In the following time, the national team practiced the lineups with a rhythm of two training matches per week. The Asian countries unknowingly became the best sparring partners of the Chinese national team.
The level of e-sports in Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia wasn’t comparable to Europe and the United States but they had different styles. This allowed Jiang Shaoyu to experiment with various lineups.
Under the tempering of a large number of practice matches, the level of the players of the national team was constantly improving.
Two months passed quickly. There were 16 training matches and the Chinese team played more than three times with the Asian countries. They played in the order of Endless Bloody Battle, Extreme Duel and Life or Death Explosion mode. From BO3 to BO5 and then BO7, this imitated the finals. The difficulty of the training matches was gradually increasing.
The coaches from various Asian countries sensed that Jiang Shaoyu was treating them as sparring partners but they didn’t want to refuse. It was because they also needed to compete with such masters to find the problems in their team cooperation. Such practice matches were mutually beneficial and they didn’t suffer a loss. Over time, the level of the sparring teams had improved by leaps and bounds.
The assistant coach of South Korea told the head coach Cha Injun about the news. “I heard that the Chinese side has been playing matches with Singapore, Malaysia and other national teams recently.”
Cha Injun said indifferently, “They used to have a group but they didn’t play with the Chinese team. This year, China won the Asian Championship. I had expected they would go to find China to play practice matches.” He paused and asked calmly, “Did you find all the game videos when Jiang Shaoyu led ACE in the past?”
The assistant coach replied, “I found it. I have recorded all of them and handed them over to the data department.”
Cha Injun nodded. “Okay. Let the data department do a statistical analysis as soon as possible. I need the information of each player of the Chinese team. The more detailed, the better. In addition, have you found the reason for ACE-Wing’s retirement that year?”
The assistant coach said softly, “I sent someone to investigate. He suddenly retired that year and the reason wasn’t announced. He went abroad in the following years but I can’t find out where he went and what he was doing.”
“How can that be?” Cha Injun touched his chin thoughtfully. “It seems that the origin of this Jiang Shaoyu isn’t simple. Otherwise, why can’t his whereabouts be found at all in the years when he disappeared after retiring?”
The assistant said, “I also think that someone behind him should be trying to protect him. They deliberately erased the reason for his retirement and the information of his past few years. Even stranger, his family is completely untraceable.”
Cha Injun frowned slightly. This was too strange. He asked hackers to search in China but they couldn’t find any black material on Jiang Shaoyu. There were too many mysteries about this Coach Jiang that made him interested.
At this time, in the Chinese team’s office, Jiang Shaoyu was also looking at the information of the Korean national team’s players sent by Qin Bo. South Korea’s national team had only recently formed and it wasn’t the same as the previous one.
To Jiang Shaoyu’s surprise, the captain of the Asian Championship and the winner of this year’s Best Newcomer Award, Jeong Jiwoo wasn’t selected. The other scout from the Asian Championship, Ahn Taehyeong, was selected.
The personal information of South Korea’s new coach, Cha Injun, was also found. Qin Bo said, “Cha Injun retired to go back and get married. When he was an e-sports player, he was very popular and eventually married a fan, a rich female omega. He rarely appeared after his marriage. This time, it was the Korean E-sports League who invited him out.”
Jiang Shaoyu wasn’t interested in the private affairs of this Coach Cha. He wanted to focus on the tactical style of Cha Injun when he led the team. This way, he could arrange the lineup in a targeted manner when the time came.
Jiang Shaoyu finished reading the roster of the Korean national team and said, “Qin Bo, please count the national team players of all participating countries. Before the start of the World Series, I need to know as much as possible about the opponents.”
Qin Bo nodded seriously. “Coach Jiang, rest assured. Some countries haven’t announced their lineup yet. I will keep an eye on the official websites of each country. Once announced, I will summarize the information for you as soon as possible.”
Jiang Shaoyu said, “Okay, thank you for your hard work.”
The World Series would have 32 national teams divided into 8 groups between A-H. The group rule was that according to the results of last year’s competition, the top 8 of the previous season would be placed in eight groups and they wouldn’t meet in the group stage. The remaining countries would be randomly drawn. This would avoid the mistake of the strong teams encountering each other and being eliminated early in the group stage.
The Chinese team had a terrible result in the last World Series and would definitely meet a team in the group stage that was in the quarterfinals of the previous season. In the case of bad luck, they might be in danger of qualifying from the group stage when bumping into a strong team.
Therefore, Jiang Shaoyu had to understand the opponents he might encounter in detail. He had to know himself and the enemy.
In the blink of an eye, it was October and the capital entered autumn. Jiang Shaoyu looked out from the dormitory balcony every day and could see the spectacular autumn scenery of the trees dyed golden.
The capital was a city with four distinct seasons. Once these leaves fell, the trees were depressed and winter would arrive. Then it would be time for the official departure of the national team.
There were only two months left.
Jiang Shaoyu was extremely busy organizing the training of the players and reading information from other countries.
The domestic A-grade League was also gradually coming to an end. This year, the BM team led by Liu Shaozhou and the HW team led by Zhou Yiran reached the finals.
The final was on October 20th. Jiang Shaoyu and Pei Feng went to the scene to watch the battle. The game venue was crowded with posters of BM and HW everyone. The screams of the fans were deafening.
Jiang Shaoyu sat backstage and remembered when he took his teammates into the venue for the S3 finals. Xiao Zhou’s face had been white from nervousness.
Today, Xiao Zhou had also become a captain and he had to carry the burden of the HW team. Seeing him walking toward the big stage with a personable and smiling face, Jiang Shaoyu couldn’t help feeling complicated.
The boy from that time had now grown up and matured, becoming the reliance of his teammates.
It was just that Xiao Zhou, the assaulter known as the ‘AK Prince’ by netizens, had never won the domestic championship. This was also the biggest regret in his heart, right? This year, HW paid a high price to sign TNG’s fat and thin combination. This greatly increased their strength and they were the most promising team to win the championship this year.
The match started and the coaches of both sides started the BP.
BM took the lead. They really chose the explosion mode that they were best at. Captain Liu was recognized as the strongest police commander in the circle and BM’s defensive battle was almost airtight. The bandits couldn’t break through at all and they really won the first game.
In the second HW home game, they immediately chose the Endless Bloody Battle mode and took out the quick assault map that Captain Zhou was best at. The existence of a large number of obstacles limited Liu Shaozhou’s performance.
The two sides fought back and forth and it was extremely fierce. From 1:1 to 2:2 and 3:3, they finally entered the tiebreaker.
The map randomly selected during the tiebreaker was Guanghua Middle School and it was the explosion mode.
The score between the two sides was deadlocked. At the critical moment, Zhou Yiran suddenly fired from the corner with an AK assault rifle. This wave of firing instantly killed three people in the BM front row. They won three kills and reversed the situation!
At the match venue, Zhou Yiran’s fans shouted with excitement.
Jiang Shaoyu sighed from the venue. “Xiao Zhou has really changed a lot. The gentle and shy guy from before is now a male god in the eyes of fans.”
HW Won the tiebreaker and won the finals with a score of 4:3!
There was thunderous applause at the scene. Zhou Yiran in the soundproof room stood up and hugged his teammates with a smile. The fat and thin combination that had been ignored by TNG let out tears of excitement. They had won the championship!
Pei Feng said, “After Xiao Pang transferred to HW, he really played better and better! TNG is a stupid club that buried too much talent.”
Shu Chen sat on the cold bench in TNG for a long time and the fat and thin combination wasn’t taken seriously. In the past, the domestic environment was very bad. Under the intervention of capital, the major clubs were busy making stars. Only a handful of players were serious about playing games and many potential players weren’t treated well.
Ever since his master became the head coach of the national team, this situation had slowly improved. The clubs that didn’t take it seriously rolled over one by one and the clubs that played seriously reached the final four.
Every e-sports player with potential and dreams could shine on the stage. Talents were no longer buried and the useless players showed their true faces. The entire e-sports circle spoke with strength and there was healthy competition. The level of the Chinese zone was getting stronger and stronger. Perhaps this was what his master wanted to see the most?
After the match, Pei Feng drove his master back to the base.
Jiang Shaoyu took out his phone and sent a message to Zhou Yiran, “Congratulations on winning the championship.”
Zhou Yiran quickly replied, “Thank you, Brother Yu. I was looking for you backstage just now to invite you for a meal together. Why did you and Xiao Pei leave so quickly?”
Jiang Shaoyu said, “Your HW team should’ve arranged a celebration party, right”? It isn’t appropriate for me to go to dinner. You celebrate with your teammates first. After you finish everything, report to the national team.”
“Okay! I will report to the national team tomorrow!”
The domestic A-grade League was officially over. The national team could finally be fully assembled. For the next month, they would have to race against time to determine the lineup tactics and focus on practicing some home maps to ensure they could score points in the match.
The Chinese professional league issued an official announcement: Contestant to the HW team for winning the A-grade championship. Zhou Yiran is the FMVP player of the finals and the officials will make an exclusive championship skin for him.
The next day, Zhou Yiran and Liu Shaozhou finished the finals and came to the national team’s base to report. Jiang Shaoyu convened a meeting and determined the few home maps of the World Series for everyone to practice.
In the previous two months of practice matches, the tacit understanding between teammates had been cultivated. In addition, there were map tasks in daily training. Everyone could now draw most of the game maps with their eyes closed. Everyone quickly adapted when changing maps.
After a few team practice matches, it was already 10 p.m. and the replay ended at midnight. The players who were accustomed to staying up late went back to their dormitories and prepared to play the game in the darkness.
At this moment, a message suddenly popped up in the group called the ‘National Team’s Victim Squad’. It was sent by Pei Feng. “October 24th is Coach Jiang’s birthday. Should we throw him a celebration?”
Hua Ran asked, “October 24th? Why do I feel like this number is familiar?”
Yezi sent a grinning emoji, “This is the room number of our big streamer, Fred’s live stream room. Every time the live stream room is promoted, it is the 1024 live stream room! You played ranking matches with Fred on a live stream before. Don’t you remember?”
Hua Ran hit his head. “No wonder why this number is so familiar. It turned out that Fred set his master’s birthday as the room number of his live stream room. Sure enough, he is a true love fan!”
Pei Feng: “……”
Hua Hua, this heartless guy, was joking but this joke was really correct. A true love fan—the key wasn’t the ‘fan’ but the words ‘true love.’
In the past, Pei Feng didn’t know about his feelings for his master but now he had figured it out. If he didn’t regard his master as the most important person, how could he remember everything about his master so clearly? This wasn’t a simple master and apprentice, but a deep love buried in his heart.
Pei Feng smiled. “I’m not called God Wing’s number one brainless fan for no reason. My live stream room is his birthday. I chose this number when I started the live stream in the past.”
Everyone said, “Don’t worry, no one will compete with you for the throne of number one fan!”
Pei Feng told them, “I have already ordered a birthday cake. We will treat him to a meal on the night of the 24th. How about booking a restaurant near the national team’s base?”
Yezi replied, “I think it is okay. It is convenient if it is close~”
Shi Xiaobin said, “Last time on Brother Feng’s birthday, I remember that the taste of that restaurant was really good.”
Lao Lin said bluntly, “What about the gifts? There are so many of us and we can’ t just go empty-handed.”
Ye Zi added, “If we all spend money to buy him very expensive gifts, I think he will let us collectively write a self-criticism. Extravagance and waste are taboo. Don’t touch his minefield.”
Zhou Yiran smiled and said, “The price doesn’t matter. It is about the heart. Everyone, think about it carefully?”
Pei Feng suggested, “I thought of an idea. Make a birthday commemorative book and every person writes a blessing to him in their own handwriting. Write it separately in private and when the time comes, it will be sealed so the coach personally opens it. It will contain the signatures and greetings of all members of the sixth national team. I think this gift is more meaningful than spending money on something.”
Once everyone saw Pei Feng’s words, they all agreed. “It makes sense! Coach Jiang isn’t short of money and maybe he won’t look at the things we can buy.”
“In a few years, he will open the memorial book and perhaps remember our names?”
“Will he say something like: this group of people is the worst class I have ever led.”
Would the 6th national team be the worst in Coach Jiang’s coaching career? In any case, some of them had left a bad impression on Coach Jiang. There was a lot of black history and self-criticisms.
Coach Jiang would probably have a headache when thinking of them, right?
However, many of them were full of admiration and gratitude toward Coach Jiang from the bottom of their hearts. It was Coach Jiang’s birthday and naturally, everyone in the national team should celebrate together!