Chapter 331 – It is THIS Big!

Lin Feng clenched his fist and pumped it up in the air. He shouted, “WIN! See how good my Zed is?” He grinned and watched the red energy explode from the Nexus and morph into the ‘Victory’ emblem. My Zed is way too good! Way too good… I should 1vs1 Shi Hang on stream one of these days! Then I could show them just how good my Zed exactly is! Yeah! That’d be fun!Right, XueXue and something big… He turned his head to look at Su Xue and asked, “What big news? What were you talking about?”

YEAH! cant just make us hot like this! TELL US OR WE RIOT!
dont be mad with us, were just dumb viewers who are far too curious…. NOW TELL US!
tell me tell me tell me tell me
I wonder what it could be about… You guys think she got engaged or something?
LOL, with who??? What guy would wanna date her when she streams 20 hours a day????

Su Xue looked at the camera and gave a fake, sarcastic laugh in response. She then sat up a little straighter and raised her nose. She said, “A Huya admin contacted me. He said he wants to discuss something important with me. When I asked him what it was about, he said it had to do with my stream and that it was a massive opportunity! Like… THIS big!” She reached her hands out as far as she could.

huya dude thinkin he has a big dick. Lololololol
xuexue getting trolled by huya…..
our xuexue is waaaaaaaay too innocent

Lin Feng raised an eyebrow and asked, “Is that all? Didn’t he tell you what the big news is? So you don’t really have big news? Just a Huya admin telling you he has big news for you…?”

Su Xue’s smile froze. The corners of her lips slowly fell a brief moment later. She then scratched the back of her head and said, “Uhh, well… Yeah. But he told me it was really big and that I’d be super happy with it!”

this is big news!? my gawd why did i get all excited for this crap….????
XueXue, you’re really too gullible! Just because they tell you it’s big doesn’t mean it’s actually big news!
so an admin wants to chat with you (in person????) about something big he has for you??? Oh poor xuexue, you’re so gullible!
xuexue is too pure for the internet, that’s why I watch her. She’s like a cute, little, very stupid puppy!

Su Xue rolled her eyes back and said, “Fine. Whatever! You guys keep roasting and trolling and bitching all you want! I don’t care about any of you!” She shook her head and mumbled, “Sheesh, just wanted to share the good news that Huya has something big for me…”

ah okay, I understand it! YOU”RE DUMPING US FOR THIS HUYA DUDE!!!!!
Wooow! Getting cocky right away just because some dude told you he has something big for you, huh? I get it! You don’t want us anymore! FINE! WE DON”T WANT YOU EITHER! PACK IT UP< BOYS! WE”RE LEAVING!
YEAH! weve been far too nice to her! She’s gotten cocky time to put her back in her place!
fellow comrades, new and old, follow me into mass reporting and mass unfollowing! Teach the maid who has the power here!
We hold the power!

“What the fuck!” Su Xue yelped. She threw her hands up in the air and complained, “What’s wrong with you guys? I’m sorry! Okay? I’m sorry! Sheesh! I would never throw you guys away! I love you all! We’re one big family here! You’re all my brothers and sisters!” She looked into the camera and smiled and blinked, like a puppy. She then said, “Come oooooon! Please, don’t leave me! I wouldn’t ever leave you guys! Pleaaase!”

Su Xue fell back in her gaming chair after turning her stream off and sighed loudly. She shook her head and complained, “Those god damn viewers are such a pissy bunch! Who did they learn this shitty behaviour from!? I bet you that other streamers don’t have such ungrateful bastards watching them!”

“But your stream is getting really big!” Lin Feng countered. He clicked on the match history and glossed through it. Another round of all wins! Won three at the end on Zed there as well! But still… I need to play against better players… He shook his head and said to Su Xue, “You’ll be the number 1 female streamer on Huya soon! That’s really impressive you know!”

“Yep! I know!” Su Xue replied, smiling. She then grabbed a cardboard crown from a pile next to her desk and put it on. She said, “I’ll be the queen of Huya!”

Lin Feng looked at her, confused. Then he grinned. He struck his victory pose and shouted, “And I’ll be the king!”

“No you won’t,” Su Xue replied. She shook her head and continued, “You’re the stream’s little bro! You can be a prince or something!”

Lin Feng scratched the back of his head and grinned awkwardly. He said, “Oh, yeah, guess you’re right. Right! So what did that Huya admin want from you anyway? You really don’t know?”

Su Xue shrugged and explained, “Yeah, I really don’t know. I told the stream what he told me. It’s supposedly really good news and will help my stream get really big though. So I’m kinda really excited for it!”

“Oh, I see. Makes sense…” Lin Feng mumbled. He then glanced at the clock on the wall. His eyes went wide. He grabbed his phone to double check the time. He then turned to look at Su Xue and exclaimed, “Hey! Isn’t it delivery time? I want a chicken cutlet!”

Su Xue followed Lin Feng’s gaze to the clock. Oh my god! It’s already 2 A.M! Takeout? She pinched her eyes closed and said, “You want food now? It’s 2! You’ve got… I don’t know! Something in the morning, right? You need to go to bed and sleep! No one can function on no sleep! What do you think? That I go to bed at 4 and then wake up at 6? No! I go to bed at 4, wake up at 6 to make you breakfast, and then go back to bed! Humans need their sleep! You need to sleep!”

Lin Feng shook his head and argued, “I only have a couple more weeks to climb to the top of the Korean ladder! I can catch up on sleep when I’ve done that! Now I need to play!”

Su Xue’s mouth fell open. She stared at Lin Feng and asked, “You… you still want to play? Tonight? Didn’t you just play a whole tournament match today? Well, technically yesterday…– And the games on stream too! Haven’t you had enough…?”

“Nah, I’m fine!” Lin Feng said, grinning. He downed the glass of water in front of him and then struck his victory pose. He shouted, “It’s time to PLAY!” He continued grinning and kept his eyes wide open. Yeah I’m tired! Yeah I wanna sleep! But this isn’t the time to sleep! I want to know how much I improved from those games against Shi Hang! And I need to play more on the Korean server anyway! I’ll play at least one game! That’s one game closer to the Top 3! I know One only said Top 5, but I’m going for the Top 3! That just means I need that much more time! I have to play more! More! MORE!

Su Xue looked at Lin Feng through narrowed eyes. You’re not fooling me, you punk! You can barely keep your eyes open! But… She pursed her lips. I really wanna see you play on the Korean server… Maybe you get to play with Lightless again! How cool would that be! Just one game. Yeah! I’ll let you play one game! That’ll be fine! She smiled and said, “Alright. One game. I’ll go call the chicken place around the corner. Be right back!”

Su Xue walked back into her room with a plastic bag in her hand. Steam was rising up from it, as was the strong smell of chicken. She put the bag down on the desk next to Lin Feng and looked at his screen. Her eyes went wide. He’d already logged onto his Korean account and was waiting in the queue. But what drew her attention was a private message chat that was blinking on the bottom of the client. She grabbed Lin Feng by his shoulder and shouted, “It’s Lightless! He’s messaging you! Lightless is messaging you!”

Lin Feng hovered his mouse over the chat and mumbled, “Oh, him again?” He opened the chat box and read the messages.

CN•Lightless:Heeeeey! You down for a duo?
CN•Lightless:I can play jungle!
CN•Lightless:It’d be a real honour to play with a legend like you again!

Su Xue stared at the chat, stunned. Shocked! Lin Feng a legend? W-what? Since when…? She glanced at Lin Feng and then back at the chat with Lightless. A legend? What is this about? Lightless plays in the LPL! Who does he think Lin Feng is!?

Lin Feng looked at the messages that just kept on coming and shook his head. Guess he thinks I’m One. Eh, don’t wanna play with him right now anyway.

CN•HOOK2:I’m good.

“What…?” Su Xue mumbled. She looked from Lin Feng to the now closed chat and back at Lin Feng again. Has he lost it? He has, hasn’t he? She grabbed Lin Feng by the arm and pointed at his computer screen. She said, “What are you doing? Why did you close the chat? That’s Lightless! Didn’t I tell you who that is? He’s a pro! He plays in the LPL! Why would you say no to him? He can help you win! He’s a mid main, but he’s also a really good Jungler! I told you this last time! Before he became a mid main he was a Jungler! Why wouldn’t you wanna duo with him!?”

Lin Feng brushed Su Xue’s hand off and explained, “Doesn’t matter who he is. I prefer to play solo queue. Plus, I want to do this climb solo.” He focused his attention on the client. I promised One that I’d reach the Top 5! So I’ll be the one doing that! I won’t rely on anyone else! Duo queuing is cheating!

The period between the World Championships and the start of the new season was the off-season for League of Legends. The professional teams had no specific games to work towards, so they focused on general practice. Beyond that, most players had no team responsibilities. They spent their time watching movies, playing other video games or going outside into the cold winter weather.

It was 2 A.M. Light was still burning in the Dark Glory gaming room. Two players from the team were watching a movie, and there was one other player present. Lightless. He sat behind his own computer some distance away. He looked at his screen, at his chat with CN•HOOK2 and grinned. Hum… Could’ve guessed One wouldn’t want to duo queue with me. But he accepted me to his friends list! That’s already a huge honour! Now I can spectate him! I wonder how many people have that privilege! Maybe I’m his only friend on the Korean server!

Lightless’ eyes were locked on the screen when CN•HOOK2 entered his first game. Mid Lulu! That’s such a risky pick in the solo queue! He’s basically relying on his teammates not being dogshit! Hum… But this is Korean Challenger! He clenched his fists. Come on, One! Show ‘em!

The next hour flew by. Lightless felt his heart slamming into his ribcage, faster and faster! The Lulu game was impressive. CN•HOOK2 carried his team to a convincing victory. He moved into the next game, this time opting to play Ezreal in the mid lane. The early game was a little bit rough. There were a couple of openings and a couple of missed opportunities. But when the mid game came around, Ezreal hit his power spike. CN•HOOK2 carried his team to a second win.

It was the third game where CN•HOOK2 finally hit a wall. Lightless kept shaking his head the entire game. Holy crap his Fizz is good! Laning, roaming, mechanics, especially mechanics! They’re all better than mine! This dude could jump straight into the LPL and be one of the top Midlaners! Fucking legend! Retired from the pro scene of a different MOBA so many years ago, yet he’s still playing at the top level! And isn’t he like 30 already? How is he this sharp at that age!? Hum… Unreal! He watched One beat a Korean professional player in the mid lane. But it wasn’t enough. He lost the game. One’s teammates were useless in this game! And those Koreans were pros… That didn’t help.

Lightless rolled his shoulders back and mumbled, “Alright, next game. Get some revenge for that loss, bud!” he rubbed his hands and smiled. Show me… Twisted Fate! Yeah! Nice!

The game didn’t last long. CN•HOOK2’s Twisted Fate dominated his lane and at Level 6 after unlocking his ultimate skill, he started dominating the bot and top lane as well. The game lasted 21 minutes. Lightless’ eyes were open wide in shock. Hum… Yep! That does it. That fucking does it! He glanced at his two teammates watching another movie before turning his attention back to his screen. He shook his head and breathed in deeply. I can’t let myself fall behind a retired player! One is an absolute legend! No one was as good as he was at his prime! But he’s like 30 years old now! He’s well past his prime and he doesn’t even play competitively anymore! I’m not going to be worse than him! Hum! I’ll just have to up my training schedule and try even harder! He nodded and clicked on the ‘Play’ button. Enough watching. Time to practice!

Chapter 330 – If you’re free for the rest of the night, come to my room Lin Feng.

It was late at night. Su Xue sat behind her computer chatting with her viewers when someone loudly knocked on the front door. She glanced over her shoulder, surprised. Who could thaDon’t tell me

“SU XUUEEEEEEEE! I’M HOOOOOOOOME!” Lin Feng shouted while smashing his fist against the front door.

“I’m here! I’m here! Stop knocking!” Su Xue rushed down the stairs and opened the front door.

“I’m home!” Lin Feng exclaimed. 

“I can see that. I’m not blind. Or deaf,” Su Xue replied. “Why are you banging on the door anyway? You have a key! Just USE YOUR KEY TO OPEN THE DOO… you forgot your key again, didn’t you?” This kid… he definitely forgot to take keys. Again. Even after I’ve told him a billion times now to take them when he goes out. Ah, why do I even bother? It doesn’t even matter if I tell him, remind him, yell at him. No matter how often I tell him, he’s just going to skip out the door without his keys. Getting him to remember his keys is harder than climbing to Challenger! This might be the best case scenario though… As long as his keys are safe at home, he’s not going to leave them somewhere else. Or lose them over and over. Half of Shanghai will have a copy of our keys if he takes them out of the house! Yeah! Let’s just let this go. 

Su Xue stood at the doorway with her hand on her forehead while she considered all of this and talked to her. Finally, she sighed and looked at Lin Feng to ask, “Did you eat already?”

“I did! I had BBQ skewers?”

“Tsk tsk, and you didn’t think about me at all, did you? I would’ve liked some skewers. So inconsiderate!”

“Oh… oh. Are you hungry, Su Xue? Let’s get some chicken cutlets delivered!”

“… Didn’t you just tell me about eating BBQ skewers!?”

“I’m still hungry!”

“Oh my god! You’re always hungry, you porky little fatass!” 

The two continued bickering back and forth as they walked into the living room. Once they arrived, Su Xue turned to look at Lin Feng and didn’t say anything for a few seconds. Then she raised an eyebrow and asked, “So, how’d your game go today? Did you guys win?”

Lin Feng smiled and pushed his hair back before replying, “Yep! We reverse swept them 3-2! I was really awesome in Mid too!”

“Oh? So it was all you? The midlane hard carry?” Su Xue asked while grinning at him. “I might be wrong here… but wasn’t it BunBun’s Lee Sin ult that won the fifth game for you guys?”

“BunB…Oh. OH! You watched the stream of the tournament?” A surprised Lin Feng asked after he put the pieces together in his head.

Su Xue snorted. “No. I read your mind. Of course I watched the stream! But I didn’t watch because I wanted to! I didn’t think I even needed to watch. I was sitting in solo queue, getting ready to play a few games. But Water Wraith and the rest of the viewers kept going on about how you were playing and how we should watch. They got so annoying about it that I finally gave up trying to argue and pulled the tournament stream up!” She looked at Lin Feng and said, “A reverse sweep? What does that even mean? You lost two games at the start and finally got your act together to win the next three? What a fancy way of saying that you were in trouble and managed to get it together at the very end. Is that something  really worth bragging about? If you were really good, you would’ve shown me a clean sweep.”

Lin Feng scratched his head. Then he brightly smiled and said, “Oh, I wanted to do that too! Next time, I guess!” 

“Agh, why are you so damn cheery about everything all the time?” Su Xue looked away, defeated by Lin Feng’s sickeningly overpowering positivity and optimism. “Alright, alright, I get it. Anyway, if you don’t have anything else to do tonight, come to my room.” 

Wait. WAIT. WAIT! That sounds wrong! That sounds like I’m asking him… Su Xue realized how her words could be misinterpreted and quickly added, “I’m still streaming right now. When I told the viewers I was going to get the door for you, they started raving about wanting to see you.” Then she sighed with dissatisfaction. “Seriously, why do I feel like they’re more your fans than mine. I’m supposed to be the streamer here!”

“Oh, everyone’s waiting for me!?” Lin Feng asked, already used to Su Xue’s complaints. “I’ll be there in a second!”

Su Xue’s stream had recently grown, and she’d become even more popular. She wasn’t a small streamer by any definition of the term back in the day. She always managed to hover somewhere between 20,000 to 30,000 viewers every time she went live. But recently, the Huya TV admins had featured her stream on the front page several times. The exposure had skyrocketed her viewership, and now she was pulling in 40,000 to 50,000 viewers regularly. There were even days when she peaked at 60,000 viewers! Su Xue had become well-known as a streaming personality and was now as big as LovelyRose! But her community was very different from the one that LovelyRose built. Su Xue’s viewers were much more loyal and significantly more invested in her. If LovelyRose picked a fight with the Su Xue of today, the entire incident would have gone down a very different path.

For tonight’s stream, Su Xue had 48,000 viewers. All of whom were sitting there talking amongst themselves when Su Xue left to let Lin Feng into the house. A bunch of the newer viewers had no idea what was going on.

huh, where’d snowfall go?
yeah, what’s she doing! I came to watch a stream, not an empty room!
who’s she getting the door for, her boyfriend?
fuck! Didn’t she say she was single! I feel betrayed!
sum1 clappin that?!?!?!? PeepoSadgePepeCri
That’s right! No man can come between us and Su Xie!

Thankfully, Su Xue’s long time viewers were there to explain the situation.

No, she didn’t lie. Xuexue is still single. Can you imagine a girl like her getting a boyfriend? Hahahahha
she went to open the door for landlady’s nephew!
right, Lin Feng is also our lil bro!
Who LiFeng? Landylad newophew th boyfrien?>>>!!
No! Lin Feng is the Landlady’s nephew!
Su Xue has a little brother?

The newer viewers grew more confused as this went on. 

landlady’s nephew? Who the hell cares?
Exactly! We want mature landlady stream!
lil bro? When did a lil bro pop up? The hell are you guys talking about?
ommmmmg, i’m so lost.

While the viewers in the chat were going back and forth, Lin Feng entered the room and ran over to the computer and sat down in front of the screen. He flashed a bright smile and waved at the camera. “Hey guys! Long time no see! Heard you were missing me!”

The longtime viewers ignored the newcomers and enthusiastically greeted Lin Feng back.

lil bro is baaaaaaaaaack!
we missed you! It’s been too long, but we watched your match today! You were so 666666666666!
you actually beat a former pro! We’re so proud of you!
hehehe our lil bro is our lil pro! We always believed in your mid! Gj gj!
gratz on making it to the semis, you’ve qualified for the main tournament right!?

As Lin Feng happily interacted with the chat, Su Xue came back into the room with two glasses of water. She looked at the chat and curled her lips. “Hmph. I don’t get what you guys are so happy about.Didn’t he almost lose?”

The chat completely ignored her.

lil bro, play a game for us!
we had to sit through a game of xuexue feeding her ass off as an ad-carry, we need to watch you to cleanse oru minds!
play a game with Zed! We saw how great your Zed was in the tournament! Those were some sick moves!

Sui Xue grimaced. “… Hey guys, I’m still here, you know? I’m not air!”

With the viewers begging him, Lin Feng agreed to their request right away. “Sure, I’ll play a game!”

Many of the new viewers started protesting the swap. They’d only just started watching and weren’t there when Su Xue played the stream of the East China Regional quarterfinal earlier, so they had no idea who Lin Feng was and how good he played. 

why we swapping!? This is bullshit!
she was playing just fine earlier, y we switching?
make xuexue stay, i love her!

The long-time viewers immediately drowned out the dissent.

if you’re new, then don’t talk
just watch lil bro, you’ll know what we mean once you see him play
stop thinking with your smaller heads for once, this isn’t that kind of stream!

Lin Feng cracked his knuckles and smiled. “Zed, huh? Alright, a Zed game it is!”

Before long, Lin Feng got into a game.

This Zed game was completely different from the tournament one. His opponent wasn’t a former pro like Shi Hang, but rather an ordinary Diamond 5 player. They also happened to be playing Twisted Fate, one of the Midlaners that Zed hard countered. 

Lin Feng picked up his first solo kill on Twisted Fate at 3 minutes, then another at 5 minutes. The one-sided slaughter continued until he became Legendary at 15 minutes. He was having the time of his life. The long-time viewers were enjoying all the dazzling Zed plays, and the newer viewers were completely stunned.

woah! What was that Zed play?!
that backline dive on the ad-carry was beautiful!
this is diamond right? He’s stomping diamonds like they’re bronzies!
god zed! Master ninja!
okay, I take it back! I don’t to watch xue xue! I want to see him keep playing!

Lin Feng managed to quickly convert many of the new viewers into fans. Most of them had mainly tuned into the stream because of how pretty Su Xue was on webcam. It was a reflex click upon seeing a cute girl. But now the stream offered so much more. With Lin Feng showing off fantastic gameplay and Su Xue sitting on the side being pretty, they got the best of both worlds in one stream!

The corner of Su Xue’s lips twitched in irritation. “Don’t get ahead of yourselves! I’m a gameplay streamer, not some pretty vase to be enjoyed in the background!”

shut up maid!
yeah maid! Refill lil bro’s water!
Get as good as lil bro, and then we’ll talk!

Su Xue gritted her teeth. “You ungrateful bastards! I was going to surprise you all with something mind blowing big, but nevermind! Once I get huge from this, I’ll laugh at all your faces instead!”

Chapter 329 – I Will be First! No Me! NO, ME! ME! ME! MEEEEEE!

Shi Hang looked at Lin Feng and grinned. Where have I heard him say this before? Oh, that’s right! This is exactly what you said to me after the LPL Finals four years ago! Back when we didn’t even know if a Chinese team would qualify for Worlds! When no one thought we had the skill! Except you. You always believed in yourself and your team! He chuckled. You handpicked your team, so they were the best. Such simple logic. It sounds stupid! But man was it true. Fuck me were they amazing! Those guys… Shi Hang shook his head and sighed. They were pretty damn amazing! Almost as good as you were. He nodded at Lin Feng and asked, “I’ve been meaning to ask you. How’s Silent doing these days? Have you talked with him recently?”

Lin Feng stopped smiling. He took a step back and looked down at his shoes. He fiddled with his fingers and mumbled, “Uhm… Eh…”

Shi Hang looked at Lin Feng, confused. He asked, “Don’t tell me… Even you don’t know?” I know it’s been four years, but you guys were inseparable! You should’ve at least stayed in contact, right? You don’t just stop being best friends from one day to the next! And even if you don’t hang out all that much anymore, you still keep tabs on each other, right? Wait… If you’re planning to make a comeback, wouldn’t you want to do that with your old teammates? Yeah, why are you even playing with this team? You’ve got your old team! Those guys are way better!

Lin Feng bit his lips, his heart slamming into his ribcage. Shi Hang doesn’t know. No one told him I was the one who walked away. That I broke off all contact for four years. The reason I’m not in touch with my old teammates is because I made it impossible for them to reach me! How is Silent doing these days? I want to know that too! But even Tian Tian doesn’t really know… He took a deep breath and said, “I… I don’t know. I heard he quit League, but beyond that, I, I just don’t know.”

“Yeah, I know he quit,” Shi Hang replied. He then exhaled loudly and continued, “It’s such a shame. Silent and Autumn were absolutely phenomenal players! Even if they haven’t played the game in years, with how good they were, they’ll still be at the top of the LPL! It’s such a big loss for the LPL that you three all quit!”

Lin Feng nodded, just nodded for nearly a minute. Then he finally said, “Yeah, you’re right. I know. If I get the chance, I hope to see them again. I really want to know how they’re doing too.” He took a deep, long breath. I want to see them again! I want to see them play League again! Maybe even with me, if they forgive me… It’s just, just not the same without them! My current team is great, but my old team… The four of them… He shook his head and closed his eyes. I shouldn’t think that far ahead. What if they’re mad at me? He chewed on his lips, his stomach twisting and turning. I’d already be happy if I can just meet them in person again and apologize for the dogshit person I was! I want to apologize to them for everything I did! How I lost them the Finals! How I abandoned them! How I…

“Ah, forget it!” Shi Hang exclaimed, laughing. He patted Lin Feng’s shoulder and said, “Us old farts get stuck in the past too much! No point in doing that! Heck, you’re still in high school! Old man Feng going to high school!” He laughed a bit before continuing, “Anyway, how is this return to the pro scene going to look like for you? Jumping straight into the LPL? Or are you going to take a different route?”

Shi Hang suddenly narrowed his eyes. He wagged his finger and said, “The Collegiate Cup! That’s where you start! And you better win it! You knocked me out of this stupid tournament! Your return to the pro scene is great and all, but you knocked me out! My first competitive game in years and you knocked me straight out! If you don’t go on and win the main tournament before going back to the LPL, I’ll have your ass!”

Lin Feng stared at Shi Hang, surprised. Then he grinned and struck his victory pose. He said, “Don’t you worry! We’re going to win! That trophy is coming home with me!”

“Uh-huh,” Shi Hang replied. He smiled and continued, “Big talk coming from a little guy like you! Eh, you’re not that little anymore. Kinda tall now! But I’ll be looking forward to it! And if I don’t see you coming back with that trophy, I’ll come looking for you to smack some humility into you! Which is super easy now that you live in Shanghai! I’m in Hangzhou! That’s only 30 minutes with the train!” He grinned and suggested, “We should have some beers sometime soon! And don’t you dare say no! You’re coming and you’re getting wasted with me! For old time’s sake!” You might be the wonderkid on the Rift, but I’ll show you who the beer pong wonderkid is!

“Beers? Drinking?” Lin Feng muttered. He scratched the back of his head and replied, “I’m alright with drinking. But if you’re looking for a drinking buddy, I know someone! Tang Tang is great with alcohol! She’ll drink you under the table!”

“Tang Tang?” Shi Hang remarked in surprise. Who is… Oh! He turned his head to look at the players from team Shanghai on the other side of the hall and said, “Oh! That ad-carry girl on your team? The small one? You’re telling me she can hold her alcohol? Haha! I wanna see that!”

Lin Feng brightly smiled and turned to look at his teammates. He then waved at them and shouted, “Tang Tang! Tang Tang! Shi Hang says we should get together sometime and have a couple of drinks! What do you say? Are you in?”

Tang Bingyao looked at Lin Feng, puzzled. She tilted her head and said, “Okay?” He wants to drink with me again? I thought… She shook her head and smiled. He wants to drink with me again! She nodded and said, “Mhm! Sure!”

“Uh, Lin Feng?” Shi Hang interrupted. He pointed at Zeng Rui and Zhang Hao, who both looked on in horror, and asked, “Why are those two looking at us like that?”

Lin Feng chuckled and replied, “Oh, nothing! They’re just happy that we’ll all go drinking together again!”

Shi Hang raised an eyebrow and asked, “Are you sure? It’s not that you’re trying to get one over on me here? Because that’s the feeling I’m getting here. If I knew them any better and they looked at me like that, then—”

“I’m totally serious! It’ll be fun! Trust me!” Lin Feng interrupted, grinning.

Shi Hang looked at Lin Feng and narrowed his eyes. He said, “Alright, sure…” He then looked at his watch and continued, “I should probably go look for my teammates. They’re waiting somewhere here for me.”

Lin Feng nodded and said, “Okay! I’ll see you later! We’ll go drinking together sometime!” He suddenly scratched the back of his head and asked, “Oh, uh, what about you? Are you going to play again?”

Shi Hang shrugged and said, “Who knows? I might. We’ll see what the future has in store for me.”

The two former professional players looked at each other knowingly. Season 1 was all about China versus Korea. They were the strongest two regions in the world. The LPL quickly rose to fame during that period, leaning on the legacy of Maple and the skills of AyDeeCee and several other professional players. But Season 2 didn’t become what the Chinese fans wanted for it to become. The big names, the ones that drew people to the stadium, that made people empty their schedules just to watch them play, those players quit the professional scene.

The best Chinese League of Legends players from Season 1 all quit in Season 2, with Tian Tian being the only noteworthy exception. And all of them, without exception, were in their prime when they quit. They still had long and bright careers ahead of them. But they quit. They left the scene. And they left behind a mishmash of second rate players.

Three years later, in Season 5, the LPL was one of the weaker regions in the world. It needed fresh blood. But fresh didn’t necessarily mean new. If the players of old, the real monsters, returned to the scene, then the LPL was almost certainly going to make a massive leap in the worldwide rankings!

Lin Feng smiled and said, “Good. I’ll be waiting for you in the LPL!”

Shi Hang laughed and fired back, “With your slow ass speed, I’ll be the one waiting. Don’t make me wait too long! I might get bored and quit again!”

Lin Feng walked back to his teammates waving his phone at them. He shouted, “Ouyang just texted me! They’re gonna get some barbecue skewers to celebrate our victory! Let’s go join them! You guys in for it? Ren Rou and the others are all joining!” He turned to look at Zhang Hao and Zeng Rui and added, “Even the three from your old team are tagging along! What do you say, you guys in?” 

Tang Bingyao nodded and An Xin smiled, but Zeng Rui and Zhang Hao didn’t respond. They just stared at Lin Feng with their eyes wide open.

Lin Feng looked at the two and asked, “What? Do I have something on my face?” He rubbed his cheeks and lips clean, but that didn’t get a response either. Whatever’s got them all weird like this? His phone buzzed again. He checked and saw it was Ouyang asking where he was. Eh, whatever. Time for food! He grinned and said, “Let’s go celebrate already! I’m starving!” He then turned around and walked away.

Zhang Hao looked at Lin Feng, moving his head up and down. He held Zeng Rui’s phone in his hand. On it was an article about China’s best Midlaner, the mysterious individual who’d shocked the entire world with a stunning performance at the highest stage of League of Legends. The World Championships. He thought about Lin Feng and then the person described in the article. Then he looked at Lin Feng. He tried to match the two people in his head, intertwine them, and make them one. But he couldn’t. It was all too much for him. The fact that Maple stood before him. That he was on Maple’s team. That he was getting taught by the best player China, and arguably even the world had ever seen! It was all too much for him. The phone slipped from his hand and fell on the ground. But he didn’t notice it. His mind was a mess. He stared at Lin Feng with wide open eyes. Slowly, very slowly, he opened his mouth. His lips shivered. “Y-you…” he mumbled. “M-maple?”

Zeng Rui was a step further in the ‘coming to terms that Lin Feng is Maple’ process than Zhang Hao. He was finally convinced that Lin Feng was Maple. I always wondered what I was missing about the way he played. He did things I didn’t… Things I don’t understand. And they always work out! All those little things. The way he plays… There is something so strangely good about it! Him being Maple actually explains so much! But… He gritted his teeth and glared at Lin Feng. He clenched his fists until his knuckles were white. Maple or not, he’s still a thundering dumbass! He deserves no praise! He deserves a beating! BunBun was right all along!

Chapter 328 – Very Important Information; Must Know

Zeng Rui stared at the victory emblem floating on his screen. We won. We’ve won! His eyes were wide and he shook his head, slowly, steadily. We did it! We actually did! He massaged his temples and chuckled. We won! We beat Zhejiang University! He turned his head to look at his teammates. Oh shit! We reverse swept Zhejiang! We won! Holy shit! Oh my god! We won! We beat them! WE BEAT THEM! He continued shaking his head again, slowly, steadily, incredulous. I’m actually tired! This was so exhausting… like a real tennis match! We fought them for several hours and they almost knocked us out multiple times, but we fought! WE FUCKING FOUGHT FOR IT! He clenched his fists and moved them up and down. AND WE FUCKING DID IT!

When Zeng Rui finally realised that his team had won the best of five series against Zhejiang University, he calmed down a bit. He stopped shaking his head and took a couple long, deep breaths. He then looked at his teammates and smiled. We did it! All of us, as a team! It just took us two games to warm up. But then, Tang Tang and I did great in the bot lane. Zhang Hao held his own in the top lane. And then… He looked at An Xin and nodded. And then you carried us like I know you can! But I know you could do this at the solo queue level. To pull it off against a team with a former professional player on it… When he thought about Shi Hang, his focus was unconsciously drawn to Lin Feng.

Zeng Rui watched Lin Feng jump up and down and try to hug An Xin and Tang Bingyao. He listened to An Xin saying something about the Shanghai 16 School Tournament and that Lin Feng was still an idiot. Zeng Rui grinned. And you… You… You thundering dumbass. What the actual fuck, dude! What in the world possessed you this series? You played against a former professional player! And not only did you not lose, you went even with him in the first two games when we lost you the game. He briefly hesitated. Then he exhaled loudly. And you fucking stomped him in the last three games! You beat a professional player! Without you… Without you, we would’ve lost this series in Game 3!

“I’m the best!” Lin Feng exclaimed, laughing. He patted himself on the back and continued, “See? What did I tell you guys? Leave mid to me, I’ll carry! And that’s what I did! I carried so hard on my Zed!”

The smile disappeared from Zeng Rui’s face. He narrowed his eyes. Fuck! I forgot he’s the thundering dumbass for a moment there! We didn’t win because of him! We won despite him! Stupid thundering dumbass and the stupid shit he always yells! Thank god we’ve got BunBun! At least she knows how to knock some sense into that hopeless… He grimaced and shook his head. No! Not right now. He can celebrate however he wants. He deserves it. We all do. He clenched his fists and smiled. We won! We actually beat Zhejiang University and won!

“Oh!” Lin Feng said. He pointed at An Xin and continued, “Your Lee ult in that last fight was really damn good too!”

An Xin smiled and replied, “Oh? A compliment from the one and only goldfish? I feel honoured!” She briefly paused before adding, “Then again, I suppose I was pretty good compared to whatever it was you were doing in the early game. All those deaths! They just kept getting the jump on you under your tower and killing you…”

“That only happened like one time!” Lin Feng complained. He narrowed his eyes and shouted, “And I’m not a goldfish!” He then started grinning again and looked across the stage at Zhejiang University’s soundproof booth. He continued, “I only care that we won! Because I wanted to win and because Shi Hang must be so super pissed right now! We reverse swept him!” He laughed for a few seconds before he fell silent. He looked at An Xin and said, “BunBun. Thank you.”

An Xin raised an eyebrow, but then smiled. She said, “I’ve always got your back. Always. Which reminds me! I’ve been cleaning up your mess for so long now. You owe me. A ton!”

“I do?” Lin Feng asked, scratching the back of his head, confused.

An Xin smirked and said, “That’s why you’re the goldfish! Yeah, you do. And I’ll be collecting one of those favours very soon. Remember to cover for me.”

“Cover for you? Soon? What?” Lin Feng asked. What’s she on about…? 

Zhejiang University and Team Shanghai shook hands under the wild applause of the audience. There was far too much noise to have any kind of conversation. And the players from Zhejiang University weren’t at all in the mood to have a friendly chat either. They quickly turned around and left, with the exception of Shi Hang. He told his teammates that he’d catch up with them later and then walked off the stage with Team Shanghai. He nodded at An Xin and said, “Jeez, BunBun! Wouldn’t have hurt if you showed us some mercy! That Lee ult kicked us straight out of the tourney!”

An Xin giggled and replied, “Of course I couldn’t show you mercy! It’s a tournament! And I distinctly recall you almost 3-0ing us! If I didn’t make that great play, you would’ve won!” She turned to look at Lin Feng and asked, “Isn’t that right?”

Lin Feng looked at An Xin, confused. Why would she ask me? I would’ve carried the game with or without her ult– His eyes lit up! OhOhOh! She needs me to back her up right now! I’ll do that! Yeah! He nodded and said, “Yep! Yep! What she says! Exactly!”

Shi Hang exhaled loudly and complained, “Such crappy luck though. I can’t believe we had to play you guys in the quarterfinals! Why couldn’t it be the semis? Now we didn’t even qualify for the main tournament…”

An Xin giggled and said, “But you wouldn’t have played if it wasn’t for this idiot here, right?”

Shi Hang scratched the back of his head and smiled. He replied, “Yeah, you’re right. I guess. Damn, BunBun! You’re still the same! No one can win an argument against you!” He then turned his head to look at Lin Feng and asked, “So, you’re back? You’re finally back, eh?”

Lin Feng scratched his nose and replied, “Yep! I’m back!” He chuckled and added, “Good to see you again! You played okay!”

“What!?” Zhang Hao interrupted. He’d walked behind Shi Hang, An Xin and Lin Feng, listening to them talk. He now looked at Lin Feng, incredulous, and asked, “You two really know each other?”

Zeng Rui stood next to Zhang Hao. He didn’t say anything, but he leaned forward a bit and looked at Shi Hang for a reply. Shi Hang came to us! He might really know the thundering dumbass! He might really know… 

Shi Hang raised his eyebrows in surprise and asked, “What, you don’t know? Didn’t he tell you?”

“Tell me what?” Zhang Hao blurted, confused.

Shi Hang looked at An Xin, who slowly shook her head. He then turned back to look at Lin Feng and exclaimed, “Dude! Don’t tell me you didn’t even tell your teammates that you’re Maple!”

Lin Feng scratched the back of his head and laughed. He mumbled, “Right. Guess I never did tell them…”

Maple? Zeng Rui looked at Lin Feng and moved his lips around. It sounds familiar, somewhere… Somewhat… Hmm… I did always find it strange how he plays, and BunBun told me he was the best Midlaner at the Collegiate Cup! That was before Shi Hang joined, but he just beat Shi Hang! And they’re talking like they’re good friends! He glanced at Shi Hang. So they met each other before? That was three or four years ago. Season one and two… Solo queue?

Zeng Rui felt in his pockets for his smartphone and pulled it out before shaking his head. Nah. Can’t be solo queue. You don’t become best friends just because you play a couple of games together in a solo queue! And those games don’t matter anyway. It doesn’t add up with how they’re talking. It’s far too friendly! That just leaves the real tournament stage… Maple, Maple… The name… He unlocked his phone and searched for ‘Maple’ and ‘League of Legends’ to help jog his memory.

The thundering dumbass was in middle school in Season 1. So he was 16 in Season 2? Maybe they played against each other then? Zeng Rui shook his head. It’s just so unlikely. I know everything about Season 2 and I don’t remember there being a Maple in Season 2! But still, that name… Why does it sound so, so… Zeng Rui looked at his phone. There weren’t many results. He changed his searchterms to add ‘Season 1’ to it and clicked on search. A single entry popped up. His eyes went wide. Maple. Maple! He turned his head to look at Lin Feng and shouted, “MAPLE!? The, the, the…”

Lin Feng looked at Zeng Rui in surprise and asked, “You’ve heard about me?” He then grinned and added, “That’s great! Then I don’t have to explain everything! That saves me a ton of work!”

Shock turned to rage for Zeng Rui. The vein on his forehead bulged and he narrowed his eyes. You asshole! You fucking asshole! You’re Maple? THE MAPLE? And you didn’t think that was important information to tell us!? You didn’t think that information could’ve saved me many hours of headaches!? You think that it doesn’t matter that you didn’t tell us? We’re teammates! We should have each others’ backs! You keep talking about trust! How can we do that when we don’t even know who you are! And now you just want to brush it off? FUCK YOU! YOU SON OF A BITCH! He raised his fist, then shouted out in frustration! He pulled on his hair and shook his head. He’s fucking Maple! The wonderkid from Season 1! The best player from China! Everyone knows the wonderkid! The one who fucking quit after only a season! The one whose identity was never fucking revealed! And now. You fucking shithead!

Zeng Rui took a deep breath and mumbled, “Oh my god.” He looked down at his feet and shook his head. I’ve watched the replay of his game against Phoenix in the semifinals of Worlds so many times! The way he played that… Oh my god, he’s Maple. Lin Feng. Thundering dumbass. This guy was the best Midlaner in China! He went even with Rake! He’s the only player who managed to challenge Rake! 

Zeng Rui loved League of Legends. He spent every free minute of the day theorycrafting or working on his game. He’d watched thousands of professional games! A part of him was absolutely furious with Lin Feng right now for hiding this information. But then there was another part of him that realised he was standing next to a true great of the game! Someone he’d idolized for years! He felt his heart slamming into his ribcage. The thundering dumbass is Maple! He’s the wonderkid! Of course AyDeeCee knows him! Maple beat AyDeeCee multiple times! They played each other in the LPL finals of Season 1! He turned his head to look at BunBun and nodded. No wonder she was so confident. No wonder Zhejiang University didn’t feel bad about fielding Shi Hang! We have a far bigger monster on our team! This Collegiate Cup probably means nothing to him! We, we’re the cheaters…

“U-umm… Zeng Rui?” Zhang Hao said. He briefly hesitated before asking, “Who’s Maple?”

Zeng Rui shook his head. He was in no state to respond, so he just shoved his phone in Zhang Hao’s hands and said, “Here. Look. Read.”

An Xin looked at Zeng Rui and Zhang Hao and shook her head. He should’ve told them. Oh well, his choice. She smiled and said, “You two, come with me. Let’s go. Give these two guys here some time to catch up.” She then pulled them away from Shi Hang and Lin Feng.

Shi Hang looked at Lin Feng and grinned. He asked, “So, what happened there? After Game 2, I mean. You suddenly started playing way better!”

Lin Feng ruffled his hair and replied, “Oh, yeah, right. I’m still just getting back into form. Every game a bit better, you know?”

Shi Hang started laughing. He said, “You little punk! Beating me is ‘just getting back into form’ for you? That… That’s exactly the kind of thing I’d expect you to say!” He paused for a brief moment and shook his head. Then he continued, “I asked you this four years ago when you beat me and I’ll ask it again now. Where in the world did a freak like you come from? I couldn’t beat you back then, and I can’t even beat you right now!”

Lin Feng smiled and replied, “Yeah, I’m getting good again!”

Shi Hang continued, “But it’s not enough yet. You’ve got a way to go.”

Lin Feng nodded. That’s what everyone keeps telling me. That’s what I can see myself too! If I want to beat Rake, I have to get so much better first! I’m nowhere near that level! I’m not even at the level of some other Midlaners here in China! I need to get better! He replied, “Yeah, I know.”

Shi Hang looked at Lin Feng and frowned. If he returns, when he returns, he’ll have a big bull’s eye on his back. Everyone will want to beat the wonderkid! They’ll all want their shot at beating Maple! And an LPL with him will be so much more competitive than one without him… He sighed and asked, “What are you gonna do about the name? Sticking to Maple? Or are you going to go with something new and hope people won’t remember you?”

“What?” Lin Feng asked, confused. He exclaimed, “Of course I’m going to keep my old name!”

Shi Hang smirked. Thought so. There’s no way you were going to ditch your old name. But that’s not going to be easy. There won’t just be the people looking to challenge you. There are going to be so many fans who expect you to win everything! They’re going to bombard you with attention and in the current scene, fan interaction is so important! There will be so much pressure on you from every direction! And right now, you’re not anywhere near the level required to hold your own ingame, let alone whatever happens outside of the games! He shook his head and said, “Just be sure to take care of yourself.”

Lin Feng rubbed his face and smiled. He said, “Don’t worry! I’ll be far better than I’m right now when I do return. Uh, no! Wait! I’ll be better than I was four years ago! I’ll be the new and improved Maple 2.0!”

Shi Hang laughed. He put his arm on Lin Feng’s shoulder and said, “Alright! I’ll be looking forward to your glorious return to fame!”

“Uhm, sorry, by the way,” Lin Feng said, rubbing his nose. He scratched the back of his head and continued, “You guys got knocked out because of me. If I didn’t play, you might’ve made it all the way to the Finals…”

Shi Hang rolled his eyes and replied, “Oh please! With me on the team, we would’ve won the entire damn tournament if it wasn’t for you!”

Lin Feng laughed awkwardly and asked, “The rest of your team, they’re not too upset, are they?”

Shi Hang clicked his tongue and said, “Don’t worry about them. I personally taught them! If they can’t get over this series, then I haven’t done my job well. And if that’s the case, they’ll never amount to anything in League of Legends! Setbacks are normal. You take them in stride. Just like your team did after the first two games today!” He grinned and continued, “Speaking of which, you’ve got a pretty nice team. BunBun is obviously very good. But that Support looked promising too. And the ad-carry wasn’t half bad either. She’s got potential!”

“Of course she does!” Lin Feng replied, laughing. “I picked her! I picked all of them!”

Chapter 327 – BroForce Code #1: You Always Believe in Your Bros!

Shi Hang’s eyes went wide. There wasn’t time to think. He ordered over the team’s voice chat, “Sunny-boy, back!” He then had his LeBlanc step away from the Lee Sin, who was underneath the mid outer tower, before adding, “Stun the Lee! We focus on him! Focus him!”

Zhejiang University’s Elise was standing next to the Red outer tower in the mid lane. Lee Sin was dashing at her with Resonating Strike! Cocoon! COCOON! Zhejiang University’s Jungler slammed down on his keyboard! Elise aimed her hands at Lee Sin and fired a web of silk! 

An Xin smirked. The animation for Cocoon only confirmed what she suspected. But Elise was never her target. She was just a means of getting into Zhejiang University’s backline! She placed a ward next to Elise and activated Safeguard! Lee Sin made a sudden turn mid-dash! The Cocoon shot past him and he landed at the ward! Braum and Tristana were right in front of him.

Shi Hang grimaced and shouted over the team’s voice chat, “Watch out!”

Sun Ruinian slammed down on his keyboard and activated Flash! A veil of light fell over his Tristana and carried her a short distance away from An Xin’s Lee Sin! He grinned and nodded at himself. You ain’t getting on me this easy! And now you’re screwed! Braum’s Winter’s Bite will slow you and then we’ll stun you and kill you! Gee-gee.

An Xin ignored the freezing ice that smashed into her Lee Sin and slowed him. She took a deep breath. Don’t fail me now. She pressed down on the R key and waited for a brief moment before following up with the D key. The R key activated Lee Sin’s ultimate skill, Dragon’s Rage! He raised his foot and prepared to deliver a powerful roundhouse kick! Right when the skill was about to connect with Braum, a mottled flash of light picked Lee Sin up and dropped him on the other side of Braum! Dragon’s Rage connected! The immense force knocked Braum off his feet and sent him flying backwards! He smashed into Elise and knocked her up! Then he smashed into LeBlanc and knocked her up too! And finally he slammed into Jarvan IV for a third consecutive knock up!


Rollfire didn’t hear what the audience said. His complete, dazed focus was on the large LCD screen. H-how… T-this… IMPOSSIBLE! THIS ISN’T POSSIBLE! HOW! HOW!? He grabbed his hair and shook his head in desperation. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE!?

Silent Reed glanced at Rollfire and giggled. This makes it so much better! She then jumped to her feet and threw her fist up in the air. She screamed, “LEE SIN WITH THE GODLY ULT! LEE SIN MVP! TEAM SHANGHAI WITH THE REVERSE SWEEP! WOOOOOOOOOO!”

Shi Hang grimaced, a cold chill running up and down his spine. ShitShitShit! Bad! So fucking bad! But we can’t back down. We can’t! He shook his head and ordered over Zhejiang University’s voice chat, “Focus Draven! InInIn!”

Lin Feng narrowed his eyes. BunBun told me to jump on Trist, but… He pressed down on the R key and activated Death Mark! He shouted over the team’s voice chat, “LeBlanc first! Screw Trist! Focus LeBlanc!” His Zed disappeared from the Rift as four blood red shadows, each carrying Zed’s distinct features, appeared around LeBlanc. They dashed at her and cut into her heart! Their essence flowed into LeBlanc’s body and formed the Death Mark!

Shi Hang bit on his lips. Ignore Zed! He cast Flash to get away from Zed and close the distance with Tang Bingyao’s Draven! He followed up with Sigil of Malice and Mimic: Sigil of Malice! LeBlanc waved her staff and two magical energies slammed into Tang Bingyao’s Draven! The first placed a sigil on Draven and dealt a bit of damage. The second detonated the first sigil and dealt massive damage!

Tang Bingyao’s Draven lost two thirds of her health! Her stomach started to twist into a knot. Her hand trembled a bit. But then she shook her head. I’m playing Draven! She cast Flash! A brilliant light wrapped around her Draven just as LeBlanc’s Ethereal Chains flew at her! The light carried her a short distance through time and space. The Ethereal Chains missed. She appeared on the Rift again on the other side of LeBlanc! She followed up with an auto attack! And then another one! And another one! Spinning Axes cleaved into Shi Hang’s LeBlanc, decimating her health bar!

Zhang Hao had his Irelia dash at Elise with Bladesurge. He shouted over the team’s voice chat, “I’m going i—”

“Tang Tang!” Zeng Rui interrupted.

“Mhm!” Tang Bingyao replied. She focused on the screen. Jarvan IV threw his standard down behind her. He’s going to jump on me and LeBlanc still has Distor– LeBlanc and Jarvan IV both jumped at her. She narrowed her eyes and activated Stand Aside! Her Draven raised his Spinning Axes above his shoulders and threw them at an angle! The left one knocked Jarvan IV out of his dash, and the right one did the same to LeBlanc!

Death Mark was about to trigger. Lin Feng’s Zed flung a Razor Shuriken at LeBlanc! The damage brought her down to below 10% health! A portion of that damage was added to the damage for Death Mark, just like the auto attack and Shadow Slash from before were. The Death Mark triggered and LeBlanc’s health bar exploded!

An enemy has been slain!

Zhejiang University’s Braum finally crossed the distance to the front line. He aimed at the players from Team Shanghai and cast his ultimate skill! Glacial Fissure! He jumped up into the air and raised his shield above his head. Then he mustered all his strength and slammed it down onto the ground! A Glacial Fissure spread on the ground! It carved a path through Team Shanghai’s lineup! But only Irelia and Blitzcrank were knocked up by it. Lin Feng’s Zed used the second part of his ultimate to blink away, and Tang Bingyao’s Draven activated Blood Rush for a sudden burst of speed! She outran the Glacial Fissure!

Tang Bingyao’s Draven hurled a Spinning Axe at Jarvan IV! The weapon cleaved into its victim before ricocheting! Draven ran forward and caught the axe! But not before hurling a second one at Jarvan IV! There was no one from Zhejiang University who could interrupt her right now. One, two, left, left. One, two…

Zeng Rui’s Blitzcrank landed back on the ground after being knocked up into the air by Braum’s Glacial Fissure. He went into Overdrive and charged at Jarvan IV. He then sent a large amount of energy into his fist and knocked Jarvan Airborne with Power Fist! And finally he unleashed his ultimate! Static Field! Electricity erupted around him and destroyed Jarvan IV’s health bar!

You have slain an enemy!

“Nice one!” An Xin exclaimed over the team’s voice chat. She then focused back on Zhejiang University’s Elise, while also juggling tower aggro. One more hit and I’ll leave it to Zhang Hao! She looked at Zhang Hao’s Irelia who had jumped on Elise after falling back to the ground! His blades decimated Elise’s health bar! He got this! She glanced at Sun Ruinian’s Tristana and chewed on her lips. Just a question of how to get her… 

Zhang Hao’s Irelia auta attacked Elise until she was down to the last few percentages. He shouted over the team’s voice chat, “I’m getting her! I’m getting her! BLADESURGE!” His Irelia dashed at Elise and killed her!

You have slain an enemy!

Sun Ruinian lost oversight of the fight for a brief moment. Everyone was dying around him and skillshot animations caused his screen to flash with colours! A yellow hand suddenly flew at him! Shit! Fuck! W! W! He activated Rocket Jump! Tristana aimed her cannon at the ground and fired! But she barely had lift-off when Blitzcrank’s hand wrapped tightly around  her waist. Sun Ruinian closed his eyes. Fuck!


Tang Bingyao’s Draven hurled a Spinning Axe at Sun Ruinian’s Tristana! It cleaved a quarter of his health and then ricocheted! She followed up with another Spinning Axe! And one more to finish the job.

You have slain an enemy!

Tang Bingyao then turned her attention towards Zhejiang University’s Braum, who was already under attack by the others from Team Shanghai. She smiled and nodded. He can’t escape! Everyone is on him! But I want the kill! Mhm! She narrowed her eyes. Both real blades and shadow blades cut into Braum. Lee Sin and Blitzcrank were punching Braum with their fists! And Tang Bingyao waited. Patiently. Heh! Now! She right clicked on Braum. Her Draven hurled a Spinning Axe at Braum. It cleaved into him and emptied his health bar!

Double Kill!


“They, they won,” Silent Reed said, dazed. She blinked and looked at the large LCD screen. She repeated, “They, they won…”

“HECK YEAH WE WON!” Ouyang screamed through the quiet venue. He turned his head to look at his friends and said, “What did I say? What did I tell you guys? You never stop believing in your bros! They’re the best!”

Liu Yue laughed. He jumped to his feet and shouted, “WOOT WOOT! TEAM SHANGHAI TO VICTORY!”

Silent Reed turned her head to look at the stands, where Ouyang and Liu Yue were the only two celebrating the ace by Team Shanghai. Team Shanghai won. They won. They won! Her eyes went wide and she jumped to her feet! She then grabbed the microphone from its stand and shouted into it, “WOOOOOOOOOOO! TEAM SHANGHAI WON THAT FIGHT! FIVE KILLS! ZERO DEATHS! WHAT A BRILLIANT FIGHT!”

The audience slowly woke up. People turned their heads from the large LCD screen to Silent Reed and back to the large LCD screen. They nodded and some started mumbling. The mumbles grew louder, from confusion and shock to amazement. It wasn’t long before the first fans got up to their feet. And the venue finally rocked.

“That was so freaking cool!”

The players from Fudan University sat at the front of the venue in the player seating area. They were slowly shaking their heads in disbelief. The Jungler was eventually the first to open his mouth. He said, “My gawd! Such a sick Lee ult! That won them the game! I’m telling you! That won them the game!”

Qiu Yijie turned his head to look at his Jungler and nodded. He agreed, “They won. Yeah.” He then looked back at the large LCD screen and frowned. That Lee ult was perfect! Timing, awareness, mechanics, everything about it was perfect! It would’ve made the top 10 plays of any season in the LPL! That Jungler… She’s playing at the professional level right here! How is this possible…?  How is she this good?

Qiu Yijie laughed. He shook his head and laughed, incredulous. Thank fucking God we didn’t have to face them in the quarters! There’s no way we would’ve won this! We’ll play them in the semis or the finals of the East China Regionals, but that’s whatever. We’ll have secured our spot at Nationals by then. But holy hot damn! How the fuck do you beat that team? Even AyDeeCee failed! He looked down at Zhejiang University’s soundproof booth. It’s a shame AyDeeCee is getting knocked out here though. It’s so cool to see him play again!

Team Shanghai had a minion wave and five attack damage Champions. After scoring the ace, they focused down the outer tower in the mid lane. It fell within seconds. There was still half a minute until Zhejiang University’s team respawned. They pushed for the inner tower and destroyed it within 10 seconds. The minion wave marched on to the inhibitor tower. All five players from Team Shanghai stuck with it. They destroyed the inhibitor tower and then the inhibitor.

“They’re up soon, back,” Zeng Rui said over the team’s voice chat. He then panned his camera across the map and scrunched his eyebrows. Super minions are spawning and marching down the mid lane, Zhejiang is still respawning, and we’ve got a full attack damage team. We can take the Baron down and there’s nothing they can do about it. If they come, we stall and the minions end the game! His eyes went wide and he added, “Baron.”

“Let’s go!” Lin Feng exclaimed, laughing. He had his Zed run into Red team’s top side Jungle, past the Red Buff Camp and to the Jungle wall. He jumped over it with Living Shadow and then attacked the large purple worm named Baron Nashor! This was the strongest monster on the map. And it granted a massive buff to the team that killed it!

“Do we need to ward here?” Tang Bingyao asked over the team’s voice chat, pinging the Red Team’s top side Jungle.

“I’ll watch out, but doubt it,” An Xin replied, smiling.

In Zhejiang University’s soundproof booth, Sun Ruinian turned his head to look at Shi Hang and asked, “Are we going to try and contest?”

“No. Forget it,” Shi Hang replied over the team’s voice chat. He took a deep breath and continued, “We’re just giving them another five kills if we go now. They’re full attack damage. The Baron will die in seconds. We need to stay calm and find an opportunity. Just like before. We just have to stop them again.” He exhaled loudly. Like hell they’ll give us another opportunity though. Shit me. This is a loss, ain’t it? Dammit!

At 24 minutes, Team Shanghai had slain Baron Nashor, recalled back to base to spend their Gold and gathered up in the top lane. They pushed for the inner tower with their minions. Baron Nashor’s buff granted bonus stats to the five Champions, and it also strengthened nearby minions. Team Shanghai blasted through the top inner tower. When they arrived at the inhibitor tower, Zhejiang University’s team showed up to defend. Four of them, anyway.

Lin Feng had been watching his minimap and smiled. They’re letting Tristana kill the super minions in mid! So normal and so stupid! He had his Zed sneak through the Jungle to get to the mid lane. He managed to keep his approach hidden for just long enough. When he got into Zhejiang’s base, he burst into action! Living Shadow! Zed placed a Living Shadow a short distance in front of him and took its place! He followed up with Death Mark! Four blood red shadows dashed at Tristana and marked her! Razor Shuriken! Shadow Slash! Ignite!

Sun Ruinian saw the Zed’s approach too late. His Tristana was down to 30% of her health before he reacted. He slammed down on the W key! Tristana aimed her cannon at the ground and fired! She arced through the air towards the fountain! Then she ran! PleasePleasePlea

You have been slain!

“Dive them!” Lin Feng exclaimed over the team’s voice chat!

Zhejiang University’s team was already backing away from the top inhibitor tower. Shi Hang’s LeBlanc used Distortion and Mimic: Distortion to jump away and Jarvan IV used his flag-toss combo! They got to their fountain and lived. But Braum and Elise didn’t have these kinds of skills. They were caught by Zeng Rui’s Blitzcrank and An Xin’s Lee Sin. A barrage of crowd control locked them in place and left them powerless as Tang Bingyao’s Draven tore through their health bars with Spinning Axes!

You have slain an enemy!

Double kill!

Lin Feng’s Zed was attacking the Nexus towers while all of this was happening. The first one fell when the rest of Team Shanghai joined him. It wasn’t much longer before the second one also fell. Zhejiang University’s LeBlanc and Jarvan IV came from the fountain again, looking to stop this final push by Team Shanghai. But they were just two versus five Champions and a dozen minions! It didn’t take long before the Nexus cracked and exploded. Red energy poured out! It twisted and turned before morphing into a victory emblem for Team Shanghai!


“THEY HAVE DONE IT!” Silent Reed cried out. She clutched the microphone so tightly that her knuckles turned white and screamed, “TEAM SHANGHAI WITH THE REVERSE SWEEP! THEY’VE MADE IT TO NATIONALS! TEAM SHANGHAI BEATS ZHEJIANG UNIVERSITY!”


Every neutral fan was up on their feet, cheering for Team Shanghai. The esports club members from Zhejiang University didn’t join this celebration. They got up from their seats and quietly left the venue. That left the friends and former teammates from Team Shanghai. They weren’t celebrating. They were sitting in their chairs, stunned. Shocked. In disbelief.

Ouyang put his hands over his mouth and muttered, “W-we won? We beat Zhejiang University? Our bros did it?”

Liu Yue nodded, tears of joy flowing from his eyes. There was a prop in his throat as he shouted, “Woot woot!”

Ren Rou wiped her eyes with her sleeve and nodded. She said, “Yeah, we won. We-we won!”

“We really did!” Ouyang exclaimed, laughing. He turned his head to look at Yang Fang and added, “See? I told you so! I TOLD YOU SO! WOOOOOOOO!”

Yang Fang adjusted his glasses and smiled. He laughed and said, “We did! I was wrong! They won! We’re going to the semis of the East China Regionals and they’ve now also qualified for the main tournament!”

The players from Zhejiang University slumped back in their chairs. They stared at their screens and shook their heads. Sun Ruinian finally said, “H-how did this happen? I don’t understand…”

Zhejiang’s Support continued, “We even had Shi Hang with us! We were supposed to win the entire tournament! We were going to…”

“They reverse swept us,” Zhejiang’s Jungler mumbled. He shook his head, incredulous, and added, “It’s not even the main tournament and we’re out already! This is our worst result ever!”

Sun Ruinian looked at his teammates in turn before stopping at Shi Hang. He breathed in deeply, trying to calm himself down, and then exhaled. All my hard work. All those hours preparing! FOR SIX MONTHS! Six long months! It’s all down the drain! Worthless! The corners of his lips dropped and tears appeared in his eyes. He quickly wiped them away and swallowed down the prop in his throat. We even got Shi Hang back! I convinced him after trying for so long! How… How must he feel? This was the kiddy league for him. The kiddies beat him… His first match was against a high school team and he lost… He shook his head. No! We lost it! He lost because of us! I’ve humiliated him! I… I… Huh?

Shi Hang shook his head and chuckled. He said, “Reverse swept, huh? Haven’t had that happen to me in a long ass time!” He turned his head to look across the stage at Team Shanghai’s soundproof booth and nodded. He grinned and said, “I hate losing, but I would’ve been really disappointed if I won this series. You got me good, kid! Seems like you still have some talent left in you!”