Chapter 137 – Promotion Match
The opening ceremony of the first division of the seventh season would take place on May 10th in Beijing. The promotion match was scheduled for May 1st and the Canglan team had a week to prepare.
After winning the championship of the second division, Li Cangyu took the team back to the Changsha club. Liu Chuan personally sent a car to the high-speed rail station to pick them up for a lively celebration party.
At the celebration party, Liu Chuan patted Li Cangyu on the shoulder and cried out, “Excellent Cat God!”
Li Cangyu smiled. “Everyone worked hard. The championship is a good start for us but there are more games. We can’t relax. I plan to rest in Changsha for three days before going to Beijing to prepare for the promotion match.”
Liu Chuan agreed. “It is good to get there early to familiarize yourself with the situation. The tickets and hotel has already been arranged. You can prepare for the match without worrying about anything.” He spoke while pulling out a USB and handing it to Li Cangyu. “This is the data that Zewen gathered on the opponent of the promotion match, the Terminator team. Go back and study it well.”
Li Cangyu received it gratefully. “Thank Captain Wu for me!”
Liu Chuan laughed. “There is no need to be polite. Zewen likes organizing data so he enjoyed helping you.”
In the previous sixth season, the last ranked team in the first division was the Terminator team. According to the rules of the Miracle League, they would have a promotion match with the champion team of the second division to earn a ticket to the first division.
The opponent of the promotion match had long been identified as the Terminator team.
Li Cangyu headed back that night and called the team to his dorm room to carefully study the information on the Terminator team.
The style of this team wasn’t particularly distinct compared to the other teams in the first division. Their main lineup was the remote magic control style with their black magician and white magician.
Captain Liao Zhendong was a famous white magician in the MIracle League. However, his reactions were much slower and his style more stable compared to Cheng Wei.
He was matched with the vice-captain Lin Ziping, a black magician with a relatively fast hand speed. It was just that compared to Yan Ruiwen, vice-captain of the Wind Colour team, he was slightly weaker.
Liao Zhendong and Lin Ziping’s personal abilities were inferior to Cheng Wei and Yan Ruiwen but their tacit understanding could be compared with any pair in the Miracle League. The two of them had been old partners for many years and the understanding between them was high.
The combination of the white magician and black magician had an unexpected effect. The black and white magician originally meant to restrain each other could fill in the gaps of their teammate and maximize the power of the combination.
To be honest, it wasn’t good to fight the Terminator team in the team battles.
Instead, the best stage was the arena.
The arena stage in the playoffs used the elimination system. Three sets of partners continuously fought in the arena. If the old partners Liao Zhendong and Lin Ziping were in the arena, the combinations of Zhou Li and Gu Xiao couldn’t beat them. However, both Xie Shurong and Li Cangyu would be enough to break their combination.
This way, the Terminator team would be at a disadvantage in the arena.
Li Cangyu focused on tactical research. “According to the rules of the promotion match, the Canglan team will choose a map for the arena first, then the Terminator team will choose for the arena. This will be repeated with the team battles. If the four games end up in a 2:2 result, a fifth team battle round will be played.”
“The Canglan team has an advantage in the arena stage and we should try to win the home and away rounds of the arena as much as possible. As long as we win the two arena games and take another game, we can win with a score of 3:1.”
The playoffs used the final score to judge the victory. It counted as one point whether the team won in the arena or the team battles.
This way, a team with superiority in the team battles or superiority in the arena could arrange their lineup according to their strengths and selectively win points.
In fact, the changes to the arena stage of the seventh season was equivalent to continuous team battles, but the six person team battle was more focused on overall cooperation while the pairs arena was focused on the connection between a duo.
Li Canglan was full of confidence that Canglan could make a smooth transition in the arena.
The Canglan team headed to Beijing on April 28th. Li Cangyu had many friends in Beijing but he didn’t take the time to visit them. Instead, he closed himself off in the Internet cafe that Liu Chuan secretly rented.
There couldn’t be the slightest mistake in this game or everything would be wasted!
On the afternoon of May 1st, the e-sports venue in Beijing was crowded with people. The commentators for this match, Shao Yu and Chen Weiwei also came from Guangzhou to Beijing.
The two of them had been explaining the second division and the promotion match was the one with the highest requirements. Thus, the two of them dressed up in clothes that were more formal than usual.
Chen Weiwei said with a smile, “I believe that many people are concerned with the promotion match today. Apart from the fans of the Terminator and Canglan teams, there are many fans of the teams in the first division worried about this match. It is because the winner of this match will gain a ticket for the first division and compete with the teams there for the championship of the seventh season!”
Shao Yu added, “At present, the online predictions show that 60% expect Canglan to win and 40% expect Terminator to win. This ratio shows that many viewers acknowledge the strength of the Canglan team. After all, there is Cat God!”
Chen Weiwei said, “Of course, there are four newcomers who just debuted. Their experience with the league is lacking and they are unreliable. The Terminator team has played in the league for several years and the players are experienced. It isn’t certain who will win yet. The key is how they play on the field.”
Shao Yu agreed. “In particular, the ability of the four teenagers in the Canglan to resist the pressure will be the key to winning or losing this match.”
The audience thought so as well. People like Li Cangyu who experienced many ups and downs would have a strong mental state. No one doubted this. The fact that he could make a comeback after three years in Miracle and three years in Wulin showed that this man’s heart was as strong as iron.
Bai Xuan was his old partner who walked with him for many years. He naturally wouldn’t be afraid in this match. Xie Shurong and Zhang Jueming were old players and their faces were quite calm.
The key was still the four teenagers. The youngsters who just debuted were all 17 or 18 years old. If they couldn’t bear the pressure and made mistakes… these mistakes were likely to ruin the team’s advantage.
The Canglan fans were very worried about this and desperately wrote: [Four youngsters, come on! Don’t let Cat God down!] [The four kittens of Canglan, I believe in you!]
At this time, the team members in uniforms were gathered in the soundproof room. It could be seen that Li Cangyu looked very relaxed but the four teenagers seemed a bit nervous. This was also normal. After all, it was an important event that determined the fate of the team. The young players couldn’t be as calm as the old players.
The promotion match, the Canglan team’s map selection.
For the first arena game, Li Cangyu selected the Demon Forest map. This was the most familiar map for several teenagers and ensured that they could play well.
The first combination he sent was Zhuo Hang and Li Xiaojiang.
The Zhuo Li combination wasn’t strange to people. The two players teamed up many times in the second division’s regular season. After such a long training period, the two of them had formed a good understanding. Zhuo Hang was responsible for protection while Li Xiaojiang was responsible for the output.
The Terminator team saw this and immediately sent a combination of archer and healer.
Ling Xuefeng frowned from where he was watching under the stage. It was estimated that Canglan would lose this round.
Zhuo Hang’s traps were effective against melee classes but it was hardest for a hunter to deal with a ranged archer. He couldn’t place traps next to the archer while the arrows could hit him from a distance.
Sure enough, the archer took advantage of the long attack distance and suppressed Zhuo Hang. The enemies still had more than half blood left when the Zhuo Li combination were sent off.
The first round of the elimination arena was a serious disadvantage. Both Zhuo Hang and Li Xiaojiang were afraid to speak because they knew that if this game was lost, Cat God’s early preparations would be in vain!
Li Cangyu didn’t say anything. He just calmly patted their heads before sending the second pair—Xie Shurong and Xiao Han!
This combination made the Canglan fans cheer with excitement.
Tree God and the mixed-race teenager were the representatives of the fast actions and quick responses in the Canglan team. They were quick to play and could definitely make the Terminator team’s two remote classes cry!
The quick combination of Xiao Han and Xie Shurong was really powerful.
Xiao Han entered stealth and targeted the opposite archer while Xie Shurong… he played the role ‘special healer killer’ from the Flying Feathers team, chasing the healer and making them unable to cast a spell.
Bai Xuan was really distressed while watching. He might be teammates with Ah Shu but when he saw Xie Shurong chasing the healer, he was reminded of the match where he was killed 10 times…
Shu Xiao successfully killed the Terminator team’s remote combination and faced the second combination—a berserker and swordsman.
This combination didn’t have much advantage against Xie Shurong and Xiao Han but there was no other way. There was no one else they could send from Terminator since the captain and vice-captain were required to be the guard.
Xie Shurong and Xiao Han died with the other team’s combination, completely wiping out the disadvantage of the earlier round.
For the third round, the two teams would send their guard combination. There were no accidents with the Terminator team and they sent their ace combination of Liao Zhendong and Lin Ziping. Meanwhile, the Canglan team’s combination made the fans shout with excitement.
—Old Cat, White Fox.
It was the Li Cangyu and Bai Xuan combination.
The two men had been partners since the first season six years ago. They experienced so many years of ups and downs yet Bai Xuan never left Li Cangyu.
They created the FTD team together, transferred to another game together, faced two team disbandments together and teamed up again.
They were no longer just teammates but were family.
The tacit understanding between them didn’t lose to any partners in the Miracle League. Even the Ghost Spirits Lou and Zhang combination didn’t dare say that their understanding was higher than that of Cat and Fox.
This was a full six years partnership!
Li Cangyu just needed to give a look or position himself in a certain way and Bai Xuan could tell what he wanted to do.
Cat and Fox appearing in the third round of the arena was sure to make the audience enjoy themselves! Thanks to the healing, Li Cangyu personally told them what it meant by an old cat who wouldn’t die!
Thanks to Bai Xuan adding blood to him, he could move with his pets and smash the combination from the Terminator team.
The Canglan team won the first arena game without any suspense. They temporarily took the lead with a score of 1:0.
Under the stage, audience member Cheng Wei couldn’t help exclaiming, “Cat God with a healer, how can we fight this? It is a bug! We should talk to the chairman of the league about not letting healers play in the arena!”
Tan Shitian smiled. “In any case, there are the team battles. Cat God doesn’t have enough energy to play four games in a row. I think he will only play once in the arena.”
“That isn’t necessarily the case.” Su Guangmo’s voice was suddenly heard from next to him.
Cheng Wei looked back with surprise. “Eh? Captain Su is here as well!”
Su Guangmo said with a smile, “It is the opening ceremony of the first division in a few days. I just came to Beijing early to prepare. It isn’t just me. Many people came to the venue today. Captain Ling is over on that side.”
Cheng Wei followed his directions and saw Ling Xuefeng watching the screen with a blank expression, the side profile looking like a perfect statue.
There was a short break and Canglan’s home team battle began.
Li Cangyu took Li Xiaojiang with him in this team battle, probably to aim for the white magician on the Terminator team. However, the flaw of Li Xiaojiang’s slow casting was caught by the opponents in the first team battle. In particular, the archer kept staring at Li Xiaojiang and interrupting his casting, meaning that many of Li Xiaojiang’s skills couldn’t emerge.
The Canglan team wasn’t able to overcome the early disadvantage in the team battle and the score changed to 1:1.
Under the stage, Cheng Wei couldn’t help feeling anxious. “How is it 1:1? Ah, the next arena game must be won!”
He was only watching but he looked more excited than Cat God who was playing on the field. He was worthy of being called the first brainless fan in the Miracle League.
Tan Shitian looked at him helplessly. “Don’t worry. Canglan’s advantage in the arena is huge.”
Sure enough, for the first round of the arena, Li Cangyu sent the Shu Li combination.
Xie Shurong took the lead with Li Xiaojiang. Under Ah Shu’s strong protection, Li Xiaojiang could finally use his high damage skills and successfully killed the opponent’s melee combination, giving his team the advantage.
Xiao Han and Xiao Gu appeared in the second round. They were two newcomers but Gu Siming’s impact style combined with Xiao Han’s ability to grasp opportunities made it a relatively stable combination.
The two people maintained the advantage and then Li Cangyu took Zhuo Hang to complete the harvest, winning the game.
The score was 2:1 and the Canglan team was at match point!
As long as they took the next team battle, Canglan could directly win 3:1.
To the surprise of the audience, Cat God didn’t play in this team battle. He actually let Zhang Jueming take command!
The Terminator team hadn’t expected this and had sent a lineup specifically aimed at Li Cangyu’s elf summoner. The result was that they were stunned by Old Zhang’s violent crushing tactics and fell into a disadvantage.
Liao Zhendong wanted to reverse the situation when the ice dragon refreshed but Xie Shurong obviously wouldn’t give them such an opportunity. Xie Shurong took Xiao Gu and Xiao Han to rapidly break through the front row, directly sweeping away the Terminator team!
The Canglan team grasped this match point and pushed to the crystal. The score changed to 3:1 and they directly won!
The four teenagers jumped excitedly. Li Cangyu smiled and stretched out his arms for a big hug with his teammates.
The sudden change in commanders at a crucial moment left many viewers confused. They thought that Cat God was using tactics. After all, Cat God was known for his ‘tactical unpredictability’ in the league.
In fact, Ling Xuefeng watched from under the stage and knew that Li Cangyu’s status couldn’t keep up.
In the first three games, Li Cangyu exposed his highest hand speed. In particular, the Canglan team had a hard time in the second game because Li Xiaojiang was targeted. That’s why he consumed a lot of energy letting out a burst of hand speed to suppress the Terminator team.
Then he went on to play in the third game. After so many high-intensity continuous games, he probably realized that he might not be able to cope with the fourth game. Thus, in order to avoid any mistakes, he handed over the command to Old Zhang.
It could be found that he was actually very careful with the lineup arrangements for the arena and team battle stages. In the third game that was the arena mode, he didn’t bring Bai Xuan in order to give Bai Xuan some time to rest.
It was good that Zhang Jueming won the fourth game. If he lost, Li Cangyu would be in a good state for the fifth game thanks to the break.
This was the safest approach.
Ling Xuefeng proudly watched the smiling man in the soundproof room. Li Cangyu was a calm, steady and determined person. He was the most handsome person in the eyes of fans and also the most precious lover in Ling Xuefeng’s heart.
It was great to see him win this promotion match. It meant that the big cat who loved to eat fish had finally returned to Miracle.
Ling Xuefeng’s lips slightly curved amongst the deafening applause of the audience.
In the commentators’ room, Chen Weiwei resisted the urge to cry. “Congratulations to the Canglan team for their 3:1 victory! This means that the Canglan team will get the ticket to participate in the first division of the seventh season! Let’s once again congratulate the Canglan team with warm applause!”
Shao Yu also excitedly exclaimed, “Congratulations on Cat God’s return! After three years of being away, he is finally back! This time he has returned to the league with a brand new Canglan team. I believe that he will continue to bring you more wonderful scenes in the first division!”
In the soundproof room, Li Cangyu briefly celebrated with this teammates before going to the other room to shake hands.
Compared to the Canglan team’s joy, the Terminator members naturally weren’t happy. The promotion of the Canglan team meant that Terminator would be downgraded. In the future, they could only play in the second division.
…It was still better than the team disbanding.
Liao Zhendong quickly adjusted his mood and shook Li Cangyu’s hand. “Congratulations to Cat God.”
Li Cangyu nodded. “I didn’t give up when the FTD team disbanded. Captain Liao, I believe that you won’t easily give up, right?”
Liao Zhendong was stunned before soon reacting. He finally smiled as he cried out, “Of course!”
It was just a downgrade to the second division. It wasn’t impossible to play the game. In the face of a tough person who didn’t give up for six years, how could he say that he wanted to give up?
Li Cangyu smiled and gently patted him on the shoulder. “Refuel.”
He himself had been eliminated by strong teams countless times. This feeling was very comfortable so he understood Liao Zhendong’s mood. Words of comfort might be of little use but he believed a truly determined person wouldn’t be easily defeated by setbacks.
In the live broadcast room, the screen suddenly showed the audience and people started cheering madly. Chen Weiwei excitedly cried out, “We just saw that there are several familiar gods in the VIP section. There is the Time team’s Captain Tan and Vice-Captain Cheng Wei, the Flying Feathers team’s Captain Su and Vice-Captain Yu as well as the handsome Captain Ling. It seems they are very concerned with this match!”
“Cat God is Captain Ling’s old rival, Xie Shurong is the younger brother of Captain Su and Vice-Captain Yu while Cheng Wei is Cat God’s most loyal fan… it isn’t surprising that these great gods would appear at the venue.” Shao Yu said with a laugh. “Next week is the opening ceremony of the first division. The addition of Cat God should cause a big shuffle in the seventh season’s standings.”
“Naturally.” Chen Weiwei said, “Audience members, please continue to support the first division of the seventh season! Shao Yu and I will be commentating on the Champions League tournament next. Any interested audience members are welcome to watch it. The commentating for the first division will be handed over to Sister Bing and Kou Hongyi!”
The camera cut to another room where Yu Bing and Kou Hongyi were sitting and watching the game.
The handover of the commentators could be regarded as the successful handover of the second division to the first division.
Kou Hongyi smiled and said, “First of all, congratulations to Canglan for their successful promotion to the first division. Sister Bing, shall we give some short comments on the match?”
Yu Bing nodded calmly. “In this match, the lineup from beginning to end reflects Cat God’s precise tactics. There are many combinations that appeared in the arena but if you study it carefully, you can find Cat God’s care. For example, after losing the second game that was the team battle, Cat God sent Li Xiaojiang with Xie Shurong in the third game. Ah Shu’s protection of Li Xiaojiang allowed for a victory in the arena and for Li Xiaojiang to regain his confidence.”
Kou Hongyi realized. “It seems that Cat God isn’t only considering victory when it comes to the lineup. He is also taking into account the psychological state of the young players.”
Yu Bing said, “Yes, Cat God has always been a decisive but careful captain. I am looking forward to the Canglan team’s performance in the first division.”
The screen showed all the teams in this year’s first division. Kou Hongyi immediately introduced them. “With the smooth promotion of the Canglan team, the eight teams in the seventh season have also changed. There is Wind Colour, Time, Flying Feathers, Ghost Spirits, Pure Cleansing, Red Fox, Cheetah and the just promoted Canglan!”
Yu Bing added, “The opening ceremony of the first division will be held in Beijing on May 10th. The audience is welcome to watch it on time! The seventh season’s first division will be explained by me and Kou Hongyi.”
There was a rare smile on the normally indifferent looking Yu Bing.
Cat God had finally returned and the seventh season she was looking forward to has started. As a former Red Fox captain and current official commentator, she was fortunate to be able to witness the most intense season in the history of the league.
Once he shook hands with the other team, Li Cangyu came to the big stage with his team members and bowed to thank the audience for their support.
Applause thundered and the lights on the stage were dazzling. Li Cangyu couldn’t see the faces of the audience members but he knew there were many friends watching today. LIng Xuefeng, Cheng Wei and Su Guangmo should’ve come here. They wanted to witness the moment of his return and fortunately, he didn’t let them down.
The host came forward and handed the microphone to Li Cangyu. “Cat God, with this victory, you are going to join the top eight teams in the first division. What do you want to say to these powerful opponents?”
Li Cangyu smiled at the camera and declared, “I am coming back. Please be prepared to accept the challenge of the Canglan team.”
He said this in a very calm manner but he was throwing a huge gauntlet to the other teams in the Miracle League.
Under the stage, Cheng Wei jumped up excitedly. “Great! Canglan finally advanced! Cat God is so handsome, this sentence is too handsome!”
Tan Shitian helplessly said, “Cat God’s words also includes you.”
Cheng Wei was stunned. He scratched his head as he thought about this and quietly sat down.
Su Guangmo lamented, “It seems there will be a bad fight in this year’s league!”
Tan Shitian laughed. “When has it ever been a good fight?”
Su Guangmo also laughed. “Indeed, every season is hard.”
Ling Xuefeng heard Li Cangyu’s declaration but he only slightly smiled. He seemed to be saying, ‘I am waiting for you.’
Among the many gods in the Miracle League, the team that could win the championship depended on some luck as well as strength. Every season wasn’t easy to play but this season would be particularly fierce.
In the seventh season, the system changed completely and Cat God returned with a new team. This was also a new starting point for the Miracle League.
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