97 was just joking but it caught Ai Jing’s interest.
They ended up going to an internet cafe.
Because the city was one of the WCG tournament stops, the internet cafe was also infected from the excitement; there were heated contests going on there.
There were always two camps inside any internet cafe in any city, those playing MMOs and others playing competitive games. When Ai Qing walked in this internet cafe, there was a small scale tournament going on to celebrate the occasion.
Her sister excitingly looked at the scoreboard. “Heh, it’s DotA, heh, there’s CS……”
The owner of the cafe was especially interested in the twin sisters. After he heard what Ai Jing had said, he said immediately with a smile, “How about you two come and give it a try?”
Ai Jing nodded and turned around to look at Grunt behind her. “Will you play with me?”
Grunt’s eyes started to have a trace of a smile inside the black frame of his glasses. “No problem.”
So, this guy, who overslept and forfeited the competition at Guangzhou stop, agreed without hesitation to seriously play a game with a bunch of teenagers in a unknown internet cafe in Chengdu.
“Grunt.” He told the owner his name.
Then…...half of the internet cafe turned quiet.
Those who were still noisily playing were the ones who were playing online games like JX Online III, Fantasy Westward Journey, or World of Warcraft.
The others were esports enthusiasts who simply couldn’t believe Grunt, ranked among the top three in China for Starcraft II, would show up in this cafe. The owner obviously was an esport fan and his eyes shone with excitement. “You’re here for the Chengdu stop competition?”
Grunt didn’t respond.
Because of him, a lot of people signed up to play and they fought to be on the same team as their idol.
Ai Qing pulled up a stool and sat with Dt in the corner. She watched the bustling scene and whispered. “Do you want to join the fun?” Dt shook his head as if he wanted to avoid it like the plague. Ai Qing was greatly amused by his reaction. She looked around and asked him casually, “Why did you choose Warcraft III this time? So you can challenge the best players in China?”
“I didn’t know what to choose.” He answered frankly.
“DotA is outdated.” Ai Qing also lamented. “For people who like team games, except CS, there really isn’t any game that’s lasted forever.”
TL: Just wait till you hear about LoL, Ai Qing.
Warcraft III was China’s strongest event and though Starcraft II still wouldn’t become the official event in 2010, with just the name “Starcraft” it will probably become the dominate game for the next five years. She, however, still favored team games; several people coordinating together, elusive war strategies……
It was a light-hearted competition; there were all kinds of sounds in the cafe, excited cries and curses from young kids.
She tilted her head and peeked through the gaps among all the spectators. She saw Grunt, with cigarette in mouth, easily taking down players from the opposite side and didn’t show a thread of mercy. Ai Jing was jittery at first, probably because she was beaten so badly last night, but with Grunt’s protection and help from time to time, she became more confident and enjoyed the game immensely.
It’s absolutely the modern version of a hero to the rescue.
TL: Now if only my love life could be like this. T.T
97 was also having a blast watching.
The owner of the cafe saw Ai Qing and Dt at the corner and instinctively knew that the two were not just ordinary customers. He poured two cups of tea and brought it over to them. “Why are you two not playing? We’re celebrating WCG’s competition at Chengdu, everyone who plays in the tournament today, play for free.”
She took a cup and smiled. “You’ve played esports before, boss?”
“Oh, when I was young, I was really crazy about it for a few years.” The owner shook his head and smiled. “But I couldn’t compete with those with the talent to go to international competitions in their teens. We were just playing contests locally at Chengdu. In the past few years though, the landscape has totally changed. Now I have the ability and would like to contribute to the advancement of esports. You’ll never know, maybe someday there will be a Grunt who walks out of my cafe.”
“Grunt is very strong. But I like team games more. Too bad, in the last few years, there are more and more individual events.” Ai Qing frustratedly smiled.
“Really.” The owner pulled up a chair. “I likes team games too. It’s a shame that DotA has become more and more unpopular. Have you heard of LoL?”
Ai Qing shook her head.
“It’s League of Legends, a team vs team game developed by the original team of DotA. It plays basically like DotA; they’re all team battles. You can say it’s a cute version of DotA.” The owner said excitedly and turned on an idled computer and clicked on LoL. “It's the newest game this year and hasn’t become an event in any of the international competitions. But it will absolutely have a longer life than DotA. DotA is derived from Warcraft after all; it’s easy to fall out of favor. This new game has its own platform. I swear, this game will become an official WCG event in next year the latest.”
The screen was very loli, Ai Qing watched with great interest.
“The operation is basically the same as DotA.” The owner gave an enthusiastic introduction.
“It’s also 5 against 5?” Ai Qing moved the mouse and quickly glanced at the introduction.
“Right.” The owner said with a smile. “For people who have played DotA before, it’s pretty easy to get into this game. Young lady, what did you use to play?” Ai Qing thought for a while and modestly said, “I’ve played everything. I usually play carry or crowd control.”
Dt drank some water and quietly glanced at her.
In terms of crowd control, Ai Qing surpassed him three years ago. She’s definitely the ace player.
The owner was delighted to hear that, stood up, and called out to everyone in the internet cafe, “Anyone played LoL before? Here’s a noob, a young lady. Who can start a game to entertain Grunt’s friend?
Grunt’s team of Ai Jing and three young friends had just finished one game. He turned his chair around after hearing what the owner just said and looked at Ai Qing from a distance. 97 also turned his head startled, not knowing what was going on.
Ai Qing was at a loss too.
It seemed, looked like, very much like, she hadn’t said that she wanted to play…...
: At this point I assume you all know about video games, but just in case. MMO stands for Massively Multiplayer Online game (most famously known for MMORPGs). It’s generally characterized by huge, persistent open worlds where players go onto servers and cooperate or compete with others on a large scale. World of Warcraft, Runescape, Everquest, EVE, and Maplestory are probably some of the more popular MMOs known to date.
: This is literally what she wrote in English in the raw.