Ivy High and play on the strongest high school team in the region. And more than that, he wanted to play on that team together with Lars. He couldn't allow himself to fall behind.
For the first time, he felt like he was working hard for more than just his own sake. He had a friend with whom he shared the dream of climbing to the top of Cla.s.smancers. If they kept working hard, they'd surely reach the high school compet.i.tive scene and the pro scene that laid beyond it.
One day, they might even become the kind of pros who made breathtaking plays and inspired younger generations. But until that day, Yuel first had to defeat his greatest enemy yet: jogging! Ugh.
Classmancers - A MOBA Esport Story 8 Friends
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Classmancers - A MOBA Esport Story 8 Friends summary
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