God’s Left Hand - Volume Prelude - Chapter 19
Thailand's total annihilation came first, followed by Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia, the strongest team.
When Dt's team stood from their chairs, even the opposing team stood with deferential looks to the five teenagers in black uniforms.
Whether their opponents played with an aggressive ganking strategy or a steady, conservative playstyle, Dt's team only had one strategy.
Map control, locking down the entire map.
During the final match, the Malaysian players weren't even able to take the high ground and were totally defeated. They basically gave the gold medal away.
Because Ai Qing was wearing his cap, it was a rare occurrence for Dt to show his entire face under the flashing lights. But no matter what question the reporters asked he only nodded or didn't give a response at all. While watching him hold his gold medal from afar, Ai Qing wondered if he was too proud to bother answering them or if he was just terrible at expressing himself?
As the group champion, the Chinese team had unexpectedly become the focus of attention in the arena.
They had chased after the title of the group champion for so many years, but when they finally succeeded, everyone was in a daze. After the confusing interviews and award ceremony, they returned to their room, where someone had already made preparations for a party with low-alcohol beer, ice, and fresh flowers.
Slide took out the light blue envelope from under the ice bucket, took a look, and handed it to Ai Qing behind him.
It was written with very familiar handwriting:
Gou Gou, congratulations to you and the rest of the team.
Ai Qing lowered her head as she read it and with a laugh, tucked it back into Slide's hands.
Solo was her first love, almost all memories she had related to him were about esports. In these past few years, the two of them had been in an on and off relationship but it had now become a stable pattern. She even thought about ending her professional career, laying low, with no team training, competitions, crazy fans, online posts by fans, endless reporters, commercial activities ......
Either way, she would be able to live the life that an eighteen year old should live.
She took beer from ten or so buckets and began to distribute them to the team, Dt slowly came in.
Several people moved the ice buckets to the balcony and had begun to sing a random assortment of songs towards the beach in the dark. Pressure? They had never mentioned the word. It seemed that everyone else took video games for granted, it's just entertainment, why would there be any pressure?
But would they know that to become a better gamer, you would practice to strengthen your left hand even when eating or writing.
Fearful that the ice would melt too quickly to keep the flavor of the beer, Ai Qing took the remaining dozen or so beer into the room and began to place them in the fridge one after the other.
Behind her, someone came closer.
It was Dt.
Ai Qing smiled at him, ’’Thanks.’’
He had a confused expression.
’’I meant, thanks for letting us become the group champion.’’ Ai Qing took a bottle of iced beer and popped the cap with the edge of the marble counter and gave it to him. ’’Actually, this time I should thank you. At the end of my professional career, we were able to become the group champion.’’
Dt took the bottle, but didn't drink.
A pair of pink mp3 earbuds hung around her neck. She, like most girls at this age, preferred pink and other rosy colors. On her neck and under the straight hair, she wore a necklace with a tiny pink skull.
There was nothing special about her, when she's off the competition stage, she was just a normal, pretty girl.
Three years earlier, when Dt saw her, that was when he had just returned to China. His cousin had dragged him to a CS competition.
At that time, she had short hair that fell to the bottom of her ears, which made her eyes appear larger.
Among the esport teams, there were very few girls. She became the focus of conversation at the stadium. After he sat down to watch the game, there were several boys behind him who kept talking about her. They kept calling her ’’Apple Dog.’’ This was the first time he had heard people praise a girl, not for her beauty, personality, nor academic ability.
But: was sharp, had a god-like sixth sense, and was a king of aiming.
She could even accurately shoot after being blinded by a flash bang, killing others with her sixth sense.
He remembered the moment when she finally won the game, she bit her lower lip and jokingly leaned on Solo's shoulder, who sat next to her, and flirtatiously whispered something to him.
Amidst the cheering from the crowd, she had lost her keen senses and stood up with rosy cheeks besides Solo to accept the crowd's cheers.
He remembered from a video, the words that she spoke to an Associated Press reporter:
’’Please don't call us players. We're just normal athletes, just like any other sport contestant.’’ When she laughed, a tiny dimple was on her left cheek. ’’In online games, you need time and money to build up your character's ability. But that's just the ability of the character that you're controlling. In the world of esports, each competitor's starts at zero. So the winning and losing is up to the individual's skill. Even if you're the son of the richest person in the world with the best keyboard and computer, but without any skill, then nobody would even bother to take a glance at you. As long as you have skill, then you'll have the respect of the people. They'll even use your strategies as a model of how to play. This is what esports is.’’
A fifteen year old girl had spoken these grandiose words.
Grandiose words that could move people.
It was this kind of feeling that made him, a person who had no clue about esports, to become the person he was during the final round of the competition.
It only took him two years time.
Outside the room, somebody had gotten the group to sing the national anthem. At first they were just making a small racket, but then someone began to yell. It basically became a very messy but also moving moment.
Dt slightly lowered his head and gazed at the dark green bottle in his hand. ’’Thank you, Frigg.’’
He believed that he would continue forwards until he could fight by her side, shoulder to shoulder, with all the failures and glory that would come with it.