Upon receiving that message, Ye Shaoyang felt a bit surprised.
In his past life, he'd known many streamers. He knew that streamers always had rather delicate relationships with the big spenders in their streams, especially net-famous celebrity hosts whose streams fell under the entertainment category. It was difficult to even count up how many of those streamers were 'kept' by their big tippers. Things were a bit better in gaming circles; most of the big spenders in the rooms of gaming hosts sent gifts because they liked the way the streamer played, or at most because they wanted to queue with the streamer.
And when these bosses sent so many gifts, it was nothing out of the ordinary for them to ask for a private meeting.
This boss in Ye Shaoyang's room didn't directly say 'I want to take you to dinner' or 'I want to meet with you alone.' Instead, the boss had chosen the public venue of the 'playoffs stadium' for a meeting spot. Ye Shaoyang liked watching games anyway, and the stadium was sure to be packed to the gills with people. Even if he met up with the boss, things weren't likely to be awkward.
When compared to a private meeting, this sort of meeting place possessed a stronger sense of propriety.
With that thought in mind, Ye Shaoyang replied: [Boss, I'll see you on the weekend for the playoffs!]
He didn't feel all that stressed out about meeting the boss. He only showed a cat in his streaming room, after all. No one knew what he looked like, and no one knew what his secondary sex was.
So, he could completely rule out the possibility that this boss wanted to adopt him as a sugar baby.
His rich boss clearly only sent so many gifts because he liked Ye Shaoyang's style of play.
Ye Shaoyang had received so many gifts already. According to the etiquette in the streaming world, he should probably add the other party to his WeChat friends list, right?
Ye Shaoyang sent another message: [Boss, is it okay to add you on WeChat?]
At almost the exact same moment, the boss also sent a message—
Jungler No. 8: [Can I add you on WeChat?]
Ye Shaoyang was silent for a moment.
Then he sent his own WeChat info to the boss, after which he swiftly received a friend request.
Upon accepting the request, he saw that the boss's avatar was of the Bloodstained Assassin from the game. His name was a string of English letters and numbers, and his Moments was completely blank. At the top, a notification stated that only the past six months of activity would be visible to friends.
It seemed this boss was someone who liked to lay low on social media. He hadn't posted a Moments in over six months.
Ye Shaoyang's own Moments page was also blank.
He changed the other party's nickname to 'Jungler Boss', then sent a message: [Hello, boss. ShakeHands.jpg]
Jungler Boss: [Xiao Bai, I'll be pretty busy these next few days, so I won't queue with you for a while.]
Jungler Boss: [In the future, when we have time, I'll double queue with you again.]
Ye Shaoyang: [Sounds good. Boss, if you need to rank up, just contact me anytime.]
Jungler Boss: [Mm. There'll be a big crowd at the playoffs. When the day comes, get there early and use the VIP walkway to enter the stadium.]
Ye Shaoyang: [Understood. Thank you, boss!]
As expected, besides the game, they pretty much had nothing to talk about?
Ye Shaoyang closed the WeChat messaging app and opened up his streaming room again.
At that time, the comments section was still being flooded with an 'Is that all?' spam.
Viewers all started to ask Ye Shaoyang to continue using the Illusionist to play jungler.
Ye Shaoyang started to queue for another match and patiently explained to his viewers, "The Illusionist isn't a very difficult hero to play. His E skill is a movement skill, and you can use it a second time within three seconds. Which means you can blink twice. Usually, the Illusionist's killing strategy is to use his E to blink over, instakill his enemy, then E again to get away. You have to be quick about it. If you like playing assassin mages but feel like your mechanical skills aren't good enough, you can try playing this hero.
"But the simpler the hero is to play, the more demand there is on your game sense and awareness of the field. We can't just charge in and blindly use a skill combo, then fail to kill our opponent and get killed in return. You have to learn to analyze the situation.
"When you play this kind of hero, you have to be constantly aware of the whole map. Keep the big picture in mind. You need to understand the situation on the top lane and bottom lane, as well as the situation in the jungle. When your assistance is needed, you need to rush over. Sometimes, you can predict the movements of the enemy jungler and stake out a spot along his path, staging a surprise attack.
"The Illusionist is strongest between the sixth and the fifteenth minute of the game. He's the perfect example of an early-game hero. After the twenty-minute mark, the enemy will have geared up with magic resistance equipment, which means the Illusionist's effectiveness will be greatly reduced. In team fights, he won't be able to get any kills at all. So, try to establish your advantage in early-game and end the match quickly. When games are dragged into the later stages, this type of hero becomes a bothersome little didi."
The viewers in his streaming room had all started to listen earnestly.
[Professor Xiao Bai is teaching again, everyone quickly pull up a stool and take notes!]
[Professor Xiao Bai, I haven't finished learning how to play the Abyssal Lord from you yet, and you've already moved on to teaching the Illusionist?]
[I love, love, love this sort of professor host. I'll be continuing to screen record everything.]
Ye Shaoyang wasn't at all stingy when it came to sharing his insights. Oftentimes, ordinary players found themselves plateauing and getting stuck at a certain rank. At times like that, they would have to improve their understanding of the heroes and the game before they could continue to climb.
Heroes like the Illusionist, who were easy to play but required a lot of game awareness, were perfect for players who were 'handicapped' in terms of hand speed. As long as they could seize the right opportunities to charge in, instakill an opponent, then escape, they could very easily snowball their advantage and lead their teammates to victory.
Of course, in professional games, this sort of burst hero would be countered by the enemy support.
That was when heroes like the Illusionist had to work together with their teammates.
Another match began. This time, no one stole the position of mid laner from Ye Shaoyang. He chose the Illusionist again, and returned to playing mid laner.
The game ended quickly. His Illusionist's kill-death-assist score came out to be 8-0-9, which was still very impressive.
His viewers noticed that Xiao Bai had picked up the pace of his games considerably after switching over to an early-game burst hero like the Illusionist. As soon as he hit Level 6, he started to wander the map freely, unpredictably popping up like a ghost every now and then. Sometimes he hid in the woods and waited to ambush the enemy jungler. Sometimes he crept up to the top lane and swiftly killed the low-HP top laner…
The five players on the opposing team were always infuriated beyond belief by his unpredictable sneak attacks.
After being killed virtually countless times, they would sometimes even team up as a group of five to try to kill him by the middle lane tower!
Ye Shaoyang's viewers were going wild with laughter—
[Xiao Bai's resentment rating is so high!]
[If I ran into an Illusionist like that, I'd be dead set on killing Xiao Bai even if it meant I lost the game.]
[Even if you lose the fight, Xiao Bai must die!]
[Exactly. Sneaking around like that is way too annoying. You'll never know when he's going to pop out and kill you in an instant.]
[If I were the opposing jungler, I would have already died of anger because of him.]
At the same time, one person who was watching the commotion in the stream—Coach Chen—was trembling with fear.
An Illusionist who could freely roam across the whole map was the most terrifying sort of creature.
The essence of this hero lay in his ability to wander around and gank people wherever he went. He was the perfect type of hero for a mid/jungle duo.
Furthermore, Xiao Bai was extremely good at seizing all the right opportunities. He always popped up where you least expected him and swiftly killed off enemies who'd fallen out of position. He appeared without a sound and disappeared without a trace. Again and again, he disrupted the enemy team's rhythm to the point where his enemies completely broke down!
In any game, the situation on the field was ever-changing.
The player who was best at seizing critical opportunities stood the best chance of turning the tides of the battle in their favor.
The team with an advantage needed this kind of player to help build their strength. The team at a disadvantage needed this kind of player to help them turn the tables on their enemies.
The Abyssal Lord and the Illusionist were both assassin mages, but they were played in completely different ways. The Abyssal Lord was more a test of a player's operating skills. Players who could push this hero to the limit could dominate the whole map, even coming out as the victor in 1v3 battles. The Illusionist, on the other hand, was more a test of a player's game sense and awareness. His style of play required a player to frequently wander around the map, to choose the right times and places to assist, and to avoid being counter-killed by the enemy.
Xiao Bai played both of these heroes quite well.
His Abyssal Lord in the middle lane demonstrated his excellent operational skills and reaction times.
His Illusionist in the middle lane demonstrated his ability to wander the map, provide support, and remain aware of the big picture.
Coach Chen muttered under his breath, "Where the hell did this Xiao Bai come from? He's way too talented."
Fang Zhengqing pushed his glasses up and smiled as he said, "What, you're interested in him, coach? You want to sign him?"
Coach Chen was silent for a moment before he brushed his nose dismissively. "Team Jingzhe can't sign just anyone, can they? Before being offered a contract, players have to pass all sorts of tests. I'll continue observing."
It was true that a top-tier team couldn't just sign any random person. They couldn't possibly sign someone, then bring them home only to find that they didn't work well with the rest of the team or couldn't hold their own in the face of more experienced players. They couldn't sign someone just to have them be a benchwarmer, right?
That would be far too irresponsible, and it would also hinder Xiao Bai's development.
Coach Chen liked Xiao Bai quite a lot. Regardless of whether or not Xiao Bai went pro in the future, Coach Chen believed he could at least become a top-tier gaming streamer—in just a few short days, Xiao Bai's follower count had exceeded one million!
In the ensuing days, Ye Shaoyang continued to follow his own training schedule. Every day, he practiced, watched tournament games, and played ranked matches.
It was a bit harder to go on long winning streaks at 30 stars in the King rank. Ye Shaoyang's opponents at this rank were all experts, after all. And sometimes he would run into teammates who just didn't want to cooperate with him. In those cases, their forces on all three lanes would fall apart; the match would be unsalvageable.
It was very normal for Ye Shaoyang to win and lose.
But he still had more wins overall, keeping his win rate with the Illusionist at approximately 80%.
The rate at which his battle power increased was also dependent on his performance with the hero.
For example, you could use the Illusionist to get a kill-death-assist score of 10-0-9 in one game and that would instantly increase your battle power by more than 400 points. If you got an ugly score like 1-3-5, you would only gain a few points of battle power even if your team won the match in the end.
Plus, the MVP of the losing team would only ever lose a dozen points of battle power or so. Someone with a very bad performance on the losing team, on the other hand, could lose more than one hundred points of battle power in one go.
That was exactly why some people could play more than a thousand games with one hero and still never make it onto the national leaderboards.
If their battle performance was lacking, it only proved they weren't yet skilled enough with that hero.
But Ye Shaoyang's record was good enough to shock his viewers. Anyone who opened his battle history would see a swath of golden MVP badges. Even when he lost, he was always the MVP of the losing team. When he won, his performance was even more outrageously good—it was perfectly normal for him to take eight kills in one match.
As a result, his Illusionist's battle power increased very quickly.
He hadn't been all talk when he promised to reach the national leaderboards in a week.
After playing from Monday to Friday, Ye Shaoyang brought up his Illusionist's battle power to 12,000 in just five days.
12,000 was the maximum battle power for any hero, as determined by the game. There was no way to raise it any higher.
Every time Xiao Bai finished playing a ranked match, the post-game info panel would pop up. There would always be a small line of red text which said—
Your performance with the Illusionist in this game has surpassed that of 99.99% of all players.
Yes. It was undeniable that his performance with the Illusionist was outstanding.
In every match he played, he received a final rating of fourteen or higher—and the maximum possible rating was sixteen.
Although Brother Fish's Illusionist also sat at a battle power of 12,000, he had played thousands of games to attain that result. His average rating in games was much, much lower than Xiao Bai's.
The national leaderboards were updated once per week, and all players who made the Top 10 would receive a 'nationally ranked' marker next to their name. However, only the number one hero in the country would receive a golden trophy symbol.
When two players had the same battle power, they would be ranked according to their average post-game ratings. Ye Shaoyang's Illusionist was at the maximum battle power and had the highest average rating. Now, Ye Shaoyang only had to wait for the system to announce the new leaderboards next Monday.
He could conveniently take a break over the weekend and go watch the playoffs.
Ye Shaoyang changed the name of his streaming room to [Weekend Break, See You Next Week]. Then he ended his stream and said to Little Rui, "Tomorrow afternoon is the opening game of the playoffs. Let's go watch it together. The boss gave me two tickets."
Qin Rui happily answered, "Okay! I've never watched a game live before. Hang on, let me check… Star City's Esports Center? It's only five stops away from here, we can take the subway."
Ye Shaoyang wasn't very familiar with this world yet, but he didn't have to worry much with Little Rui leading the way.
The next day, the two of them ate lunch, filled up Xiao Bai's food bowl, and headed out the door at 12:30 PM sharp.
Before going out, Qin Rui packed a bag with an umbrella, pheromone suppressing patches, a thermos, and some sort of spray bottle. At first, Ye Shaoyang thought it was spray-on sunblock. But then Little Rui uncapped the bottle and spritzed it directly in his face.
Ye Shaoyang was just about to dodge when he heard his didi earnestly chiding, "Ge, there are going to be lots of people at the playoffs. Lots of them will be alphas. Remember to carry a pheromone suppressing patch in your pocket. Also, it's best to wear some of this masking spray. It's safer that way. If you suddenly differentiate as an alpha and aren't wearing any of this, you'll affect the nearby omegas."
Ye Shaoyang looked a bit confused. "…masking spray?"
The people in this world had to douse themselves with a masking spray before going outside?
He leaned in and gave the air a sniff. The scent was a bit like a light, refreshing cologne. It wasn't bad at all.
Ye Shaoyang curiously asked, "What happens if you don't wear it?"
"In public places, alphas generally have to wear a masking spray to prevent them from affecting omegas," Qin Rui explained. "Alphas who don't use the spray are basically seen as indecent perverts. They'll probably be taken away by security?"
Ye Shaoyang fell silent.
He took out his phone and wrote down: Alphas who go out without masking sprays are perverts, will be taken away.
In the future, before going to public places, he would have to remember the masking spray.
Qin Rui saw him taking notes on his phone again. He couldn't help but laugh. "Why do you have to take notes on absolutely everything?"
"Instincts of a bad student," Ye Shaoyang said. "If I don't write it down, I won't remember."
He put his phone away and smiled. "Let's go."
The two of them headed out for the subway station, and arrived at Star City's Esports Center around ten minutes later.
The stadium was shaped a bit like a bird's nest, and it looked quite large. There were six entrances marked A-F, and one VIP entryway. Ye Shaoyang looked at the VIP symbol on his electronic tickets, then led his didi over to the VIP door to have their tickets scanned.
Security at the door was very strict. All bags had to be searched, and an electric sensor was there to measure body temperature and something called 'pheromone value'. Ye Shaoyang looked at his own data and saw that his pheromone value was zero.
Little Rui's pheromone value: Omega, 4.35.
Ye Shaoyang could guess that he probably didn't have any detectable pheromones, since he had yet to differentiate? It seemed the public venues in this world tested not only for body temperature, but pheromone value as well. Was that to prevent omegas from suddenly going into heat in a public place and affecting those around them?
There were three boxes by the entrance, containing face masks, pheromone suppressing patches, and alpha pheromone masking sprays. If anyone forgot to bring any of these things, they could grab some at the door. It could be said that the venue was very thoughtful.
Ye Shaoyang grabbed a black face mask with the Gods War logo printed on it.
Just as he was about to enter, he suddenly heard a shriek from not too far away.
"Ahhh, Captain Fang! I see Captain Fang!"
"Captain Fang, I love you!"
"Captain Fang, I want to have your kitty's kittens!"
Fang Zhengqing turned back and crinkled the corners of his eyes with a smile. "Thank you, but my cat has been neutered."
A burst of laughter rippled through the crowd.
In the distance, a team of players wearing neat, dark purple uniforms swiftly filed down the players' entryway.
There was a cordon set up on either side of the walkway. Security guards stood by to ensure a distance was kept between the players and their fans, but they couldn't completely suppress the ecstatic fans. Countless fans crowded around the walkway, screaming and waving banners of support.
Ye Shaoyang glanced off in that direction, where he could only see the backs of a group of tall men.
He thought, next season, he should be able to enter from the players' walkway, right?
Next season, he would once again walk into the venue as a professional player.
Boss Chi and Xiao Bai are about to meet in person~