Chapter 57 – Lin Xiao, The New Internet Celebrity

Lin Xiao didn’t expect to catch Yan Duzhou’s attention so soon, but after all, it was bound to happen sooner or later, and now he could stop worrying about it.
The week after, however, the major gaming newspapers and magazines scrambled to cover the previous round of the tournament, which was even more unexpected.

Although these extensive reports on the game were largely related to the fact that the Seven Stars team was saying goodbye to the playoffs early, most of the content focused on the tactics used by the Black Rose to defeat the enemy with a huge advantage of 10:0.
And what attracted the most attention was undoubtedly Lin Xiao, who appeared in public view for the first time.

Perhaps as an attempt to make up for the impulsive move at the press conference, “E-sports Times” specially published an entire front page to introduce the big victory of the Black Rose team.

The report, in addition to analyzing the tactical policy adjustments made by the Black Rose team, also focused on analyzing Lin Xiao’s combat tactics which were very similar to Captain Lin’s Old Ghost back then.
On top of that, the association of the same name made it very clear that it was a rookie cultivated as the successor of the Old Ghost‘s core tactics.

The story was exceptionally detailed and received a lot of attention because it had the legendary saga plot about “a rookie competitor who had the same style as the veteran Old Ghost.”

Although Old Ghost had long since disappeared from view, there were still many hardcore gaming fans who considered him a leading light.
Once the report came out, it immediately caused a huge reaction, and many fanatical netizens on major forums not only launched a crusade against “E-Sports Times” but even turned the flames of war on Lin Xiao, attacking him from all sides with their snide remarks.

Among them, the general contents were as follows:

Netizen A: “Is the reporter blind? How can this kid still wet behind the ears be compared with Old Ghost!”

Netizen B: “Now anyone can borrow Captain Lin’s popularity and use the same name as him, deliberately changing it? Lin Xiao, right? Good, you have successfully caught my attention!”

Netizen C: “Are you kidding, now anyone can claim to be Old Ghost‘s successor just by playing a random game? What a way to write a story without any responsibility at all!”

Netizen D: “Captain Lin pushed through all his life, while this noob is hyped for his name after hiding all his life!”

Not just the “E-sports Times” forum but even the official Black Rose team forum was not spared.
In this regard, the PR teams of the two companies happened to be taking the same attitude – turning a blind eye.
However, what was different from previous online riots was that, with tens of millions of clicks a day on the match video, the number of netizens joining the “condemnation alliance” not only did not dwindle but actually increased much more.

Therefore, many media outlets jumped on the hot topic and began to participate in this “discussion,” competing to analyze the similarities and shortcomings of Lin Xiao and Old Ghost back then.
However, the comments were not objective and professional enough to mislead anyone.
Some were hailing Lin Xiao as an emerging talent, feeling that his portrayal as Captain Lin’s Old Ghost was just a hype stunt, as the “ghosts (Old Ghost‘s fans)” said.
Regardless, everyone involved in this topic received extensive attention.

What started as a comment by the “E-sports Times” about promoting newcomers in order to suck up to the Black Rose team has inexplicably become the hottest focus in the league right now.

With this unexpected development, although as an innocent person, he suffered many slanders, Lin Xiao was on a roll.

As a new internet celebrity, he was the most surprised.
The fame was like a tornado that came too fast to get out of its way.

Because of this, seeing the PR department position and the attitude of the staff there, Shen Changyu wondered if “E-sports Times” sincerely apologized for this report or simply dug a deeper pit to bury them.

A few polite words of comfort were enough for the PR department, but the next game was about to start in the blink of an eye, and he was more concerned if the team members were affected.

And the main object of concern was naturally Lin Xiao, the one directly involved.
After all, since joining the League, Old Ghost has been sought after by tens of thousands of people and has been followed and supported by many fans all along.
Even the fans of the opponent teams had nothing to say about his abilities.
As for being called out and scolded like now, I’m afraid he has never experienced it so far.

Thinking of all this, Shen Changyu walked into the training hall and saw Lin Xiao sitting alone in the corner and staring at the computer intently, seemingly browsing the web.
Judging by his demeanor, he didn’t seem affected by anything.

Looks like he made a mountain out of a molehill.
Shen Changyu breathed a sigh of relief, walked behind Lin Xiao, and was about to say something, but when he looked up and saw the forum page displayed on the computer screen, he froze.

Lin Xiao noticed someone approaching, turned around, and seeing Shen Changyu, he smiled smugly, showing off: “Look how smart I am! Taking advantage of the current popularity, I opened a Twitter account and got 500,000 followers in one night! Look at the new message I posted just now, in just a few minutes the comments exploded!”

Shen Changyu grimaced looking at the obviously offensive comments on the screen and didn’t know how to express his feelings.

Lin Xiao crossed his legs and scrolled the pages with interest: “Look, look what fun scolding is.
Hey, why didn’t I realize I had so many diehard fans back then? After all these years, I didn’t expect they still love me so much.
Wow, my charisma is still great, although I’m different.”

Shen Changyu finally couldn’t help but cough twice to interrupt his narcissistic show.
He didn’t understand his mental circuit at all and deliberately reminded him: “But you’re the one who’s getting smeared so bad right now…”

Lin Xiao didn’t care at all: “So what, it’s love that kills!”

“…” This is just too much!

Shen Changyu could only try to change the topic, and focusing on the two-digit follower list, he asked: “Who is following you on this account?”

Lin Xiao clicked on the detailed list and scrolled down to show him: “For now, only some people from the team and some officials from the club.
Oh yes, Lao Yan is also following me.”

Shen Changyu opened his eyes in surprise when he saw the distinct mutual relationship logo with Yan Duzhou’s account: “Captain Yan actually looked you up? Could it be that he already…”

“He came looking for me yesterday and never gave me a chance to cover up for my sockpuppet1.” Lin Xiao, with a funny look on his face, shrugged, “Don’t even ask me how I explained it to him.
In fact, that guy, old Yan, never asked me for an explanation.”

Shen Changyu was speechless for a long time and finally let out an emotional sigh, “Captain Yan is really…”

“Open-minded!” Lin Xiao tacitly picked up his next words.

The controversy over Lin Xiao lasted for more than half a month, but neither the media nor the club made a public statement until the end.
As for Lin Xiao himself? Amidst the daily scoldings, he happily carried himself like the hottest celebrity on the internet.
He never refuted or explained anything, and his daily posts were boring topics like eating three meals a day.

Everyone complained: who the hell cares what time you eat, when you go to bed, what you eat, and what you drink?

However, no matter how much hubbub there was on the internet, the final round of the pre-season tournament still came as scheduled, and with the Black Rose team’s points, the next game was undoubtedly the key to their ability to enter the playoffs.

Under the special attention of people from all walks of life for this game, in the first round of matches against the Red Leaf team, the Black Rose started with a personal record of the individual game and directly adjudicated three points.

The Red Leaf, as the only women’s team in the league, was not a top-notch powerhouse but still maintained the record of successfully entering the playoffs every year.
It was never a team to be underestimated or easily defeated.

When Captain Xu Yun shook hands and saluted the opponents before the team match, there was a sweet and lovely smile on her childish face: “We are going to take revenge in the team competition!”

As for the doll-like young captain of the Red Leaf, anyone who fought against her knew not to be fooled by her innocent and harmless appearance.
This weekday foodie Loli was actually a ruthless opponent on the field, which was especially suitable for the assassin profession she operated.

After the two teams entered the battle zone, they began the final preparations.

At this time, in the training camp of the Apocalypse team, all the members sat solemnly in the conference hall at the request of Yan Duzhou.
The big screen in the center was broadcasting live the match between the Black Rose and Red Leaf teams.

Puzzled by this arrangement, Vice Captain Song Lan asked: “Captain Yan, it’s nice to watch the live broadcast of such a game, but was it necessary to gather us all here on the day off?”

Yan Duzhou always kept his gaze on a particular figure on the field, and his tone was calm: “Pay attention to the actions of the ghost priest.
I will ask for details later.”

Once those words fell, the initially pretty relaxed atmosphere in the venue suddenly became tense.

Asking about details was a necessary part of every combat analysis meeting.
But those who answered wrong had to go through a whole week of extra evening training, which was purgatory-like torture.

Everyone present had experienced such torture, but this time their faces showed some bewilderment.
The ghost priest of the Black Rose team? Wasn’t he the Lin Xiao who recently made a lot of hype about Old Ghost? Was all this mobilization today just for this newcomer?


A sockpuppet is an online identity used for purposes of deception.

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