Halfway through midnight snacks, Guan Bo Niang* suddenly, secretly bumped Zhou Tian’s elbow under the table.
*官博娘 - lit. official Weibo lady.
Zhou Tian, puzzled: “What’s the matter?”
“I have a thing!” Guan Bo Niang said in a small voice, “I want to ask Xie ge’s opinion, but I’m scared to ask him directly…”
“Ah?” Zhou Tian was startled. “Then you want…?”
Guan Bo Niang blinked eyes at her. The meaning was very obvious -- she wanted Zhou Tian to ask in her place, please!
Zhou Tian indeed wasn’t as scared as the team’s staff members to be in direct contact with Xie Yi, but she still didn’t know what was going on. Not immediately agreeing, she asked, “What’s this all about?”
Guan Bo Niang’s voice became even smaller. “It’s just that when the match finished today, I still hadn’t figured out what to post. Just talking about the match, fans definitely wouldn’t think it was enough. So I was wondering if we could write down and use the words Xie Yi used to block the lady boss before, the effect would definitely be very good.”
“But Xie ge...I usually don’t quite dare to speak to him ah!”
Zhou Xian thought for a bit, and said, “Then when we finish eating, I will help you ask on the way back.”
Guan Bo Niang immediately put her hands together and said several words of thanks in succession.
Observing this, Zhou Tian almost wanted to laugh. “Are you that afraid of him?”
She thought that the team’s crew would know Xie Yi’s true character. How was he as scary as the rumors said?
“I know that Xie ge is a very good person, but every time I talk to him I get so nervous!” Guan Bo Niang gestured, “There’s a qi field around his body, you understand? Never mind, you probably don’t understand. You seem like you’re not afraid of Xie ge at all, you’re able to say anything to him.”
Zhou Tian: “...”
I think that you need to find a chance to observe how my idol talks to Xie Yi.
“Anyways, this matter is up to you, xiao Zhou ah!” They returned back to the topic.
“I can help you ask, but I can’t guarantee that he will definitely agree,” Zhou Tian said.
Guan Bo Niang naturally nodded her head and said that she understood.
“If Xie ge doesn’t agree, I will just pull together some other content for the post.”
This appearance of “racking one’s brain” stirred Zhou Tian’s affections. As a result, when she brought up this matter with Xie Yi on the road, Zhou Tian deliberately helped Guan Bo Niang say a few more words.
“She also just wants to be able to run the official Weibo well, to let the team be satisfied and the fans happy.” Speaking up to this point, Zhou Tian raised her hand and scratched her head. “And also last time--”
“Last time she…” She finally reacted. “Wait wait, you agreed?!”
“Otherwise?” He tilted his head to look at her, expression seemingly mocking her for having a comprehension problem.
“That’s great!” Conscious of not having failed to live up to expectations and helped out, Zhou Tian’s speech became more animated. “I will go tell her right now.”
“Haven’t finished.” Xie Yi’s voice stopped her.
“Last time.” He seemed very curious. “You just said that.”
Zhou Tian had become used to double ranking with him. She already understood his unconscious habit of speaking as succinctly as possible. She had even learned on her own the skill of autofill.
“Oh! Just now I didn’t finish explaining how it was last time, right?” She pursed her lips. “It’s just that last time she even went to the hospital to take care of me. I always wanted to thank her properly, but these past few days I have been training continuously and didn’t find a chance.”
Xie Yi: “....”
He almost blurted out that, in that case, the person she should be most thankful to was him. But he was accustomed to holding in his words, and in the end didn’t say anything.
In any case, the “Xie Yi authorization” that Guan Bo Niang wanted was won in the end.
After the group returned to the hotel, Zhou Tian watched her roommate conscientiously edit and inspect the post for a long time before sending it out. She was shocked. “I feel like managing the official Weibo is even more tiring than training for competitions.”
“It’s just how it is. The official Weibo... First you have to be rigorous with your wording on every occasion. And then you have to have a firm grasp of trends among fan groups, understand what kind of content they want to get from the official Weibo. And then you also need to maintain an appropriate level of interaction.” She immediately tsked. “If I didn’t really like YYg*, I would definitely not do this kind of troublesome and thankless job.”
*鸳鸯锅 (yuan yang guo) - “mandarin ducks” pot, which is a pot with a divider that contains spicy soup on one side and mild soup on the other.
Zhou Tian: “Wow! Have you liked YYg for a long time?”
Guan Bo Niang nodded, saying that at minimum it had been five or six years, since the moment Song Chu first started playing professionally.
“My boyfriend really liked him at that time. He told me all the time that Song Chu’s luck just wasn’t as good as Ye Bo’s -- with four teammates that were each worse than the last, he could only expend all his spirit and energy to be the lonely captain. Otherwise he would’ve totally had the strength to take the throne of the League’s number one Jungler.”
“And then I started watching, watching and watching, and began to catch feelings too.” She paused. “Captain Song at the time didn’t have many fans. Sending gifts here to show my support, I gradually got to know a few staff members. Later, I found out the day before graduation that they were recruiting a Weibo manager, and so I came here.”
Even though she did not mention the depth of her fan affections for Song Chu, just from listening to this account, Zhou Tian could completely understand.
Recalling that she was the one who’d taken Song Chu’s place, Zhou Tian couldn’t help feeling awkward. Even her speech became stuck, “So it was like this ah…”
No one who could run a media account long-term were fools with low EQ. So when Zhou Tian’s mood subtly shifted, Guan Bo Niang noticed.
Guan Bo Niang didn’t even need half a second to roughly guess the reason why. She hurriedly continued: “Hey, don’t think too much, Captain Song requested to leave himself. Before the spring season had finished he’d already brought it up with management, saying that his operations already couldn’t keep up, management should hurry up and buy a Jungler so that he could leave the team with a carefree heart.”
“He’s someone who wishes for YYg to keep ascending. So you coming here makes him happy to no end.”
As his fan of many years, Guan Bo Niang only had one request for this player who had reached the end of his professional career. That was, to be happy.
After listening to the whole story, Zhou Tian lowered her eyes and thought deeply for a moment. Then, she resolutely said, “I will definitely fight hard, and not let anyone down.”
The next day everyone returned to Shanghai.
Before boarding and taking off, all the team members were scrolling through the comments section of Guan Bo Niang’s Weibo post.
In order to protect the team members’ privacy, the Weibo post only mentioned Xie Yi being hit on by the lady boss and left out Zhou Tian and the lady boss’s prior acquaintance. As a result, nearly all the fans’ attention was on Xie Yi’s dumbfounding answer.
“Damn I almost died laughing, I saw that many of Xie ge’s fans said that they’d realized there was a deviation in their perception of their idol.”
“They also made Xie ge a CV, in the academic qualifications column they wrote ‘high school dropout’ in red letters.”
“Hahahahaha fuck, isn’t that a little too much.”
The whole group happily chatted about the fans’ cognitive dissonance, never expecting that upon their return to Shanghai, they would receive a notice from the officials -- they needed to cooperate with the officials to do an activity for a fan event, and the topic of the activity was precisely cognitive dissonance among teammates.
“What is this, explain it clearly?”
“Yeah, what are you doing?”
“Just fill out this form.” The official staffer immediately handed over a piece of paper. “There are five sections -- how do you and your four teammates appear in your eyes?”
“....Tsk, so annoying.”
Everyone found it troublesome, but when the officials spoke, every player in this profession had no other choice but to take the form and start filling it out one by one.
The top of the form indicated that one could write or draw. Zhou Tian had never really taken an art class while in school. In order to not lose face, she decided to write.
She bit her pen and struggled for almost ten minutes before finally picking up her pen. It went like this:
[Yuzhou in her own eyes: Poor jungler who can’t get a signature hero]
[Han (Han Ziliang) in Yuzhou’s eyes: Pickled pepper lover. If he can’t eat pickled peppers, his gameplay will be deformed.]
[Knife (Wang Ren) in Yuzhou’s eyes: Knows all the takeout places within a five li radius like the back of his hand]
[Further (Xie Yi) in Yuzhou’s eyes: Emotionless ranking machine]
[Master (Ying Yuanxia) in Yuzhou’s eyes: Intimate female friend]
She felt that was really in line with the officials. At the end of the day, this type of activity was just for laughs, and as professional players, letting loose during this period was a harmless thing. This could be considered satisfactorily completing the assignment.
The result was that the next day, when the edited program was sent out, she found out that the person who had completed the assignment to even greater satisfaction and effect was unexpectedly Xie Yi.
Xie Yi… Xie Yi drew five speech bubbles.
The first was himself; inside the speech bubble there was only a simple and crude ellipsis. The second was Han Ziliang; inside the speech bubble was “The enemy is very fierce hahahahaha.” The third was Zhou Tian; he’d written “There are many reasons, but basically I will not go to the bot lane for the time being.” The fourth was Wang Ren; his answer and Zhou Tian’s were like different tunes played with the same skill: “Hungry, let’s finish fighting early and eat, my brothers!” The last one was Ying Yuanxia, and it was his in-game catchphrase: “This round is lost, I meant the enemy.”
Seeing this, every fan in the esports circle said -- facing these four teammates, it was no wonder that he could only reply with ellipses all year round, our Xie ge is indeed not simple!
But Zhou Tian was very dissatisfied: “Wait wait, when did I say I would not go to the bot lane?”
As she spoke, she counted on her fingers for him. “The first match, second round, I crazily ganked the other side. I fed you four kills even when it wasn’t a group battle. The second match, round two, I also individually gave you two. Saying I don’t go to the bot lane is really unfair!”
Xie Yi, confidently and righteously: “You go to the mid lane even more.”
He unexpectedly also remembered the particulars of the past matches down to the last detail. Slanting his head and sweeping his gaze over her, he had the attitude of someone who wanted to argue with her about unfair treatment.
Zhou Tian: “That’s because the two opponents we fought before were both targeting the mid lane, the rival Junglers were taking care of it, I couldn’t just let them freely come and go gank as they wanted.”
Seeing her so properly explaining, Xie Yi finally couldn’t bear it anymore. Smiling, he said: “Teasing you, dummy.”
Zhou Tian: “???” Do you also have cognitive dissonance? Don’t you know that your stiff face doesn’t seem like teasing me at all? You look like you’re here to settle the bills with me!