In the waiting room, the other team members sat on the sofa while Hyeonu started talking.
“I want to say thank you. Everyone, thank you so much. Yuri, Hoon, and Sunny noona. Mason and Dwayne as well. Thank you so much.” Hyeonu was full of deep emotions because it was the end of the Winter League. Still, there was Arena Week as the bigger destination, so the emotions were temporary. He continued, “I will think of today as a very small stopover. It is a rest stop before going to Arena Week. So... I look forward to your kind cooperation.”
No one rose from their seat until Hyeonu’s words were over. Once they were, the other five other people left the sofa and slowly approached Hyeonu. Lee Hoon stepped forward first and talked to Hyeonu: “Hyung is my savior. You saved me from rolling around in that field of poop.”
Then Yuri and Sunny came in front of Hyeonu at the same time.
“I wouldn’t have come here anyway if it wasn’t for Oppa.”
“Yes, I think so as well.”
Behind them were Mason and Dwayne.
“I think you should say this after it is all over. So... after winning Arena Week?”
“That’s right, Mister Gang. You are already speaking like we’re breaking up... Your ability to grasp the atmosphere is too poor. This is why you’re still single even though you are popular with women...”
Mason and Dwayne relaxed the atmosphere that was on the verge of becoming heavy with their joking words.
Hyeonu also regained his smile. “Yes, it isn’t too late to say this after it is all over. Then let’s get ready for the last match.”
“Hello, audience members who are visiting Arena Stadium and viewers watching on various devices. This is your announcer, Jang Junhyung. Today is Week 8 and the long-awaited final match of the Arena Winter League,” Jang Junhyung said with his mouth to the microphone. He sounded like he was screaming.
Jang Junhyung was more excited than ever. Simultaneously, he felt more regretful than ever.
‘He is retiring after one season...’
He was excited because this would be Alley Leader’s first and undefeated championship, but he felt regretful that it was Alley Leader’s last match in South Korea.
Lee Wanghoon picked up from where Jang Junhyung left off: “Today is a very important day. It is the end of the Winter League!”
His voice was also livelier than usual.
Chae Yunho smoothly continued, “It isn’t just the end of the Winter League! It is the day that will decide if Alley Leader can win the championship undefeated or not!”
Based on the sound of his voice, it seemed that Chae Yunho had many expectations. This was the thrill Alley Leader’s presence caused.
“In fact, the rankings already have a certain outline. For the most part, the team rankings are fixed. Amongst the 1st to 8th places, there are only two rankings that can switch—the 2nd and 3rd places. Only two teams are likely to fluctuate,” Jang Junhyung stated.
It was as he said. The Winter League rankings were very solid. Crescent Moon was overwhelmingly in first place with 6 wins and 0 losses. After that, UK Heights and JT Telecom were chasing with scores of 5 victories and 1 loss respectively. Of course, even if a natural disaster were to occur today resulting in Crescent Moon’s defeat, the two teams were already behind in the raid time attack and couldn’t finish first.
The remaining five teams had already formed a mutually binding relationship between themselves. No matter who won or lost, it was very difficult to change the rankings. The possibility of such an unexpected event converged at zero.
“The first game is between these two teams. The two teams who are competing for second place! They are UK Heights and JT Telecom!”
The players of UK Heights and JT Telecom appeared on the stage along with Jang Junhyung’s cry.
“The captains of both teams will come to the center of the stage to decide on their positions.”
Jung Jinnam, the captain of UK Heights, and Kim Jinyong, the eldest member of JT Telecom, faced each other from less than a meter apart.
“Our Jinyong is so pitiful. What should we do? You won’t be the runner-up this year. You will be third,” Jung Jinnam provoked Kim Jinyong with a smiling face.
“Third place? Wasn’t the team that came in second last year UK Heights? Second place will become third... Now you can’t even use that reputation? What should I do?” Kim Jinyong was also formidable. He smiled as he stabbed Jung Jinnam in the chest.
The two people continued to criticize and slander each other until the staff member spoke.
“Both of you, stop it. How can you do this every time you meet? Do you want to be disciplined? We have more than 10 million viewers right now. Do you want to be disciplined by the association?” The staff member also smiled like Jung Jinnam and Kim Jinyong. The corners of his mouth seemed to creep up, but his gaze was sharper than ever.
“No. I’ll pick heads.”
“Then I’ll take tails.”
Jung Jinnam and Kim Jinyong immediately stopped. Disciplinary action was really scary. Both of them were the pillars of their teams. It would be a big deal if they were suspended for a day.
The staff member delivered Jung Jinnam’s and Kim Jinyong’s decisions to the headset in his ears before saying, “Then I’ll toss the coin now.”
The huge holographic coin was thrown and flew high into the air. The quickly spinning coin reached the peak and fell, bouncing on the ground several times before stopping. It was tails.
“Tails. JT Telecom is defending, and UK Heights is attacking.”
Jung Jinnam and Kim Jinyong returned to their teammates with two different expressions—sadness and joy.
“Hyung, who do you think will win?” Mason asked while biting on jerky.
“Why don’t you eat all of that first before talking? Your saliva will drip out.” Hyeonu naturally frowned. It was because Mason’s actions were reminiscent of someone else’s.
Mason swallowed the jerky and urged Hyeonu for an answer: “I ate it all. So tell me quickly.”
“JT Telecom will win. Why ask the obvious?” Hyeonu replied with a light sigh.
“At this point, it is only natural that the defending team wins. How can it be reversed when there isn’t a difference in strength? The only way possible is if JT Telecom jumps off the walls like crazy people.”
Hyeonu’s answer was absolutely orthodox. If the two teams were at a similar level, the attacking team couldn’t win against the defending team. It would only be different if they prepared a novel strategy.
“Hyung thinks so as well?” Mason was disappointed when he heard Hyeonu speak so matter-of-factly.
Hyeonu felt that gaze and continued, “And... UK Heights is standing still. They are at a stop. I don’t see any difference between how they were at the opening match of the Winter League and now. I’m talking about both the coaching staff and players. They have a tendency of winning matches using their personal physical ability.”
“So JT Telecom will win today’s match?”
“That might not be the case. No matter who looks at it, UK Heights is ahead in PvP.”
“Still, the final runner-up will be JT Telecom. JT Telecom is ahead of UK Heights in the raid time attack.”
The team that was number one in the raid time attack three times in a row was Crescent Moon. Next was JT Telecom. All three times, they were second after Crescent Moon. Of course, the gap in the clear time was enormous, but they were definitely second in the rankings.
Lee Hoon approached and interrupted the conversation between the two people: “Then... JT Telecom will naturally play the wildcard match, right? They are the runner up in the Winter League after winning the last league.”
“The problem is if they can win. In the wildcard match, they will compete against the second-ranked teams of Japan, China, and Taiwan... which won’t be easy either.”
“That is after winning here.”
The wildcard was something to worry about for the team who won today’s match, so the important thing to them now was to beat their opponents.
-UK Heights has eventually knelt down in front of JT Telecom once again.
-Jung Jinnam tried hard, but he isn’t Alley Leader. It is impossible for him to beat JT Telecom alone.
The result came in a slightly different direction from Hyeonu’s expectations. Hyeonu expected that JT Telecom would win. However, JT Telecom beat UK Heights even in PvP.
“JT Telecom got a complete victory? There are times when Hyung’s predictions are wrong.” Mason looked at the screen with surprise. He had actually been similar to Hyeonu in thinking JT Telecom would kneel down in front of UK Heights’ physical ability, yet reality turned out differently.
-Today’s MVP is Jung Hanbaek. He beat four people, including Jung Jinnam. I’m sure no one will disagree with me!
The center of it was Jung Hanbaek. Jung Hanbaek beat Jung Jinnam and won four consecutive games to give his team the victory.
-Then I will conduct an interview with the winning team, JT Telecom.
Following the host’s words, JT Telecom’s players appeared in the interview seats on one side of the stage with smiling faces.
“It’s not like I am playing directly. I can always be wrong,” Hyeonu said. He didn’t mind that he was wrong. In any case, he didn’t care who won. No, in fact, he had hoped JT Telecom would win.
‘I would rather they come to Arena Week with the wildcard.’
This way, he could meet JT Telecom one more time.
Hyeonu focused on the screen with a strange smile. On the screen, the interview between the JT Telecom players and broadcasters were in full swing.
-I want to ask today’s MVP, Jung Hanbaek. Some people are saying that your skills have improved significantly in the Winter League compared to the last league. You are proving it with your results. Is there a secret to your rising abilities? The commentator asked Jung Hanbaek a question similar to the one he asked Hyeonu in the past.
-It is because there is a goal. I have a clear goal, so I’m more motivated and focused than ever. It is applied to this league, Jung Hanbaek answered.
Upon hearing that, the commentator’s eyes shone. The answer was quite interesting depending on how it was interpreted.
-Is that goal Alley Leader?
The commentator revealed his thoughts: did Jung Hanbaek mean Gang Hyeonu, the absolute powerhouse who appeared like a comet?
Jung Hanbaek’s expression shook the moment he heard those words, but he controlled his distorted expression with all his might. He remembered where he was sitting right now and that more than 10 million people were watching him.
-No, I have no personal greed. Our JT Telecom will enter Arena Week. That is most important.
Hyeonu smiled when he heard Jung Hanbaek’s answer.Previous Chapter Next Chapter