Chapter 12

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The atmosphere in Brother Fish's streaming room became a bit strange.

Just a short while ago, he had fiercely declared his intent to solo kill the Abyssal Lord while playing the Illusionist. But he didn't manage to kill the Abyssal Lord even once during that whole game. His kill-death stat wound up being 8-1, and he was named the MVP of the losing team. But he still felt a fiery pain in his cheeks, especially when Xiao Bai typed out those parting words—

This is a tower-based 5v5 game.

It isn't a one-man show.

Those words had basically been a slap to the face!

The mood in the bullet comments was changing as well.

[It's a five-man game… if you want to show off and dominate the field with your own strength, you have to consider whether or not you're actually strong enough to do that, lol.]

[Only thinking about taking kills, not caring whether his teammates live or die… Brother Fish has always been like that~]

[Feels like you were slapped in the face, huh? That'll show you not to talk a big game at the start of a match!]

[This is what happens when our host focuses on getting kills and neglects the minions!]

[It's a tower game, not a mindless killing game. What kind of stupid host gets so wrapped up in a mid lane brawl that he doesn't realize their top lane has been destroyed?]

Brother Fish's streaming room was extremely popular, but a big chunk of that popularity came from his haters. Upon seeing him smacked down by his opponent, these antis were thrilled. They scurried over to the neighboring Xiao Bai's room to check things out.

The popularity of Xiao Bai's streaming room shot up like a rocket.

Xie Yu swore under his breath, "Fuck! Our marksman was shit. Shut out of two team fights. Didn't do one damn bit of damage!"

He took a moment to report that player, then said, "I'm tired, I'll end today's stream here. See you all tomorrow."

Xie Yu cut off his stream right away. His fans and anti-fans continued to argue in the comments section.

Under Xie Yu's influence, someone else started to diss the marksman—

[That marksman really was shit!]

[Exactly, exactly. If their marksman hadn't been awful, their team would have won!]

[Brother Fish's fans are so shameless. If he wins, you say God Fish is so awesome. If he loses, you say his teammates are bad?]

[Both mid laners targeted the marksmen in that game. The opposing mid laner took down your marksman in a second, but you couldn't take theirs down. And then you say it's your marksman who sucks?]

[Could it be that Xiao Bai is better than you?]

Xie Yu watched this argument unfold with a somewhat unpleasant expression on his face—but even controversial stars were still stars. These controversies were how he grew more popular, and growing more popular meant making more money. He consoled himself by reminding himself of that.

It was just that… he was left with a feeling of discomfort after that match. It felt like he'd been led around by the nose. Although he took a lot of kills, he must have looked like a clown to the other team, dancing along to the rhythm they set.

Xiao Bai? Where had such a person come from?

With some suspicions in mind, Xie Yu logged into an alt account and entered Xiao Bai's streaming room.

Congratulations to the player [Xiao Bai] for advancing to the rank of [Ultimate King]!

When Xie Yu entered the room, that message had just popped up on Xiao Bai's screen.

Many viewers had watched as Xiao Bai advanced to the rank of King. They all gave his channel a follow and spammed his chat with bullet comments offering their congratulations. The popularity of Xiao Bai's streaming room had shot up to over 300,000 viewers, which was practically inconceivable for a brand new streamer.

A lot of these new followers… were probably Xie Yu's anti-fans! Xie Yu grit his teeth in anger. He hadn't benefitted from that match at all? He'd even helped this new host gain new followers? Was he just a stepping stone for this new streamer?

In the game, Xiao Bai's ranking symbol turned into the golden badge of the Ultimate Kings.

Ye Shaoyang finally let out a breath when he saw [Ultimate King - 1 Star] on his screen.

Finally, he'd hit the rank of King.

It was a good thing his didi had spent the whole time double queueing with him, providing him with support all the while. If Ye Shaoyang had solo queued, he might not have made it to King so quickly.

Qin Rui was ecstatic to see his gege ascend to the rank of King. "Ge, you shot straight from Bronze to King!  You're too awesome! Seriously, I've never seen anyone play this good before!"

That's because your classmates are all amateurs.

You'll see more of this in the future.

Ye Shaoyang patted him on the shoulder and smiled. "You worked hard, Little Rui. You played support for me for over fifty games. Take a break. Your eyes are probably sore after playing all day."

New notifications continued to pop up amidst the flood of comments on the right side of the streaming room—

[King of the Jungle has followed Xiao Bai and subscribed to Xiao Bai's room!]

[Pentakill Please has followed Xiao Bai and subscribed to Xiao Bai's room!]

Watching streams and following streamers on Whale Streaming was free, but fans of certain streamers could become 'subscribers' by paying for a monthly membership fee. That way, they would receive an alert whenever their favorite streamer went live. The membership fee was only one yuan per month, which wasn't a lot at all, but viewers only signed up for this subscription when they really liked a streamer.

Ye Shaoyang checked his dashboard and saw that in just half an hour… his subscriber count had broken 100,000! And the bullet comments screen was still densely packed with new chatter—

[Isn't everyone supposed to be stuck on the King-rank promotion game for at least a month? Are we even playing the same game here?]

[He's ranked in his province now. Our host is a beast!]

[They were at such a huge disadvantage in early-game, and they really managed to drag it out to that final bout? I'm impressed!]

[Where did God Fish's fans go, huh? Do your faces hurt after all that slapping?]

[Your God Fish has already become a dead fish. Doge.jpg]

A series of notifications from the game popped up as well—

Congratulations! Your hero, the [Abyssal Lord], has reached a battle power rating of 7,300. You are currently ranked #1 in Mingzhou Province.

You are now eligible for the national leaderboards.

Every Monday, all national players will be ranked according to battle power.

Please keep up the good work!

A dazzling new symbol marked Ye Shaoyang as #1 in the province.

Mingzhou Province was a densely populated province in the south of the country. Reaching the #1 spot in that province was already a huge accomplishment.

The top ten of each province could advance to the national leaderboards.

It was currently Thursday. Three days remained until the new national rankings would be released on Monday.

Ye Shaoyang cut back to his livestream and said, "Thank you everyone for subscribing and sending gifts. It's nearly midnight, so I'll be getting some sleep now. Those who want to learn how to play the Abyssal Lord, you can keep watching. I'll be back at ten in the morning tomorrow. Those of you who like my cat, I'll bring Xiao Bai back too. Good night!"

After saying that, he immediately ended his stream.

The bullet comments section filled up with a sea of question marks.

He'd just scored such a beautiful victory. Wasn't he going to praise himself? Wasn't he going to brag?

He… just went straight offline?

Xiao Bai had ended his stream too abruptly. His viewers couldn't react right away.

As a result, more and more people became interested in following his streams.


Ye Shaoyang made his way out to the balcony while rubbing his sore neck.

His apartment was located in the heart of the city. He could see beautiful nightscapes from his balcony. Although he'd already been in this new world for two days, he still sometimes felt a sense of surreality when he looked out the window.

After playing ranked matches all day, he was both tired and exhilarated.

A fierce sort of passion he hadn't felt in a long while began to boil in his veins again.

As expected, even after being reborn, he still loved esports ardently.

Ultimate King.

Back in his old life, he'd had a dozen alts at the equivalent of the Ultimate King rank. He would often use them to practice various team comps with his teammates.

For professional players, the rank of Ultimate King wasn't the finish line.

It was the starting point.

From King Rank - 1 Star, he would advance to King Rank - 50 Stars. Then he would tackle the King of Kings tournament. Then he would enter the professional league. And then, finally, he would reach the world championship stage!

He would only be able to truly practice and hone his skills in games that were rife with other experts.

Currently, he had only succeeded in using the Abyssal Lord to reach the rank of King. He hadn't even reached the doorstep of the professional esports world yet. He absolutely had to use the Abyssal Lord to claim the #1 spot on the national leaderboards next Monday. Then, he would have to go on and practice other heroes.

If your opponents knew you were good at playing the Abyssal Lord, they would immediately send him to the ban list. Then where would you be?

The hero pool of pro players was extremely important. In his past life, Ye Shaoyang had had an extremely deep hero pool. He could play all mid lane champions, and his coaches had called him an 'all-round mid laner'.

In his new world, he couldn't possibly let a shallow hero pool drag him down.

Which hero should he train with next?

He figured he may as well go with the Illusionist. He could show that cocky Brother Fish, who'd so boldly declared that he could play better at worlds, how the Illusionist was really supposed to be played.

Ye Shaoyang opened the balcony door and stood in the wind for a while, catching a few breaths of fresh air.

Then he played with the cat for a bit, before finally going back to his bedroom to fall soundly asleep.


At the same time, at the headquarters of Whale Streaming.

Whale Streaming's offices were staffed 24/7. Many of the platform's streamers were night owls. In case these streamers said something they weren't supposed to say, or something that wasn't suitable for children, the night shift employees at Whale Streaming would have to deal with it right away. Otherwise, if they had to deal with the internet content authorities, their whole platform could suffer disciplinary action.

The data analyst on the night shift was practically dozing off when some numbers on their screen suddenly started shooting up like rockets. The analyst jumped with surprise. They checked their alerts, and saw—

It was a new streamer named Xiao Bai, in the Gods War category, that had attracted a huge number of fans in a short span of time. In a matter of minutes, he'd gained over 100,000 new subscribers!

The analyst rubbed their eyes in disbelief, like they were seeing stars.

After checking out the statistics, the analyst saw that this host had only been streaming for one day. Already, he had brought in over 150,000 yuan from a combination of subscription fees and viewer gifts. Many new streamers didn't even make 20,000 in a full month… this one made 150,000 in a single day?!

Exactly what had this streamer done to set such a remarkable record for a newbie?

Instantly feeling that something was wrong here, the analyst immediately sent the data to the talent management department.

The management department was also shocked by those numbers. They escalated the matter to their higher-ups.

Chen Feiyun loaded up the VoD of the stream in question and took a close look—she saw an adorable cat, and she saw that the streamer Xiao Bai was clashing against the streamer Brother Fish. In the end, Xiao Bai emerged victorious and left a few taunting words as a parting gift.

Chen Feiyun suddenly realized what must have happened. "Brother Fish has always been a very controversial streamer. He has lots of die-hard fans and lots of anti-fans. Based on our data, around 200,000 of Xiao Bai's new followers found him through Brother Fish's channel. The remaining 100,000 followers found him through the recommended newcomers list on our home page."

Her colleague Zhang Qi said, "Making 150,000 yuan in just one day… Xiao Bai has the potential to become a star!"

It had been a long while since such a promising new talent popped up. Chen Feiyun's eyes were practically flashing with light. She quickly pulled up the streamer's registration information and said, "Contact him immediately! Don't let another platform poach him!"

Every streaming platform had a real-name authentication process. When Ye Shaoyang initially created the Xiao Bai account, he'd provided his ID information and his cell phone number. It was very easy for Whale Streaming to contact him.

Just as Ye Shaoyang was starting to doze off, he suddenly received a phone call.

He was confused, but took the call. "Hello? Who's this?"

A woman's voice, very gentle and warm, flowed out from the other side. "Good evening, sir. May I ask if I'm speaking to Ye Shaoyang-xiansheng?"

It was the middle of the night. Ye Shaoyang was just about to hang up under the assumption that this was a spam call when the other party continued, "My name is Zhang Qi. I'm from the talent management department at Whale Streaming."

Ye Shaoyang froze for a moment. Once he absorbed that information, he politely said, "Good evening. I didn't swear when I was live, and I didn't say or do anything illegal."

Zhang Qi fell silent for a moment. She wasn't sure if she should laugh or cry. "That isn't why I'm calling. We're reaching out because we'd like to offer you a contract, officially. We checked our system and saw that you haven't signed a formal contract with our platform."

Now, Ye Shaoyang was well and truly awake.

He sat up and asked, "You're calling to offer me a contract as a streamer?"

"That's right. Our platform automatically recommends new streamers in the week after they first sign up. These recommendations simply cycle through all new streamers. Those who are officially signed with us will receive special promotions," Zhang Qi explained warmly. "Our manager thinks you have a lot of potential, so we'd love to sign you. Once we do, we'll start promoting you right away.

"In the future, we'll explore many more avenues of traffic generation for your channel. Additionally, we have professional talent managers and assistants who can help you increase your popularity and manage your fan base."

Any ordinary person would most likely be thrilled to receive a call like this. But Ye Shaoyang wasn't all that moved. His goal wasn't to become a professional streamer. He politely answered, "Thank you, but I don't plan on signing as a streamer for now."

Zhang Qi froze. After a moment, she bewilderedly echoed, "Not planning to sign? But… if you don't sign with us, you'll only receive 10% of the tips from your viewers. We won't be able to promote you either, because you could jump ship at any moment."

Ye Shaoyang did have to admit that she had a point. He'd seen all the subscriptions and gifts that had been sent to his account. Those were all paid for by real money. If he signed with this platform, he would get a decent cut of those earnings. If he didn't, he would only receive 10%. Wouldn't he be taking a big loss?

His viewers had sent in those gifts because they liked him, after all. And many of them had urged him to use that money to buy more food for his cat.

Ye Shaoyang gave it some more thought, then said, "Can you send me the contract for me to take a look first?"

"Of course," Zhang Qi said. "I just sent you a WeChat friend request. Please accept it."


Author's Notes:

Our striking host Xiao Bai is starting to receive attention from all sides~

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