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It was as if a tempest had suddenly burst onto the scene, a match between Ye Xiu and Zhou Zekai.

The former versus current number one would be a sensational confrontation. But at first, even the news reporters didn't have high hopes for it happening.

Ye Xiu playing first was a given at this point. On the other hand, Samsara had always acted according to convention, placing their ace player at the third or fourth position. The likelihood of these two encountering each other in the group arena was miniscule. Even if Samsara wanted to break Ye Xiu's legendary win streak, their team had another reliable 1v1 expert: Sun Xiang. Placing Sun Xiang first and then having Zhou Zekai guard the third or fourth position seemed to be a more likely lineup for Samsara.

Sun Xiang and Ye Xiu had a lot of history between them as well, but their confrontation had already peaked at the Challenger League finals last season.Ye Xiu had left Excellent Era and then led Happy to eliminate Excellent Era. It was a fierce slap in the face to Excellent Era and his successor, Sun Xiang.

The story had ended, and the media had been satisfied with the conclusion. Bringing it up again wouldn't bring anything new to the table. But seeing that it was unlikely for a confrontation between the current and former number one player, it seemed like they would have to settle for the next best thing. They could talk about Sun Xiang's growth in Samsara,whether he had walked out from the shadows of his past failures, and so on.

As it turned out, there was no need for any of that, and the media wasn't at all sorry.

Compared to a match between the former and current number one player, who cared about a revenge story for Sun Xiang!

The reporters were ecstatic.

Everyone was excited.

Even the people who felt like Samsara's arrangements might not be the most optimal move were hyped for the match.

Ye Xiu had once been the dominant number one player in Glory, but after his retirement, Zhou Zekai had taken that title for himself. Between the two, who was truly number one? The outcome of a 1v1 between the two players would be the most persuasive support for one side, even if making a conclusion from a single match was rather negligent...

Why hasn't it started yet?

Both players had entered their respective player booths, but it wasn't yet time for the scheduled match to start. Their thoughts showed how hyped they were for this match.

"To think they would send Zhou Zekai to start!!" The pro players were discussing this topic amongst each other as well. They were very curious too.

But today's referee wouldn't be swayed by the hype. He knew that everyone was waiting impatiently to see the fight, but he still followed the schedule strictly, waiting until it was 8 o'clock sharp.

Begin!

All sorts of sound effects and lights came on to hype up the audience. 


Was there really a need?

Not really. The finals was hype in and of itself. Lights, sound effects? At this moment, they couldn't hold a candle to thunderous cheers and applause from the crowd.

The characters were loading.

The map was loading.

As for the viewers watching in front of their TV and their computers? They were listening to Pan Lin and Li Yibo talking rapid-fire. There were too many things to talk about, and the two were scrambling excitedly to get their thoughts out. To listeners, it as almost like a bombardment of words.

"Map, Dripstone Cave."

Although the two commentators were fighting to speak, the content of their commentary was on point. The things that they needed to talk about were talked about. The map had finished loading. For this match, Samsara had chosen Dripstone Cave. 

"Oh... this map..."

"The stalagmites and stalactites in the cave aren't actually packed together as tightly as a forest, so even Gunners have a good amount of room to maneuver around in." Li Yibo wasn't sure how to describe it, so Pan Lin immediately picked up on the explanation.

"Good doesn't do it justice. The way the stalactites are arranged make it extremely suitable for Gunners. Large open areas aren't necessarily the best for long-ranged classes like Gunners. Terrain that provides cover for them is very advantageous for them too," Li Yibo added, all in one breath.

"For Samsara, who has Zhou Zekai, this map seems to be quite favorable for them," Pan Lin followed.  

"Although Ye Xiu's unspecialized can play up close or from afar, the unspecialized is far more threatening up close. As a result, this map isn't as favorable for his unspecialized compared to Zhou Zekai's Sharpshooter," Li Yibo said.

"By choosing this map, Samsara takes the upper hand first," Pan Lin said.

The map was still loading, and the two had already gone back and forth and said so much.

"Okay, it's done loading. The match has officially begun." This sort of announcement was oftentimes Pan Lin's responsibility, so he had more experience timing it. Li Yibo was just about to say it, but in the end, he still fell behind.

Dripstone Cave took place in an enclosed circular cave. Mineral formations were scattered all throughout the area. These were the one special feature of this map.

As Li Yibo had analyzed, the dripstones - the stalagmites and stalactites - weren't densely packed together. For a practiced Sharpshooter, there was a lot of space to maneuver around in. It could be considered a very technical map.

Zhou Zekai was considered the number one player in Glory at the moment. His mastery over his class didn't need to be said. In addition, Samsara had chosen this map, so there was no doubt about his familiarity with the terrain.

Cloud Piercer walked lightly and quickly. The broadcast switched it over to his perspective to let everyone see how he moved.

As for Ye Xiu? He didn't move as freely or confidently as Zhou Zekai. Starting from his very first step, Lord Grim moved around very cautiously. He would constantly be looking around, taking careful note of where he had already gone. He clearly wasn't as familiar with this map as Zhou Zekai. Under these circumstances, choosing to move in a roundabout manner was standard, and Ye Xiu was no exception. The only notable part was that the detour that he took was very large. It didn't look like he was planning on circling around to get behind his opponent but rather to get as far as away as possible from him.

A minute passed. If the two sides had chosen to go straight towards the center, sparks would already be flying. But right now? A minute had passed, and the fight that everyone had been waiting for was nowhere to be seen. It was all because Ye Xiu's detour was too excessive.  

"He probably wants to explore the map first..." Pan Lin said as he watched Ye Xiu's Lord Grim hug the wall and go around in a big circle.

"Ye Xiu might not be familiar with this particular map, but he should have experience with this sort of terrain! He shouldn't need this much time to get used to it. It seems like he's being very prudent with this match," Li Yibo said.

"Of course he needs to be prudent, his opponent is Zhou Zekai!" Pan Lin said.

Zhou Zekai!

Zhou Zekai!

A burst of thunderous cheers erupted from the crowd. Even though nothing had happened for a minute, the passion from Zhou Zekai's fans hadn't diminished. The fight between the former and current number one? They didn't care about it. In their eyes, Zhou Zekai was without a doubt the best. Their excitement for this fight was because they were waiting for Zhou Zekai to win and settle this debate once and for all.

A minute had passed, the hype was still there.

A minute and a half...

Two minutes...

Three minutes...

The hype was still there because the two still hadn't started fighting yet. As for Pan Lin and Li Yibo, they were starting to run out of things to say.

The map wasn't large, so if two had just been randomly wandering around, they would have likely bumped into each other during these three minutes. However, the two seemed to move along parallel lines. Even now, they had yet to meet.

Was he deliberately trying to avoid fighting?

It was hard to tell!

Besides the big detour that Ye Xiu had Lord Grim take in the beginning, he seemed to be actively looking for Zhou Zekai, but the two never seemed to be able to find each other.

Was it all just a coincidence?

Everyone was speechless. The referee wasn't sure either. He didn't see any illegal conduct. An intervention under these circumstances would require a lot of courage. Moreover, this was the finals. His interference could affect who the final champions would be.

He didn't want to make an intervention. He felt like if neither of them were deliberately trying to avoid the other, the two should soon meet, but this had already lasted for three minutes.

Three minutes wasn't that long, but on the Glory competitive stage, three minutes of nothing was enough to extinguish a lot of enthusiasm from the crowd. The excitement for this fight was crumbling by the second. The Zhou Zekai fans had stopped cheering at this point, instead choosing to mock and deride Ye Xiu. In their eyes, Zhou Zekai was not at fault. On the other hand, Ye Xiu's detour at the beginning looked to be the reason. Former versus current number one? What a joke. Anyone who had been hyped for that was truly blind.

"Too naive." The pro players heard the derision from the crowd and disagreed with it, especially the older pros.

How could Ye Xiu be avoiding the opponent? Especially on the competitive stage, avoiding the opponent wouldn't result in anything. Did you think this was the online game? You couldn't avoid a fight forever. 

Victory would be decided one way or the other. The two would have to fight. It was just that three minutes of nothing was indeed quite strange.

"Do you think it's a coincidence?" Everyone was asking each other. They were wondering if it was all just a coincidence.

The majority of the answers was "No".

"Look at it from a bird's eye view and pay attention to Ye Xiu's positioning," Zhang Xinjie said.  

The projection technology didn't show the match from this view, but the large screen in the stadium displayed it. Apart from the projection technology, the crowd also had a large screen displaying a live broadcast. Besides an exciting live atmosphere, the stadium provided an additional viewing experience that those sitting in front of their computers or TV couldn't get.

A bird's eye view had always been an advantage that the live audience had over the viewers watching from home.

And this bird's eye view revealed the secret behind these three minutes of nothing.

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