In order to avoid fans coming in to bother players, backstage access was usually restricted during games. The people who knew about these restricted entrances and exits would have to be players, coaches, or staff from the venue.
Exiting with the crowd would have taken at least half an hour. Since this was an opportunity to get out sooner, Ye Shaoyang didn't think about it for long. He got up and turned to his didi. "Little Rui, let's go."
Qin Rui, whose face was full of bewilderment, finally came back to his senses. He quickly followed his gege up, scooting closer and whispering in Ye Shaoyang's ear, "Ge, aren't you afraid he's a liar? Are you really going to go with him?"
Ye Shaoyang bit back a laugh and said, "Sending me two hundred grand in gifts just to mess with me? He doesn't seem that sick in the head."
Qin Rui could still hardly believe it. "So, he really is a coach, and he wants you to become an esports player?"
Ye Shaoyang nodded. "Mm."
As they spoke, the two of them quickly followed Chi Shuo into a door in a darkened corner of the stage.
Chi Shuo took a card out of his pocket and flashed it over a sensor. The door in the dark opened. He had to bend down a little to step inside, before turning back to Ye Shaoyang to say, "Be careful, there are stairs here."
Ye Shaoyang carefully climbed the stairs, pulling Little Rui along with him.
After ascending a flight of stairs, they arrived at the main hall on the second floor of the stadium.
The hall was brightly lit. Only then did Ye Shaoyang notice that the man in front of him was nearly 1.9 meters tall, a full half a head taller than Ye Shaoyang himself. The alpha's legs were lean and straight; he had a figure that even models would envy.
Ye Shaoyang lifted his head to look up at him. "We're leaving from backstage?"
Chi Shuo nodded. "You can get to the second floor parking lot of the Esports Center from here. We'll leave by car."
Ye Shaoyang and Qin Rui followed him down a wide hallway. Ye Shaoyang found that many rooms lined this hall on both sides. There were lounges, viewing areas, interview spaces for the media, and so on.
The sounds of a conversation trickled out from one of the viewing rooms.
"Little Xing, how come we haven't seen your master around?"
"Master didn't come today, he's resting at the hotel."
"Oh, I was just about to say. This is such an important match, how could Captain Chi not be here in person?"
A small teenager suddenly ran out of the viewing area, nearly colliding with Ye Shaoyang. The teen froze for a moment and looked up at Ye Shaoyang with confusion. His eyes seemed to say, Who are you? Why haven't I seen you before?
Ye Shaoyang smiled politely, then moved past him and quickly continued to follow Chi Shuo.
Cheng Xing scratched his head as he looked at them. He couldn't shake the feeling that… the tall guy walking away had a back that looked a lot like his master's? Before Cheng Xing got a chance to speak, the guy's back had already disappeared down one corner in the corridor.
Chi Shuo walked very quickly. There were too many professional players and reporters in the viewing area. If he bumped into someone who recognized him, he wouldn't have an easy time explaining what he was doing there. Ye Shaoyang also followed him very quickly. In under three minutes, they emerged from the backstage area and arrived at the second floor parking lot.
The design of Star City's Esports Center was very thoughtful.
Players could enter and exit through the second level, to avoid the spectators flooding out of the first floor.
Chi Shuo reached a black car, which automatically detected its owner's approach and lit up its headlights. Chi Shuo opened the door to the back seat and politely said, "Get in."
Ye Shaoyang led his didi into the back seat with him. Chi Shuo circled around to the driver's seat, then started the car.
The black sedan swiftly drove out of the parking lot and sailed onto a nearby highway.
Ye Shaoyang gazed out through the window at the crisscrossing network of roads overhead. Ever since coming to this world, he'd been cooped up at home playing games. Today was his second time seeing the city. He was still very unfamiliar with this place, and would probably need to slowly get used to it in the future.
He'd always been a bit of a recluse, anyway. As long as he had things to eat and drink at home, he could basically stay at his team base without going out for half a year.
Half an hour later, the car pulled off the highway and turned onto a relatively quiet side road. Ye Shaoyang looked around and saw a signboard on a building in the distance, which read 'Star City's Esports Center - Rookie Training Camp'.
Chi Shuo quietly explained, "The country places a big emphasis on training up young players these days. Star City happens to have a rookie training camp base. Kids who are interested in playing esports will be sent here by their parents. If they pass the trials, they can enter a training period. All the big teams visit the rookie training camps and pick out new players every year."
This kind of training system was great. It would allow gaming prodigies, who might otherwise have remained buried, to grow.
And for those who couldn't pass the trials because they weren't skilled enough, they would at least find out that they didn't have talent. They could learn their limits and give up on their dream as quickly as possible.
Ye Shaoyang curiously asked, "What do the trials entail?"
He wondered if it would be the same tests and trials as the ones he'd undergone in his previous life?
"You'll find out soon," Chi Shuo said.
He pulled into the parking lot, then opened the car door and let Ye Shaoyang and Qin Rui out as well.
Chi Shuo took out his cell phone and called someone. "Hey. Coach Xu, I'm here… mm, come straight up to the second floor? Okay, see you soon."
He hung up, then turned back to Ye Shaoyang. "Let's go. I already cleared it with Coach Xu. We can borrow the testing equipment here."
Ye Shaoyang followed him into the big building.
That afternoon, the match had gone on for three and a half hours. It was already six in the evening when they arrived.
Since it was dinnertime, lots of newbies belonging to the rookie training camp were pouring into the cafeteria to eat. Ye Shaoyang passed many seventeen- or eighteen-year-olds in the stairwell, and all those kids cast curious glances at him.
When they saw him walking towards the testing area on the second floor, they all started to whisper curiously.
"Who is that?"
"Never seen him before. He isn't here to do the trials, is he?"
"He's all covered up with that face mask. I couldn't get a good look at his face!"
"The one walking at the very back was pretty cute. Seems like an omega."
"An omega coming to do the tests? No way, right?"
Hearing those whispers, Qin Rui felt his ears heat up just a little. He said, "Ge, I won't do the tests. I'm afraid… I'll fail."
Ye Shaoyang smiled and looked at his didi. "You can give it a shot. What if you're a prodigy?"
Qin Rui immediately waved off the suggestion. "I'm definitely not. When we're in team fights, it takes me ages just to use a skill. I'll wait for you outside."
He politely found a bench outside the testing room where he could sit.
Chi Shuo pointed at a set of doors and said to Ye Shaoyang, "It's right here."
A sign on the door read 'Talent Testing Center for Esports Players'. Ye Shaoyang remembered that there had been a place like that at GD's base as well. Seeing the familiar sign made him smile a little.
Chi Shuo knocked on the door. A gruff voice from inside called out, "Come in."
When Chi Shuo pushed open the door, Ye Shaoyang saw a casually dressed middle-aged man inside. The man had a beard and a head of mussed up hair. That unkempt appearance made him look like some sort of gang leader who'd just woken up.
Ye Shaoyang said nothing.
Chi Shuo took the initiative to make the introductions. "This is Coach Xu, head coach of Star City's rookie training camp. Many professional players who came out of Star City received guidance from him in their rookie days."
Coach Xu laughed boisterously. "Forget about guidance, you should be talking about all the fierce lectures."
He stretched out his arms and gave Chi Shuo a hug, lowering his voice to whisper, "Little Chi, what are you doing? You think you have to wear a mask and hat here at the base? You're putting on a disguise for me?"
Chi Shuo quietly answered, "I just came from the stadium. There are special circumstances, please understand. I'll be troubling you to help me test this person's talent."
Coach Xu looked at the person standing next to Chi Shuo. He met a pair of bright, smiling eyes.
Those eyes were confident and honest, showing no trace of apprehension or panic over being in a strange place like this. That sort of psychological strength alone made this kid better than a lot of nervous, trembling rookies who came through the base.
Coach Xu's first impression of the kid wasn't bad. He raised his eyebrows and took a sip of tea as he asked, "Little friend, you want to play esports, huh? How old are you this year?"
Ye Shaoyang smiled and said, "Coach, I'm not a 'little friend'. I'm twenty-one years old."
Coach Xu nearly spit out a mouthful of tea. He looked at Chi Shuo, beyond puzzled. His expression seemed to say, You brought a twenty-one-year-old out here for tests?
"Just give him the tests, let's see how it goes," Chi Shuo said quietly.
Coach Xu put down his cup of tea and beckoned Ye Shaoyang closer. "Alright, come with me."
He led Ye Shaoyang into a neighboring room.
Lots of professional testing equipment filled up the room. Coach Xu pointed to a computer and gestured for Ye Shaoyang to have a seat. "The first test is simple. Later, some different colors are going to show up on the computer screen. As soon as you see a color change, click on it with this mouse, immediately. This will test your reaction speed."
"The reaction speed of esports players," Ye Shaoyang said. "What's the requirement in milliseconds?"
One second was equal to one thousand milliseconds, and the reaction speeds of esports players were always calculated in milliseconds. In his previous life, the reaction speed requirement for esports players was between 150 and 170 milliseconds, which was 0.15 to 0.17 seconds.
Coach Xu said, "The standard for professional esports players is 150 to 170 milliseconds, and you need to take the test five times. The fluctuation between your five tests can't exceed 30 milliseconds."
It was the same as it had been in Ye Shaoyang's previous life.
An ordinary person's reaction speed was typically above 220 milliseconds, or 0.22 seconds. Esports players had to achieve a reaction time of 150 to 170 milliseconds, five times in a row, with a fluctuation of under 30 milliseconds, or 0.03 seconds. That was because fluctuations meant you wouldn't be consistent on the field, which was something your coaches and teammates wouldn't want to see.
Ye Shaoyang nodded. "Understood. Let's begin."
Coach Xu started the program, and Ye Shaoyang instantly became extremely focused.
The blocks of color on the screen started to suddenly change color. Each time, the instant they changed, Ye Shaoyang swiftly clicked down on the mouse, and the computer automatically recorded his data. After he'd taken the trial five times, Coach Xu looked at him with surprise.
"Five times in a row, all 0.15 seconds! Your reaction speed is very fast, and very stable!"
Chi Shuo stood nearby, not saying anything.
Coach Xu was getting excited now, like he'd discovered a rare animal. "Come, come. Next one."
The second trial was a dynamic vision test.
On the blank computer screen, a messy array of little squares would suddenly appear. Those squares would only remain on the screen for one second. After that, prospective rookies had to memorize the exact image and recall it.
At first, the test started with five or six little squares, which were fairly easy to remember. Later on, the squares would increase, and their arrangement would also become more of a mess. Forget about memorizing the arrangement and clicking around the program to recreate it from memory. Just looking at those displays would make normal people dizzy.
However, Ye Shaoyang calmly sat in front of the computer and swiftly clicked on the correct options to recreate the patterns he saw.
The fifth level, the tenth level… he made it all the way to the thirteenth level, where over a dozen little squares blinked across the screen in an instant and disappeared. He could even remember all that, with perfect clarity?!
Coach Xu looked over at Chi Shuo with obvious surprise, asking with his eyes, Where did you find this prodigy?
Chi Shuo whispered, "Next test."
Coach Xu looked away from Chi Shuo again, switching the testing program to the third task. "The third test is the dynamic vision disturbance resistance test. You'll see six numbers flash across the screen. You need to remember them and type them out with the keyboard."
Just six numbers flashing by wasn't difficult to remember.
However, in the disturbance resistance test, the numbers weren't the only things that would show up on the screen. Huge amounts of interfering images, symbols, and even words from foreign languages like Japanese, Korean, English, and French would cascade across the screen as well. The six numbers would be interspersed around those disturbances, and the person being tested had to memorize them immediately and type them out on the keyboard.
Ye Shaoyang stared intently at the screen.
Round One: 678931.
Round Two: 901352.
Those chaotic symbols and letters from other languages would constantly flood into Ye Shaoyang's mind. However, this was the 'disturbance resistance' quality that was required of all professional players.
Many newcomers who did these tests would get stuck at this stage.
Forget about remembering the numbers. They wouldn't even be able to see them in the first place!
But Ye Shaoyang could.
He sat in front of the computer, looking as calm as ever. His long, slender fingers continued flying over the keyboard.
His eyes remained fixed on the screen, and he typed without looking down. Thirteen consecutive strings of numbers flashed across the screen—
He didn't miss a single one.
At that point in the tests, Coach Xu's eyes were already bright with delight and surprise. He hurriedly pulled Ye Shaoyang over with him and said, "The fourth trial, here. This will test your hand-eye-brain coordination skills. These buttons in front of you will start flashing randomly, and they'll get faster and faster. You need to use your hands to push the buttons. If you get one wrong or miss one, that'll be counted as a mistake. The test lasts sixty seconds."
It was a bit like whack-a-mole.
This trial, which tested the coordination skills between a players hands, eyes, and brain, was the most crucial test in determining a player's 'practical hand speed'. Sometimes, your brain knows what skills you need to use in a team fight, but your hand can't keep up—that was what some netizens called being 'handicapped'.
In truth, it wasn't a real handicap. It was just that the hands couldn't keep up with the brain's commands.
Professional esports players had to achieve a high degree of coordination between their eyes, hands, and brain. The eyes had to spot the enemy right away, and the hands had to react immediately when the brain decided what to do.
Countless prospective players remained stuck at this level. The buttons would start to flash faster and faster, to the point that some would flash within 0.1 seconds of one another, requiring you to tap with both hands.
The test began.
Onlookers could only watch as Ye Shaoyang's hands flew faster and faster across the buttons, slamming them down like a pianist striking the keys of a piano during a fast-paced composition.
He didn't panic. He wasn't nervous…
His expression remained calm all the while.
The test ran for sixty seconds, and the flashing lights continued to speed up. Ye Shaoyang's hands kept moving faster and faster as well. It was like the young man's pale, slender fingers were, in that moment, performing a beautiful dance.
Coach Xu stared at the youth in front of him in surprise.
Because as the trial progressed, the error rate was displayed on the screen above the device—0.
Even when he was going so fast, he had zero misses and made zero mistakes!
Coach Xu locked eyes with Chi Shuo and drew in a sharp breath.
The sixty seconds ended quickly. Ye Shaoyang had struck three hundred buttons in sixty seconds, with a 100% accuracy rate.
Ye Shaoyang looked at the result and smiled slightly. "Anything else?"
Coach Xu turned back to him. "One last test. The suspension test."
The suspension test was very simple. The person being tested was given a pen. They would be asked to hold that pen and dangle its tip inside a very small groove. The tip of the pen couldn't touch the four sides of the groove at all.
This was a measurement of a player's hand stability.
Coach Xu took a deep breath and said, "Don't think this test is simple. It looks that way, but less than 10% of players pass. You have to keep the pen still in this 2.5 millimeter groove and hold it for sixty seconds without touching the surrounding walls."
Ye Shaoyang gave a nod and picked up the pen in his right stand, letting the tip dangle in the small 2.5 millimeter groove.
His hand was very steady.
For the entire sixty seconds of the test, his hand didn't move at all. The pen remained perfectly still in his hand, as though time had frozen.
He switched over to his left hand.
Again, for sixty seconds, his fingers didn't move at all. He was just like a statue, completely petrified.
Sixty seconds passed quickly, again, and the testing instrument announced: Pass!
Coach Xu printed out the test results and handed them over to Chi Shuo with a very complex look on his face.
The first test, reaction speed. The result of all five trials had been 0.15 milliseconds. Evaluation: S.
The second test, dynamic vision. The highest difficulty level was 13, and Ye Shaoyang had cleared all the levels. Evaluation: S.
The third test, disturbance resistance. There were 13 levels as well, and Ye Shaoyang had cleared them all. Evaluation: S.
The fourth test, hand-eye-brain coordination. Sixty seconds, three hundred hits, 100% accuracy rate. Evaluation: S.
And the fifth test, hand stability. Sixty seconds, 2.5 millimeter groove, zero mistakes. Evaluation: S.
Chi Shuo looked over the test results, which bore those five S-ranked results—this was an extremely rare sort of talent.
Coach Xu whispered in his ear, "Damn, where did you find this big treasure?! His results are the exact same as yours from back in the day, a 5S result! If you raise him up well, he'll definitely be a prodigy!"
Chi Shuo smiled slightly.
Yes, he'd had a hunch a long time ago.
He had definitely found a treasure.
The tests in this chapter are all common tests in the esports circle in China, not made up by me. All esports players who want to become professionals have to pass these five trials.
The reaction speed, hand-eye-brain coordination, and dynamic vision skills of professionals simply aren't attainable by ordinary people. Among seventeen- or eighteen-year-olds, only one or two per ten thousand could pass these tests.
A one in ten thousand pass rate is more difficult than gaining admittance into the best universities.
Ye Shaoyang took these tests in his previous lift, and after transmigrating, his new body isn't holding him back. So he got a perfect score.
Our main character is very powerful, but he's justifiably powerful. ^_^