At the end of a nerve-wracking series, the Proleague Round 3 playoffs all comes down to Maru vs. Zest in the ace match. It’s an instant classic, with Maru winning the dream duel after forty grueling minutes of non-stop fighting. The Terran prodigy leaves the booth drained and barely able to stand, but is soon lifted into the air by his jubilant teammates.
Abruptly, the lights cut out.
“Congratulations, Jin Air. That was a simply magnificent performance. But unfortunately, I’m going to have to cut your celebration short.”
Spotlights turn on and zero in on a solitary figure. It’s stuchiu.
“You see, last night, I finalized a certain… transaction. A transaction that makes me the MAJORITY SHAREHOLDER OF PROLEAGUE.”
“Of course, new ownership means new rules. As my first act as majority owner, I hereby change the format of the round playoffs. To win the championship, you have to beat ONE MORE TEAM. And that match begins NOW.”
The spotlight widens and reveals a shadowy crew standing behind stuchiu. Has. Bubbles. InCa. Shine. Hyvaa. BitByBit.
Jin Air is exhausted from their previous series. To make matters worse, they’re all out of strategies after their precise preparation against KT.
Stuchiu’s sinister six deploy all sorts of dastardly tactics: cannon rushes, bunker rushes, zergling rushes. Some of them work. But through sheer talent and force of will, Jin Air is able to cling on. In another game seven, Maru barely holds off a proxy-Oracle-DT-Tempest from Has to secure the GG.
This time, Jin Air don’t even have the energy to celebrate. They are more relieved to have survived than joyous to have won.
“Bravo, Jin Air. You are truly the best Legacy of the Void has to offer. Alas, forgive me, I forgot to inform you about another change in the rules. This championship series will be decided by a final, sudden-death, ace match… ...and it will be played in WINGS OF LIBERTY.”
Maru’s face is pale, and there’s a distinct dullness in his eyes. Yet, he knows he is the ace, the only one who can bring salvation to his team. He enters the booth.
“Ah, one final thing. There’s one last player on my team, the captain. He’ll be playing the ace match.”
An uncanny chill spreads throughout the arena. It’s as if all the joy in the world has been snuffed out, like one-thousand Christmas trees being burned to ash. It’s Sniper.
Maru resists with all his strength, but it is to no avail. In the end, he faces a terrible realization: where Sniper treads, there is no hope. Maru collapses after his final GG. As Maru’s teammates wipe the blood from his nose, and attempt to rouse him to consciousness, stuchiu takes the stand to address the audience.
“I hope everyone enjoyed the Round 3 finals. This is only the beginning for my new era of Proleague, so make sure to keep watching. Shoutout to new Proleague sponsors G2A, CSGOLotto, and Trig Esports. Please cheer for us, and we’ll show you good games.”