Classmancers - A MOBA Esport Story
180 Fangless Lineup
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Classmancers - A MOBA Esport Story
Author :DarkClaymore
© Novel Updates

180 Fangless Lineup

Both sides finished composing their teams and the match began loading. At this point, everybody could already see what the others picked.

"Say what!?" Trever roared. "Yo, Lars! Where's your Shooter at!?"

"My Elf is more than enough for ya!" Lars shouted back across the room.

"Heh, a cheeky brat like always," Trever's eyes glinted dangerously. "Guess I have to spank that kid real hard this match."

"Calm down," Aron said. "Don't let such a small thing trigger you."

"But, he's totally taking me lightly! He should know better than anybody that only his Shooter got any real chance against me."

"Don't let them tilt you before the match."

"Wait, you think they're doing this on purpose?"

"I wouldn't put it past Yuel," Aron said. "Anyway, there's a good reason he went for Elf. Just look at the rest of their line up."

"What about it?" Trever tilted his head.

"It's anti-Lion," Alex pointed out. "Somebody got their ass counter-picked."

"Indeed," Aron frowned. Everybody in StormBlitz knew he favored Lionfolk, so he expected some counter-picks and calculated the payoff accordingly. But, even for Lars to counter-pick? That wasn't in the considerations.

It threw a wrench in Aron's plans but it was alright. It just meant he'll have to work a little harder to secure kills, that's all.

"So," Trever started. "You're saying Lars wussed out because of your Lion? Dodge me with that shit."

"Yuel must be the one behind the wheel. Honestly, I'm also surprised by how defensively Yuel chose to approach this match. Pretty sure a couple of months ago these two would've had gone all out against us without batting an eye. It appears they've learned a lesson or two since then."

"Heh, I bet losing Howard's 'selection match' burned them pretty hard."

"So it seems," Aron nodded. After learning about the whole situation with Yuel and Lars's transfer, Aron asked Howard for replay footage of that selection match.

There were many things to say about that match, but one of the biggest causes of Yuel's defeat was the team's reckless offense. Lars kept falling for Ellen's baits, Julia went on a rampage and Yuel's shot-calls lacked on the defensive front.

Judging by their picks this match, it appeared as if they've learned a hard lesson from that match. This time, they didn't neglect to fortify their defenses. Though, the way they were doing it almost felt as if...

"Gotta say," Alex started. "That's one heck of a defensive lineup they got there. It might work for them once we fight on lanes, but if we go for an early 3v3? What they gonna do about it?"

"You suggest an invade?" Aron asked.

"Just wondering what's your take on this. It feels like we got the upper hand here by a mile."

"Hm, true. I can see the setup." Aron ran a couple of simulations in his head. The enemy's lineup was indeed ill-suited for countering an early invasion. Yuel designed that lineup primarily around countering Lionfolk, not much else.

[Actually, that's not quite true. I can give Yuel a little more credit than that.] Aron smiled thinly. That peculiar Lumimancer pick was most certainly an attempt at counter-picking Alex's Warlock. So, it doubled both as a Warlock counter and a Lionfolk counter.

Unfortunately for Yuel, Alex saw that coming from a mile away. He was no longer the same one-trick pony he used to be in high school; he had options now. His Sorcerer pick was most likely going to walk all over the Lumimancer.

On top of that, Lumimancer wasn't a burst damage mage, especially not in the early-game. That was a huge factor when considering an invade. The enemy's only dangerous DPS player was Lar, but even he wasn't much of an immediate threat in the early-game. Elf was a Carry who specialized in shooting targets from afar, not killing opponents from point-blank

So, the one and only dangerous player for close-range combat was Yuel with his Viking. His ult summoned a gang of mobs, who were strong enough to make up for the power difference in early- game. He most certainly made this pick specifically to cover up the lack of offense in his lineup.

Unfortunately for him, this was only relevant for Lv.5 onwards. The 3v3 mode started at Lv.3, so Yuel didn't have access to Unstoppable Raid right away. So, even though this ult will eventually become a strong tool, at game-start it simply didn't exist in the equation.

"Hm, I believe we can really do it," Aron concluded. "They don't have much in the way of countering an aggressive team at game start."

"Wow!" Trever jumped. "We invading!?"

"Keep it down."

"Oh, right. Ahaha," Trever laughed awkwardly and glanced at the enemy camp. Phew, nobody heard him. "So, we really gonna do it?"

"What do you think?" Aron turned to Alex. "Are they going to be prepared for it?"

"If I had to guess: no, they won't be. Their lineup makes me feel like they're already too scared of your presence alone. They're too busy quaking in their boots to even consider an invade."

"I see," Aron nodded. "Your read says they're not prepared and my analysis says their counter options are limited. Let's give it a shot."

"Woohoo!" Trever pumped a fist. "Sick, let's do it! I'mma show Lars he gotta respect his elders and pick his best stuff against me!"

Meanwhile, in the other camp...

"This sucks," Kai ranted. "So much for that 'Warlock counter-pick' idea."

"Yes, that didn't turn out well," Yuel frowned. The Lumimancer pick was supposed to be a hard counter to Warlock, but Alex went for Sorcerer instead of all things.

It'd still be one thing if Freezer just went for any other class that wasn't Warlock. But no, Freezer went specifically for Sorcerer, a class that hard countered both Pyromancer and Lumimancer if played correctly. It's like he was expecting these counter picks and went for a counter of his own.

[Is that Aron's work? No, he shouldn't remember the second-string's scrimmage that well.] Yuel frowned. Even though Aron went over the replays of that scrimmage, surely he didn't remember minute details like this.

On the other hand, Alex himself had a good chance of figuring out something like this. If he anticipated Yuel to be the type who goes for hard-counters, it wouldn't be odd for him to hard-counter the hard-counters. This felt like that time during the scrimmage, when the Leopards hit StormBlitz hard with their "mixup" strategy. Back then, they also used Yuel's smart drafting against him.

[Was Alex the one behind that trick as well? If so, this guy might be more dangerous than I gave him credit for.]

"So," Kai lifted her chin. "How are you gonna compensate me for this terrible pick? It was your idea."

"I agree it's a bad matchup, but it's not the end of the world."

"Do I need to remind you that Sorcerer can reposition minions like nothing?"

"I know."

"And, you know what's very important for a Lumi to be able to farm well?"

"Minion positioning..." Yuel sighed. "Look, I get it. This can be a tough matchup, but no use crying over spilled milk. We don't know yet how good he actually is with Sorcerer. As I said, last time, he seemed like a potential one-trick pony who could only play Warlock. Maybe something has changed since then, maybe it didn't."

"So?" Kai made a face. "How we gonna deal with this?"

"I'll make sure to gank your lane often if you struggle. How does that sound?"

"Better than nothing."

The team headed toward the Wraith Camp near Top Lane. The plan was for all three of them to assault the camp and quickly get the blue buff for Kai. Then, Yuel and Lars will continue to the Ogre Camp below and get the red buff for Lars. This was the meta opening in Clash mode. Or, at least it was as meta as it could get for a mode that wasn't truly deemed competitive.

There was still time before the wraiths spawn, so Yuel used this time window to scout the jungle and place two wards in key locations. He placed the first ward close to Bot Lane. This ward kept watch on the Wolf Camp for any counter-jungling and also covered one of the common gank routes when targeting Bot.

"I'm warding the route to Bot," Yuel informed Kai. "I'll ward the griffins with my other ward, so you have to take care of warding Top if you think it's necessary."

[So, you're saying our Bot Laner is more important than our Top, huh.] Kai gave him a look. "I planned to ward Top myself anyway."

"Okay," Yuel nodded.

Yuel placed his second ward near the Griffin Camp at the center of the map. This was a neutral camp that'll surely be contested by both sides, so it was important to keep tabs on it. On top of that, the camp laid on a central path that cut nearly the entire jungle in half, making it a great route for rotating from one side of the map to the other.

[Aron isn't placing one?] Yuel wondered. He expected to run into Aron somewhere out here but there were no enemies in sight. Aron should know how the meta of Clash worked, so it'd be odd for him to not place a ward here.

Maybe Aron was running late? Or, maybe he has already placed a ward here before Yuel? It was possible, considering Yuel was slowed down by his bickering with Kai.

[No signs of an invade so far.] Yuel nodded to himself after examining the area. To efficiently invade at game start, the invader had to pass through one of the areas Yuel warded, for they covered the shortest paths both horizontally and vertically. However, there was not a single soul in sight. Good.

Yuel returned to the Wraith Camp and took the frontline against the wraiths that were about to spawn. Three. Two. One. The countdown hit zero. Minions spawned on both lanes and so did the wraiths

However, as soon as the wraiths emerged, a magical tune resounded nearby. An ominous black sphere appeared out of thin air in the middle of their formation. It was the Sorcerer's Magia Orb!

[An invade!?] Yuel jumped.

"Crap-!" Even Lars wasn't fast enough to dodge. As soon as the orb appeared, it imploded into a black hole and pulled everybody in. The entire team, and one of the wraiths, got sucked in and crashed into each other at the center of the gravity pull!

It was the beginning of a very disadvantageous game-opening...

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    《Classmancers - A MOBA Esport Story》