The short break ended and the last quarter-final match started as scheduled.
Three’s strength was obvious to all. In addition, the other two teams of the Chinese division had been confirmed to advance. Netizens were very eager and hoped to put the subtitle ‘KING, you have been completely surrounded’ on the screen at the end of the match.
In contrast, Lin Yan wasn’t as blindly optimistic as the netizens.
Three was indeed far better than Group in terms of strength but the matter of Wuhoo’s hand injury was still unclear. Anyone who had been in contact with it knew that this type of trauma couldn’t be completely healed in half a month.
Naturally, this became the only suspense in today’s match.
It was well-known in the European and American divisions that Group was a ‘tortoise’ team. Looking at the group’s past games, it wasn’t hard to see that none of them were less than 45 minutes long and the longest was over an hour. They created the record for the longest game since the league was held.
This type of keeping up with the enemy using their strong defense could be regarded as a perfect interpretation of the tactic ‘injure the enemy 1,000 times while self-inflicting 800 damage on yourself.’ It was an endurance style of play where they either killed the enemy or killed themselves.
It was because each one of Group’s games was basically a long and boring fight against pressure that led to this team having the smallest number of fans among the teams in the World Competition despite being a seeded team from the European and American divisions.
At the same time, they were ranked highly on the list of ‘teams I don’t want to meet’ voted on by every big team.
The previous group stage was BO1 but the current quarter-final knock-out was BO5. Facing a team like Group, Three had to win three games in one go. Otherwise, once they entered the fourth game with a tug-of-war rhythm, it would only be disadvantageous to Wuhoo who had a hand injury.
Three was clearly well aware of this situation and didn’t want to give Group a chance. They were extremely fierce the moment the game started.
Bi Yaohua looked a bit dumbfounded. “Wuhoo’s hand… doesn’t look injured at all. Why do I feel like this combination is even more ruthless than when they hit us?”
Lin Yan told him, “It’s because of the injury that it is necessary to play like this.”
He felt the inquiring gazes from around him but continued watching the game calmly without explaining.
Three chose a two-lane development strategy for this game. In addition to Wuhoo in the bottom lane, a large part of the economy was also reserved for their mid-laner. From the very beginning, the jungler was active in the middle and bottom lanes. Wuhoo and Come also cooperated and quickly occupied the jungle in the bottom half of the map.
Usually once the game progressed to this level, it meant that Three had mastered enough of the initiative on the field. If it was switched to any other team, the opponent would’ve already entered an infinite vicious circle. However, Three’s opponent was Group.
This team with peculiar attributes was good at coping with this type of overwhelming situation. Just when everyone thought the game would end in 30 minutes, time passed unknowingly. It wasn’t until the 48th minute that Three finally broke Group’s crystal.
“This game was played too long.” At this point, even Jian Ye realized that something was wrong. “What’s going on? I feel that Three started to weaken from the middle stage?”
“It isn’t that they weakened. It is that they had no place to use it.” Jing Yuanzhou explained. “Group’s defensive details are almost perfect. Every time Three’s attack reaches a critical period, Group can always accurately grasp the breakthrough point and intercept it back. Of course, the current economic advantage of Three means they can push hard. It is just that it isn’t worth making such an attempt when thinking about the risks of forcefully pushing through the tower.”
Jian Ye was surprised. “Is Group so difficult to deal with?”
“Perhaps few people will think of Group when it comes to strong teams but they are absolutely ranked in the top three when it comes to teams that cause a headache.” Lin Yan slowly said. “I’m afraid it will be a bit difficult for Three today.”
The first game was often the most decisive time for morale. Based on Three’s current situation, they should be preparing to widen the advantage but now…
If the first game took so long then winning the later games would probably be even more difficult. In addition…
Lin Yan’s eyes fell on the statistics on the screen.
Wuhoo’s output in this game wasn’t low. Compared to many shooters, it was definitely an excellent existence. However, Lin Yan had been paying attention to Three for so long. He clearly knew that such a ratio wasn’t enough for Wuhoo, the top shooter.
A large part of the reason was because Three had changed its strategy in this game. They didn’t put the economy on Wuhoo alone as usual but allocated a large part of it to their mid-laner. This was undoubtedly very rare based on Three’s previous games.
In this way, they were hoping to share some of the pressure on Wuhoo. The situation of Wuhoo’s hand injury was unknown to the outside world apart from Three’s players but after this round, Lin Yan could be sure that it wasn’t very optimistic. Otherwise, Three would never make such a temporary adjustment in the important quarter-finals.
The other players of GH couldn’t get as much information based on statistics like Lin Yan but they saw their coach’s expression and were somewhat aware of what was wrong. The entire lounge suddenly fell silent.
There was a short break and the second game officially began. Three was probably aware of the problem in the previous game and re-adjusted the economic distribution. They once again restored their strategy of the shooter as the core.
This time, it ended a bit faster than before. The winner was decided in 40 minutes and Three got the match point. They just needed to win one more game to secure the last spot in the semi-finals.
Lin Yan’s lips pressed together and he didn’t say much. Next to him, Jing Yuanzhou wasn’t smiling at all.
Winning two games in a row was indeed a very exciting thing but after Three resumed their usual style of play, it was tantamount to putting all the pressure on the bottom two players again. In this way, the load on Wuhoo could be imagined.
According to the rhythm of Three in the second game, it really shouldn’t have been delayed to 40 minutes. The reason was that Wuhoo was obviously affected by his own state. In particular, the mistake during the last team battle was a bit too obvious.
In a situation where three kills was possible, his deviated skill meant it was only three kills. It didn’t affect the final outcome but it was absolutely impossible for Wuhoo to make such a low level mistake if he was in his best state. It could be seen that Come worked very hard to protect Wuhoo and maximized the output space. Even so, this type of prolonged confrontation would inevitably cause a loss on the players.
They had to see if Three could end today’s last game before Wuhoo reached his limit.
In the third game, Group took out their famous lineup. Once such a lineup came out, even Bi Yaohua couldn’t help cursing loudly. “F*k, is this still f*king playing a shooter?!”
The overpowering defensive lineup obviously wanted to see who had the last laugh between the sharpest spear and the strongest shield. It was undeniable that Group’s lineup was really a headache for anyone who saw it but Three still dared to play it. The process was a bit difficult but they tore a crack in Three’s solid defense.
Group continued to resist pressure.
At 50 minutes into the game, the two sides faced off again in front of the high ground. At this point in time, the group that was destroyed would completely lose the chance of victory. A group fight broke out under the attention of the public. It was a pity that Three failed to seize this opportunity.
Group was so proficient with their lineup that each character’s position in the defensive line was almost impeccable. At the most critical moment, Three experienced a disconnect within the lineup for the first time and was blocked out from the high ground.
The score was tied at 2:1.
In the director’s shot, Wuhoo’s posture of covering his hand was particularly striking. The audience seemed to realize something and suddenly fell silent. The three games and the break time added up to nearly three hours. The audience at the scene were a bit sleepy, let alone the players who were fighting hard.
Three’s fans were red-eyed as they remembered the news of Wuhoo’s hand injury some time ago.
In the fourth game, Three adjusted their tactic again with little success. Group took 54 minutes to win the next game.
The fifth game…
It was such a long game cycle but Wuhoo always insisted on not being replaced by their substitute shooter. Such a firm attitude entered the camera and seemed even more cruel. Who was willing to make such a choice that could potentially risk their career when there was a way back?
Many people might not understand Wuhoo’s insistence on staying on the field but how could Lin Yan not understand it? Once the strength of the substitute player wasn’t enough to take on the task, Wuhoo was the sharpest weapon in the Three team and became their only hope of winning the match.
However, even knowing that Three’s shooter couldn’t break through Group’s defense, Lin Yan was still a bit overwhelmed by Wuhoo’s dedication to the team. At this moment, he seemed to have some understanding of Jing Yuanzhou’s mood before. It was just a relationship between friendly teams and he already couldn’t bear it with Wuhoo. How would Jing Yuanzhou feel watching him consume himself to face Win on the field at that time?
There was something vaguely moving in his heart.
Lin Yan slowly extended his hand and held Jing Yuanzhou’s hand. Jing Yuanzhou was taken aback for a moment by the sudden move before gently holding his hand back.
By the time the fifth game ended, it had become completely dark outside. They witnessed such a long match and the audience was unable to calm down for a long time. Their eyes were completely red.
The camera approached and showed a close-up of Wuhoo’s hand shaking in pain. Many people choked up. The next second, Come stood up and walked to Wuhoo’s side with concern. Three’s other players also gathered around and the camera was completely covered up by the gathered figures.
Wuhoo’s condition wasn’t clear. They could only see the vaguely trembling shoulders as he clung to another person in a death grip.
Three ultimately failed to get the ticket to enter the semi-finals. They had to say a tearful farewell to the stage of the World Competition.
The interview after the quarter-final match.
Wuhoo covered his head and led his team members to bow deeply toward the camera. The expression in his eyes was as firm as always. “It’s a pity that we could only stop at the quarter-finals but we will definitely be back next year.”
On this night, some people were doomed to a sleepless night. With Three’s regretful departure, the list of the top four of the World Competition was finally created: GH, KING, PAY, and Group.