Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Yang Qianqian strolled along absent-mindedly, Yu Luocheng’s words still echoing in her head. Had he really meant what he’d said? Why would he say something like that so sincerely, that idiot—how was she supposed to respond to that?
She was just walking aimlessly now. Originally, she’d wanted to buy a bunch of stuff, but now she was stuck in the sort of mood where she felt that she had to say something, but she couldn’t think of what to say.
As she was agonizing over this, a tall and powerfully built man appeared around the corner!
Clad in heavy armor, a massive broadsword in hand, the very sight of him brought his signature words to mind: “Hold fast!”
The Might of Demacia, Garen!
Yang Qianqian stared. Why was he here? Who’d gone to the trouble of making such a huge ad?
It wasn’t exactly Garen himself that surprised Yang Qianqian, but rather the background behind him in the poster: Instead of a Tower, it was a towering Coke!
Hold fast… Coca-Cola!
Yang Qianqian regarded this monumental advertisement for a while, and then lifted her gaze to read the words above.
“Organized by GTV, League of Legends players across the nation are invited to register to play for the Coca-Cola Cup! Are you a skilled player? Do you enjoy LoL? Then what are you waiting for? Let’s have a real match!
“Sponsored by the Coca-Cola Company, with cyber cafés participating nation-wide, all Level-30 players are eligible to take part and fight for the glory and rich rewards!
“Registration open from the 1st to the 10th of June. Contest begins from the 11th of June. Format will be 5 vs. 5, Draft Pick 1 .”
Yang Qianqian placed a finger to her lip, reading the contents of this advertisement aloud with all seriousness.
Yu Luocheng was reading it alongside her. When he’d spotted Garen and his ‘Hold fast to your Coke!’ slogan, he couldn’t help being intrigued. Certainly, that Coke did look a bit like a Tower.
“A nation-wide LoL tournament, sponsored by Coca-Cola. This is big!” Yang Qianqian said delightedly.
There had always been e-sports competitions going on across the country, but being able to snag a major sponsor like this was a rare thing.
If Coca-Cola was behind this, both the funds as well as the reward money would be nothing to sneeze at. If GTV was running the show, there would probably be no chance of foul play—this wouldn’t be some underground street fight!
“Yu Luocheng, it’s a contest!” Yang Qianqian hopped about and tugged at his sleeve, eyes curled up in that pretty way of hers.
“League of Legends is all the craze these days. To think that even a cyber café tournament could go national—only Coca-Cola would have the wherewithal to pull off such a feat.” Yu Luocheng stroked his jaw, nodding to himself. “Yup, well done, GTV. Good job getting Coca-Cola on board.”
Of course, someone like Yu Luocheng would be no stranger to the world of competitive e-sports. Generally speaking, competitions of this sort fell into several categories:
At the lowest level, a cyber café might hold a tournament by itself, and participants might be local patrons, a nearby campus, or perhaps it could be a corporate or regional event.
This sort of thing wasn’t likely to draw much attention, and occasionally the whole thing might just get canceled. There wasn’t much in the way of rules-keeping—it was mostly just for fun.
A larger undertaking might be a ‘Network Tournament’ or a ‘Town Championship’.
These typically involved a cyber café franchise partnering with other cyber cafés across the area to organize a big tournament, in order to drum up some excitement. This sort of thing would be carefully set up and managed, with clearly detailed prizes—the makings of a real tournament event.
If you could do well in these kinds of competitions, you would be someone in the LoL community.
Taking it one step further meant sponsored tournaments. These would at the very least be comparable to a city-wide tournament, and were based upon advertising partnerships and mutual gain.
Sponsored tournaments offered lucrative prizes, and everything was done by-the-book. Registration, eligibility, adjudication, advancement, awards, spectators, publicity… all of it would be covered. It would be a grand affair!
Above that would be official tournaments, which derived capital from game companies and other investors, drawing upon diverse partnerships in order to create a major tournament event!
A tournament of this level was no longer merely about advertising opportunities. It signified that the game had achieved widespread popularity, and official tournaments were a means towards expanding its prestige even further.
For tournaments of this level, from the preliminaries to the finals, everything would be carefully scheduled, with all the necessary organizing staff at hand, and an incredible number of contestants taking part. In turn, there would definitely be a certain amount of media coverage, not to mention substantial prizes, and the opportunity to gain tremendous prestige—contestants might even be offered a place in the entertainment world!
This ‘Coca-Cola Cup’ was—without a doubt—in this last category: a massive, official tournament!
Speaking frankly, there weren’t many games for which such a tournament could be held in China. For ‘League of Legends’ to have gained so much clout in a short few years, as well as the means to stage a tournament of this scale, it was an incredible achievement.
As for Yang Qianqian, she wasn’t that well-versed about this sort of thing. All she knew was that she was eager to see this tournament. Few people would be able to appreciate what Yu Luocheng saw in it—that this Coca-Cola Cup would be an undertaking of momentous proportions.
“What are you doing?”
“Signing up!” Yang Qianqian announced earnestly.
“My lady Yang Qianqian, be serious now: you’re barely Level 30,” said Yu Luocheng. “Although it does say that any Level-30 player is eligible to take part, you will most certainly encounter a great number of elite players during the preliminaries alone. Don’t throw yourself to the sharks like this.”
A tournament was nothing like a fight between classes. Students didn’t spend that much time playing games, and skilled players were rare among their number. Out there, there were people who spent all day playing games—how could you compare their gaming skills to that of students who had to spend all their days in school?
“Oh, I’m not taking part—you are.” Yang Qianqian flashed him a peevish smile, and then she pulled him towards the cyber café.
Yu Luocheng was speechless.
‘Who’s taking part? We still have exams tomorrow, girl!’
He shook his head. “No chance. I’m painfully aware of where the players amongst our classmates are at.”
“Didn’t you read the details? You can just sign up first, and then pull a team together later.” Yang Qianqian pointed at a line of fine print at the bottom of the poster.
The contest organizers had taken into consideration that some of the strongest wolves usually hunted alone.
For those who didn’t already have their own team of five, solo entrants could also be assigned to a team which matched their level of ability.
“Forget it.” Yu Luocheng genuinely had no intention of taking part in this.
Although this sort of thing was not as proper and regulated as a true pro-gaming tournament, past the district level of competition, it would take on the semblance of one. Nevertheless, Yu Luocheng had made a promise to his father not to get involved with such things anymore. If he took part in this tournament, and his father found out, it was likely he’d never be allowed to play League of Legends at all.
“The registration fee is only ten bucks, and you’ll even get a free bottle of Coke. Just join it for fun. I want to see how you’d fare against pros.” Yang Qianqian looked at him with sparkling eyes.
Yang Qianqian played with Yu Luocheng regularly, and she could tell that his skill was far beyond her own level. She was curious to see just how good he really was. A tournament like this was the ideal test.
“It’s getting dark. Time for dinner.” Never actually setting foot into the cyber café, Yu Luocheng turned on his heel and headed for home.
Yang Qianqian was clearly upset by his adamant refusal to take part, but Yu Luocheng ignored her and went on his way.
Yang Qianqian kept silent the whole way back, this time not because of complicated feelings, but because she was in a frightful temper. Her lips were pursed so high that they almost touched her nose, and whatever Yu Luocheng said to her, she replied with a sniff and a harrumph.
“Don’t spend too long thinking about it. We’ve still got tests tomorrow,” Yu Luocheng advised her.
“You’re absolutely wretched. It’s not like I’m asking you to risk your life in an actual battle.” At last, Yang Qianqian spoke up.
“It seems like a bother. I can’t be bothered.”
“I’m bothersome too, yet you spend so much time with me.”
“Speaking of bothers, today’s Maths paper was a real doozy, what a pain.”
“Don’t change the subject!”