Classmancers – A MOBA Esport Story is a Webnovel completed by DarkClaymore.
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With the deaths of their Mid, Top and Jungler, the circ.u.mstances were dire the Leopards. A 2v5 situation, with unprotected turrets in Top and Mid. The enemy Beastmaster sp.a.w.ned jungle monsters to tank Top Turret so that one was lost.
However, there’s still a chance to protect Mid Turret. A slim chance, but it existed. Mid was the shortest lane, therefore the most important one. The Leopards couldn’t surrender it without a fight. At least, Jennifer refused to do so.
“I’m putting a stop to that Trickshooter,” Jennifer announced as she headed into the jungle.
“You sure?” Albert asked. “He’s starting to become fed and anybody from Top can gank you anytime.”
“No problemo. I’mma combo his a.s.s real quick.”
“Combo? But, it’s still going to a while before you can… Oh.” Albert frowned as he checked Jennifer’s build. Though it was currently cloaked, Jennifer already bought a Lv.3 Spellbook of Doom. “Hm, you rushed it. Sure that’s a good idea?”
“Dunno if it’s a good idea,” Jennifer shrugged with a mischievous smile. “But, I’mma sure TURN it into a good idea.”
“Is that so.” Albert smiled wryly. There it was: Jennifer’s unbreakable mental image of victory. n.o.body could attest to her true feelings, but no matter how Albert looked at it: she seemed thoroughly convinced in her upcoming victory. Her plan was beyond reckless, yet she sounded so confident. She was simply too dazzling for an average Joe like Albert, so he couldn’t retort.
Albert barely made the cut into the second string in his last year of middle school, despite being a dedicated club member for three years. He followed Coach’s instructions to a T, practicing the best meta cla.s.ses, tactics and plays. He even learned to play both Carry and Support for Coach’s mixup strategy, to be ready to join the first string at a moment’s notice.
Yet, despite all that, he barely made it into the second string. He was in a completely different league from Jennifer, who insisted to play the off-meta Combo style despite Coach’s objection. Even with such a handicap, she became the captain of the second string, and there’s no doubt she would have been on the first string if she played something meta. In fact, he could even see her becoming the captain of the first string.
With all that considered, Albert had no right to object to Jennifer’s decisions. No matter how absurd and risky her plan sounded, with her skill she might be able to pull it off. She was the type to take a bad bet and turn it into a win, a quality Albert didn’t possess.
“I’m off,” Jennifer announced.
“Got it.” Albert just nodded, without voicing his concerns.
[She’s rotating?] Yuel eyed ComboBreaker’s actions. Lars was going to destroy Mid Turret at this rate, so rotating to Mid wasn’t an odd decision. A risky one, but well within reason. Breaker struck him as the b.a.l.l.sy type to shoot for it.
[No new items. Cloaking something?] Yuel pondered as he examined Breaker’s items. She didn’t bother getting anything new after dying, even though she should have had enough gold to either finish her first power item or to buy boots, the typical early game moves. So, she probably cloaked whatever she purchased.
Was there any early game item worth cloaking for a Pyromancer? Not really. Based on past data, the one item she cloaked before was Spellbook of Doom. It was as a huge shocker in today’s first match, so she could be aiming for that surprise effect again.
Spellbook of Doom was a mid game item, but only due to its power curve and not because of its price. She most likely had enough to purchase a Lv.3 Spellbook of Doom, which enabled her trademark combo playstyle.
Did it make sense for her to rush Spellbook while she was behind on exp and gold? Unfortunately, Yuel couldn’t tell. He knew the gist of the combo playstyle, but not how it was advised to play under such specific circ.u.mstances.
His only option was to a.n.a.lyze Breaker as a player. A proud and confident senior, who definitely practiced hard to reach her current level. She trusted her strength and her combo, so it’s very possible.; she could easily go for an aggressive play even while behind. She wouldn’t waver.
“Their Pyro is rotating,” Yuel announced, especially to Lars. “She’s most likely heading to Mid.”
“Cool, another kill for me.” Lars grinned as while barraging the Mid Turret, unfazed by the news.
“Be careful, she has a cloaked item,” Yuel said. “I believe it’s Spellbook of Doom. She hasn’t built much power yet, but this early in the game the base damage of her spells will kill you fast enough with Spellbook’s effect. You’ll have to dodge her spells before anything else.”
“Okay, sounds like fun!”
[Does he really understand the danger?] Yuel sighed. He was this close to ordering Lars to outright retreat from Mid. But, taking down Mid Turret this early into the game was too tempting. It’d be huge for the team. Besides, if Lars can turn the tables on Breaker and kill her for a second time, that’d set her so much behind that she wouldn’t pose a threat for a while.
There were huge benefits to reap here, but knowing that goof… Sigh. “Gilbert, please rotate to Mid too.”
“Sure,” Gilbert nodded. “Hope I make it. We pushed Top pretty far.”
“Thanks,” Yuel said. Gilbert most likely wasn’t going to make it quite on time considering his current position, but that’s alright. He was only going there as a backup, in case things were to go south.
This backup plan relieved Yuel a little. Still, he had a bad feeling something big was about to go down in Mid. Sadly, there’s no choice but to trust that Lars really listened to Yuel’s warning and was going to intercept Breaker correctly.
Before long, Breaker appeared in Mid. She rotated even faster than expected, most likely using the movement speed buff of Burning Spirit. Without even positioning herself near her Turret – she opened attack! She had no interest playing this safe and went straight for the kill.
She opened the a.s.sault with Pillar of Fire, setting the ground around Lars on fire. A quick glance at her build revealed the uncloaked Spellbook of Doom, as suspected. She planned to instantly finish this with a combo!
“She got the Spellbook,” Yuel said. “Reminder: dodge first.”
“Got it, got it.” Lars turned around and dashed toward the middle of the lane.
[You’re already dead!] Jennifer grinned as she drew the path for Blaze of Inferno. Whether her prey was going to attack or flee, it didn’t matter. She only had to figure which of the two he was going for, so she could draw him a fitting road to h.e.l.l!
And, the Trickshooter made his move. He decided to retreat. It’s over. She drew a path of flames along the Trickshooter’s escape route. He was going to eat some much damage he’ll evaporate without a trace.
The trail drawn for guiding Blaze of Inferno was briefly visible to the enemy before the firestorm came down crashing. Supposedly, it was for balance purposes, to give the target a small chance to dodge. But, in reality, almost n.o.body could react to it on time. That Trickshooter scrub was dead meat!
“Geh!” Lars saw the red path stretching ahead of him. It was drawn exactly along the escape route he planned to take. This was the road to h.e.l.l. He was going to die.
He already saw Breaker torch her foes in an instant in previous matches. Every cell in his body screamed: “You gonna die, dude!”
[Not in a million years, yo!] Lars roared internally and activated Trickslide. He slid diagonally across the red trail, breaking out of it! The flames of inferno already burned him down to 40% HP, but he escaped instant death!
[Heh, dodged?] Breaker grinned. [Quite the reaction time you got there.] What a persistent scrub. She wanted to crush him that much more now! Everything was supposed to end with that Blaze of Inferno, but that’s alright. She still had Flame Wave, it’d instantly erase this measly 40 % HP he had left!
She was prepared to give chase from the get-go, so she timed her Burning Spirit to last long enough for that purpose. Due to how she drew her Blaze of Inferno, the Trickshooter was forced to dodge in her direction. He was right within reach! It was over! That scrub was all offense and no defense! He didn’t stand a chance!
[Geh, she’s catching up!] Lars could tell by the approaching footsteps. The reaper was on his tail, already pressing burning scythe against his throat.
Man, it sucked. His slide just now was so awkward, he slid right into her trap. Welp, that’s what he got for not practicing his defense enough. Maybe he should take defense practice more seriously from now on… Nah! As if!
[I never expected to get outta this by playing defense anyway!] He turned around, staring his pursuer in the face. [Offense is the best defense, yo!]
[A desperate last stand? You’re dead!] Jennifer unleashed Flame Wave without a second thought. It’s over. That scrub was done for- Huh?! He’s gone!?
No, he just rolled away. Pointless! Flame Wave had medium reach, but it was a wide spell. Rolling to the side wasn’t going to cut it! Rolling away wouldn’t be enough either at this distance! He had nowhere to… Nowhere… No…
He was there. Right there, beside her. He didn’t roll to the sides and he didn’t roll away either.
No, he rolled forward! He rolled straight at her! Right before she unleashed the flames, he rolled at her and pa.s.sed underneath her stretched arms! Absurd. Bulls.h.i.t. It was a suicidal clown fiesta!
Yet, he just barely dodged her Flame Wave with this stunt. She couldn’t cancel the spell or even turn it aside at that point. The flames burst forth, but her prey was right beside her on the left!
[W-What is this s.h.i.t? Is this guy even real!?] Jennifer gritted her teeth. She was one strike away from finishing her opponent. In her head, she already saw herself punching that scrub straight in the face; an instant knockout! But, just before her fist reached him, her hand freeze in mid-air. Chains were attached to her limbs. She couldn’t’ punch all the way, not like this.
“It’s time for a trick show!” These words gave her shivers. It’s the sound cue for the Trickshooter’s ultimate. The tables had been turned, now the Trickshooter was coming after her. He was the predator and she became the prey.
There’s nothing. She’s left with nothing. Pillar of Fire, Flame Wave, Blaze of Inferno and even Burning Spirit. Everything was on cooldown. She was a mage stripped of all her spells. She was as good as naked!
She was at 90% HP and her opponent was merely at 40%, but she couldn’t fight back. Her limbs were chained. The restrictions of her combo playstyle didn’t permit any further fighting; the combo build she rushed killed that option. She didn’t have any cooldown reduction, so there’s no hope for her spells to come online before she’s decimated.
It’s so annoying because it’s not like she couldn’t take this guy on. That Trickshooter played like a beast for sure, but Jennifer had enough experience dealing with beasts of this caliber. If she had to pick, then Fenrir, the captain of their first string, was a much crazier beast. She sparred with Fenrir enough to get used to such fights.
Yet, right now, she was constrained. She wasn’t allowed to fight any further. Her combo relied on finishing the enemy in one swift a.s.sault, but she missed her chance. She was powerless now.
[d.a.m.n, I… I gotta get the h.e.l.l out!] Jennifer gritted her teeth and turned around. Dying a second time during the early game was out of the question, she wasn’t gonna recover from that.
Luckily, she didn’t even pa.s.s the middle of the lane, so her Turret wasn’t that far away. Even while barraged by the Trickshooter from behind – she could still make it back. Rather, she HAD to make it back! At any cost!
[Heh, look at me run from a scrub like that. So lame.] Jennifer smiled wryly but kept running toward her Turret. The Trickshooter chased her down with quick slides and dished out one Trickshot after another. Some flew straight at her, others bounced from walls and then found their way to her.
This unceasing torrent of shots again… Was she playing a MOBA or a bullet h.e.l.l? Seriously, f.u.c.k that guy. That deadeye accuracy was hax.
But, it won’t be so easy this time. Jennifer already learned how strong his Trickshow was, she paid for that lesson with her life. The guy sure had pro-level accuracy with his Trickshots, but in the end, that’s just Trickshot. She knew both how to operate and how to deal with that skill.
[“No matter how accurate Trickshots are, they always have to rely on prediction to some degree.”] Coach’s words were burned into her mind. Jennifer didn’t main non-combo Carries, but she practiced some Trickshooter due to Coach’s advice.
Trickshooter was a fellow Carry cla.s.s she could meet as a lane opponent anytime, so she had to know how to deal with it. And, what better way was there to study an opponent than by playing from their perspective? That’s how she knew first-hand how even the tiniest unpredictable movements could throw a Trickshot off course.
That’s right, she practiced it. Jennifer practiced both dodging and firing Trickshots, to fully understand them from both sides. That’s just one of many things Coach advised her to learn, and she added all of them to her “Stuff I Gotta Ace” list.
Maybe she was stuck in the second string, but when it came to practicing whatever Coach suggested – she was the best in the club! Therefore, there’s no way this Trickshooter could break her! She WILL get outta here alive! Believe it!
“Whoa,” Lars exclaimed. “What’s with this girl?” His Trickshots pinpointed the target, but Breaker made some unexpected turns outta nowhere, making half his shots miss by like a millimeter. What happened to his usual 200% accuracy? This was some shenanigans right there, yo!
[Lars can’t land every shot? That’s…] Yuel frowned. Last time, they caught Breaker by surprise amidst a chaotic situation and she was slowed down by Yuel’s Justice Strike, so she was thoroughly wrecked by Lars’s Trickshow.
However, this time, she calmly read the situation and chose to retreat right away. She made some weird and inefficient twists and turns while running, which actually slowed her down. However, in exchange, she dodged many of Lars’s Trickshots.
After seeing Lars’s overwhelming Trickshow the first time, Breaker must have already figured he only spammed Trickshots during Trickshow. So, she responded accordingly, using a defensive tactic she undoubtedly practiced before. Perhaps she even practiced the specific scenario of being chased down by a Trickshooter.
This combination of adaptability, experience and skill… A second-string player? Nonsense. Breaker would give anybody from StormBlitz’s first string a run for their money.
So, this was the compet.i.tive level for Yuel’s age. This is the challenge he had to overcome if he ever wanted to make it into the first string!
“Drop the Trickshots,” Yuel said. “She figured them out. Just shoot with basics.”
“Sounds good!” Lars switched gears and fired basic attacks at the fleeing Pyromancer. His basics were already strengthened enough by Attention Grabber, so they were quite lethal in their own right. In addition, they didn’t suffer from the casting time skills had, so he barraged her nonstop.
[Tch, already switched to basics?] Jennifer clicked her tongue. [That’s faster than I expected. I thought this scrub was a brainless one-trick pony but seems like his IQ isn’t rock bottom.]
Well, either way, it just meant she had to change her approach too. Against accurate basics, the safest tactic was to run away in a straight line, to get the h.e.l.l outta there as fast as possible. Blindly dodging quick shots that came from behind wasn’t going to work, not against this sniper. Therefore, she stopped using feints and darted away full speed.
The damage was heavy, way worse than expected. She fell all the way from 90% HP to 30%. But, she made it! By running in a straight line, she finally reached her Turret’s area. She was safe! The Trickshooter wasn’t gonna reach this far-
BAM. A loud shot fired. It was the distinct sound of a Turret shot. Did that scrub chase her all the way under tower!? With just 40% HP!? What a suicidal idiot!
“Retreat.” Yuel implored. “It’s over.”
“Nah, dude.” Lars grinned. “Don’t worry, I got this! Just one Trickshot!”
After chasing his prey with just basics, Lars was gonna finish her off with a bouncing Trickshot. She won’t it coming, yo!
Lars experienced many chases like these, therefore he knew: his prey was gonna keep running away. With such low HP, anybody’s top priority would be to get back to safety as fast as humanly possible. Therefore, he just had to aim his Trickshot to bounce a little ahead of Breaker’s current position. With that, he was gonna execute her… Wut?
Breaker stopped in her tracks and turned around. She stood there, staring straight at Lars. Was this girl for real?
[Idiot, you f.u.c.ked up!] Jennifer grinned. Ah, this felt great! The moment that idiot stepped into the Turret’s area, she finally broke away from the chains holding her down.
In this situation, she was no longer “Combo Pyromancer”, or “Burst Pyromancer” or “Whatever Pyromancer”. She was just a player who faced an overextending opponent under Turret. One of the most cla.s.sic game scenarios, one she practiced a billion times by now! There’s no need to run anymore. She was gonna finish it right here and now!
[Dang it! I gotta hit her, yoooo]! Lars already had his aim locked. His bouncing shot was planned to land ahead of Breaker’s position. But, he couldn’t possibly miss this shot, no matter what!
In the last moment, he stopped himself and redirected his gun. There’s no time to find another trajectory with a bounce, so he just fired!
A straight Trickshot. Even without bounces, it was still strong and benefitted from Attention Grabber. It gotta be good enough, yo!
Despite the split second alteration, the shot landed. It just barely grazed Breaker’s shoulder, but it was a hit. Except, it’s not enough! It only dropped her to 10%! Quick, Lars had to follow up with-
“You’re already dead!” Jennifer roared as she fired basic attacks. The Turret already erased 30% of the Trickshooter’s HP, so a couple of basic attacks were going to finish him off for good!
“c.r.a.p!” Lars exclaimed. That girl was sick! He intended to finish her off with basics, but her counter attacks came flying before he got the chance to react.
『You have been killed!』
“Welp…” Lars scratched his head and turned to Yuel, slowly.
“……” Yuel stared with empty eyes.
“I-I know you wanted me to retreat, but I almost had her! I’m tellin’ ya!”
“Geh! Okay, I fudged up! My bad!” Lars held his head.
“I didn’t say anything,” Yuel turned away. “If you want my opinion then yes, it was a reckless, stupid and irresponsible play which killed some of our momentum. That’s what you wanted to hear?”
“But, it wasn’t a total waste. At least, it still converted into a kill.”
“Huh? It did?”
『An enemy has been killed!』
Breaker fell shortly, unable to escape from the scene. While he was rotating to Mid, Gilbert noticed the unfolding situation. He cut through the jungle to arrive on the lane behind the enemy’s Turret. This allowed him to intercept Breaker and finish her off from behind.
“Nice cover there,” Yuel said.
“Yeah!” Lars tuned in. “Good job, dude. Thanks for cleaning up my mess, haha!”
“No problem. You already did most of the work for me anyway.”
With that, Breaker died twice during the early game. As a combo player, being set behind twice should be fatal for her. It’d be interesting to see how she climbs out of this predicament, though, honestly, Yuel hoped she didn’t have a way to do that.
The only regrettable thing about this development was Lars’s death. The team gained an overwhelming momentum through Lars’s kills, yet much of it was lost now. Lars was just one player, but he was the Carry, the one responsible for pushing lanes. Without him, it was that much harder to capitalize on the enemy’s absence from lanes.
And, to make things worse, Freezer soon returned to Mid, before Gilbert got a chance to destroy Mid Turret. So, despite paying for it with her life, Breaker successfully saved Mid, at least for now. Lars’s death totally wasted the great opportunity they had to destroy Mid Turret so early. Sigh.
If this were a practice match, Lars wouldn’t hear the end of it from Yuel. His play was reckless, thoughtless, amateur and all-around Bronze quality. Honestly, it was outright embarra.s.sing for a compet.i.tive player. Yuel will have to beat that shame into Lars, to make sure this doesn’t repeat again in an official match.
But, this wasn’t the time for that. The team’s morale was finally restored, largely thanks to Lars’s earlier plays. No matter what, Yuel wanted to avoid injecting the team with any sort of negativity, especially since he was the captain. His words were going to carry immeasurable weight, so he couldn’t utter anything carelessly.
Besides, this was Lars’s debut and his first match of the day, so no reason to be overly harsh with him. Lars had always been a high-maintenance Carry who had a habit of playing too aggressively, so this was nothing new.
All in all, Lars played his role as the “momentum generator” Yuel sought. So, it wasn’t that bad to let Lars off the hook this once. But, only for now. Once they get back home, they were going to have a loooooooong review of Lars’s performance.
Despite this small hiccup, StormBlitz was still in a great position. With every pa.s.sing second, Yuel was more and more rea.s.sured they could win this round. Rather, they HAD to win this round. As the captain, he was going to make sure that comes to pa.s.s!
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