Players who needed to participate in the playoffs returned to their respective teams and trained with their teammates for a few days to hone their tactics. They were very familiar with their teammates and their cooperation was very smooth.
The coaches of the major teams were surprised to find that the players who were selected for the national team had only participated in the training for half a month but they actually improved rapidly!
In particular, Mo Hantian’s marksmanship could hit one hundred shots without missing. Was this still the little crybaby princess from before? He was reborn! Xia Li not only got better at sudden encounters but when she encountered a large map, she didn’t run around like a headless chicken like before. At the very least, she could discern the direction. Coach Zhu was particularly pleased.
On July 4th, the playoffs of the S9 season of the Gun King Professional League officially opened.
Only the two eight teams in the regular season qualified for the playoffs and four teams would be eliminated in the first round. The remaining four teams would play the final showdown in the second round.
In previous years, the three big teams controlled by ‘capital’ like FAD, RED and TNG often ranked 4th to 6th. They sometimes even entered the second round of the playoffs to fight for the trophy.
This year, RED was completely cold and was still closed for rectification. FAD and TNG also had their popularity greatly affected due to the ‘shady turmoil’ of the national team tryouts some time ago.
In particular, the transfer of the fat and thin combination of TNG had greatly hurt their vitality. The remaining star players like Lu Xingyun and Zhang Yue couldn’t bear to support them at all.
Ever since the national team exposed the videos of their games, fans realized how weak these people were and countless people stopped being fans. Now in the playoffs, there weren’t many people at the TNG match scene to cheer them on. It was simply deserted compared to the previous huge crowds and posters all over the place.
In the first round of the playoffs, TNG collided with JZ and Jiang Shaoyu came to watch the match in person.
JZ was led by Lao Lin and Coach Gu was the best at the hot-blooded charger violent style of play.
The moment the game started, Lao Lin led his teammates to kill aggressively. He met Lu Xingyun at a corner and before Lu Xingyun could react, he was shot into a sieve by Lao Lin’s continuous bullets!
The rhythm of the game was soon controlled by Lao Lin.
[’JZ-laolin’ used Thomson-Flames to kill ‘TNG-LU’!]
Such notifications kept popping up on the screen. How did today’s Lao Lin look like his state was declining? He was injected with chicken blood, right? The coaches of the major teams watched the match from backstage and couldn’t help being terrified.
Did the national team’s training add a ‘blocking and killing a god’ buff to Lao Lin? He was too fierce! He carried his submachine gun and stood there, becoming an iron wall that was difficult to break through.
TNG was vulnerable in front of JZ. The playoffs were seven games with four wins and they directly scored 0:4.
The few fans who insisted on coming to the scene scolded them on Weibo: Retreat! Bad luck!
TNG became the first team to be eliminated from the playoffs.
After returning to the national team, Jiang Shaoyu approached Qin Xueyao and asked, “Did you watch the match today? What do you think of TNG’s performance?”
Qin Xueyao calmly commented, “The whole team was a mess and their rhythm was very chaotic.”
Jiang Shaoyu took out a document and handed it to her while saying, “Starting this year, the system of promotion and relegation will be reformed. The league has agreed to my proposal. The bottom three of the A-grade League and the top three of the B-grade League, the six teams will enter a competition area and play round-robin matches. They will fairly compete for three places in next year’s A-grade League.”
Qin Xueyao looked at the documents of the league and her eyes widened in disbelief. “In other words, in the future, there will be three places from the B-grade League that might be able to enter the A-grade League? In previous years, there was only one…”
Last year, their Snow Leopard team finished 2nd in the B-grade League and missed out on the promotion match. They were first this year but she couldn’t guarantee that they would be able to win.
Now it was changed to three places and three matches. They would enter the A-grade League according to their points. This meant the Snow Leopard team had an even higher chance. The VV team that performed well in the B-grade League might also be able to play a role!
Players of the B-grade League would have more chances to stand out while A-grade League players could no longer sit back and relax. As long as they were in the bottom three, they might be relegated. Qin Xueyao’s hands trembled slightly with excitement. Coach Jiang didn’t only want to change the selection method of the national team. What he wanted to change was the environment of the entire professional arena!
Jiang Shaoyu explained in a low voice, “Such rules will help increase the motivation of the players in the secondary league and also give the players in the A-grade League a sense of crisis. Every year, there are promotions, relegations and the rotation of new blood. This can improve the level of the entire professional league in China. More sponsors will focus on B-grade events and in the long run, the environment of the professional league will be healthier than before.”
Qin Xueyao had a sour nose as she bowed solemnly to Jiang Shaoyu. “Thank you for your concern for us players. The players of the B-grade League will be very happy to hear the good news!”
“Yes, the promotion and relegation competition will only start at the end of the year. Once the World Series is finished, go back and prepare well. Next year, I hope to see the Snow Leopard team in the A-grade League.”
Qin Xueyao nodded vigorously. “I know. We will definitely enter the A-grade League!”
Jiang Shaoyu paused before continuing, “Besides, I have another idea. I don’t know if your teammates will agree or not?”
Qin Xueyao hurriedly replied, “Just say it!”
Jiang Shaoyu explained, “The Snow Leopard team doesn’t have any important events recently and your base is in the capital. It is more convenient to go back and forth. I hope you can ask them to be a sparring team to help us prepare for the Asian Championship.”
Qin Xueyao was stunned for a moment. “Sparring team?”
“That’s right. The players of your team aren’t weak. The role of the sparring team is to replicate the classic tactics of other countries so our national team can study and crack them.”
Jiang Shaoyu took a sip of tea and continued, “Playing intra-team practice matches for a long time is like playing with the left hand and the right hand. The room for improvement is limited. The current national team needs more ‘enemies’ from outside and the Snow Leopard team is very suitable for being this ‘fake enemy.’ What do you think?”
Qin Xueyao was flattered. Letting the Snow Leopard team be the sparring team meant Coach Jiang thought highly of them! She replied without hesitation, “Thank you for your approval! Once I go back, I will tell them about it. They will definitely feel very honored to come to the national team for training.”
Jiang Shaoyu nodded. “Yes. You are the scout of the Snow Leopard team but the national team also needs you. Therefore, I will let Xiao Yezi fill in the scout position of the sparring team.”
Qin Xueyao froze for a moment. “…Brother Ye’s apprentice?”
“Yes. Ye Qingming went back to the YY team to play in the playoffs so Xiao Yezi is idle again. He has high talent and a strong imitation ability. I will ask him to imitate the scouting style of various countries and form a special sparring team with the four members of your Snow Leopard team. This will help the national team with their training.”
Qin Xueyao nodded with understanding. “I understand!”
The identity of a sparring opponent wasn’t very glorious. After all, they could only stand behind the scenes and couldn’t personally play in the arena. They had to imitate the tactics of other teams and let the national team kill them like a ‘beaten sandbag.’
However, the sparring team behind the excellent national team was inseparable from it.
At present, many players of the national team had to play in the playoffs. Those who stayed at the base couldn’t find opponents if they wanted to practice and cooperate. They could only go to the Korean server to play the rankings. They desperately needed a team to help them train. The Snow Leopard team was in the capital and it was indeed convenient for them to come over and act as a sparring partner!
It was only one month away from the Asian Championship and they had to train their lineup as soon as possible.
Qin Xueyao went back and told Yu Feng the news. Yu Feng responded with surprise. “F*k, a sparring partner? Isn’t this making us sandbags to be beaten by you every day?”
Qin Xueyao told him seriously, “Believe me, once you get used to being beaten, you will improve very quickly. Moreover, Coach Jiang of the national team is personally guiding you. If you weren’t in the capital and close to the base then you couldn’t ask for such an opportunity!”
Yu Feng thought about it and simply said, “No problem! Just have Coach Jiang tell us the time and we will go over to act as sandbags.”
In the YY team, Ye Qingming received Jiang Shaoyu’s notice. He immediately packed up his apprentice and sent him away.
Ye Qingming was suspended for half a year. The suspension was lifted in July and he was able to lead the team in the competition. This meant that his little apprentice didn’t need to play during the playoffs. It didn’t matter if he went to the capital to be a sparring partner for a month.
Xiao Yezi scratched his red hair. “Master, why do I feel from the expression on your face that you sending me to the capital is the same as sending me to the execution ground?”
Ye Qingming smiled and rubbed his apprentice’s head. “You must bring the inheritance I gave you. If the demon king asks you how to write a self-criticism, you can refer to how I wrote it before. However, you have to integrate it. You can’t copy it directly. Otherwise, he will see it and double the punishment.”
Xiao Yezi: “…So scary? Can I not go?”
Ye Qingming raised an eyebrow. “The boss is calling. If you dare to not agree, your career will come to an end.”
Xiao Yezi rushed downstairs with his luggage. “Then I’ll go!”
Looking at the back of his little apprentice, Ye Qingming smiled and shook his head. The little guy actually really wanted to go. His eyes were full of excitement. Let him be a sparring partner first and then he could report to the base as a player of the national team next year.
On July 5th, all five members of the national team’s sparring team arrived.
Jiang Shaoyu called them for a meeting. “Your task is to carefully study the past match videos and learn and imitate the style of South Korea, Japan, Vietnam and other Asian countries. You will assist the national team to practice tactics and cultivate a tacit understanding.”
He calmly looked at them. “The sparring team isn’t very pleasant to hear but you can gain a lot of knowledge in the process of sparring. I hope everyone will take the next training seriously and cherish this opportunity. Do you understand?”
They nodded vigorously. “We understand!”
For professional players, it wasn’t difficult to reproduce a set of tactics. It wasn’t 100% similar but they could imitate it around 80%.
That night, Jiang Shaoyu organized the sparring team and held a trial match with Pei Feng, Qin Xueyao, Hua Ran, Shu Chen and Shi Xiaobin who were at the base.
The two assaulters of the national team, Xia Li and Zhou Zhou were playing in the playoffs. The important output position of assaulter in the front row was missing. However, Shu Chen could be half an output to assist Hua Ran.
The Chen Hua duo had been teaming up in the Korean server and had long cultivated a tacit understanding.
Compared to when Hua Ran and Xia Li made the whole team a mess, the cooperation between Hua Ran and Shu Chen was extremely smooth. Hua Ran could safely and boldly rush forward while Shu Chen could protect him from death by his side. For a player like Hua Ran, the longer he lived, the greater the interference caused to the opponent.
Hua Ran and Shu Chen resisted the pressure of the front row, Qin Xueyao scouted the whole map, Pei Feng suppressed from a distance and Shi Xiaobin checked for shortcomings and filled in the gap.
This ‘dual medic’ system faced the encirclement and strangling of the sparring team and actually won.
However, the sparring team wasn’t just a sandbag to be beaten. The Snow Leopard team members had a tacit understanding with each other after two years of competition. In addition, there was Xiao Yezi’s first-rate imitation ability. They quickly adjusted their rhythm and counter-killed in return.
The practice back and forth allowed Jiang Shaoyu to find a lot of deficiencies in the team cooperation. Then he would improve it in the next match. This was more effective than fighting within the team.
Due to the absence of some players in this Asian Championship, the national team wasn’t complete and many tactics couldn’t be realized. Jiang Shaoyu could only try his best to arrange it.
After the sparring team imitated Japan, they started to imitate Singapore…
They reproduced all types of tactics for the national team to crack and practice.
In the blink of an eye, it was July 10th and the official website of the Gun King Asian Championship issued an announcement.
The list of countries and groupings for this year’s Asian Championship was released.
Group A: South Korea (KOR), India (IND), Singapore (SIN) and Thailand (THA).
Group B: Malaysia (MAS), Japan (JPN), Vietnam (VIE), Indonesia (INA), China (CHN)
Seeing this list, many countries were surprised. “Why did China sign up this year?”
“Didn’t they never play in the Asian Championship?”
In previous years, there were only eight teams in the Asian Championship and China was nowhere to be seen.
This year, China inexplicably signed up for the competition and there was one more team in Group B. The formation was destroyed.
The main focus of all countries was still on South Korea. After all, South Korea had been dominating the Gun King E-sports Project in Asia for a full five years. If they wanted to compete, they could only compete for second and third place.
E-sports in Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and other countries had developed rapidly in recent years and they had all won several second and third places at the Asian Championship.
As for China, it had always been very weak in world competitions so the coaches of various countries were very consistent in their thinking. ‘This is to make up the numbers, right? Don’t pay too much attention to them. In any case, they can’t get out of the group stage.’
Leave a Reply