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376 Liu Zilang’s Mighty Fatherly Love!

 The winner of the third duo match was IFTY's VK and SOSO. They marked themselves down as the black horses of the tournament.

After the three matches had finished, the final tally of the scores of all three rounds was revealed.

At the end of the day, the top three teams on the leaderboard were, from first to third, IG's Shen Zeyan and CuoJue, KD's Ford and Style, and Tyloo's Bai Shaobin and Hou Dongfang.

Out of these three teams, IG and Tyloo had gotten the chicken dinners of the first and second match respectively.

Only KD's Ford and Style did not get a single chicken dinner throughout the three matches. However, based on their consistent performance in all three games, they successfully snagged second place.

As for the black horse winners of the third match - IFTY, due to their lackluster performance in the earlier matches, they were placed tenth on the final leaderboard.

Similarly, Liu Zilang and company were on the opposite end of the spectrum, they performed spectacularly in the first match but their results in the last two matches left a lot to be desired.

In other words, it was a matter of their group chemistry not being consistent enough,

Once they found their rhythm, they could shoot for the stars; if they could not sync their rhythm toger, they devolved into brainless fragging.

As for Liu Zilang and GodV's final rank, they were placed one rank higher than IFTY, netting them an honourable ninth place.

After all, they got their second place finish in the first match through their own blood, sweat, and tears. The two had amassed a fair amount of points from their frags. This pushed their ranking up slightly.

...

Once the duo games were over, the top three teams went on stage and thanked the live audience for coming before doing a couple of brief interviews. However, there was not much of a prizegiving ceremony.

In this time's Asian Qualifiers, there were only prizegiving ceremonies prepared for the Solo and Four-man Squad tournaments. They gave an individual medal and a squad frying pan respectively.

It was only logical. After all, solo games showed off a top-tier player's individual skill whereas the four-man squad games tested the cooperation and overall coordination of an entire team. Not to mention, they were the most anticipated games of the tournament.

Since the squad tournament was the only time Asia's top esports teams went head-to-head in a massive clash of titans, it was also the decider for the three representing teams for Asia in the Jianghai World Tournament.

In comparison, the duo tournament, which was a weird midpoint between the solo and squad tournament, definitely felt a bit overshadowed in this qualifer event.

Maybe it was out of consideration that Duos was an official game mode in the game, thus, the tournament organizers decided to add it as one of the categories in the event. However, since they did not have any prizes prepared for this category, it was moreso treated as an exhibition match for the fans.

Hence, once the tournament ended, although 4AM felt a bit disappointed, they were by no means dejected. There were also a bunch of other teams with less than satisfatory performances that day, most of them shared the same sentiment.

This was because the four-man squad tournament was the real and most important \"main event\" of the Asian Qualifier in Jianghai.

Out of the twenty-four teams that participated in this qualifier tournament, the representing teams that would go on to face off against the real top-tier NA and EU FPS teams would be decided in the four-man squad tournament.

As for the duo tournament, in the eyes of the viewers, it was nothing more than an \"exhibition match\". However, to the big name teams and professional players out there, it was much more like a warmup for their transition from solo back into squads.

...

When the tournament ended, naturally, everyone went their separate ways and headed home.

Misaka Mikoto looked a bit dejected. However, when she saw Liu Zilang, a huge smile instantly appeared on her face.

\"Shifu~\" She cheerfully called out as she ran over with her bag behind her back, causing light tippy-taps on the floor.

Liu Zilang and the 4AM crew were talking as they walked, seemingly discussing the strategy going forward into the four-man squad tournament.

When they heard the shout that came from behind them, all of them instinctively turned around.

Seeing the wild Misaka Mikoto, they all thought she wanted to talk to Liu Zilang about something. Hence, Long Shenjue offered as he coughed wryly, \"Ehem... Why don't you guys finish your conversation first?\"

\"No need, no need.\" Misaka Mikoto quickly waved her hand. \"I'm just going home together with Shifu.\"

'Going home... Together?'

Hearing those words, the 4AM crew's jaws dropped as they stared blindly at Liu Zilang before glancing over at Misaka Mikoto. Instantly they gulped a couple of times, almost as if their throats were completely parched.

They had known that the two had quite a close relationship before but never would they have expected them to be at such a degree of intimacy.

In addition to that, the other party was none other than Menhara-chan - the most popular Genki [1]girl in the Asian esports scene!

Suddenly, the glances the 4AM crew were throwing at Liu Zilang seemed to be saying, \"Swine son of a b*tch\"!

Noticing the glares thrown his way, Liu Zilang slightly frowned.

He wanted to come up with a logical excuse, giving his friends a valid reason as to why Misaka Mikoto was crashing at his house.

However, he cleverly held himself back from saying anything.

Not explaining was much more effective than trying to come up with excuses.

...

After they split up with GodV and the gang outside the stadium, Liu Zilang, accompanied by Misaka Mikoto, met up with Zhang Xiaotong and Jiang Yumeng at the door.

As the four took a single cab, they first dropped off Jiang Yumeng before heading back to their own abode.

Throughout the entire trip, Zhang Xiaotong had ignored Liu Zilang. She had her head turned as she chatted with Misaka Mikoto.

Liu Zilang did not care too much about it at first. However, he realized that this was the brat's way of telling him she was not satisfied with his performance that day. Coming to that revelation, Liu Zilang felt speechless but also found it a little funny.

When they got home, as Liu Zilang opened the door, they were shocked to see two people seated on the sofa in the living room, watching television.

One of them was a handsome middle-aged bespectacled uncle in his forties, sporting a patchy scraggly \"beard\".

Without his glasses, the first impression this person gave off would be that he looked like a certain movie star named \"Wu Xiubo\"[2]. At that time, he was lazily slouched on the couch as he flipped through the various channels on the TV.

Beside him, there was a lady that looked the same age as him. She was sporting a nice shoulder-length bob. Although there were some wrinkles around the corners of her eyes, it could be seen that she had put in quite a lot of effort in skincare.

She did not give off a strong or intimidating aura. The way she was seated on the sofa gave off a warm and gentle feeling.

These two people, obviously, were Liu Zilang's old man Liu Yigang and stepmom Zhang Jingyi.

Seeing Liu Zilang, Liu Yigang glanced over at him momentarily before shifting his focus back onto the TV.

Zhang Jingyi, who was seated next to Liu Yigang, stood up and smiled. \"Oh Ah Lang, you're back! Did you go out with Xiaotong? We brought some nice food back home for you guys. Go wash your hands and let's have dinner together.\"

\"Thank you, auntie.\" Liu Zilang sneaked a glance over at Liu Yigang who was still seated on the sofa, before cautiously saying, \"Err... Then... Let me just put my bag back in my room first...\"

It was no joking matter. His bag was filled with his keyboard, mouse, and other gaming accessories. If he got found out by Liu Yigang, who knew what would happen.

As Liu Zilang, heart still thumping, wanted to sneak past the beast, he suddenly seemed to remember something...

The next moment, he turned around and looked at Zhang Xiaotong who was following behind him and Misaka Mikoto who was startled by the sudden appearance of the elders in the house.

By this time, Liu Yigang and Zhang Jingyi had also noticed this stranger who had suddenly appeared in their house.

...

[1] Genki is a Japanese characterization trope commonly used in the ACG community. It depicts a character that is cheerful and filled with energy, often times being described as a character that \"makes everyone happy\". TV Tropes explanation: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GenkiGirl

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wu_Xiubo