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The atmosphere of the press conference reached a boiling point. Even those who hadn't initially harbored any ill-will toward Tang Rou could no longer hold themselves back after seeing her current attitude.
What was this? The stubbornness of a mule? You clearly lost the bet, but you don't apologize and recognize that you were overly confident, nor do you quit the Alliance like you said. You just toss the sentence "I don't agree"?
In the ten years of the Glory Pro League, there had never been a player like this before, a player who simply refused to recognize the words they had previously said.
Pro players were public figures, so it was crucial that they had a good reputation. A player like this who didn't keep her word, no matter how good her appearance or disposition, what kind of business would dare endorse her? Without these endorsements, who would be willing to use her in advertising? Even pro teams, in order to avoid affecting the image of the team as a whole, would stay far away from a player with such a bad image, no matter how skilled the player was.
Tang Rou's action was completely self-destructive. Although the reporters were boiling, aside from Ruan Cheng's accusation of "shameless," none of them could find any other condemnation. None of them had ever experienced such a situation before, they didn't have experience!
For now, the reporters were like wasps whose nest had just been attacked, filling the air with their buzzing. In the midst of it all, it was possible that a few wanted to ask some questions, but in such a noisy and chaotic situation, no one could hear anything clearly.
"Everyone quiet down, quiet!!" the Alliance's media spokesperson shouted. Normally, a pro team had its own spokesperson, who would act as the host for any press conferences a team held. Happy didn't have one, so the Alliance's employee was a temporary fill-in. A worker from the Alliance would defend a pro team to some extent, but in the end they wouldn't be as exhaustively dedicated to the team like a worker from the team itself. This worker right now just wanted to restore order and didn't particularly care about Happy itself.
The reporters' uproar lasted for almost five whole minutes. As it slowly settled down, everyone adopted faces of indignation. This time, none of them felt that they understood Tang Rou's actions. Chang Xian had been pleased at first to see the reporters utterly flustered and anxious, but after that passed, he too started to worry about Tang Rou. He understood clearly how disadvantageous Tang Rou's attitude was, and he didn't know what sort of public relations strategy this was. With his understanding of Happy, they didn't have any dedicated public relations team. Their press conferences were all very casual, otherwise this wouldn't have attracted so much hatred.
Amidst the reporters who had regained order, Ruan Cheng acted as the voice of general opinion as he stood at the front, face filled with resentment.
"Miss Tang Rou, may I ask, what the meaning of your words was just now?" Ruan Cheng asked, exceedingly sophisticated. Although he had already carefully considered this, he still feared that Tang Rou had hidden some sort of trap in her words. After all, this whole situation was too incredible and ridiculous, and had never happened before in all ten years of Glory.
"I mean that I will not quit the Alliance, I will continue to play," Tang Rou said.
Alright, this time she made herself clear. There was no way for her meaning to be twisted, was there? Ruan Cheng was suddenly full of energy.
"Then, what do you think your earlier promise was all about? You think that your simple 'I don't agree' is enough to erase it? What do you have to say to all those Glory players that cared about you, wished you well, supported you?" Ruan Cheng said.
"Oh." Hearing this, Tang Rou stood up.
"I deeply regret being unable to complete a 1v3. I have disappointed all those who have cared about me, wished me well, and supported me." As she said this, Tang Rou made a short bow, and then straightened. "However, I will not retire because of this. Even if it hurts me, I will continue, and I will bear the burden of the disgrace that results. I only worry that my teammates will be dragged into this, and I hope that the team will not be harmed by any of this, because this is all my own decision. I hope that all of the criticism and accusations will only be aimed at myself, and not at Team Happy or the other team members."
"Your behavior tarnishes the reputation of your team," Ruan Cheng said.
"Yes, you are correct, the team is implicated because of me, they are victims," said Tang Rou. "Thank you for being so reasonable."
The atmosphere of the press conference became twisted again.
What's this? She wants to bear all the consequences of her faults? After this clear spiel of words, those who wanted to defame Happy along with her could no longer open their mouths. But to take all responsibility like this, this Tang Rou, has she not considered her future?
All of the reporters sensed how insane it was for Tang Rou to destroy her reputation and future prospects like this. But they had no way of attacking this point.
"Do you know what effect this will have on your future?"
For a question like this, a simple "none of your business" was enough of a retort. If the other party really didn't care about their future prospects, it was idiotic to make this a point. So Ruan Cheng had opened his mouth to point out to her supporters how Tang Rou harmed her team. But Tang Rou accepted all of this, in a "if you want to curse me, just bring it" attitude.
Any other possible position was unsustainable!
Were they supposed to say, so many people were looking forward to seeing you leave if you failed the 1v3, so now that you really failed, how can you make it up to those who were anticipating your departure?
An attack like that would probably only make Tang Rou more earnest in breaking her word, right?
The experienced reporters actually had no idea what to say next. They could only quietly swear in their hearts that as soon as they left they would figure out how to attack this Tang Rou. But looking at Tang Rou's stance, they couldn't help but feel a bit timid again. She already made it clear that she didn't care about her reputation and that she didn't need your support or understanding. What use would their attacks have? Would it just be a catharsis?
The reporters were at a loss because of Tang Rou's toughness. Ruan Cheng had been prepared to taste the fruits of victory, only to be faced with this unexpected scene. Tang Rou embraced the situation and took everything upon herself. Then what about Happy? What do you think of this?
"To Happy's members, what do you think of Tang Rou's performance today?" Ruan Cheng said in a low voice. He finally avoided Tang Rou, he had no way of facing her toughness, he had to find a new breakthrough.
"Tang Rou's performance today…" Happy's Captain Ye Xiu opened his mouth, "was excellent." He nodded his head, filled with certainty. And then in the face of a field of dumbstruck stares, he continued, "In the group arena, she defeated two opponents and fought all the way to the third person. A performance like that is truly powerful."
The reporters felt like crying. God, could you please stop playing dumb! You know that that's not what we're asking. But then again, disregarding the promise, for one player to fight all the way to the third was indeed very strong! Some reporters fell into a trance. But the rest were just about to accuse the God of playing dumb, when Ye Xiu continued to speak.
"The ones who should be strictly criticized are the two players who went up next. Two players, and you couldn't take down the opponent's one player? Especially the third player, the great general anchoring the group arena, Fang Rui! The team didn't spend so much money to get you over here just so you could be a useless dim sum! You couldn't even take care of a Wang Jiexi?" Ye Xiu berated him. The tone of that "couldn't even take care of a Wang Jiexi" was deafening! Ever since Wang Jiexi had entered the Alliance, the reporters had never heard this kind of sentence before.
"Yeah yeah yeah." To the side, Fang Rui confessed, ashamed, "I messed up, I couldn't focus my spirits to play well. Someone like Wang Jiexi, I should at least be able to fight ten of him."
"That's a bit much!" Ye Xiu said.
"Eight?" Fang Rui said.
"Mm." Ye Xiu nodded.
The reporters were going crazy. They had no way of reporting talk like this. Anyone could hear that it was a joke. If you actually talked about this seriously, everyone would doubt the judgment of your report. They could only record this talk while cursing this shamelessness, and when Wang Jiexi came out later, they could interview him and see if he objected to this. Only that would be reasonable.
But the main topic right now shouldn't be this!
"God Ye Xiu, as the captain of Team Happy, what are your thoughts on your teammate's retraction of her promise? I seem to remember that before, you very firmly believed Tang Rou could complete a 1v3?" One reporter, through gritted teeth, strung together a few clear keywords to spit out this question.
"Those were necessary words for the public," Ye Xiu said dismissively. "Is this your first day as a reporter or something?"
The reporters spat blood. But they had to admit that he had a point. When facing doubts about a team's player, the captain, or even any member of the team, had to defend the player, unless there was some serious conflict! Whether or not you believed in your teammate, when facing the world, the answer was always a public "yes."
But Ruan Cheng seized a flaw in Ye Xiu's words.
"That's to say, God Ye Xiu, in reality, you didn't actually believe that Tang Rou could complete a 1v3, right?" Ruan Cheng aggressively asked.
"How could that be the case? Have you forgotten, I was the one who set the five round limit?" Ye Xiu laughed.
"But now, she failed to complete it," said Ruan Cheng.
"Mm, in the end, no one can be one hundred percent certain about the outcome of competition, not even me," Ye Xiu said.
"But she made that kind of promise," said Ruan Cheng.
"And now she doesn't intend to uphold it," Ye Xiu said calmly.
"What do you think of that?" Ruan Cheng said.
"The team cannot interfere in a personal decision. I'm very glad that Tang Rou could make such a decision, allowing us to avoid losing such an outstanding player. Thank you." Ye Xiu's last two words were directed toward Tang Rou.
"You're welcome," Tang Rou replied with a smile.
Insane! Everyone on this team is insane!
The reporters were dumbstruck. Could these people not tell the severity of this situation? They were still relaxed as they responded with ridicule. If this were any other team, the public relations team probably would have already burned to ashes from this, no?
Tang Rou said that her promise was her individual decision and had nothing to do with the team. But, as a member of this team, her reputation was part of the team's reputation as a whole. Even with her statement, the team would still experience a negative effect. Regarding this, did the manager of this team, their boss, have no objection to this? She must be enraged in her heart? As it happened, Happy's boss Chen Guo was also on the panel of this press conference, and the reporters turned their fire.
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