Someone ran down the platform right away and asked Dt what was the problem.
Dt simply explained the question they had about the matching. The staff member was somewhat surprised and lower the voice to make sure that Dt wasn’t a contestant of the Need for Speed event. Dt gave his name tag to the staff. “We have only one contestant in this event, it’s a girl. In China, when under this kind of situation, a man will come before her.”
Ai Qing was somewhat stunned. But Dt spoke matter-of-factly.
Slide couldn’t help smiling and took down his name tag also to hand it over to the staff. “I’m the captain of the Chinese Team. We have objections about the way grouping is arranged. We hope the organizer can hold an open drawing to show fairness.”
Ai Qing naturally handed out her name tag, too.
The staff quickly ran back to the platform with the three name tags in hand. But before he had finished reporting back to his superiors, many contestants from other countries stood up one after another. While they were protesting, they turned to greet the three smiling.
“Usually, there is not much result out of this kind of protesting.” Slide kept smiling and nodding back while talking in a quiet voice. “This is a commercially sponsored competition after all. We are in their country, too, so prepare for the worst.”
Dt, with both hands in his pants’ pockets, was quietly lost in thought.
Slide noticed that he wasn’t saying a word and, after a moment, asked what was on his mind. After thinking a bit more he replied, “I’m thinking about our strategy for the day after.”
Slide gave Ai Qing a look and silently mouthed, “Do you see why you lost to him now?”
Ai Qing looked back with a sense of helplessness and mouthed, “He’s a genius.”
After protesting, the crowd returned to their seats, some happy and others concerned.
The organizer was adamant about its position. Because the tournament for today was about to begin soon, there was no time to change the matchups. However for the next two days, the organizer agreed that the matchups would be decided randomly by machine. Ai Qing, very pleased with this result, placed her name tag back around her neck. “Relax, I’m also a seeded player.”
Dt chuckled while patting her on the back, “Don’t stress about it too much.”
Ai Qing, tilted her head and pursed her lips. “Do you know why I started played DotA originally?”
Just ten minutes before the game, she decided to suddenly talk about the past.
Dt replied with a curious look.
“I read a post on an international DotA forum one day; they said that Chinese players were terrible and not even worth mentioning. Even when Chinese players posted their best videos, they just laughed and said that it was a video for beginners to learn from.” She looked up at the stage and continued, “Two years ago, Singapore always talked about how much better they were than China. But look at today, they’re too afraid to compete in the same group against us.”
She lowered her head and began to connect her mouse and keyboard to the computer that was provided by the competition. “Dt, even though I lost at DotA to you, that doesn’t mean I’ll lose at Need for Speed to these guys.”
The sides of Dt’s lips curled into a smile, his mirth was even reflected in his eyes, a rare sight in him.
Slide gave a short laugh. “Just by looking at you, it seems like you’ll be taking the first gold medal for us?”
Ai Qing raised her head up, placed her headphones on, and replied with an “ok” gesture.
In a competition, even if you’re just a teenager, you can’t loudly complain about what you perceive as unfair and wait for someone else to fix it. But if you have the skills, then even an unfair matchup is inconsequential.