Chapter 1: Korea Glory Championship
South Korea, Nexon Arena, Glory, League Championship
"Yerin, it's time to go up, come on." A voice behind her spoke out.
Letting out a deep breath, Yerin gazed upon the night stars through the balcony before turning her head.
"Kacha! Tonight, victory will be ours." Yerin resolutely said as she firmly gazed at her team.
Although there was still an hour before the match began, the Nexon arena was already jam-packed with people. For a game as big as Glory, it wasn't anything surprising.
Besides, this was the finals! This was where the best team in Korea was decided!
Nearly 9 years... Korea had finally created its first official Glory Tournament...
On the center of the stage stood a single dazzling trophy, yet there were two teams.
For either of them, losing here definitely wasn't an option
Once the clock hit 9PM, the lights gradually faded out as you could only see the stage and the projector.
Simultaneously, the voices around the stadium gently diminished.
A live Glory match was just like watching a movie in the theaters, except much more interactive.
Up on the stage, the Emcee could be seen walking towards the front, introducing Korea's first Glory Championship.
To him, this was an honor.
"Welcome to the first annual 2017 Korean Glory Championship, here at the center of Seoul in the Nexon Arena. I am your host Yan Mo, it's a pleasure to be with you all here tonight as we will get to witness the first team to lift the first Glory Cup."
After introducing the event, Yan Mo then prepared for the match, calling the respected players to walk onto the stage.
The first team to be called up was Golden Ichor. They were a powerhouse that was seeded first place in the pre-season. Even during the playoffs, they had dominated every series, only dropping two games. Once in the quarter finals and once in the semi-final.
Standing in the front was their captain, Park Jaehyun. He was an outstanding player, but there were questions about his personality as there were countless rumors about him.
Soon after Golden Ichor came up, the Emcee then called on Pandora.
"Let's go!" Yerin calmly walked towards the center of the stage leading her team behind her.
Giving their bows to the audience as well, they then shook the other teams hand before going to their computers, preparing for the match.
Glory, Korean Championship, Team Match.
"Uh-oh, Pandora is being pincered on the left and right by Ichor. Their chances of coming back are getting thinner and thinner. Although their characters aren't in perfect formation, if Pandora doesn't think of a way to break through their formation, the warlock's ultimate skill, death's door could instantly wipe the health bars of both Yerin and Minhyuk."
"For Pandora fans, this is extremely bad news, but if there's a silver lining, it's to never count Pandora out until they're are eliminated. Just like Pandora's Box, under no circumstances can you let your guard down, they are able to pull off any miracles.
Especially their captain, Black Lotus."
"Yerin…" Minhyuk realized the dire situation they were in, and things were looking dim.
Was there nothing they could do? Was this the end? They had come up from the created their team with no sponsors, fighting their way to the very top.
It was extremely exhausting, yet they never gave up, all for the sake of Glory.
But was it gonna end here? Just one step before the top?
Minhyuk's hope were gradually diminishing as his hands on the keyboard and mice were sweating and shaking.
Just when he had nearly lost all hope, a soothing calm voice sounded in his ears.
"Stay calm, it's not over. There's still a chance. Besides, you're a pro player!"
As if being struck by thunder, Minhyuk froze before his screen, seemingly contemplating the words Yerin had just said.
Not over? A chance? Pro player?
What did these all mean?
It wasn't over! If he were to give up like this, what about his teammates who placed so much all for the sake of Glory?
Would he let them down?
More importantly, wouldn't he have let himself down?
That's right, it wasn't over! As long as someone is still alive, hope isn't lost! So what if the chances are slim?
All he had to do was to increase the chances himself! Besides, he was a professional player!
"All for the sake of Glory…" Muttering a sentence aloud, Minhyuk focused as if he entered a state of enlightenment.
It was as if all the weight on his shoulders were lifted, his fingers then flew across the keyboard as his character Longing Heart rushed towards the left unhesitatingly.
"Minhyuk is coming towards me, proceed with the plan. Yeon Woo, rotate towards me, Heechul stall out Lotus."
Park Jaehyun sneered at Pandora's false hope in thinking that they could still win.
By this time, Minhyuk had already entered the attack range of Yeon Woo's character, as he was bombarded by the launcher's long range abilities.
"Ah… Longing Heart has entered Lost Vision's attack range, soon he will enter close combat with Jaehyun, placing himself in an extremely bad 1v2 situation." The Emcee couldn't help but shake his head in pity. What a rookie mistake! If he had advanced forward instead of going to the left, he would of had a slim chance of killing the launcher in a 1v1 situation, Minhyuk would of been placed in a much better scenario!
Pandora's fans that were watching didn't even have the time to yell out anything as they were all still silently praying for a miracle.
However for Minhyuk, he didn't care about what the others were thinking of right now. To him, this was the situation that would increase the chances of them winning the most.
Without even stuttering in his movements, Longing Heart decisively charged forward as he evaded the Launcher's gunshots as best as he could.
"Hmph, what's the point of playing? You're just sending yourself to the grave at this point!" Jaehyun realized that he wasn't gonna back off! Was he underestimating them?
Without wavering, Minhyuk inputted a series of commands rapidly.
Dashing Jab! Cloud Body!
"Small trick!" Jaehyun still had the time to type in chat as he had his character Relenting Rain crouch down to dodge the punch.
Although the punch was faster than usual due to Cloud Body increasing the movement speed of his body, he still evaded the punch with ease.
Letting out a laugh, Relenting Rain instantly stood back up before thrusting his blade towards Longing Heart.
This was a skill with an abnormal range that deals damage while also inducing a knockback effect. But it also had a side-effect, after the skill was casted, the user's character would be stunned for 1 second from the momentum of the thrust.
To Jaehyun, the damage and stun was negligible. What he wanted was the knockback effect that would enable them to gain back some distance, this would ultimately allow him to exploit the range of Lost Vision and use it to their advantage.
The plan was flawless, except…
Longing Heart was still standing tall! He wasn't pushed backwards nor did the attack seem to deal much damage! His health bar didn't seem to change at all to the naked eye.
"What happened?" Jaehyun was astounded. Did he dodge it? It wasn't possible… unless he was inhuman, there was no way someone could react to the colliding stab...he practically used it as his character had crouched down!
Immediately, Jaehyun's back shivered as he had figured out how he had miscalculated.
In fact, he already came up with a conclusion when he saw that Longing Heart didn't fly backwards.
It was because of an ability specific to strikers.
Reinforced Iron Bones!
This ability was a super defensive skill as it would allow it's user to be immune to knockbacks, stuns while also increasing its character's physical defense.
What was shocking to Jaehyun wasn't the use of the skill, but how fast he had used it. How fast was his reaction time? How fast was his APM.
Unbeknownst to Jaehyun, Minhyuk had already predicted that Relenting Rain would use a colliding stab. In fact, his character using Dashing Jab was to bait Jaehyun into using colliding stab! But it wasn't as simple as baiting and predicting, Minhyuk had to flawlessly pull off the trick!
There couldn't be any mistakes otherwise he really would of been sent flying. Only Minhyuk himself knew how focused he was...fortunately, nothing went wrong.
His plan had succeeded.
But it wasn't over yet! Due to the drawback of colliding stab, Relenting Rain was still stunned.
Without letting his only advantage escape from his grasp, Longing Heart instantly used a high-level skill.
Dual Tiger Fists!
Letting out two immensely violent fists with the aura of a tiger, Relenting Rain's health bar dropped down from 20% to 8% before his character flew backwards.
Yet, just when Relenting Rain was no longer stunned, Jaehyun was about to do a quick-roll to swiftly get back up on his feet, but he suddenly knocked into something.
"Shit! What happened?!" At this point, Jaehyun had lost his cool. Was the game bugged?
"Captain, you flew into me before I could even react and move away." Jaehyun's teammate, Yeon Woo's voice sounded in his ear.
F*CK! Letting out a curse, Jaehyun had forgotten that he was in a game and was lost in thought.
"Longing Heart unleashes a fury and uses the skill Dual Tiger Fists! Minhyuk certainly deserves the title of the 'Calculator', he had even calculated the angle of his punch and perfectly launched Relenting Rain into Lost Vision behind him." The host Yan Mo excitedly complimented Minhyuk for his outstanding play as if he hadn't called him out for a rookie mistake earlier.
Despite being able to launch Relenting Rain into Lost Vision's he had still taken a lot of damage from Lost Vision earlier, his character only had 3% health left!
It's not over!
Calming himself down, Minhyuk took note of the fact that Jaehyun was still stunned. He promptly used the Striker's ultimate skill.
This was an attack with immense power and speed. The user would crouch in a horse stance before unleashing a punch with extreme force, causing a strong wind that would even buffet the characters around the target.
This move would wipe out Lost Vision who had 10% left as well as Relenting Rain who had 8%.
A well executed Double Kill.
"Ahh!! What is Jaehyun doing? It's as if he had become paralyzed, why isn't he moving out of the way?! If he doesn't move soon, Longing Heart will be able to execute the both of them in a single move!"
"Jaehyun! Jaehyun!" Yeon Woo screamed upon realizing the situation that they were in.
Shit! He had lost focused for a few seconds! Jaehyun instantly had his character get up.
But it was just a second too late, Longing Heart had unleashed the Striker's ultimate skill, Emperor's Fist.
Seeing the fist flying towards his screen, Jaehyun couldn't help but smash his keyboard. "F*CK. HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN?!"
Although Jaehyun had lost himself in a fit of rage, Yeon Woo couldn't care less about him and was still focused on the match.
Because Relenting Rain was in front of him, he would be able to block some of the damage before his character Lost Vision would fall too.
And because of the strong drawback of Emperor's Fist, he knew Longing Heart wouldn't be able to evade any attacks.
Because Longing Heart only had 3% health remaining, it was extremely easy to take him down as well.
Yeon Woo understood this fact and didn't let the opportunity go as he threw out a quantum bomb while also firing 3 heat seeking missiles just to be safe.
Boom! Boom! Boom!
The health bars of Relenting Heart and Lost Vision had dimmed and turned gray as their characters fell.
Seeing the bomb and the missiles being fired towards him, Minhyuk knew he wouldn't be able to evade the abilities.
Letting out a sigh, his eyes gradually welled up in tears as he spoke a single line before he was disconnected.
"Yerin, I'll leave the rest to you."
His character had fallen as his health bar had turned grey.