ALL-ROUND MID LANER

Chapter 42

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At the headquarters of Whale Streaming, in the head manager's office, Liu-zong read the responses from Mumu and Xiao Wei. He looked like he had a fish bone stuck in his throat, but he couldn't really pick out anything wrong about what these two streamers had said. He could only furrow his brow tightly and anxiously pace back and forth in front of the floor-to-ceiling windows beside him.

Back when contract negotiations with Xiao Bai had fallen through, Liu-zong had sat back and thought of it as watching an entertaining show. He'd figured Xiao Bai was just a newbie, and he'd seen his fair share of newbies with wild and grand ideas. One day, Xiao Bai would understand and come back to sign with their platform.

Whale Streaming was the biggest streaming platform in the country, after all. Sixty percent of profits from viewer gifts, for a newbie, was already a very good condition. And Xiao Bai was already making so much from his channel. He definitely wouldn't be able to resist signing that contract forever, right?

However, Liu-zong never could have imagined that Mumu and Xiao Wei… these two top-tier streamers… would actually happily play ranked with Xiao Bai?!

Xiao Wei had sixty million followers, and Mumu had fifty-eight million…

Back when the attention on him had been a little milder, Xiao Bai only had around 600,000 followers. But now? In just the past few days, that number had shot up to over five million like a rocketship! And among those five million viewers, there were over one million paying subscribers. Quite a few viewers had paid for a whole year's membership in one go, declaring their intent to keep watching Xiao Bai for a long time.

At this ridiculously fast rate, Xiao Bai would very quickly surpass Brother Fish, Cutie Bear, and other streamers on that level. He would definitely become one of the top ten most popular streamers on Whale Streaming—and he'd accomplished all of this in just half a month.

That's right. Half a month.

How terrifying was that?

This was a popularity boom that had never been seen before in the world of gaming streamers!

Liu-zong still remembered his surprise at Xiao Bai's appearance during their first meeting. He'd voiced his doubts about why Xiao Bai put a little cat in front of the camera, and not his own attractive face?

Xiao Bai had answered, "I'm a gaming host. Gaming hosts should draw in fans with their gaming skills."

It was very likely that the platform had underestimated this guy's natural gaming skills!

Whale Streaming's two main competitors, Panda Streaming and Douding Streaming, definitely weren't blind. They might have had their sights on Xiao Bai for a long time already. Perhaps they were getting ready to poach him.

If Xiao Bai jumped ship, Whale Streaming would take a massive loss! It would be like letting a mythical money-bearing tree get away from them.

At that point, Liu-zong was already starting to feel his temples throbbing. He ground his teeth, then picked up his cell phone and called Chen Feiyun. "Contact Xiao Bai immediately. Let's begin contract negotiations again. We can agree to all those terms he named!"

When Chen Feiyun received word from Liu-zong, she personally gave Ye Shaoyang a call right away. Her tone was very warm and polite as she said, "Hello, is this Xiao Bai? I'm Chen Feiyun from Whale Streaming. We met last time at Liu-zong's office."

Ye Shaoyang politely greeted, "Good morning, Director Chen. Are you calling to discuss the contract?"

"That's right, Xiao Bai," Chen Feiyun answered amicably. "Our Liu-zong would like to talk to you in person about the details of the contract. Could you make a trip to our office when you get a chance?"

"I'm not too sure of my schedule right now," Ye Shaoyang said. "I'll let you guys know later."

After hanging up, Ye Shaoyang considered things for a moment. Then he opened up WeChat and sent Chi Shuo a message: [Captain Chi, Tianhuan's players are contracted with Whale Streaming, right? How many years are left in the contract?]

Chi Shuo answered: [Tianhuan's contract with Whale Streaming will expire at the end of this year.]

He paused for a moment, remembering that Xiao Bai was a streamer with Whale Streaming. He added: [What is it? Is there a conflict with your contract with Whale Streaming? Do you need me to have Tianhuan's legal department help you out?]

Ye Shaoyang wrote: [I haven't signed with them yet.]

Chi Shuo was a bit surprised. He wrote: [So that means, you're currently still a free agent?]

Ye Shaoyang answered: [That's right. I previously thought Whale Streaming's contract terms weren't very satisfactory, so I delayed things a bit. They reached out to me again today, probably because they're willing to accept my conditions now.]

Immediately afterwards, Ye Shaoyang sent a smiley face emoji and added: [Too bad, they were just a step too late.]

Captain Chi had moved too quickly, after all. He had already contacted Ye Shaoyang, and Ye Shaoyang had already made the decision to join Tianhuan.

Chi Shuo understood Ye Shaoyang's meaning. He sent back a short audio message. "Don't rush it for now, wait until Tianhuan's contract comes up at the end of the year. Then we can sign with them together. Let Tianhuan's managers and legal team discuss the contract with them. They'll get you the best terms possible."

Ye Shaoyang answered: [That's what I was thinking too. ^_^]

What did it mean to feel like you were leaning against a sturdy tree, cooling off in the shade? When Ye Shaoyang had gone to negotiate with Whale Streaming all by himself, Liu-zong of Whale Streaming had assumed he was just talking like a wild and crazy newbie. Liu-zong had wanted to drag things out and make him compromise.

In the future, Ye Shaoyang would become one of Tianhuan's players. He would let the team do the negotiating. Whale Streaming wouldn't be able to take him lightly after that.

Sixty percent of profits from gifts? Chi Shuo and the other players definitely weren't getting just that. Tianhuan was a famous team, and Chi Shuo was a top-tier player in the country. Ye Shaoyang could bask in some of their glory.

Next time they negotiated his contract with Whale Streaming, a 60/40 split wouldn't be good enough.

Who told Whale Streaming not to sign with Ye Shaoyang's terms right away?

Ye Shaoyang switched gears and messaged Chen Feiyun back: [Director Chen, hello. I've thought about it for a while. Regarding the contract, I won't be negotiating for the time being. Let's wait until the end of the year to talk again.]

Chen Feiyun was bewildered.

Upon receiving that message, she froze for a moment, then slapped her phone onto her desk in a huff. "This Xiao Bai is actually putting on an arrogant act with me! Inviting him in for a meeting, agreeing to his terms… and he actually answered that he doesn't want to talk about it for now, he wants to wait until the end of the year? Is he trying to keep climbing and get himself even better terms?"

Chen Feiyun calmed her temper and gave Ye Shaoyang another call. When he answered, he was still very polite as he said, "Hello, Director Chen. I still haven't decided whether or not I'd like to be a games streamer in the future, so I won't be signing the contract for now. We can discuss the matter of the contract at the end of the year again. I'm very sorry for the inconvenience."

Chen Feiyun did her best to keep her voice gentle as she said, "We're willing to agree to all of your terms. We'll give you the same treatment as our top-tier streamers right away. Sixty percent of profits from gifts, and fifty percent of the income from monthly subscriptions. These are unprecedented conditions that we're offering! What are you still unsatisfied about? You can tell us. We can talk everything over!"

Ye Shaoyang smiled slightly and said, "Thank you all, but I don't plan on signing for the time being. We can talk again at the end of the year."

Chen Feiyun hung up with a gloom hanging over her expression, then reported everything that had happened to Liu-zong.

Liu-zong instantly spat out a mouthful of tea, spraying it all over his computer monitor. He was so incensed that he kept bouncing his leg. "Isn't he doing too far?! We've already agreed to his terms, and now he wants to ask for more again?"

Chen Feiyun's head was buzzing noisily, but she calmed herself down again very quickly. She said to Liu-zong, "I get the feeling it isn't because of the conditions of his contract. He said the end of the year… Liu-zong, think about the end of the year. That just so happens to be the start of the trade period for professional teams. Lots of teams also have contracts with streaming platforms that expire at the end of the year. Xiao Bai wants to talk again at the end of the year… this can't be a coincidence, can it?"

Liu-zong froze. "What do you mean?"

Chen Feiyun said, "The three conditions Xiao Bai set for us at the beginning. Please carefully think about them again, sir."

Liu-zong furrowed his brow and thought back to Xiao Bai's three conditions—sixty percent of gift profits, fifty percent of subscription fees, and the final most important amendment. If the streamer named in their contract became a professional esports player during the period of effect of their contract, the streaming platform would cooperate with the streamer's new team to terminate the streamer's contract without any penalty paid by the streamer.

Suddenly, Liu-zong was struck by a thought. He exploded, "Fuck! He really wants to become an esports player? He wants to wait until the trade period at the end of the year?"

Liu-zong hadn't given much thought to this third condition before. He'd figured that Xiao Bai was just a young man who liked to daydream. This was a person who thought he could go pro with just one national title. Whether they added that condition or not didn't matter.

But in reality, in all of Xiao Bai's conditions, this one was the most important! He really wanted to become a professional player?

Chen Feiyun earnestly nodded and said, "Once the trade period begins at the end of the year, all the major teams will definitely undergo huge changes in their lineups. Some mid laners will be retiring, some will jump ship or be traded away. Once these mid lane vacancies open up, what do you think will happen to an 'amateur king' like Xiao Bai, who has so many nationally ranked heroes now?"

Liu-zong hardly dared to fathom it. "Teams in need of a mid laner will target him like crazy?"

Chen Feiyun shrugged helplessly. "So, when that time comes, he won't be in the same position he is now. As soon as he's signed by a major team, he'll go along with their team contract."

Liu-zong's regret was so intense that he started to go green around the gills. If he'd known earlier, he would have agreed to Xiao Bai's terms right away. At least then they could have tied Xiao Bai to Whale Streaming for a while. Even in half a year, they would have made quite a lot from him.

But now, Xiao Bai's income flow was growing faster and faster. If they waited until the end of the year and gave him the same treatment as a professional player, then Xiao Bai would make a killing, while Whale Streaming would lose out on a lot of profit!

No, that wasn't quite right.

If Xiao Bai really had the talent to play professionally, that meant Whale Streaming could boast about producing a professional player from their platform. That would be a very good piece of promotional material for the streaming platform. And if Xiao Bai just so happened to become a championship-winning player in the future… Whale Streaming wouldn't be losing out on anything. They would be profiting?

Thinking of that, Liu-zong suddenly swept all the gloom off his face and beamed brightly. "If he really can become a professional player, that's a good thing. Think about it. A streamer going pro is something that's very rarely seen, right? If our Whale Streaming can produce a pro player, how amazing would we be? Now, no matter what, we just have to keep Xiao Bai with us!"

 

In the beginning, Ye Shaoyang hadn't imagined he would find a suitable team so quickly. He'd originally planned on signing the streaming contract, making a little money, and working hard to attract the attention of major teams by becoming nationally ranked with more and more heroes.

If a team was willing to sign him in the trade period at the end of the year, then he would have terminated the contract with his streaming platform then. That was the importance of adding the amendment he'd requested.

But now it looked like he wouldn't have to go through all that trouble.

He could sign with a team first, then negotiate his streaming contract along with the team. That would allow him to avoid any problems of his contract conflicting with the team's contract, and it would net him better terms. This outcome was better in every way.

In the afternoon, when Ye Shaoyang was getting ready to watch some recordings of old games, Chi Shuo suddenly messaged him again: [Do you have time tomorrow? I'd like to take you to meet someone.]

Ye Shaoyang froze for a second. He asked with some confusion: [Didn't you go back to the capital?]

Chi Shuo wrote: [Tianhuan won't be playing any more games this season, so we're in a state of being half on vacation. Players don't need to participate in daily training either. I booked a flight to Star City for tomorrow morning.]

Ye Shaoyang curiously wrote back: [Who would we be meeting? Not Coach Lin, right?]

Chi Shuo: [My master.]

Ye Shaoyang: [……]

Tianhuan's previous captain who'd led the team into the finals of the world championships? Chi Shuo's revered master?

Ye Shaoyang asked: [Why do you want me to meet your master? Do I have to go?]

Chi Shuo explained: [I asked for a salary of ten million yuan for you. The club needs to start deliberating. My master is a shareholder in the club. When I told him about this, he said he wanted to meet you in person.]

Ye Shaoyang: [……]

Captain Chi! Ten million yuan really wasn't necessary!

In his previous life, Ye Shaoyang had been the captain of Team GD, and he'd played professionally for four whole years. Naturally, his salary was in the eight-figure range. But the current him was still a newbie without any accomplishments. How could Chi Shuo bring up a number like that?

He was really trying to steal from the lion's maw.

And the club managers didn't just rudely tell Chi Shuo to back off? They were actually going to deliberate? It was clear that Chi Shuo's influence in Tianhuan was truly impressive.

Ye Shaoyang's feelings on the matter were a bit complex. He didn't know if he was supposed to feel helpless or excited.

Chi Shuo added: [You don't have to worry, my master is a very good person. He won't put any pressure on you. He's just curious and wants to meet you, to see if you're the sort of player with potential that I say you are.]

Ye Shaoyang thought for a moment, then helplessly answered: [Alright.]

In order to help him fight for a high salary, Chi Shuo had even called up his master for help. It was plain to see that Chi Shuo was really committed to signing him and making sure he got the best treatment. He wouldn't let Tianhuan treat Ye Shaoyang as a newbie.

Since Tianhuan was going to start deliberating, Ye Shaoyang couldn't slack off either.

He had to tell the higher-ups at Tianhuan—

By choosing me, you aren't making a mistake.

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