Round 1: Round Robin vs Sweden
All the round robin tournaments went on at the same time, so the available competition stages were rather small. The Chinese national team successfully attained victory in their first match. After the competitors finished shaking hands, they returned backstage and saw a good number of reporters waiting for interviews. Huang Shaotian raced over; the Chinese reporters collectively took a step back. The corner of Huang Shaotian’s lip twitched, and he said, “Hey, no, where are you going? Come back.”
Among the reporters fortunate enough to come to Switzerland was one experienced journalist who often worked with Blue Rain. Facing danger without fear, he prepared to sacrifice himself and interview Huang Shaotian. “Huang Shao, how do you feel about the team’s first victory?”
The other reporters were very moved, and then they abandoned him to pounce on the other pro players.
Huang Shaotian seemed a bit anxious. “I feel pretty good...Forget about that, am I the MVP?”
The reporter nodded. “You guys weren’t on stage long enough to look closely, right? You are indeed the MVP...Huh? Huang Shao? Where are you going, Huang Shao?”
It was normal for the reporter to feel bewildered. Usually, when Huang Shaotian couldn’t stop talking, he suffered, but now that Huang Shaotian hadn’t said much at all, he felt kind of lost. Was this damned human nature?
The door to the national team’s lounge was suddenly slammed open. Ye Xiu, who was crouching on the lounge floor and gathering up bottled water, turned his head and saw the excited Huang Shaotian. Holding several bottles of water, he stood and said, “You came at just the right time. Help me take the water over.”
Huang Shaotian didn’t give a care about any water. “Old Ye, me, MVP.”
Ye Xiu nodded. “I saw, congratulations.”
Huang Shaotian was slightly dissatisfied. “Isn’t your reaction kinda dull? Are you planning on going back on what you promised me?”
Ye Xiu smiled. “How could I? When have I ever gone back on a promise to you?”
Huang Shaotian had just been prepared to say “When have you not?”...But when he thought about it closely, Ye Xiu did do everything he agreed to do; it’s just that Ye Xiu also rejected ninety percent of his requests.
Huang Shaotian took a deep breath and said ambiguously, “Then I’ll be waiting for you tonight.”
One reporter was interviewing Wang Jiexi. “Captain Wang, what is your opinion on Huang Shaotian’s impeccable performance today during the Team Challenge?”
Tiny Herb and Blue Rain famously did not get along; this reporter was very good at choosing interview topics. However, Wang Jiexi just expressionlessly replied, “A person who lusts will become stronger.”
The reporter paused. “Captain Wang is saying that Huang Shao is strongly ambitious with regards to attaining victory in the World Championship?”
Wang Jiexi shot the reporter a meaningful look. “It’s fine if you just stick to your current understanding of the topic.”
That night, Huang Shaotian and Ye Xiu PKed nonstop until twelve o’clock, and then they beautifically went to sleep.
Round 2: Round Robin vs Denmark
Halfway through the Team Challenge, the Chinese team’s victory was pretty much assured. As the reporters watched, they commented, “The national team is in pretty good shape; even the three from Tiny Herb and Blue Rain are coordinating well. At the start, I was still concerned that they would fall apart in competition.”
A little reporter said straightforwardly, “With Ye Xiu instructing, that sort of situation would never occur, right? With him as coach, there’s nothing much to worry about.”
An experienced old reporter pat him on the shoulder. “That’s right. Seeing that they’re cooperating so well, we can probably look forward to winning the championship this time.”
“Hehe.” Someone chuckled, “We were aiming for the championship anyway. You think we should look forward to winning second place? Be careful of Zhang Jiale coming to squabble with you.”
The old reporter paused, stupefied, and knit his brow, looking towards the person who’d just spoken. He only saw that the person was wearing a baseball cap and the Chinese team’s uniform jacket, like the fans in fan gear who were supposed to be sitting in the audience’s seats. “What newspaper are you from? Or are you from a media website?”
Ye Xiu lifted up the bill of his baseball cap and smiled at the reporter.
The old reporter had originally felt a bit displeased about being affronted, but now all those emotions vanished completely. “So it was God Ye.”
“God Ye!” The young reporters standing nearby lit up. Who would’ve thought that this great respected god would inconspicuously mix in with the crowd of reporters backstage, and no one would notice?
Like a leader carrying out an inspection, Ye Xiu waved a hand at the surrounding reporters. “Thank you all for coming to see us compete.”
The reporters all replied, “No problem, no problem.”
Ye Xiu glanced at the holographic stage. “Looks like we’re about to win again.”
The Chinese reporters were all familiar with Ye Xiu’s personality. And as expected, he followed with, “Nothing to be modest about.”
You could try being a little bit modest about it.
The reporters thought that it was good that the Danish reporters had no idea what their coach was saying, or else they’d have to face another load of hostility.
But then again, the reporters who were invited to Switzerland to conduct interviews weren’t lightweights; they truly understood the personalities of pro players like Ye Xiu. Though he was strong, he wouldn’t underestimate his opponent even if their strengths were greatly disparate.
So, since their God Ye bluntly said that victory was assured, China could definitely win.
The little reporter’s attention was completely focused on Ye Xiu, to the point where he began his interview early.
“Excuse me, God Ye, do you usually formulate different training schedules for each player?”
“If I didn’t, what use would I be?”
Ye Xiu answered with another question.
“Is there any player who God Ye finds hard to handle?”
“Nope, they’re all good kids.”
“So there’s no one who’s harder to deal with?”
“Nope, who’s harder to deal with than me?”
By the time the national team returned victorious, they found their coach already ensconced in the crowd, chatting quite happily.
Pushed in front of Ye Xiu by a coworker, a young reporter smiled bashfully and said, “God Ye, I’m a fan of yours. Can I touch your hand?”
Shaking hands is fine, but why do you have to touch his hand? Will you get lucky by touching it? Do you think he’s a rabbit’s foot?
Ye Xiu stretched one hand out towards the reporter. As if facing some easily broken treasure, the little reporter reached out with both trembling hands to receive it, but then another hand appeared out of thin air and confiscated Ye Xiu’s hand.
“You should just continue staying in the lounge from now on.” Boss Sun Xiang was holding Ye Xiu’s hand in an irked manner.
“Last time when I stayed in the lounge and watched the match on the small TV, you guys said I was slacking off. This time you all insisted that I cheer you on from the side of the stage, but in the end, you want me to go back again.” Ye Xiu used his other hand to poke Sun Xiang’s face. “Are gods allowed to be this illogical?”
The old reporter had the photographer hurry up and shoot; in addition, he planned to name Ye Xiu and Sun Xiang’s conversation the reconciliation of the century.
At the moment, there were still a good number of fans who believed that Sun Xiang and Ye Xiu didn’t get along. Sun Xiang fans even worried that their idol would be taken advantage of in front of Ye Xiu.
Only now it looked like the two of them got along pretty well. They could even joke with each other.
Round 3: Round Robin vs Norway
In the round robin tournament, the Chinese national team achieved three straight victories. The reporters waiting to do post-match interviews were also exchanging congratulations; after all, this was a joyous occasion for the nation, so everyone felt greatly honored.
Once the players arrived backstage, the reporters immediately began to applaud enthusiastically, and they all returned the courtesy. This time the coach had sat directly in the contestant seats to the side of the stage and, after exiting, had been subsequently sandwiched by Wang Jiexi and Yu Wenzhou.
“Doesn’t this look like I’m being escorting like a criminal?”
Ye Xiu said in a low voice, “Will I lose some face looking like this?”
Yu Wenzhou said warmly, “You look like a squished little hamster. Really cute.”
Ye Xiu rolled his eyes at him. “Can’t you think of a more handsome animal?”
“Then a little tiger.”
As expected of Wang Jiexi, able to say such things so expressionlessly.
The reporters could vaguely hear what the three people were saying, but the three respected gods were too intimidating; it seemed very difficult to join the conversation. However, there was still a brave reporter who was willing to try. “Excuse me, what are you gods chatting about?”
Yu Wenzhou smiled. “We were saying that Coach is calm like a tiger and moves like a hamster.”
“Tigers aren’t really calm, though.”
Wang Jiexi said, “And they’re fierce.”
“Yes, I’m super fierce,” Ye Xiu approved. “Just get rid of the hamster part. They run in wheels everyday, but they’re still so fat.”
“Then show me how fierce you can be.” Yu Wenzhou turned his head and looked at Ye Xiu.
Ye Xiu made a lethargic howling sound, like a lazy tiger raised and fattened in the zoo.
I was wrong for trying to join the conversation.
But the reporters still very responsibly recorded the conversation and sent off their drafts. On the same day, the phrase “calm like a tiger, moves like a hamster” spread on the internet and received much love from fans; quite a few talented ones commenced the creation of fanworks. Not long afterwards, Yu Wenzhou’s and Wang Jiexi’s Wechat profile pics were changed to a chibi tiger and hamster.
Round 4: Quarterfinals vs Germany
After the round robin tournaments, the top eight moved to the large stage to compete; there were five times as many seats in the audience, and the amount of reporters allowed to enter also increased. Both competing teams were assigned translators, so reporters could interview players from their own country and the opposing country.
The Chinese team sturdily achieved their fourth victory. A German reporter who could speak Chinese walked to the place where the Chinese reporters gathered and asked if she could briefly interview the coach.
Ye Xiu nodded. “What is it?”
The reporter smiled kindly. “Do you know what the German word on your baseball cap means?”
Ye Xiu took off the cap and glanced at it. “Nope.”
While in Switzerland, he’d always been wearing this cap because, since the World Championship was such a big deal, there were many Chinese fans around where the team was staying. If he didn’t disguise himself, there was a high chance that he’d be recognized, which seriously impacted his ability to go out.
“It means ‘cute.’”
The reporter smiled at Ye Xiu and, before saying her farewells, added, “And you really are very cute.”
Ye Xiu stared at the letters on his cap for two seconds, and then he put it back on, as if nothing had happened.
Shocked, Tang Hao said, “You’re really going to keep wearing that?”
Ye Xiu found this query strange. “Why wouldn’t I?”
Sun Xiang: “Wearing it was fine when you didn’t know what the word meant. Now that you know, don’t you feel embarrassed?”
Ye Xiu: “Not at all.”
Tang Hao: “...”
Sun Xiang: “...”
Su Mucheng laughed, “He actually got that hat when we were shopping together. I bought a couple dresses from a little shop by the roadside, and then the owner gave Ye Xiu that hat.”
“They do seem to speak German here, right?”
Chu Yunxiu said, “Looks like you really met the shop owner’s aesthetic standards. ...Was the owner a guy or a girl?”
Fang Rui: “I don’t think you’re suited to going outside. In the future, just stay in the hotel and don’t leave.”
Ye Xiu: “Why?”
Fang Rui: “Because of the true love we share.”
Round 5: Semifinals vs Korea
Everyone acknowledged the strength of Korea’s esports players. The Chinese national team underwent a bitter battle, and in the end, it was Cloud Piercer’s vehement strikes that assured their victory.
Defeating the Korean team was an occasion worth celebrating; the reporters also felt proud for the national team.
Surrounded by this joyful atmosphere, the Chinese reporters actually forgot their past suffering and all fearlessly pointed their microphones towards Zhou Zekai.
“As this match’s MVP, how does Little Zhou feel about defeating the Korean team?”
Zhou Zekai deliberated for a minute.
And Ye Xiu said he would agree to one outrageous request from this match’s MVP. Right now, Zhou Zekai was imagining a variety of very, very outrageous requests, even some super duper outrageous ones, outrageously outrageous.
“What does Little Zhou think of the Korean team’s strength?”
“They’re very strong, but we won.”
The reporter felt like that sentence sounded strangely familiar. “Little Zhou’s blast of cool shimmers in the last moment was stunning. At that time, were you going all out, or did you already feel that victory was at hand?”
“Once victory is assured, one must strive to act pretentious.”
“...Uh, Little Zhou’s in good condition today…”
“Mmhmm, Ye Xiu had me memorize a draft.”
The reporter finally realized where that feeling of déjà vu was coming from. Contestant Ye Xiu once said all those things.
As expected of Coach Ye, even able to predict what questions the reporters would ask.
Seeing the reporter rendered mute, Zhou Zekai gave him a slight bow and then turned around to go look for Ye Xiu.
After finding Ye Xiu chatting with a couple of reporters, Zhou Zekai tugged on the corner of his shirt, leaned close to his ear and asked, “Can I sleep with you tonight?”
Ye Xiu: “...?”
Zhou Zekai let him go and said at a normal volume, “You can’t go back on your word.”
Ye Xiu: “Ah...but is this request very outrageous?”
Zhou Zekai: “Is it not outrageous?”
Ye Xiu: “I thought you would ask me for a Wild Boss. I even had my tears ready.”
Zhou Zekai thought that Ye Xiu really was very generous. He was even willing to give him an entire Wild Boss.
An whole entire one.
Round 6: Finals vs USA
The Chinese team won. The first Glory World Champion was the Chinese national team.
The American captain stalked angrily out of the competitor seats and began yelling something at the referee.
“Didn’t their Battle Mage catch the flu? How’s his condition better than in the semifinals? I’m not a sore loser, but I have to request that you give him a check-up. What if he used steroids or something?”
“Please calm down. Yes, the Chinese team’s Battle Mage is unwell, but our rules state that if special situations like this occur, the coach can replace a player and compete. So this time the Chinese team’s Battle Mage was their coach Mr. Ye.”
The American team’s captain was stunned. “How is that possible? Why is someone so strong a coach instead of a player?”
The referee chuckled, “That knowledge is not within my jurisdiction.”
Five minutes ago, Sun Xiang was sitting on the side of the stage, watching both teams be cut down to one person each: the American team’s captain and the Chinese team’s coach.
Two days ago, Sun Xiang was unlucky enough to catch the flu. Even though the team medic had quickly prescribed him some medicine and administered IV therapy, he still hadn’t recovered three hours before the match started. Forcing himself to compete in such terrible condition would only give the opponent an advantage.
Fortunately, when such special conditions arose, the coach could act as a substitute player. And their team’s coach was different from the coaches who didn’t work in the field. He was an absolute, killer secret weapon.
The American team was one-third of the way through the match when they noticed that the opposing team’s Battle Mage One Autumn Leaf was acting a bit differently from the one they gathered information about. Even his style of combat was a bit different.
The American team’s captain was furious. Now, the only players left on stage were him and the Battle Mage. He believed that the Battle Mage player’s style had drastically changed because he had broken the rules and taken drugs.
Information about each country’s contestants wasn’t a secret. So as soon as Sun Xiang had caught the flu, the American team had immediately received knowledge of this, and so they’d relaxed a bit, believing that their chance of winning had rapidly increased.
And since the American team’s coach was completely useless, they completely didn’t consider the possibility that the Chinese coach would sub in the match.
But the Chinese team was just that bold, using someone so strong as a coach. The American team felt resentful, but they still had to admire their guts.
After this match, a rather magnificent press conference was held, and the questions that mentioned Ye Xiu took up more than half of it.
Some reporters asked Ye Xiu how he felt about clinching victory in the World Championship finals. Ye Xiu replied:
“To me, this should be an unexpected delight, but this delight is built upon our Sun Xiang’s misfortune and inability to compete in the finals. So, I can’t say that I feel purely happy; it’s a little bit complicated.”
Sun Xiang grunted, “‘Misfortune’ my ass. It’s nothing, I’ll just come again next time.”
Ye Xiu: “Be more civilized when you speak. Look at all the people here.”
Wang Jiexi: “Then does God Ye Xiu have any plans about returning to esports?”
Ye Xiu rested his cheek in his palm and side-eyed Wang Jiexi. “Who’re you? This reporter doesn’t have a permit. Security, drag him out.”
Yu Wenzhou said, “I also want to know if God Ye Xiu will return once more.”
Ye Xiu, seeing that all the reporters were staring at him, chuckled, “I guess we’ll have to see if Chairman Feng wants me to be the coach again.”
And it just so happened that Feng Xianjun was sitting offstage, so he immediately sealed the deal, saying, “Of course I do.”
Ye Xiu: “...”
He shouldn’t have said so much. Now he suddenly had another round of bitter labor to look forward to.