ALL-ROUND MID LANER

Chapter 13

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Ye Shaoyang returned to the study, turned on his computer, and loaded up the contract on his computer to take a close look.

Reading contracts wasn't a challenge for him. In his past life, he'd been the captain of Team GD. He'd read everything from player contracts to streaming contracts, and he read them all from start to finish. Some teams tried to take advantage of their players, after all, and it was even more common for streaming platforms to try to take advantage of their streamers. Ye Shaoyang wasn't so easily cheated.

But before negotiating a contract, one hard to understand where they stood.

If they didn't have the ability to produce desirable results, they definitely wouldn't be able to negotiate their own terms.

Ye Shaoyang got online and did some research on livestreaming in this world.

The biggest streaming platforms in this new world were Whale Streaming, Douding Streaming, and Panda Streaming. That made things much easier for Ye Shaoyang. If things fell apart with Whale Streaming during the negotiations stage, he had other options. He wouldn't completely seal off this line of work for himself.

It seemed people in the A/B/O world were generally richer? Livestream viewers seemed to be very generous with subscriptions and gifts. All the top-tier hosts had over five million paying subscribers, and they received millions of yuan in gifts every month as well.

The income of these popular streamers was even higher than that of famous celebrities.

It was no wonder Brother Fish had chosen to walk the path of a 'controversial' streamer, drawing more attention to himself by badmouthing pro players.

Ye Shaoyang still remembered, back in his old world, a LoL streamer had received a whopping signing bonus of one hundred million yuan when signing with a new platform. The whole streaming industry had been astounded. Other popular streamers also made tens of millions of yuan per year.

The income of streamers in the A/B/O world must have been even higher than that of streamers in Ye Shaoyang's home world.

Ye Shaoyang opened his own dashboard on Whale Streaming. He'd gotten over 100,000 new subscribers that day. He figured at least 90% of those must have been Brother Fish's anti-fans who'd come over to pay a dollar just to support him for knocking Brother Fish down a peg. Plenty of viewers had also sent gifts for Ye Shaoyang's cat. In total, his earnings from that day were around 150,000 yuan.

He certainly couldn't compare to the top-tier streamers who had millions of subscribers and made millions of yuan from just one stream.

But among new streamers, his achievement… could be called a wildly big deal, right?!

A manager from Whale Streaming had called him in the middle of the night. Didn't that mean they thought he was an extremely promising newcomer? That they worried he would be poached by another platform? Wasn't that why they were so eager to sign him?

When he returned his attention to the contract, he noticed it was full of traps.

According to this contract, he would receive 40% of what he made from viewer gifts; subscription fees would go to server costs, so he wouldn't get a dime of those; and there was no signing bonus mentioned at all. In short, they were trying to rob him blind.

Trying to cheat a genuine newbie might have worked. But trying to cheat him? Dream on.

The contract stipulated a high number of required hours: 240 per month, which came out to an average of 8 hours per day. The contract also contained a binding exclusivity clause which lasted three years; for three years, Ye Shaoyang wouldn't be able to stream on any other platform, or he would be fined a penalty that was five times his income from Whale Streaming.

Of course, the platform also made some promises in return. These promises included promotional ads on their homepage, a tailor-made marketing strategy, and a personal manager—all of which sounded good on the surface, but couldn't be taken at face value at all.

Ye Shaoyang answered Ms. Zhang with a text: [Sorry, I can't accept the terms of this contract.]

Zhang Qi answered swiftly: [This is the standard contract for all new streamers in our gaming category. The terms are the same for all newcomers. In the future, after you've achieved a certain level of success, the terms can be renegotiated.]

Ye Shaoyang smiled and typed back: [I'd prefer to negotiate now. It'll be too late once I've achieved success.]

Zhang Qi turned around and looked at her manager.

Chen Feiyun said, "Let's see what he says first."

Zhang Qi typed back: [Okay. Which terms are you dissatisfied with, sir?]

Ye Shaoyang swiftly sent back three amendments—

[First, since there's no signing bonus, I want to split the subscription fees 50/50, and I want 60% of viewer gifts.]

[Second, I only want to sign for one year, for 180 hours per month instead of 240.]

[Third, add an additional clause—if the streamer becomes a professional esports player in the league of Gods War during the period of effect of this contract, the streaming platform will cooperate with the streamer's team to cancel the contract, and the streamer will not be required to pay a breach of contract fee under those circumstances.]

Chen Feiyun and Zhang Qi looked at each other with shock in their eyes.

This newcomer was way too arrogant, wasn't he?

They had dealt with countless streamers in their time. Most were happy to sign the contract as soon as they heard that it was the standard contract offered to all new streamers. This was their first time coming up against such a difficult newbie.

Chen Feiyun frowned. "He's so confident, and he talks a big game. Could he be a well-known legend who came over from another platform?"

Zhang Qi scratched her head, confused. "Xiao Bai? I've never heard of a streamer by that name on any other platform."

Chen Feiyun was silent for a moment. Then she took her colleague's phone and typed out a response: [Signing for three years is our company's standard for new anchors, we can't change that. Special terms need to be approved by our higher-ups. We can do 50/50 for viewer gifts. Those are the rates we offer to our most outstanding streamers.]

Ye Shaoyang replied: [I want 60%. I'm confident I can become a first-rate streamer.]

Then he added: [You guys can observe me for a few more days. See what kind of results I can get with my streams before you make a decision.]

Chen Feiyun and Zhang Qi looked at each other again. Dismay was written all over their faces.

60%… that was what the platform offered to their top streamers! The absolute cream of the crop! Where did this newcomer get the audacity to ask for such a thing?!

Ye Shaoyang wrote again: [Going to sleep now, good night. ^_^]

Then he really went back to bed and fell asleep.

He left these two women from the talent management department with a huge mess on their hands.

A long while later, Chen Feiyun once again reviewed the three amendments that Ye Shaoyang had sent over. Her gaze lingered on the third and final amendment. "Professional esports? Why does he want to add a clause about that?"

Zhang Qi realized the strangeness too. "Usually, streamers don't care at all about whether their streaming contract might conflict with a team contract. Could it be that his goal isn't to become a streamer, but an esports player?"

Chen Feiyun stroked her chin and reviewed those three amendments again. "He probably does want to become a professional player. If he signs with us and joins a team later, there could be trouble. All teams are exclusively signed with a platform, and the team he joins might not be signed with us."

But wasn't this person thinking too far into the future?

The country's three main streaming platforms were fiercely competitive with one another. All the strongest professional players typically signed with the platform that their team had a deal with, so the three major platforms battled aggressively to establish ties with professional teams. They offered these teams very lucrative, attractive terms.

Because these impressive players didn't need their streaming platform to promote them in order to gain viewers. Instead, they would reel in their fans and bring them to whichever platform they chose. They could bring huge amounts of traffic to a platform; star power was truly a formidable thing.

When these top-tier pros hosted a casual stream, countless fans flooded in from Weibo alone. Those fans would send so many gifts that the streaming platform would struggle to keep up, often having to up their bandwidth just to keep their servers from crashing under all that stress.

Zhang Qi suddenly said, "If his goal is to become a professional esports player, adding that clause does seem reasonable. It'll be trouble if he's signed with us and his teammates are signed with another platform."

The two people in the office looked at each other for a while, stumped.

They'd worked in the streaming industry for so many years already, and this was the first time they'd encountered a newcomer with such an overabundance of self-confidence. Streaming with the goal of becoming a pro player? Trying to snatch a hefty 60% from the lion's maw?

Chen Feiyun thought some more, then said, "Let's observe him first and see what he can really do. Also, get our scouts to keep an eye on this Xiao Bai to make sure he doesn't jump over to another platform."

Zhang Qi nodded. "Understood. I'll send out his information right away!"

 

At the same time, a group chat called [Gods War - Supreme Gods] was bustling with activity.

This group only had around one hundred members. They were all captains and top-ranked players from various professional esports teams. Usually, they only used that chat to schedule practice games for their teams or to set a time to play ranked matches together. Membership to the group was strictly regulated.

The group always became active late at night, when the night owls popped up to organize games.

And in that group of Gods War elites, a new message suddenly popped up—

[Reporter Zhao]: Holy fuckfuckfuck! Just watched a stream, Brother Fish was destroyed by a new streamer!

Reporter Zhao's real name was Zhao Xin'an, and his in-game ID was Xiao Zhao. He was the top laner of Team Beimu.

He was also known as the professional league's #1 troll.

Once, he got into an argument with an interviewer during a post-game interview. The league had issued him a yellow card for that. A while ago, he spewed vitriol back at an anti-fan who'd provoked him during a stream. His streaming room wound up being banned for a month.

This alpha had an explosive temper, and he'd offended plenty of people with his uncontrollable mouth. But his skill was undeniable. He was currently ranked first in the league among all top laners, in number of kills. His play style was extremely fierce and aggressive.

[Zhou Zhou]: Brother Fish?

[Zhou Zhou]: That streamer who always goes 'if I win I'm awesome, if I lose my teammates suck'? SlightSmile.jpg

[Reporter Zhao]: Good summary, Captain Zhou!

[Reporter Zhao]: That's the guy. He was the one who streamed his commentary of the world championship and said our country's players are only tough at home, but turn into cowards on the international stage. He even said we'd be better off letting him play.

[Reporter Zhao]: I've had problems with this idiot for a long time already.

Upon seeing Reporter Zhao's words, many of the other pro players in the chat recalled their memories of the previous year.

During Season 8 of the game, two teams from the Chinese Division had made it to the world championships. Ultimately, neither team took home the grand prize. While everyone was down in the dumps, the streamer Brother Fish had rubbed salt in their wounds by spewing that nonsense about how their pros were only pros at home, about how they turned into cowards at worlds, and about how they should've let him play.

The domestic esports fan base had already been full of haters who looked down on these pro teams for not being able to bring home a win at the world championships. When those incendiary words became famous, Brother Fish drew in a lot of those haters.

This was a person who would do anything for attention. Every day, the chat in his stream was a battleground for his fans and anti-fans. They unfailingly kicked up a chaotic storm in there. Pro players were bound by the league's code of conduct; none of them could go out and directly confront this guy. But it was certainly true that many professional players had put Brother Fish on their shit list a long time ago.

And so, after seeing that news from the gossipy Zhao Xin'an, many of these gaming gods also stuck their heads into the chat—

[I'm Very Square]: Brother Fish has a foul mouth, but his skills are actually alright. How did he get schooled by a newbie?

[I'm Very Round]: Exactly! Don't stop after telling us just half of the story. You can't leave us in suspense!

[Reporter Zhao]: I'll tell you the rest right now!

[Reporter Zhao]: I originally wanted to get a better understanding of the new hero. Brother Fish was streaming lessons on the Abyssal Lord in his room, so I popped in just in time to see all this go down!

[Reporter Zhao]: This idiot was saying something about charging the national leaderboards, and he just so happened to run into a newbie who was also aiming to take the Abyssal Lord up the national leaderboards. When they were matched up against each other in a game, the newbie got to the Abyssal Lord first. Brother Fish went with his best hero, the Illusionist, and declared that he was going to beat the hell out of the newbie. But from start to finish… he didn't get a single kill on the guy, and he even let the other guy get a team kill on him!

[Reporter Zhao]: He got his face slapped so hard that it must be swollen now, hahahaha!

[I'm Very Square]: Abyssal Lord?

[I'm Very Square]: Speaking of which, has everyone checked out this new hero yet?

[Zhou Zhou]: In progress. I've been too busy lately, haven't had a chance to really dive in.

[I'm Very Square]: Captain Zhou isn't planning on going for the national leaderboards?

[Zhou Zhou]: I'm getting ready to face you guys in the playoffs, aren't I? No time for anything else. SlightSmile.jpg

[Reporter Zhao]: ???

[Reporter Zhao]: Aren't you guys curious about the newbie who blew him away?

[Zhou Zhou]: It's common for streamers to beat other streamers. What are you so worked up for?

[Reporter Zhao]: This new streamer isn't normal!

[Reporter Zhao]: I got curious during the game and went over to check out his streaming room. They set themselves up as major underdogs in early-game, looked like a loss for sure. But this newbie stayed calm and gave instructions to all his teammates, until they dragged things to late-game and turned things around with a team kill.

[Reporter Zhao]: His handling of the Abyssal Lord is seriously top-tier. He's already #1 in his province.

[I'm Very Square]: In his province? The new hero only went live two days ago. He managed it that quickly?

[Zhou Zhou]: He boosted his battle power with consecutive wins, right?

[Reporter Zhao]: Right. He played 40 games with the Abyssal Lord, and so far he's got a 100% win rate.

[Tianhuan New Moon]: Which province?

[Reporter Zhao]: Mingzhou Province, #1 with a battle power of 7,300.

[Tianhuan New Moon]: Do you have a recording?

[Reporter Zhao]: Of course! I'm not called a reporter for nothing!

Member [Reporter Zhao] has shared a video file.

At first, the other members of the chat had thought this was just an ordinary bit of gossip. It was normal for streamers to wail on other streamers, and these pro players didn't know much about all the grudges that streamers had with one another. No one liked Brother Fish. After hearing he'd been smacked down, they figured they would just have a laugh and move on.

But as they continued reading Reporter Zhao's report…

100% win rate? #1 Abyssal Lord in Mingzhou Province?

This was worth their attention!

All these major players from major teams started to download the video file that had been shared by Reporter Zhao.

 

Tianhuan HQ.

Chi Shuo opened up the downloaded video file and saw that it was a recording of the familiar Whale Streaming interface.

Then, he saw a cute white kitten playing with a fuzzy little ball.

Chi Shuo was baffled.

 

Author's Notes:

About the streaming details, I looked into some contracts. These figures aren't that outrageous. PDD's signing fee was over one hundred million yuan. Of course, that's for streamers at the absolute top of the industry. Many popular streamers also pull in millions per year.

Ye Shaoyang's goal isn't to become a streamer, but professional players all retire eventually. After Shaoyang retires, he can still stream his games with a little white kitty in the room. He can play some ranked games with Chi Shuo to deepen their relationship or something, so we'll leave this road open for him.

The main goal is still esports!

Translator's Notes:

天桓朔月: Chi Shuo's name in the chat, Tianhuan New Moon, uses the character 朔 (​​shuò) from his name. 朔月 (shuòyuè) means the first day of a new month on the lunar calendar, or 'new moon'.

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