Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
“The international competition is about to commence. We’ve invited a few captains and contestants to be with us today for a simple pre-competition interview.”
The location of the video was Han Xiao’s stronghold in Juberly Hub. Four pro players sat on the sofa and accepted the interview from Bun-Hit-Dog. The four of them were King Admiral, Hao Tian, Li Ge, and Frenzied Sword, all either captains of the qualified teams or contestants in the Singles. SnowFlower, who had gotten second place in the Singles, did not enter Han Xiao’s galactic team and was still on Planet Aquamarine, so he was not included in the interview.
The four of them greeted the audience, and the regular interview started. Bun-Hit-Dog was different from his usual style like he had become the host of Galaxy Times. He sat up very straight, and his face was very serious. However, no matter how formal his actions were, it could not cover his cheeky personality.
The questions in the interview were all regular questions, asking about their confidence, preparations, and goals. They were all typical questions.
When asked if they were confident, who would dare say no in front of such a large audience? Do you want your club to close down?
How did they prepare? Who would expose such confidential information directly? If the opponents saw it, there would be no end to the scolding that they received!
Target in the competition? Which club would say they did not want to be the champion? Even if their target was just top four or even top eight, how could they say it openly? Pro players all wanted to be champions!
The four pro players answered these questions with ease, giving typical responses. After these questions were finished, Bun-Hit-Dog started to chitchat with the four of them. In an informal interview like this, the topic could be more casual. Bun-Hit-Dog stated some good foreign players for them to comment on, and the atmosphere was rather peaceful.
“Who do you think are the strong opponents that you need to pay attention to in this competition?” Bun-Hit-Dog asked.
Li Ge pondered and said, “Tulips Club from France; Team Devil, Team Thunder Snake, and Team Key from America; Rose Knight from the United Kingdom, Team Hydra from Japan, Kimchi Club from Korea, and so on. I’m looking forward to battling with these teams and players. Although the opponents are very strong, I am confident.”
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The teams were all top teams in their respective countries. Their positions in their country were the same as the positions of the four biggest clubs in China.
Bun-Hit-Dog nodded, looked at the other three, and said, “What about you guys? Which are the opponents that you need to take more seriously?”
“None,” King Admiral said.
“My opponent is only myself,” Hao Tian said.
Frenzied Sword looked left and right at the confident and proud godly players beside him, swallowed his saliva, and said cautiously, “I—I think Li Ge put it well…”
Hao Tian and King Admiral glanced at him with ‘too young, too naïve’ and ‘we expected you to be better than this’ in their eyes. Frenzied Sword shrunk his neck from the stare.
Li Ge gave a very stiff smile. He was so tempted to take his shoes off and slam them on these two captains. Do you think I don’t know what you’re saying between the lines‽
The interview was going on joyfully, and the comment section was very active.
Key of Solomon quickly watched the Chinese interview and switched to the interviews of the other countries.
In France, Tulips’ captain [Lost Angel] accepted the interview.
“Which opponents are the ones I pay more attention to? Hmm… the three teams from China, I guess. They’re very strong opponents, and I think most teams agree on that too, haha. Plus, King Admiral and I are old rivals.”
Lost Angel was a senior player, so he replied to the questions with a smile on his face, and his voice was soft and warm.
Key of Solomon then watched the interviews from other countries as well. Whenever the host asked about which opponents were threatening, China’s name was definitely in the list. Every team was taking the Chinese teams very seriously.
The Esports standard of China was not too bad and could be considered as tier one, but this was the first time that they had received so much attention from all the teams. This came from the opportunities that they had. China was the only country where the contesting players had been given the opportunity to enter the interstellar stage in advance. These foreign clubs had always been paying attention to the China players’ experience in the Black Star Mercenary Group. They were deemed as very strong opponents.
After exiting the forums, Key of Solomon looked at his teammates in the room and said calmly, “Apparently, the other teams have the same thoughts as us. The Chinese teams are a problem.”
Outside the house, the ground was covered in snow that extended beyond the horizon. Demon nest military camps scattered across the land, and demon army roamed around from time to time. This house was an army camp as well. The players there, including Key of Solomon, all had the looks of the Demon Race—the race shown on their interfaces was Young Demon. They were more than two meters tall, and they had short sheep’s horns extending from their forehead, a tail behind their back, thick and strong legs, and black Demon scales on their body. They were equipped with armor and weapons. Although their faces were ferocious, they still had some sort of human features, differentiating them from each other.
This was the base camp that America had chosen, one of the planets of the Extinguish Army—Planet Winterfrost. These were all renowned pro players of the Club Key.
Electrolux, who was far away on Planet Aquamarine, was a retired player of Club Key. Key was very passionate in planting scouts and spies. In fact, they had a mature team for it, providing all sorts of intel and help to their team.
The captain, Key of Solomon was an official account registered by the club, and every captain used the same name. The previous captain retired, and this generation’s ‘Key of Solomon’ had been given the position last year. He defeated all the players in the team through the selection process. Club Key saw extraordinary potential in him, so they had made an exception and made him the captain, deciding to focus on training him for a long time. They had very high hopes for him. Key’s higher-ups planned to use one to two seasons to build an ace team surrounding him and a few old members, gambling on their future, hoping to achieve three consecutive championships. This was also the dream of every team out there.
This generation’s Key of Solomon was not as steady as the old players. He was known for being quick and fierce in both his combat style and commanding style. The higher-ups had very high hopes of him, but he felt it was what he deserved because of how capable he was. He was arrogant, but he had the right to be. His teammates, fans, and the superiors all admired his sharpness.
Humility is a virtue in China but not in America. Being direct and proud were the characteristics of American players.
In the first league season, most of the clubs only planned to observe the situation, train their team, and familiarize themselves with the competition, and they did not have too much desire for the results. However, Key of Solomon was not like others; he had only one goal—the championship!
“There are many opponents, but there are only a few strong ones that can obstruct us. China’s Dynasty is one of them. Other than these obstructions, the other teams are no threat; they’re all just prey for us to gain more points…”
Key of Solomon placed his legs on the table and glanced over his teammates. He had a confident and contemptuous smile on his face.
“Guys, let me lead you to become the champion!”
Three days quickly passed.
Han Xiao settled the matters of the mercenary group. He temporarily did not accept any requests and announced that they wanted to rest for a period of time. The international competition would last three to four months, and Han Xiao planned to give the players some holiday at the start for about a month. He was going to rest for some time as well, getting his hands on his class advancement requirements and subclasses.
Today was the day of the International League commencement. Han Xiao stayed in his room and opened the forums. At the top of it was a live-stream of the International League, which had yet to begin.
In the stronghold hall, all the Black Star players had gathered. The contesting players were surrounded in the middle, waiting for the store to start selling Gathering Crystals.
Frenzied Sword rubbed his hands together. The thought of battling with pro players from various countries made him nervous. He had never been to such a big stage before.
“I’ve made a name for myself in the area competition, but if I don’t perform well in the international competition, more than half of the hard work before this would go to waste. Only if I perform well in the international competition can I maintain my fame or even increase it!” Frenzied Sword was spirited in his heart. He prayed for himself to not underperform.
On the other side, Hao Tian, King Admiral, and Li Ge were talking to each other.
“If one of us is unfortunately in the same group as the other, it’s best for us to cooperate. If one team ends up having absolutely no chance of qualifying, that team can help the other team in the same group. If we meet each other, let’s not go all out,” Li Ge said.
Hao Tian intercepted him and said calmly, “I will go all out no matter who the opponent is. My professionalism doesn’t allow me to hold back.”
King Admiral yawned and said lazily, “You can’t beat me even if I hold back.”
Li Ge was furious. Why can’t the two of them see the big picture!
We are now representing China, if we don’t get good places, we’re wrong no matter what. It will cause a huge negative impact on the name of the teams. The result is the only thing that’s important in competitions. For the sake of getting better results, what’s wrong with some suitable adjustments?
We have to be flexible!
At this time, a notification popped up on the interface of the contestants. They hurriedly opened the store; the Gathering Crystal was already available for purchase.
They crushed it as soon as they bought it. Fog popped out from the crystal and wrapped around them. When the fog was gone, the contestants disappeared. Just like the effects of Dungeon Crystals, they entered a duplicated scene.
With a flash in Frenzied Sword’s eyes, the surrounding environment changed completely. He was in a huge arena, and beside him were the other China contestants. Looking away, players of different races appeared out of nowhere one after another.
The players from the various countries appeared. They stood in groups and sized each other up. The account names above their heads were all famous.
“French Tulips, UK Rose Knights, American Devils, Thunder Snakes, Swedish Tomahawks…” Frenzied Sword scanned across one by one. They were all world-renowned teams. At this moment, he finally felt how real this international festival was. He could not help but tremble slightly from the excitement and anticipation.
Beside him, King Admiral was looking casual and lazy as usual, waving at foreign players from far away. Many of them knew each other.
This scene appeared on the live video in the forums. The boisterous atmosphere was like a festival of millions of people.
The host appeared in the middle of the arena, attracting the eyes of the contestants. He first congratulated the contestants for qualifying for the International League, then started the official opening speech regarding who sponsored the competition and similar formalities. After five minutes, he finally finished the opening speech and started to talk about the competition system.
“There’s a total of thirteen divisions. A total of thirty-nine teams and Singles players from all around the world are qualified for the International League. The competition mode is a continuation of the area competition. The team competition includes team battle and Challenge, the Singles include Duel…”
Han Xiao nodded while he listened to the host. The first league season had very few varieties. In his previous life, the later seasons had more types of competitions, such as Dungeon, Survival, Hunt, Race, and all sorts of strange ways to compete. In order to be more entertaining, the competitions became more and more diverse.
The host continued and said, “Thirty-nine teams and players will be divided into three groups—A, B, and C. They will compete within the groups, and the winners will be rewarded with points; the number of points awarded depends on the damage the winning team received in the competition. The top eight teams and sixteen Singles players will enter the finals…”
He looked around. The pro players had various expressions. Some were excited, some were serious, and some were confident.
“Let’s begin drawing lots!”