Ye Shaoyang turned on the computer and pulled up the internet browser to run a search on 'Gods War'.
The densely packed pages of information gave him a shock.
It was presently the era of esports. Gaming had become a leisure activity for many people; more than sixty percent of young people played games as a hobby. In China alone, the number of active Gods War players surpassed the two hundred million mark.
There were a total of eight divisions in the league, scattered around the world. The represented regions were North America, Europe, Korea, China, Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. The eighth division was the Wildcard Division.
As one of the largest divisions in the league, the Chinese Division had a total of eighteen major league teams which participated in an elimination-style tournament at the end of each season. There were countless more minor league teams, and thousands of players were officially registered as professional players.
Among them, the most popular player at the moment was named Chi Shuo. He was currently the captain of Team Tianhuan. Whenever he put up a casual social media post about his daily life, the number of shares and comments easily broke six digits.
In this world, popular esports players were treated just like superstars. They were very recognizable public figures. And if they could bring home a world championship trophy, their fans would be even more dazzled and the glory that shrouded them would be even more bright.
Gods War was currently in its ninth season.
The seasons of the games Ye Shaoyang used to play were divided up into the spring and summer tournaments, but the season structure of Gods War was different. In the league of Gods War, the first half of the year was dedicated to preseason and regular season tournament games. Near the middle of the year, an all-stars event and some minor solo- and duo-type competitions would be held. Afterwards, playoffs and the world championships took place at the end of the season.
The ninth tournament season's playoffs were slated for an official start date of September 1st. It was currently August 20th, which meant Ye Shaoyang definitely wouldn't be able to make it into the current season. If he made good use of his time and worked hard, he would probably be able to step onto this brand new battlefield as a professional player in the game's tenth season!
Although he'd played esports for many years, he would surely still need to acclimatize when jumping into a new game. He would have to diligently study the rules of the game, practice several heroes, and watch many of the professional league games to make sure he wouldn't drop the ball at critical moments.
Ye Shaoyang clicked on the icon to launch the game.
Judging by the beautiful special effects of the login screen, Gods War was a fantasy game. The opening animation depicted angels attacking demons while a mysterious, shadowy figure was reborn in the depths of the demons' land. The current version of the game was called 'Abyssal Awakening', and that mysterious figure was probably a new hero released with that version.
The opening animation lasted thirty seconds. Then, the game lobby popped up.
The interface of the game was very simple. Player info was located in the upper-left corner. Ye Shaoyang's account ID was also 'Xiao Bai', and his avatar was a picture of his Ragdoll cat. Underneath that, various other icons—Shop, Heroes, Friends, Teams, and so on—filled the page. Four buttons for different match types were located at the center of the screen—Ranked, Casual, Arena, and Training.
Ye Shaoyang clicked into a ranked match. A system message popped up in front of his eyes: [Welcome, Player Xiao Bai, to ranked matching. Season 9-3 of Gods War is underway. Your current record is 0 wins, 3 losses. Your current rank: Bronze III.]
Ye Shaoyang smoothly clicked into a page explaining the game's ranks.
Players were ranked according to skill in a ladder with seven rungs. From low to high, they were—Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Master, and King. This was similar to the LoL rankings that Ye Shaoyang was familiar with.
The difference was that there were two more rungs above King. They were Glory VIII, an honorary title conferred upon champions of the National Professional League tournaments, and Glory IX, an honorary title conferred upon champions in the World Championship tournament.
In other words, players could rank up from Bronze to King, but Glory VIII and Glory IX were honorary titles granted only to professional players as official awards from the league. Not even the best casual players could attain those titles.
Of course, casual players didn't dare hope to receive such honors anyway. Glory VIII belonged to national champions, and Glory IX was reserved for world champions—they were the highest honors in the professional league.
The game had a 'placement match' mode which was mandatory for all new players. According to a player's win-loss rate in these placement matches, the game would assign them to a rank. For example, if a pro player created an alt account and won all three of their placement matches, the game would automatically sort them into Platinum IV, and they could continue ranking up from there.
For people like Ye Shaoyang, who'd lost all three of his placement matches, climbing up from Bronze was their only option.
The match Ye Shaoyang was playing when he first woke in this world had been a placement match, and he had just so happened to run into a professional player named Fanxing, who'd recently created an alt account that still needed to go through its placement matches.
Ye Shaoyang looked up Fanxing's livestreaming room and gave him a follow.
After reading through the general information on the game, he got up and fetched himself a glass of water. He got Xiao Bai settled on the couch next to him, then sat back down at his desk and clicked into the Training Match mode to run a few games against the A.I.
Once the game finished loading, a system alert chimed in his ear and a message appeared on the screen: [Please select the hero you would like to use for this match.]
Ye Shaoyang's account currently only had five heroes unlocked.
He skimmed their descriptions, then randomly chose a female mage.
The rules of 5v5 tower-based MOBA games were all more or less the same, and he was extremely familiar with this kind of game. But in any new game, the maps, heroes skills, and stats would all be different. There was still a need for him to relearn everything.
The locations and HP of the monsters that spawned in the jungle. The spawn times of each wave of minions and the amount of gold each kill awarded. The positions and respawn intervals of the red and blue buffs. Costs and effectiveness of each piece of equipment.
All these things were different from what Ye Shaoyang had been exposed to in the games he'd played before, and he would have to re-memorize everything.
For professional players, it was absolutely crucial to remember all these bits of precious data.
Ye Shaoyang created a spreadsheet and filled it up as he played, observing and taking notes at the same time. This Player vs CPU match became a game of nine A.I. controlled heroes duking it out amongst themselves. The one and only player-controlled hero never made an appearance. The five bots on the opposing team quickly demolished the four bots on Ye Shaoyang's team, and the match was lost very quickly.
Ye Shaoyang started up another match and continued to take notes on the game.
He kept it up for more than an hour.
It was almost dark out by then. Ye Shaoyang rubbed his aching neck and saved the spreadsheet, then pulled up the game's official website and found a list of all the game's heroes.
Gods War had more than one hundred playable heroes. The densely packed screen of hero avatars was dizzying. Ye Shaoyang had been a mid laner, which was where he liked to play the most, so he started with the Mid Lane Mages category.
The avatars of twelve heroes showed up on the screen—
The Destruction Mage, Holy Mage, Sun Mage, Moon Mage, Sky Mage, and Earth Mage were the six male characters.
The Frost Goddess, Flame Goddess, Storm Goddess, Thunder Goddess, Tidal Goddess, and Destiny Goddess were the six female characters.
With more than one hundred heroes in the game, there were probably more mid lane options than these twelve.
Ye Shaoyang ticked the box to include other heroes which focused on 'Magic Damage', and a bunch of other heroes popped up—demons, elves, summoners, machinists, warlocks, priests, psychics, and so on and so forth. In total, there were twenty-five heroes whose skills focused on magical damage. The newly released hero, the Abyssal Lord, was also a magic damage hero.
That was a reasonable amount.
In order to become a good mid lane player in this game, the first thing Ye Shaoyang had to do was practice with these twenty-five heroes. He would have to become proficient enough to play professionally with at least eight of them. The broader his hero pool, the better.
This certainly wasn't something that he could accomplish overnight.
Even if he had been named the 'Most Valuable Mid Lane Player' by the league after previous world championship tournaments, he still had to practice new LoL champions before he dared to use them in the game he was so familiar with. And this was a brand new game.
Ye Shaoyang created yet another spreadsheet on the computer. There, he quickly recorded every hero's information—personally creating a database of notes was a habit of his, and it helped him retain new information.
He spent the rest of the afternoon organizing that data.
In the first spreadsheet, he'd taken notes on all the relevant stats and equipment info in the game. In the second spreadsheet, he logged the skills and characteristics of over one hundred heroes. Finally, he sent a copy of both spreadsheets to his cell phone. That way, whenever he ran into anything in the game he wasn't familiar with, he could open up his spreadsheets and check his notes immediately, saving him a lot of trouble.
Students had to take thorough notes before their exams. If Ye Shaoyang wanted to return to the path of a professional esports player, he had to be very diligent about this.
By the time he finished organizing all that information, it was already 7:30 PM. Ye Shaoyang was just thinking about ordering some takeout when his cell phone lit up with a call. The caller ID reported that it was Qin Yue, so Ye Shaoyang hastily tapped the 'answer' button.
"Cousin, do you need something from me?"
Qin Yue's voice was warm and gentle. "You're home now, right? There's something I want to discuss with you."
"Go ahead, ge."
"You have a spare room at your place, right?"
"My little brother Qin Rui just got into a university in Star City this year. He'll be starting school in a few days. His campus is very close to your place. If it's convenient for you, could you let him stay there for a while? My parents are a bit worried about him living in the dorms."
Ye Shaoyang froze.
He had to think about it for a while before he realized what Qin Yue actually meant. Most likely, Qin Yue still believed Ye Shaoyang had some sort of psychological problem. He was probably worried about letting Ye Shaoyang live alone, so he wanted to send his younger brother over to keep Ye Shaoyang company. Furthermore, since Ye Shaoyang had yet to differentiate, it probably wasn't safe for him to live alone.
The campus was nearby? He'd stay for just a while? As if. Those were clearly all just excuses.
But there was a lot Ye Shaoyang still needed to learn about this world. If his cousin moved in with him, he could ask his little didi any questions he had. His didi would be at school during the day, so it wouldn't affect his gaming time.
It would be killing two birds with one stone. There was no need to refuse.
"Sure, let him stay here," Ye Shaoyang agreed simply.
"Alright, good. I'll drop the kid off later, and I'll trouble you to look after him in the future."
"No trouble, it's the least I could do," Ye Shaoyang said politely.
Qin Yue was silent for a few seconds before he continued, "By the way, Ruirui differentiated as an omega a while back. I gave him a strong suppressant, so his pheromones should be very stable right now. Moreover, you two are blood-related, so his pheromones wouldn't affect you anyway. So you don't have to worry."
"…oh." Ye Shaoyang awkwardly scratched his head.
Terms like differentiation and pheromones were still pretty foreign to him.
An omega didi?
The kind of boy with glands on the back of his neck? The kind of boy who could give birth? Ye Shaoyang's curiosity was piqued.
He could conveniently get a better understanding of omegas from this didi. All his understanding of these matters currently came from Baidu, and he had yet to fully grasp a lot of the strange vocabulary he'd read.
He did feel like he, considering his personality, would most likely differentiate as a powerful, dominant alpha.
But what if?
If there was a fifty percent chance of him becoming an omega, he should at least understand how to deal with it!
The main character this time is an esports team captain who once won national tournaments. He has his own way of understanding the game, and he's an expert commander—a god of esports.
This is a very dashing and straightforward omega. I hope everyone will like Yangyang~
表哥/表弟 (biǎogē/biǎodì): These terms mean, respectively, 'older male cousin' and 'younger male cousin'. They incorporate the characters for 'ge' (older brother) and 'di' (younger brother), so it's common for cousins to address each other with just the latter characters. You'll see Ye Shaoyang thinking of Qin Yue as 'ge' and Qin Rui as 'didi'.