Translator: Nomyummi Editor: Nomyummi
Apart from the five perfect 10-0 wins, the other matches in Round 9 were very orderly, three 2-8 losses and two 7-3 wins.
The three 2-8 losses were the home teams Heavenly Swords, Parade, and Radiant losing to the visiting teams Misty Rain, Void, and Hundred Blossoms respectively. As for the two 7-3 wins, 301 and Royal Style took down Wind Howl and Thunderclap relying on their home field advantage.
In the end, the weaker teams weren't able to pull off any upsets in Round 9. However, 301 and Royal Style, the two mid-tier teams that were on the edge of making it into the playoffs last season, utilized their home field advantage to beat Wind Howl and Thunderclap, rather surprising victories.
After Round 8, Thunderclap had been in second place, but their lead over the lower ranked teams hadn't been that high. With this loss, they immediately slid down to fourth place, while Blue Rain and Tiny Herb with 69 points and 66 points took second and third. Samsara's consistency and dominance once again placed them in their own separate tier. Their point total was 77, 8 points ahead of the second place team. After Thunderclap was Misty Rain in fifth with 59 points, Tyranny in sixth with 57 points, Wind Howl in seventh with 57 points, and then Hundred Blossoms in eighth. After Happy took a huge win over Hundred Blossoms, beating them 9 to 1, Hundred Blossoms adjusted rapidly. After two rounds, they were back on their feet, quickly making their way back to the playoff zone.
After Hundred Blossoms was Void, 301, and Royal Style placed outside of the playoff zone. With Happy winning this round 10 to 0, they moved up one spot from fourteenth to thirteenth, but the distance between Happy and the eighth place Hundred Blossoms was 14 points. The teams in the relegations zone were Seaside and Bright Green. After Round 7, these two teams were locked into last and second to last. The gap between these two teams and the teams ahead of them were pulling farther and farther apart. It looked like there wouldn't be any suspense as for who would be relegated this season.
The post-match reports for Round 9 didn't focus on a single team or person but rather how weirdly orderly the point distribution was. The media really wanted to about the dominance of powerhouses because of the several 10 to 0s, but the problem was that of these five 10 to 0s, one of them just had to be Happy, a truly irksome presence. Happy was without a doubt unrelated to this topic, but they just had to show up at this moment. The issue of dealing with Happy gave the media huge headaches. In the end, it was still Esports Home with the talent. Samsara, Tiny Herb, Blue Rain, and Tyranny were used to describe the untouchable dominance of the powerhouses. On the other hand, Happy was singled out as the representative team of wildly inconsistent and incomprehensible team.
They could crush Hundred Blossoms 9 to 1, but also lose 3 to 7 to Radiant and Parade. Yet after those losses, they could achieve perfect 10 to 0 wins over Heavenly Swords and Miracle. Figure out a team's strength from their win records? In Happy's case, it seemed extremely unreliable.
In these nine rounds, Samsara had obtained the most 10 to 0s with three perfect wins. Next, with two perfect wins, was Tiny Herb and then Happy. But Happy was also among the teams who were annihilated 0 to 10. It was as though Happy just had to stick their nose in everything.
The Esports Home concluded with a serious reminder to all teams in the Alliance: Be wary of Happy.
This sort of spotlight onto them was quickly met with backlash by people such as the Esports Time's Ruan Cheng. The Esports Time was biweekly, so he had no way of immediately writing an article through the Esports Time and could only use his personal blog to express his opinions.
Tang Rou breaking her promise wasn't going to be forgiven so easily by him, but repeating the same thing again and again would tire out the readers. In fact, it might help her through reverse psychology. Ruan Cheng was a master though and had a subtle grasp of the pace. He wouldn't constantly stick in reminders, but he would never forget to raise the topic seemingly by accident at the appropriate time to avoid readers from forgetting about it. Because of Tang Rou, Ruan Cheng had turned into a through and through Happy hater. However, he was still a public figure and had to care about his reputation, so even if he had to paint Happy black, he had to back it up with logic, feigning reason and hiding his individual bias.
As a result, under Ruan Cheng's artful writing, Happy became a shit stick that harmed others without benefiting themselves, supported clearly and logically.
Why did his writing seem so reasonable? Because what Ruan Cheng wrote was really just a reiteration of the Esports Home's negative opinions of Happy in an uglier way. However, due to the influence of his writing style and the push from other journalists who were also unhappy with Tang Rou, Happy was generally viewed in a more negative light.
Two 10 to 0s?
One Heavenly Swords and one Miracle. Both these teams had certain ties with Happy. Snatching all ten points from them could also be considered quite vicious and merciless of Happy.
Some of the sillier comments even took those words "vicious and merciless" to describe Happy, seeming to have forgotten that any team wanted to win as many points as possible in a competition.
But dsepite these negative comments, Happy's pace became steadier and steadier.
In their tenth round home game versus Royal Style, a 9 to 1 victory....
In their eleventh round away game versus Seaside, Boundless Sea returned to the first time to his old home. The Seaside fans familiar with Boundless Sea saw their team's former symbol walk onto a path never to return under Happy's Fang Rui. Amidst the unrelenting boos from the crowd, Happy wasn't polite and sent away Seaside 10 to 0.
Two huge victories in two rounds. Happy had won 19 points, rising up two places on the rankings currently at eleventh place. Their distance to the playoff zone had shrunk to 10 points. Right now, Team Void was eighth. At the end of Round 9, the fifth place Team Misty Rain performed poorly in Round 10 and Round 11, falling out of the playoff zone at tenth place with 65 points. Even Team 301 was ahead of them.
Hundred Blossoms continued to perform consistently, winning 7 to 3 against the away team Blue Rain. Yu Feng's departure from Blue Rain had been quite controversial. Many fans thought he was being greedy. He had been one of the three core players of Team Blue Rain. Wanting an even higher position than that was endless greed.
This time, Yu Feng directly confronted Team Blue Rain, proving that he had the qualifications for an even higher position. Although his Berserker lost to Huang Shaotian's Blade Master in the final round of the group arena, Hundred Blossoms had opened poorly. By the time Yu Feng had to face Huang Shaotian, he was only at 30% health. But in the following team competition, Yu Feng became the most eye-catching player. His display of power pierced through the tactical net sown by Team Blue Rain. In the end, Hundred Blossoms won the team competition. Having won 7 points, they now had 71 points, rushing ahead to sixth place on the rankings, leading Tyranny by 1 point.
Blue Rain wasn't the only powerhouse that lost in the eleventh round. Tyranny lost their away game to Thunderclap 3 to 7, putting them at seventh place with 70 points. Thunderclap was third continuing on their radiant path this season. Apart from them, Tiny Herb lost to Void 2 to 8. Through this victory, Void broke into the playoff zone, while Tiny Herb was surpassed by Thunderclap, placing Tiny Herb at fourth.
In fifth place, Team Wind Howl won their away game 8 to 2 against Team Misty Rain, sending Team Misty Rain out of the playoff zone.
As for those outside of the playoff zone, Bright Green and Seaside were stuck in the relegation zone. Lightly, Miracle, Conquering Clouds, and the other low-tier teams had clearly become targets to snatch points from.
The weak teams were of no use to be looked at. Thus, the ups and downs of the rankings depended on the confrontations between the strong teams. Samsara led in first place with 94 points, 13 more points than Blue Rain. Their position this season was practically untouchable. Thunderclap had originally been this season's biggest surprise. After ten rounds, Thunderclap was still stuck in the second echelon teams outside of Samsara, running neck and neck with Tiny Herb and Blue Rain.
Team Wind Howl's momentum this season had been astonishing, but from their performance these eleven rounds, they were like loud thunder but small raindrops Even though they weren't like Happy who would sweep a team and then get swept, their inconsistency was a reality. After Hundred Blossoms' first four rounds, they became more and more stable, beating Blue Rain this round. Yu Feng had proven himself. Hundred Blossoms also showed that they had the ability to beat a top team.
Afterwards was Tyranny. No one had any hope for them dominating like last season. Tyranny was determined to keep rotating in their subs to the extent that it was rare for all four heavenly kings to be on stage at the same time. Their win record was also fleeting. When they were facing weak teams, they weren't weak, but facing strong teams, they weren't too strong either. Many were disappointed in them, feeling helpless about the issues of age.
Void relied on their good performances these two rounds to return back to the playoff zone. Their victory over Tiny Herb had boosted their morale considerably. The air around them was very different from before in their post-match conference.
The teams ten points away from qualifying for playoffs were 301, Misty Rain, and Happy. Team 301 was always like this, pacing back and forth in and out of the playoff zone. When the end of the season came, if their luck was good, they would make it to playoffs. If their luck was bad, they wouldn't. As for Misty Rain and Happy, they would be fighting each other in Round 12. This match would determine who would be closer to the playoffs.
From the current trend, Misty Rain had performed poorly two rounds in a row, losing to 301 and Wind Howl. As for Happy? After losing to Tiny Herb in Round 8 and Tang Rou refuse to keep her promise, Happy started taking points like crazy. Over the ninth, tenth, and eleventh round, Happy had unexpectedly took 29 points in total, even beating Samsara in terms of points, who had obtained 27 points in these three rounds.
Happy had matched with Miracle and Seaside, who weren't strong teams, but Royal Style was a mid-tier team with an All-Star watching over. Royal Style even upset the roaring Thunderclap 7 to 3. But facing Happy, Royal Style was swept 9 to 1.
Happy is coming!
The Esports Home highlighted Happy's recent momentum. As for people like Ruan Cheng, who hated Happy, there was not much they could say. Happy's win after win was slap after slap to their faces. They were waiting, waiting for Happy to capsize. That way they would wantonly throw stones at them while they were down.
This upcoming match was looking to be a good opportunity. In Round 12, Happy would be facing Misty Rain, a team with the strength to make it to playoffs. If Happy couldn't pass this obstacle, let alone losing points to their direct competitor, Ruan Cheng's group could directly say that Happy were just paper tigers that could only topple pushovers.