995 Determining the Top 16

    Lu Li defeated five players from the Imperial Secret Service in the single elimination matches. They completely destroyed them in the team match without even using up their reserves. Ruling Sword successfully eliminated the Imperial Secret Service and prevented them from entering the top 50.

    Around the end of the year, Ruling Swords managed to break through to the top 16.

    It wasn't much of a surprise that they had made it to the top 16 unlike in the Shadow Cup, where they were the dark horse.

    On the point rankings, Glory Capital was leading. They had some very formidable players and were lucky because they hadn't faced off against any particularly strong teams. Although they lost once to Seventh Heaven, they were still comfortably ahead.

    Coming in second was Ruling Sword.

    Ruling Swords wanted to train up their rookies. They had started Kitty Likes Meat and Fat Monkey in several matches and had lost some points because of this.

    However, at the same time, they managed to defeat Seventh Heaven and Wings of Dawn in the team matches, making them the only team in the whole tournament to have won every single team match.

    Coming in third was the Wings of Dawn, who had defeated Glory Capital but lost to Ruling Sword.

    Seventh Heaven came in at fourth, losing to Ruling Sword and Peerless City because Lucky Southern Persian had yet to learn his signature move. It was an extremely close match between these two teams and was considered to be the most exciting match so far in the tournament.

    Fifth was Peerless City and coming in behind them was Blood Red War Flag.

    Drizzle Court suffered tough losses against strong opponents including Peerless City, Wings of Dawn and Blood Red War Flag and was ranked at seventh.

    Following them were Gale Legion, Azure Guard, Majin Temple, Blue Universe, Purple Lunar Paradise, Stellar Union, Grand Hegemony Union, Eternal Kingdom, Brotherhood and Gods of Dusk.

    The point system did not determine the end results because anything could happen in the semifinals.

    The Top 16 mainly consisted of Major Guilds and they would continue to dominate the professional scene because of their resources and numbers.

    However, this was completely expected.

    What was unexpected was that the two veteran major guilds - Gangnam Royals and Peacetime Dynasty - had failed to advance into the next stage.

    In tournaments like these, people were always interested in the guilds that made up the top 100, because this would make the smaller guilds more relevant and more players would join.

    However, advancing into the Top 16 was a completely different story. The guilds that made the Top 16 were considered to be the top powerhouses of the entire gaming community and were treated as gods.

    The two veteran guilds had regressed from their former glory, but no one expected them to not advance into the Top 16, especially the Gangnam Royals. They were ranked second behind Glory Capital in last year's guild rankings and now they had fallen to the 20th spot.

    Blue Universe and Grand Hegemony Union were the ones to replace them.

    Grand Hegemony Union had players like Drinking Alone, Northern Tang Dream and Northern Tang Kitty, who Lu Li met when he first joined the game. Their guild leader, Emperor Hegemony, was very ambitious but lacked talent, so his guild never flourished like the others.

    After the Shadow Cup, they were scouted by a large company who decided to sponsor them and bought them out.

    Although Emperor Hegemony was still the guild leader, he had no power over the major decisions in his guild. Their new owner held the majority of power in the guild and managed it in a very methodical manner, introducing huge changes to how they used to run things. Players would be awarded and punished based on their performance, they poached some professional players from other guilds with money and hired some of the best coaches in the professional scene.

    This approach had its pros and cons. The owner obviously didn't have the same experience and understanding about the game that the other guild leaders had, but his methods had obviously paid off for him.

    Blue Universe was one of the biggest surprises of the tournament and came in at an even higher ranking than Grand Hegemony Union.

    This winter, Blue Universe leapt from No.33 on the guild rankings to No.11, almost breaking through the top 10. They were the dark horse of this tournament.

    The players from Grand Hegemony Union were all familiar faces; many of them were poached from various major guilds.

    However, Blue Universe had a completely new lineup and all seven of their team members were rookies. The first time they entered the stage, their whole team were trembling. Perhaps it was because they were nervous or excited, or maybe it was a mixture of both. Their female healer Almond Ice Cream was crying mid fight.

    This guild had been able to build itself up with financial support from Drizzle Court. They were basically Drizzle Court's sub-guild in name.

    Their goal was to develop their younger players, so they created this guild to provide an environment for talented young rookies to be trained and participate in tournaments once they were ready.

    If they performed well, they would be added to the main guild Drizzle Court. If not, they would stay and continued to gain experience.

    Their training program had trained up seven new players this year.

    All seven of them wanted to form a team and participate in the tournament. Water Fairy thought that it would interesting and was pleased with their ambition, so she accepted their request.

    When the results of the Top 16 was revealed, Drizzling Court decided to establish Blue Universe as an individual guild, as opposed to a development guild. The members felt great because their efforts were validated by their results.

    The gaming community knew that Blue Universe had existed for two or three years, but it wasn't really until this Winter that they had broken out.

    Lu Li observed them from afar but continued doing his own thing.

    He spent most of his time training and sometimes practicing his skills in the arena. The rest of his time was spent on Engineering and Forging. With his unlimited materials and recipes, as well as an Elite forging hammer, he easily levelled up to expert.

    Engineering has been much harder to level up as he was always either missing recipes or materials.

    However, after a long time of grinding, he finally reached expert level and could now craft things like Goblin Jumper Cables and the Flawless Arcanite Rifle.

    Goblin Jumper Cables!

    Recipe: Goblin Jumper Cables.

    Requires: Expert Engineering (260)

    Use: Teaches user how to craft Goblin Jumper Cables.

    Goblin Jumper Cables: Jumper Cables will sometimes be able to shock a dead ally back to life. Cannot be used in combat.

    The Goblin Jumper Cables required Expert Engineering Level 260, which was higher than the level required for crafting the Flawless Arcanite Rifle (250). As such, Lu Li decided to invest in five Flawless Arcanite Rifles first.

    Excluding the one that he promised Water Fairy, he still had four left.

    If he used one for himself, he could sell one to Moonlight and sell the rest to whoever needs it in the guild.

    After crafting these the rifles, he would reach around Lv260.
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