Chapter 360 – It all Rests on his Shoulders

Goalie stared at his screen, unblinking. He watched the flames from Ignite burning away at his health. Riven swept at his Fizz with her blade, the second cast from Broken Wings. The next one would knock him up. Her reforged blade’s damage was too high and after another auto attack, his screen started flashing red. He gritted his teeth and glanced down at his skill bar. There were four big icons, three for his main skills and the fourth for his ultimate. They were all greyed out with a timer counting down until he could use them again. 

I can’t outplay him. I’ve got nothing… I… I need help. I need help dammit! Goalie looked at Fiora who’d cast her ultimate skill–Grand Challenge–on Lin Feng’s Riven. This skill revealed the four vitals on Riven. Fiora needed to hit all four of them to summon a healing field. If she can get the healing field up, then Riven can attack me all she wants. She won’t kill me! He licked his lips and said in broken Chinese, “Fiora! Ult vital! Attack healing field!”

Team Guangzhou’s Toplaner glanced at Goalie who sat to his left. He’d grown used to the broken Chinese over the previous couple of months. More than that, they’d built a type of understanding. He’d learned how to best support Goalie to bring the best out of him. Right now, that meant supporting him in getting a kill on Riven. And the best way to do that was by giving Goalie some health so that he could survive long enough to get that kill. He replied over the team’s voice chat, “I’m trying. I am! But the way this Riven moves? I don’t know, I just can’t get it…”

Zephyr leaned over the caster desk, pushing the microphone to his lips. He shoutcasted, “Riven is so quick on her feet! So nimble! Look at how she’s just toying with the Fiora! This is amazing! How is she doing this?”

“Fiora can’t get more than 2 vitals! She won’t get her healing field up in time!” Su Xue exclaimed, clenching her fists until the knuckles were white. Come on, Lin Feng! Show them!

“Damn right!” Zephyr continued. “Team Guangzhou is really trying to shut this Riven down here, but it’s looking like it’s too late. And now– WATCH THAT!”

Lin Feng grinned. He’d forced Fiora to walk to his right to try and stab at the third vital, while Fizz was to his left. He then activated Valor! His Riven dashed through Fizz, after which she turned around and raised her blade over her shoulder. Green, runic energy gathered on the blade and gained its sharp property. Wind Slash! Riven swept out with her blade and fired the energy wave at Fizz and Fiora! She followed up with the third cast from Broken Wings, grabbing the hilt of her weapon with both hands and raising it above her head. She then leaped at Fizz and hacked down on him!

Killing Spree!

Team Guangzhou’s Toplaner ground his teeth. Goalie was yelling into his ears in a combination of broken Chinese and Korean, but the message came across. He was pissed. Very, very pissed. Team Guangzhou’s Toplaner closed his eyes for a brief moment. I can run but Goalie will get even worse then. He wants to get a 1 for 1 trade and if I get those four vitals and the healing field… His eyes flashed open and he clicked on Riven, then pressed down on the Q key–Lunge!

“He’s still going in! He’s still going in!” Zephyr exclaimed. “Doesn’t he see the Sejuani? SHE’S RIGHT THERE!”

Team Guangzhou’s Fiora Lunged at Riven and then ran after him, past the middle of the lane and towards Blue Team’s outer tower. He forgot about his minimap, or the cooldowns on his skills. All he could hear was Goalie yelling at him and all he could see was Riven taunting him by merely being alive. He only noticed An Xin’s Sejuani when she barreled into him with Arctic Assault and knocked him up. He then got hit by her Glacial Prison. A snowstorm slammed into him and froze him stiff! Stunned.

“Sweet!” Lin Feng exclaimed, laughing. “I can’t believe he kept coming!” He had his Riven stop running away and turned around to face Team Guangzhou’s Fiora again. Then he auto attacked her. His Riven’s blade hacked, cut and stabbed Fiora, whittling down her health until it ran empty.

Double Kill!



“That outplay was fucking sick! Like holy hot diggity damn! Can you believe that?”

“I need to see those two from Team Guangzhou raging! They gotta be raging right about now, right!?”


“The way that Riven linked together her skills. How she animation cancelled and knew just how to position herself to keep the Fiora from proccing her ultimate… Like, just, how? How did she do that? How is that kid that good? He could be in the LPL! Heck, he can probably make it to Worlds!”

Yu Ping sat in the player seating area together with his teammates and coaches from Team Beijing. He glanced at them, listened to them gulping in awe, and sunk far away into his chair. He wished to be invisible, to get far away from anyone who knew him. Because he knew they would ask him what he thought about this play by Riven, and he knew they were going to ask him if he could do the same. He shook his head and mumbled, “I couldn’t… What that Riven just did…” He looked back at the large LCD screen and then down at Team Shanghai’s soundproof booth. What that Riven just did was insane. There’s no one that good… Except for him.

At 13 minutes, Team Guangzhou’s Jungler and Support decided that they had to help mid. Goalie was starting to lose really badly. To the point where it looked like the game might be lost because Riven could start pushing towers. So the two snuck through Blue team’s Jungle, evading Team Shanghai’s wards and arrived in the mid lane.

Team Guangzhou’s Lee Sin placed a ward down behind Riven and hopped towards it with Safeguard! He followed up with his ultimate skill–Dragon’s Rage! He lifted his foot high above the ground and then borrowed the strength of a Dragon as he struck Lin Feng’s Riven with a roundhouse kick! There was so much force behind the kick that Riven was sent flying backwards!

Goalie smiled, barely. He knew where Riven was going to land and he knew Riven didn’t have her ultimate back up yet. He cast Chum the Waters. A small fish flew towards where Lin Feng’s Riven was going to land. And hit Riven as she landed. A portal began opening beneath Riven, the shadow of Megalodon appearing in the deep beneath.

“Ah crap!” Lin Feng exclaimed. He shook his head, his fingers gliding over his keyboard. He activated Blade of the Exile! Runic, green energy reforged his blade and boosted his stats! He followed up with Broken Wings, sweeping his blade out towards Lee Sin! He continued with the second cast from Broken Wings and then the third before finishing the combo with a Wind Slash!

You have slain an enemy!

“HE GOT THE KILL! HE GOT THE KILL!” Zephyr screamed into his microphone. He shook his head, incredulous, and added, “He got the kill!”

The portal to the deep beneath Lin Feng’s Riven opened wide enough for Megalodon to jump out! The enormous shark knocked Riven up into the air and took a large bite out of her health bar! Right then, Leona raised her sword to the sky and called down a Solar Flare! The smouldering heat slammed down on Riven and stunned her! Leona followed up with the Exhaust, its debilitating red aura washing over Riven, and left the rest to Goalie.

Goalie’s Fizz dashed at Lin Feng’s Riven with Urchin Strike, stabbing him with the trident. He followed up with Seastone Trident to empower his auto attacks and Ignite. Unquenchable flames started burning on Riven’s skin, while the auto attacks with the trident dealt a ton of damage.

The stun from Solar Flare was about to wear off, so Team Guangzhou’s Leona cast Shield of Daybreak! She slammed her shield into Riven and stunned her again! All the while, Goalie’s Fizz continued attacking Lin Feng’s Riven, cycling through his skills until he killed Riven.

Shut Down!

“Aaah, that’s no fun,” Lin Feng complained. He looked at his dull grey screen and shook his head. He then shrugged and added, “Whatever, I got a kill. It’s fine.”

Across the stage in Team Guangzhou’s soundproof booth there was an odd atmosphere. The Jungler and Support cheered for the kill, but Goalie didn’t join them. He just stared at his monitor, at the dead Riven. I got the bonus gold for the shutdown. But what’s the point? What’s that going to do for me? We won that fight because we had three Champions throw all our skills and Summoner Spells at him, and he still got a kill! I’ve got a bit more gold now, but so what? So what…? He felt a cold chill run up and down his spine, tickling his nerves. He didn’t even have Flash or Ignite up. Next fight he will have those again as well! Then what? He’ll dodge my ultimate or Leona’s ultimate and then we’re fucked. Fucked. FUCK!

The second Dragon of the game spawned and at 14 minutes Team Shanghai moved to take it. The players from Team Guangzhou started gathering to try and contest. The Support Leona was placing wards to get vision and Seo was searching for angles to pick someone off. But then Goalie’s voice sounded over the team’s voice chat, “Let them. No fight.”

“What? Why?” Seo asked, narrowing his eyes. “I’m stronger now!”

“Riven, Flash and Ignite,” Goalie explained in his broken Chinese.

The three Chinese players from Team Guangzhou had learned early on not to challenge Goalie on his calls. So when he told them to let Dragon go, they focused back on what they were doing before. But Seo wasn’t quite there. He was proud of his rank as a Korean Challenger. He was proud of his skill! And though he recognized Goalie was a better player, he didn’t believe the difference was all that big. He gnashed his teeth and looked at the Dragon pit. Leona had warded deep enough so that he could see Tang Bingyao’s Kalista hurling spears at something in the fog of war. They’re taking the Dragon and we’re… We’re…

Seo glanced at Goalie and saw the twitching eyelid, the slightly raised nose and the narrowed eyes. He also doesn’t like it. But he knows we can’t win it. Maybe… He hit the Tab key and looked at Team Shanghai. At the 5/1/0 Riven. FUCK! I didn’t realise mid was going this bad! How the… I need a Quicksilver Sash! The active skill on it lets me cleanse stuns. The Riven will one-shot me without it. I need five more minutes. That’s all I need! Five minutes! Then I’ll get my QSS and I’ll wreck that stupid fucking Riven and tear that ugly ass grin off his beggar face!

The Blue Team has slain the Dragon

“Dragon to Team Shanghai!” Su Xue cheered. She smiled and analysed, “That’s two Dragons now for Team Shanghai. And they’ve also got the mega fed Riven! I don’t see how Team Guangzhou is going to fight themselves back into this game…”

Zephyr turned his head to look at Su Xue and analysed, “That’s not entirely impossible. Riven is clearly fed. Team Guangzhou needs to find a way to get someone on their team just as fed. Now this obviously isn’t going to happen by ganking mid. We’ve seen what happens when they try that. And I don’t believe it’s smart to gank top either. Dr. Mundo is just so tanky. It’s going to take so much time and resources to kill him. I don’t see how that’d be worth it. But the bot lane…” He briefly paused for dramatic effect and then concluded, “There are possibilities in bot. And a fed Vayne? Ain’t no one stopping a fed Vayne. Not even Riven.”

“I guess,” Su Xue replied. “I just don’t see bot lane suddenly losing so hard after staying even for the better part of the previous game and this one.”

Zhang Hao was farming minions in the top lane with his Dr. Mundo. He felt in his element. Mundo was a Champion with a lot of health and regeneration. More specifically, his low cooldown ultimate allowed him to regain all his health in a matter of seconds. The first couple of levels were a challenge, because he didn’t have the items or skills available to survive. But at this stage of the game, nearly 16 minutes in, it would take more than just Fiora to kill him. So he pushed his lane, killed minions, and drew attention to him and away from the other lanes. I can just run and the others can scale faster! I’m playing grea– He suddenly spotted Fiora, who he thought was recalling back to base, teleporting. He shouted over the team’s voice chat, “Careful! Fiora is teleporting somewhere!”

A red pillar of light fell down on the bot lane behind Tang Bingyao’s Kalista. Zeng Rui’s eyes went wide in shock. They were pushing into Red team’s outer tower. He knew it was dangerous, but he thought he’d cleared the wards behind them and he had vision on the river. When did they get that ward there? How did I miss that!? I can’t miss– He gritted his teeth and slammed on his keyboard, casting Black Shield on Tang Bingyao’s Kalista. He then ordered over the team’s voice chat, “Back! Retreat!”

Black Shield would protect Tang Bingyao’s Kalista from crowd control skills for five seconds. The only way to break it was with magic damage. But with Fizz in the mid lane, Team Guangzhou didn’t have that magic damage. Tang Bingyao nodded and replied, “Mhm! Okay!” She then moved her mouse hand, grimacing at the pain from her pinky, and had her Kalista run back towards the Blue team’s outer tower.

Team Guangzhou knew there was no point in casting crowd control skills on Tang Bingyao’s Kalista right now. But the bottom lane was long and Zeng Rui had cast Black Shield early. It would take more than five seconds to get away. So Leona ran after Kalista and counted down the seconds, quietly mumbling them. Five… Four… Three… Two… One… He pressed the E key–Zenith Blade! A solar projection of Leona’s sword pierced Tang Bingyao’s Kalista! It solidified and pulled Leona in, who then slammed her shield against Kalista and stunned her with Shield of Daybreak!

Zeng Rui panned his camera around the bot lane. Lee Sin appeared on a ward in the river, running down. Behind them, Fiora almost finished her teleportation and Zhang Hao couldn’t stop her. What can we do? BunBun is too far away and Lin Feng is busy in mid… He said through gritted teeth, “Ult me Tang Tang!”

Tang Bingyao nodded. She repeatedly pressed down on the R key to cast Fate’s Call. When the stun from Shield of Daybreak was about to wear off, Leona raised her sword to the sky and called down a Solar Flare! Come on, faster! Don’t let it be perfect! She kept pressing the R key but now also added in the D key to Flash away. Then, right when the solar flare slammed into the ground, a veil of light wrapped around her while Zeng Rui’s Morgana turned to spirit form and entered her body.

The Flash carried Tang Bingyao’s Kalista away from the stun. Leona and Vayne were a fair bit behind her now, with Lee Sin near them. There was only Irelia who could kill her now. She tightened the grip on her mouse, ignoring the pain flaring in her pinky. “Knock Irelia up!” she said to Zeng Rui.

Zeng Rui aimed at Team Guangzhou’s Irelia. This was the second part of Kalista’s ultimate. He could fire himself, like a human cannonball. And whoever he connected with, they’d get knocked up! That should give Tang Tang enough time to get away. The others are far enough awa– His stomach dropped. Seo’s Vayne had a movement speed bonus when moving towards enemy Champions. And she also still had Flash. She’s dead. Tang Tang is dead. He moved his mouse away from Irelia and more towards his outer tower and activated the second part of Fate’s Call.

Seo’s Vayne found the angle on Tang Bingyao’s Kalista. He took the large crossbow from his back and squeezed the trigger, Condemning Kalista to the wall behind her. GOT YOU NOW, BITCH! STUPID, STUPID, CUNT! He breathed faster, adrenaline pumping through his veins. He had her now. He knew it. Her health dropped from his silver bolts. Every third, a small explosion hit her with true damage. Seo smiled, grinned. Laughed. “See who’ll remember your face now, you whining ass bitch!”

You have slain an enemy!

“Sorry, Tang Tang,” Zeng Rui said over the team’s voice chat. “I saw Vayne get the angle and knew there was nothing I could do.”

Tang Bingyao nodded and replied, “Mhm. It’s fine.” She then put her hands beneath the desk and carefully rubbed her painful pinky. This isn’t good. I’m now dying because of this… Maybe– No! I’m not giving up! Am. Not.

Lin Feng grinned and asked, “He wasted his Flash, right? I’ll put him back in his place! Right after we take their inner tower!”

“We’re pushing for the inner?” An Xin asked, watching the minimap. Team Guangzhou was pushing to take the bot outer tower after killing Tang Bingyao’s Kalista. And she was in the mid lane with Lin Feng, pushing the wave and moments away from destroying the outer tower.

A turret has been destroyed!

“Help!” Goalie shouted over Team Guangzhou’s voice chat. “They keep push!”

Seo glanced at his Midlaner and replied in Korean, “Just hold it for a bit longer. We’ve almost got bot. Almost…”

A turret has been destroyed!

Lin Feng’s Riven was incredibly fed. Her high attack damage meant that she could take a tower down incredibly quickly. The Blue minions marched at the mid inner tower and started attacking it. Goalie’s Fizz was hovering in the distance, but didn’t dare to get too close. Between Riven and Sejuani there were so many stuns that he’d just die if he got too close.

Goalie glanced at his minimap again. He wanted to scream at his teammates. The mid lane inner tower was so much more important than the bot lane outer tower. One gave the opponent control over the Jungle and the other was an out of the way tower no one really cared about. He gritted his teeth and mouthed, “Idiots!” He watched his teammates running towards the mid lane, but knew they were far too late. “Idiots. All of them.”

A turret has been destroyed!

“Good call by Team Shanghai!” Su Xue said. She leaned closer to her microphone and continued, “They knew bot was lost, so rather than protecting it they took something far more valuable in mid!”

Zephyr nodded and explained, “My co-caster here is completely right. The mid lane inner tower is just so much more valuable than the outer tower in bot. And it’s not like Team Guangzhou could keep pushing bot either, because then Team Shanghai would’ve just taken the inhibitor tower and inhibitor.” He briefly paused and then continued, “On a positive note for Team Guangzhou, at least Vayne is scaling now. He’s got that kill he needed. Now what he really needs is to get a few more. Buy that QSS and outplay the Riven. It’s a steep task, I know, but it’s the only way for Team Guangzhou to win this one.”

Seo looked around the map and took stock of the game. They were 17 minutes in and only the Riven was really fed. He also understood that he was the only one who could realistically stop the Riven, especially with the tower in mid destroyed. Goalie’s gonna be pissed. But sucks to be him. He got his towers destroyed! Bot is still going great! I’m doing great! I can push these minions and then I’ll finally have enough money to buy a Quicksilver Sash! Watch that Riven try to stop me then! He clicked on the minions, his Vayne’s high attack speed allowing him to tear through them. When all minions of the latest wave were dead, he retreated to the brush between his inner and outer tower–just to be safe–and started recalling back to base. He opened the shop and typed out ‘Quicksilver Sash’ in the search bar.

“SEO! SEO!” Team Guangzhou’s Jungler shouted over the team’s voice chat.

“SEO! RIVEN!” Goalie yelled.

Seo scrunched his eyebrows and closed the shop window, annoyed by the many ‘retreat’ pings booming in his ears and flashing on his minimap. What are those guys– OH SHIT! His eyes grew wide and round. Riven was running straight at him! He glanced down at the recall timer. Three more seconds to finish the cast. Not enough! He looked at his inner tower and then searched where his teammates were. No one was nearby. It was just him and Riven. Fuck… Fuck! FUCK FUCK FUCK! He narrowed his eyes, his stomach clenching so much that it hurt. FUCK! WHERE THE FUCK DID THAT NOFACE, UGLY BEGGAR GUY COME FROM!?

Chapter 359 – Climbing the Pits of Despair

Goalie was trying his best to last hit minions underneath his tower, frustrated. This second game against Team Shanghai wasn’t going anything like he imagined it’d go. The gank that was supposed to launch him into a convincing lead had backfired. We were 2 against him! How did he stay so calm? Why didn’t he try to run? Everyone runs! How did that fucking dog ignore me to kill the stupid Lee Sin? FUCK! He gritted his teeth, glaring at the waves and fire flowing below Riven’s feet. They were the visual representation for the Blue and Red buffs. One lowered skill cooldowns and the other added a burn effect to every auto attack. Two buffs to change the entire dynamic of the lane.

The fact that Riven was a kill up was bad enough for Goalie. It made it far more difficult to win the lane. Yet at the same time it was also still winnable. But a Riven powered by the Blue and Red buffs was invincible. One well executed combo by her could kill him. That was why he sat under his tower, grumbling, trying to get a couple of last hits while staying as far away from the Riven as he possibly could. But even underneath his tower, protected by its powerful energy shots, he didn’t feel safe.

Lin Feng’s Riven was the first to hit Level 6. Goalie knew it was coming, but it still stung at his ego when it happened. He felt his stomach clench and the faint taste of bile traveled up his throat and swirled in his mouth. How the fuck am I supposed to fight this fucking double buff dog!? Maybe if I have my ultimate and catch him off… But then I first need my ultimate. Level 6… He glanced at his experience bar that was almost full. Just one more minion, then I recall and buy another stupid ass ring to get some more damage. It’ll put me behind in the long game, but if I can get something from it… Yeah. And when I get back, that double buff will be  gone!

Goalie watched the minions that were fighting at the edge of his outer tower’s range. Three blue caster minions fired their magic at Red caster minions. One of them had fallen to low health. Just that one. Then I back. Goalie hovered his mouse over the caster minion and cast Urchin Strike. His Fizz dashed through it and sheared away the last of its health with his trident! A small flash of light blazed around Fizz. The level up animation! Great! Now I–

Lin Feng’s Riven moved. She dashed forward with Valor and fluidly continued with the first slash from Broken Wings. Goalie’s eyes went round in shock. His entire being screamed at him to escape before Riven could cast Ki Burst and stun him. He slammed down on his E key–Playful! Fizz planted his trident in the ground and hopped on top of it. Right then, with Fizz sitting far above the ground safe from a potential Ki Burst, Goalie realized his mistake. Fuck. FUCK! That fucking dog baited me!

Most people in the stadium didn’t notice Goalie had fallen for Lin Feng’s trap. All they saw was an exchange between the Midlaners without much actual damage done. Even Zephyr and Su Xue at the caster desk thought as much. But there were several people in the player seating area who understood what was going to happen next. Qiu Yijie from Fudan University was the first of them to say it out loud. “Goalie used his E too early. Lin Feng can tower dive him now.”

Lin Feng sat up a little straighter, grinned a little brighter. He mumbled just loud enough for his teammates to hear, “Oh, you messed up bad!” He licked his lips as his left hand glided across the keyboard, pressing various keys with accurate precision.

Goalie’s Fizz jumped off his trident back towards his tower. When he did, Riven chased after him and activated her ultimate skill. Blade of the Exile! Runic energy, the representation of her sheer willpower, burst out from her body! It reforged her broken blade and boosted all her stats! Fizz splashed down on top of her and dealt some damage. In the distance, the outer tower was charging up an energy shot. She ignored both, stabbing at Fizz and following up with the second cast from Broken Wings–another sweep of the blade! She then raised her weapon up to the sky and screamed, “Ki Burst!”

Green, runic energy exploded out around Riven! It swept across Fizz and stunned him! Riven followed up with another auto attack, cancelling the end of the animation with the activation of Wind Slash! This second part of her ultimate skill gathered the excess runic energy on her blade and gave it the weapon’s sharp property. She then released the energy. It cut through the air. It cut through Fizz! His health bar almost disintegrated!

Riven grasped her blade with both hands and raised it up above her head. She then jumped at Fizz with the third cast from Broken Wings and hacked down on him! The sheer power contained within this attack knocked Fizz up into the air right as the stun from Ki Burst wore off! There, as he dangled in the air, Riven stabbed him with her blade. Twice.

You have slain an enemy!

There was a stunned silence in the Tianhe Stadium. The audience stared at the large LCD screen, shocked. Gobsmacked. Then, from the speakers installed all around the stadium, Su Xue’s voice blasted. “YEEEEEES! YOU DID IT! YOU LITTLE PUNK, YOU DID IT! YOU SOLO KILLED THAT ARROGANT ASS!”

Zephyr turned his head to look at Su Xue. He covered the microphone with his hand and asked, “Little… punk? Arrogant ass? What?”

Su Xue’s joy fell flat. Her eyes grew wide and round as she slowly turned her head to look at Zephyr. She bit on her lips and asked, “Did I really just say that…?” Her face flared when Zephyr nodded. Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit! I’m a caster! I have to be impartial! I’m the impartial judge here! I can’t take sides! She smiled and said into her microphone, “Uuuh, what I meant, yeah, I was just channeling my inner high schooler! That’s it! That was my best inner high schooler! You know how those high school kids are!”

Zephyr covered his mouth to stop a burst of laughter. He then leaned in towards his microphone and said, “Well, that was some high school cheer, EveningSnowfall! But you’re right! The high schooler did it! He got the solo kill! And what a solo kill that was! Did you see it coming? I didn’t! The way he just towerdove there? Absolutely amazing!”

“WOOOOOOOO!” Su Xue cheered, smiling uncomfortably. Please tell me no one heard that! Yeah, everyone was too busy cheering for Lin Feng! She nodded at herself again and then added, “That was a fantastic display of skill by Lin Feng from Team Shanghai!”

“That dive was sick! OH MY GOOOOOD!”



“Fucking insane! In-fucking-sane!”

“I didn’t even see that mistake from Fizz! How did that guy… HOLY SHIT HE’S GOOD!”

“Some LPL level skills right there! That guy’s going pro!


The players from Zhejiang University found themselves on their feet, cheering for Lin Feng and Team Shanghai. Leading them was Zuo Cheng. He’d wrapped his hands around his mouth and shouted, “See? SEE? I TOLD YOU ALL! Lin Feng is waaaay better than Goalie! He wrecked Goalie! Look at that! Look at that! Did you guys see that? He solo killed Goalie in a towerdive! HE TOWERDOVE GOALIE AND GOT THE KILL!”

Chu Fang, Vice President of the Shanghai Esports Organization, looked around the player seating area at the players from various teams who were up on their feet cheering for Team Shanghai. Then he looked at those still seated and found most of them clapping and applauding. He grinned, gratified. He’s doing it! We’ve got ourselves Maple! The guys from Guangzhou and Beijing won’t know what hit them! How stupid are they thinking they can beat us. We’ve got Maple!

The coaches from Team Beijing and Team Guangzhou watched the replay of Lin Feng’s kill on Goalie on the large LCD screen, shocked. Team Beijing’s coach kept glancing at Yu Ping and tried to figure out who between him and Lin Feng was the better player and if there was something he could do to help his team. But his team wasn’t playing right now. He still had time to come up with a solution. That wasn’t the case for Coach Yin from Team Guangzhou. He was pulling on his hair, desperate, and cried out, “How is that kid this good!? How is he beating Goalie!? I found Goalie in Korea! He made it all the way to the Top 10 Korean Challenger ladder! How did the Shanghai division find someone even better! How is this possible!?”

In Team Guangzhou’s soundproof booth, Goalie sat behind his computer, seething. The dull grey colours stung, but not as much as the people he could see cheering over the rim of his monitor. They were all cheering for a solo kill on him. He gritted his teeth and slammed his fist down on the desk. I hate him! I hate him so much! So fucking much! I’ma kill that dog! I’ll show him! I’m gonna, gonna, gonna… “Aaargh! I’ve never been this humiliated!” He yelled in Korean. His teammates glanced at him but he ignored them. He glared at Lin Feng’s Riven and mumbled, “You watch your back. Sleep with an eye open. I’m going to get you!”

Only 8 minutes into the game, Team Shanghai held a commanding lead. Mid was practically lost for Team Guangzhou and bot was struggling. But top was still relatively even. So when the opportunity for a gank presented itself, they jumped on it. Goalie’s Fizz snuck away from the mid lane and joined Lee Sin in the tri brush behind Blue Team’s outer tower.

Zhang Hao’s Dr. Mundo was throwing cleavers at the minions there, passively farming. When he walked a bit close to the wall of trees and boulders separating the lane from the Jungle, a fish flew at him. Hit him. It started swimming around him, a portal opening beneath. A dark shadow appeared from the depths, waiting for the portal to grow big enough.

After casting his ultimate skill–Chum the Waters–Goalie’s Fizz dashed at Dr. Mundo with Urchin Strike! Lee Sin joined behind him with a Sonic Wave into Resonating Strike! From the other side of the tower, Fiora Lunged into the fight, stabbing Dr. Mundo with her rapier! That was when the portal beneath Dr. Mundo fully opened and Megalodon jumped out, knocking Dr. Mundo up in the air and mauling him!

Dr. Mundo was known for his high health bar and frightening regenerative abilities. More specifically, his ultimate skill called Sadism was basically a second health bar! But there was a very clear counter to this. Ignite. The unquenchable flames didn’t just burn away at his health bar, they also lowered the efficacy of health regeneration skills and abilities! Goalie’s Fizz cast Ignite, then followed up with Playful! He stabbed his trident in the ground and hopped on top of it, stopping the outer tower from firing energy shots at him. When the tower switched aggro to Lee Sin, he hopped back down from his trident with Trickster, activated Seastone Trident to empower his basic attacks and dug the three prongs from his trident in Dr. Mundo!

You have slain an enemy!

“Tower, tower!” Goalie ordered over the team’s voice chat, the hints of a smile appearing on his face. Getting a kill on Dr. Mundo wasn’t the same as getting revenge on Lin Feng’s Riven. But it was something. A lifeline to help him get back into this game. He smiled and panned his camera across the map. Down in the bottom side river, Team Shanghai was countering their play at top by taking the Dragon, but he’d expected as much. He’d be disappointed if they hadn’t done that. This is all going as I want it to go. This is how it should be! Now all that remains for me to do… He zoomed in on the Riven and gnashed his teeth. All that remains is to kill that dog!

“Woooo! A kill in top on Mundo!” Su Xue exclaimed, smiling. I’m impartial! 

Zephyr glanced at Su Xue and then said into his microphone, “Team Guangzhou got the kill on Mundo and the top outer tower from that gank. But Team Shanghai used that opening to take the Dragon. That’s a pretty standard trade.”

“I think we also can’t forget about what’s happening in the mid lane,” Su Xue added. She pointed at her monitor and continued, “Lin Feng’s Riven has almost destroyed it. That isn’t a direct advantage, but it could prove important later on. And. On top of that, we can’t forget that Team Guangzhou’s Botlaners backed away real quick when their team made the play in top. Imagine what could’ve been if they stuck around!”

Zephyr laughed and said, “A beautiful skirmish is what could’ve been! But slow and steady is the game plan for Team Guangzhou’s Botlaners this game! And who can blame them? Vayne is a Champion that only gets stronger as the game progresses. He’s perfectly happy letting this game drag on to the ultra late game!”

“Mm-mhm!” Su Xue agreed.

Zephyr’s deduction was spot on. In Team Guangzhou’s soundproof booth, Seo had retreated deep under his outer tower, far away from a possible gank by Team Shanghai. He’d moved his camera towards the Dragon pit and watched Team Shanghai slay the creature, steaming. Calm, calm. Goalie’s right. I need to be calm. I’m playing Vayne. Late game! I’ll be the hyper carry in the late game. I’m one kill up. This is only going to get better! I’ll make those… those… He closed his eyes and forced himself to take deep, long breaths. Stay calm. Don’t call them names. That’s just going to work you up– FUCK THOSE BASTARDS! I’M GONNA KILL THEM ALL AND MAKE SURE NO ONE REMEMBERS THEIR FACES! He slammed his fist on the desk in frustration.

There was a short lull in the game. The players from both sides returned to farming their respective lanes and the Jungle. But this could never last long. Top lane was completely in Team Guangzhou’s Fiora’s control. But at the same time, Zhang Hao’s Dr. Mundo was tanky enough where he could survive everything she tried. He simply clung to a defensive position halfway up his lane and farmed minions. If Fiora tried to push, she’d become susceptible to a gank from An Xin’s Sejuani; if she didn’t, she’d fall behind in levels due to lost experience. So she had to take a different tactic. More specifically, she roamed down to the mid lane for a gank.

Lin Feng’s Riven was pushing so hard in the mid lane that Goalie could only place his Fizz defensively next to his outer tower. Even then, the tower only had a couple of auto attacks worth of health remaining. Goalie chewed on his lips and grumbled quiet complaints, clicking around his tower furiously. That all changed when he glanced at his minimap and saw Fiora running down the river. A smile crept onto his face. The slightest opening is all I need! Thanks Fiora! He smashed down on his keyboard to activate Chum the Waters! His Fizz stabbed his trident forward to fling a fish at Riven! It hit Riven and started swimming circles around her, a portal to the deep opening beneath her.





Zephyr chuckled and said into his microphone, “Sounds like we’ve got some fans from Guangzhou in the stadium with us today! Let’s give it another one for Team Guangzhou!”

“Team Guangzhou! Woooooo!” Su Xue exclaimed, cringing. It feels all kinds of wrong to cheer for Team Guangzhou… But I’m impartial! No one is more impartial than I am! I’ll hype up both sides and then cheer nice and loud when Lin Feng wins!

Lin Feng narrowed his eyes. He counted the seconds until Megalodon would jump at him through the portal to knock him up and how long until Fiora would arrive in the lane–a ward had revealed her seconds earlier. He placed a finger on the D key. Flashing was the only way to escape the initial engage. He turned his complete focus to Goalie’s Fizz. You’ll jump on me first, won’t you? You’re impatient like that.

Team Guangzhou’s Fiora arrived in the brush right above the mid lane and the portal to the deep beneath Lin Feng’s Riven was growing wider. Goalie couldn’t wait any longer. He dashed at Lin Feng’s Riven with Urchin Strike and followed up with Playful! He hopped on top of his trident and waited to see where Lin Feng was going to escape to, ready to flash after him.

Fiora was in the lane and almost upon Lin Feng’s Riven and the Megalodon could jump through the portal at any moment. Yet Lin Feng didn’t Flash. He waited, patient. Careful. Then it all happened. A mottled flash of light wrapped around Goalie’s Fizz as he guessed the direction in which Lin Feng was going to escape, the Megalodon jumped out from the water and Fiora Lunged at Lin Feng’s Riven! And Lin Feng flashed. A veil of light fell over his Riven and carried her a short distance towards Red team’s outer tower. Behind him, Fiora stabbed Megalodon who failed to knock up Lin Feng. And even further behind him, Goalie’s Fizz had flashed the wrong direction.

“OH MY GOD! HE JUST…” Zephyr cried out. “HE JUST DODGED IT ALL!”

Su Xue clenched her fist, her knuckles white, and shouted, “THAT’S LIN FENG FOR YOU!”



Goalie’s eyes twitched and his mouse hand trembled. He glanced up towards his outer tower where Riven was. How did he…? He just… His mind was numb, his passive self taking control over his body. He clicked towards Lin Feng’s Riven, though all his skills were on cooldown.

Lin Feng was in his element. He was playing a high mechanical Champion and relied on his high mechanical skills to outplay not one but two Champions. His fingers glided over his keyboard in practiced motion and he moved his mouse in short bursts with frightening accuracy. There were two targets in front of him. Two victims. He grinned as he activated Blade of the Exile!

A thick hue of runic energy appeared around Riven. It reforged her blade and boosted her stats! She followed up by jumping towards Fiora and Fizz and sweeping out with her blade! This was the first cast from Broken Wings and brought her exactly in range for a double stun! Riven pointed her reforged blade up at the sky and shouted, “Ki Burst!” Green energy exploded outwards and smashed into Fiora and Fizz! Both were stunned. She then cast Ignite on Fizz while also stabbing at him with an auto attack!

Chapter 358 – Just Cause There’s a Goalie, Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Score!


Real Riven players learned Broken Wings at Level 1, and Lin Feng was a real Riven player. When the first minion wave marched past the outer tower into the mid lane, he followed along with them. Red minions came from the other side of the lane. Lin Feng focused on them, ignoring Goalie’s Fizz trailing behind the Red minions. He watched their health bars drop and zoomed in on a melee minion in the front. Two more attacks to kill it. Broken Wings! Riven swept out with her blade and then, before the animation from Broken Wings could finish, hacked at the minion with an auto attack!

“Oooh!” Zephyr said into his microphone. He leaned in closer to his monitor and watched Lin Feng’s Riven continue into the 2nd part of Broken Wings. It was again perfectly linked together with an auto attack to claim a minion’s life. He continued, “Oooh! That’s one fast combo there! This Lin Feng looks like a Riven main!”

Su Xue nodded and added, “You see how he backs away after every skill? He’s doing that to make sure the minions don’t start focusing him and also to keep some distance from Fizz! What he’s doing there, that’s real big brain!”

On screen, Lin Feng’s Riven finished her Broken Wings combo with its third and final cast. She leaped up into the air, both hands locking around the handle of her weapon, and then hacked down! The minions underneath her blade were knocked up into the air! She then struck the lowest health one with an auto attack and killed it.

“He’s looking like a boss on that Riven! Goalie is just sitting back there!”

“When I try to do that on Riven, I just get attacked and killed… Why isn’t Goalie attacking?”

“Because that Riven is good! Can’t you see how he’s animation canceling perfectly there?”

“It’s so easy not to notice that. But what he’s doing up there? That’s some real skill!”

“I’m a Riven one-trick pony and even I can’t link it together that well!”

Goalie stared at his monitor. Glared at it. Your Riven is half decent. But you think you’re going to win this game by showing off that combo? Is that your plan for this game, to scare me off with your CS ability? Fucking dog! I’ll show you what I think of your Riven! He glanced at the bottom corner of his screen and confirmed he needed one more minion kill to hit Level 2. Lin Feng’s Riven had already gotten to Level 2.

A blue caster minion was about to die. Goalie had his Fizz thread through the field of minions and arrived exactly in time to land the final attack on the caster minion. It died and he hit Level 2. Urchin Strike! His Fizz dashed through Riven and struck out with his trident! While he did that, he learned his second skill: Playful/Trickster.

Goalie narrowed his eyes and pressed the E key. His Fizz slammed his trident into the ground and jumped on top of it just as Riven shouted out a Ki Burst! Green energy exploded through the ground around and between them, but it stopped just short of Fizz’s trident! Goalie smiled. Shitty reaction speed there, dog. He then flicked his mouse and cast the second part of his E skill—Trickster! Fizz jumped off his trident back towards his side of the lane. Water splashed around him when he landed, dealing damage to the nearby Blue minions.

Lin Feng’s finger hovered over the Q key. He wanted to dash after Goalie’s Fizz and return the poke, but hesitated. Something tingled at the back of his mind, an itch that gave enough discomfort for him to think twice. He glanced at his minimap and chewed on his lips. Their Lee is going to be somewhere here soon. I’ll be ready for that instead. 

The players watching the game from the player seating area visibly relaxed. Most of them were pretty vocal about Goalie being the better Midlaner, but few had actually believed those words. It wasn’t until now, when Goalie showed faster reaction speed than Lin Feng, that they started to believe Goalie was the better player.

“Knew it. I just knew it! Goalie just had an off game! Yes. That’s all that was!”

“I know right!? I was like, no way, last game. This looks like the Goalie I know again!”

“Team Guangzhou is still the team to watch out for! Yes. Totally!”

Qiu Yijie from Fudan University listened to the people around him and shook his head. They’re just trying to convince themselves. They would learn so much more if they watched the game and compared it to their own and learned how to improve from that. Oh well… He turned to look at his teammates and said, “Watch what happens carefully. We’ve seen him play. He never holds back unless there’s something to gain from it. Feels like that something is gonna happen soon.”

At 4 minutes, the minion wave in the mid lane was pushing towards Red team’s outer tower. Goalie smiled, proud of himself. His Fizz was Level 3 and could now deal enough damage to scare Riven. All he needed was a good gank. He glanced at his minimap. His Jungler was already waiting in the brush right above the mid lane. Now I just need to bait him. Make him waste his skill– He laughed. He didn’t even need to ask for it. Riven swept out with her blade and cleaved three melee minions. This was the first cast from her Broken Wings.

“FightFight!” Goalie shouted over the team’s voice chat. He moved his mouse over Lin Feng’s Riven and activated Urchin Strike! His Fizz dashed at Riven and pierced her with his trident! From above, he saw Lee Sin place down a ward and hop towards it with Safeguard, quickly closing in on Lin Feng’s Riven. Goalie smiled wickedly. You’re dead! Stupid dog!

Zephyr reached for his microphone and shouted, “It’s the gank! Team Guangzhou has got the first gank again! Just like last game! But this one looks like it might be a kill! RIVEN MIGHT DIE!”

Lin Feng breathed slowly, calmly. This was the second time Goalie’s Fizz engaged him. The first time, on purpose, he’d waited a brief moment before casting Ki Burst. That trick paid off now. Fizz planted his trident in the ground and hopped on top of it, expecting the Ki Burst. Lin Feng grinned. This Goalie is so predictable! He waited for the Fizz to come back down with the second part of the skill while also giving Lee Sin the time to get a bit closer. Then, right before Fizz splashed down on the ground, he activated Flash. A veil of light fell over his Riven and carried her a short distance straight towards Lee Sin.

“He’s going all in!” Su Xue exclaimed. She leaned towards the microphone and continued, “Riven is going for the kill on Lee Sin!”

“He’s crazy! He’s nuts! Why isn’t he running!?”

“He’s mental! He’s insane! He could’ve escaped!”

“He’s sick! He’s delusional! Why didn’t he run when he could’a!?”

Team Guangzhou’s Lee Sin was fully expecting Lin Feng to try and escape. So much so that when Lin Feng jumped on him, he jumpscared. His hands refused to move and he just stared at his screen, watching Lin Feng’s Riven sweep her blade at him and cleave him! In the distance, he could hear Goalie say something. What’s he saying…? He blinked and focused on the voice. “FIGHT! IDIOT! DO SOMETHING!” It shook him awake. His hands moved back into action. He flicked his mouse over Lin Feng’s Riven and cast Sonic Wave! A discordant sound wave flew from point blank range at Riven!

Lin Feng was ready for the Sonic Wave. He’d been watching Lee Sin’s every motion, searching for the activation of the skill. When he saw it, he activated Valor! His Riven dashed to the side, a shield wrapping around her, and dodged the Sonic Wave!

“H-how…” Zephyr mumbled into his microphone, slack jawed.

Su Xue chuckled and shouted, “That’s Lin Feng for you! And just wait until Bu– An Xin shows up at just the right time!”

Everyone in the stands and down on the grass focused on the minimap. An Xin’s Sejuani was running towards the mid lane, just like EveningSnowfall had said. Shock stunned them dead silent. The blowing of the wind and the sound of traffic off in the distance together with the ingame sounds blasting from the speakers was all anyone could hear at the Tianhe Stadium.

Lin Feng’s Riven jabbed her broken sword in the air and shouted, “Ki Burst!” A green energy shot out on the ground around her! It latched onto Lee Sin’s feet and stunned him! She then hacked at Lee Sin, while Lin Feng shouted over the team’s voice chat, “BUNBUN!”

An Xin chewed on her tongue which stuck slightly out of her mouth. Her Sejuani was further away than she’d have liked. She ran out from the top side Jungle and ran towards the outer tower in the mid lane. Above her was a large boulder and above that the brush from which Lee Sin had appeared. I’m almost in range, almost… She flicked her mouse and timed the stun from Ki Burst. I need to go now! She tapped twice on her keyboard, first to cast Arctic Assault and then Flash. Her Sejuani charged forward as a mottled flash of light wrapped around her. It carried her a short distance through time and space. She kept her momentum and slammed into Lee Sin, knocking him up into the air!

An Xin breathed out and glanced at Lin Feng. That was close. He was faster than I expected… Faster and better. She breathed out again, loudly. Then she chuckled and said, “No need to yell. I’m always here at your beck and call, you know that.”

“Of course!” Lin Feng replied, laughing, clicking on Lee Sin. His Riven brandished her blade and hacked and cut and stabbed at him!

Zephyr shoutcasted, “And another auto attack! And another! Lee Sin’s health is at critical levels! A few more hits and that’s the kill! Can he stop this!?”

Team Guangzhou’s Lee Sin fell back to the ground. Goalie was shouting in his ears, telling him to Flash away. He gritted his teeth and slammed the buttons on his keyboard and clicked on his mouse! But Lin Feng’s Riven linked her skills together too well. All this time, she’d been holding onto the third and final cast from Broken Wings. This one contained a knock up effect. Before Lee Sin’s feet could touch the ground again, he was knocked up again!

Lin Feng calculated the damage he still needed to do to kill Lee Sin. It’ll be close. If he flashes in time… No point in risking it. He cast Ignite on Lee Sin as the Jungler from Team Guangzhou came tumbling back down to the ground. Unquenchable flames lit up on Lee Sin’s body and burned away his health bar! It secured the kill, but not before Lee Sin flashed away. One last act of panic and confusion.

First Blood!




“Fuck me that was intense. What an outplay! WOOOOOOOO!”

“Think I pissed my pants! This game is so exciting!”


“Goalie is screwed!” Zephyr exclaimed. He grabbed his microphone and leaned back in his chair before continuing, “Just look at that! Riven never cared about killing Fizz there! He just wanted the double buff from Lee Sin! I feel so bad for Goalie right now… Playing in a solo lane against an opponent with double buff is the worst experience ever!”

Su Xue smiled and said, “That’s Lin Feng for you! Knows exactly how to win his lane, and then wins it! His skills were great there! But let’s not forget about An Xin! She arrived exactly in time! If she’d been a second later, Lee Sin would’ve escaped!”

“I’m not so sure about that,” Zephyr replied. He shook his head and continued, “That Lin Feng actually kept the third cast from Broken Wings all the way until the end there. If Sejuanie had been a bit later? He would’ve just knocked Lee Sin back up and waited for her. That’s what makes it all the more impressive!”

Su Xue’s eyes went wide open in surprise. I-I didn’t even think about that… She glanced at Lin Feng and shook her head, incredulous. How is he so good? She then smiled and balled her hand into a fist. Good kid! You didn’t let me down! You made me proud! She took a long, deep breath and then said, “Riven’s got the lead in mid! I bet Goalie is stewing real hard on that! But there’s nothing he can do right now! He’s going to need all the help he can get from his teammates if he wants to turn this game back around!”

Most people in the audience didn’t play League of Legends at the highest level. They just enjoyed watching it, letting themselves be informed about the quality of a play by the casters. The people in the player seating area watched the game a bit more analytically. But when it came to Lin Feng’s kill on Lee Sin, even they were simply mesmerized by the play. They let themselves get carried away by the casters, cheering for Team Shanghai and a beautiful kill!

There were only a couple of players not celebrating this kill. They sat in their seats, silent. Stunned. They were the handful that understood just how much skill it took to do what Lin Feng just did. One of them was Yu Ping. He slowly shook his head, his breathing a bit faster than usual. If I were playing Riven there, I could’ve dodged the Fizz thing. No problem. And the Lee Sin Sonic Wave isn’t that hard to dodge with Valor or Flash either. And then… then I’d have retreated. How… How did he even get the idea of going in for the kill? How did he know he had enough damage? How did he know to keep the third strike from Broken Wings until the end there? How did he… How, how, how… He looked through the glass panels of Team Shanghai’s soundproof booth at Lin Feng. Was that just cocky? Or did you know? Did you calculate everything and… That can’t be. Even I… He breathed in, trying to calm himself down. If that’s the real you, then I’m fucked. I need to do something… Think of something!–

“Nice!” Zhang Hongyi shouted next to Yu Ping, interrupting his thoughts. “Kill him! Kill him!”

Yu Ping glanced at his teammate and then followed his gaze up to the large LCD screen. It was showing the bot lane. Team Guangzhou’s Leona had landed a Zenith Blade on Tang Bingyao’s Kalista and dashed at her. Before she could land a stun with Shield of Daybreak, a Black Shield wrapped around Kalista and protected her from crowd control. But the engage from Leona’s was only a diversion. A trick to force Zeng Rui into using his Black Shield.

Seo’s Vayne ran past Tang Bingyao’s Kalista and Tumbled to get the angle on Zeng Rui’s Morgana for Condemn! She then pulled the large crossbow from her back and squeezed the trigger. A thick, massive bolt shot through the air and struck Morgana, lifting her off her feet and pinning her to the wall behind her! Stunned!

A silver ring appeared beneath Zeng Rui’s Morgana, followed soon after by a second one. Team Guangzhou’s Leona also appeared in front of him, waiting for the stun to wear off, ready to prolong it with Shield of Daybreak.

Zeng Rui ordered over the team’s voice chat, “Tang Tang! Get out! I’m dead!”

“Mhm!” Tang Bingyao replied. She had her Kalista run past Zeng Rui’s Morgana and back to the outer tower. In her headphones, she heard the sound of an arrow striking Morgana followed by the explosion of true damage from the three silver rings beneath Morgana’s feet.

Team Guangzhou’s Leona slammed her shield into Morgana right before the stun from Condemn wore off. This gave Seo all the time he needed to auto attack. Silver rings appeared beneath Morgana one after the other. Every third, they exploded and dealt true damage. And then he killed her.

You have slain an enemy!

Zeng Rui grimaced watching his screen turn grey. He then turned to look across the long desk at An Xin and said over the team’s voice chat, “Vayne burned her Flash there. A gank would be perfect.”

“On it!” An Xin replied, smiling.

An Xin took a Jungle path that led her past a few camps to the bot lane, where she arrived at the same time as Zeng Rui did. Team Guangzhou’s Botlaners had been pushing Tang Bingyao’s Kalista after Zeng Rui died and were because of that overextended. Zeng Rui had his Morgana run into the lane, past the protection of his minions, while An Xin’s Sejuani appeared in the bot lane from the river entrance above.

“They’re doing it! It’s gonna be a kill!” Su Xue shouted into her microphone!”

Zephyr nodded and waited briefly. Team Guangzhou’s Botlaners were too far away from their outer tower to escape. So rather than try and both survive, Leona body blocked the three from Team Shanghai and helped Seo’s Vayne escape. Zephyr then said into the microphone, “And that was a quick and easy kill. Team Guangzhou practically gave that to Team Shanghai!”

“It’s 2-1 again! Team Shanghai is in the lead!” Su Xue cheered.

Zephyr nodded and said, “Right now the difference is all with the Junglers. That gank in bot was a good, decisive gank. But while we focused on that, another gank happened in the top lane. It was slow and lacklustre and Team Guangzhou didn’t get anything out of it. That’s 0-2 in ganks for Team Guangzhou and 2-0 for Team Shanghai. That’s the real difference.”

The gank in the top lane failed because Zhang Hao was playing defensively on an already tanky Champion. Ganking him was never going to work unless he grossly misplayed or if Team Guangzhou came with three Champions or more. But Lee Sin revealing himself in the top lane did allow for other plays to be made elsewhere on the map. More specifically, in the mid lane. Lin Feng raised his eyebrows in surprise and mumbled, “Oh? Lee is top? Odd…” He then shrugged and smirked and said, “Guess I’m getting another kill.”


Chapter 357 – So Obvious; Everyone is Stupid

Yu Ping’s voice drifted through the stunned silence that was the player seating area. Everyone was staring at the large LCD screen in disbelief. For the last couple of weeks, the Guangzhou Esports Association had gone to great lengths to promote their team. To show to everyone exactly how skilled Goalie was and that there was no one who could beat him. Until now, no one had beaten him. But this first game against Team Shanghai changed all that. Lin Feng’s Talon never looked in trouble against Goalie’s LeBlanc. Not really, anyways.

“Team comp. That’s all there is to it,” Shenyang University’s team captain mumbled. He repeated it, this time with a bit more conviction. “Team comp. That’s all there is to it.” He looked away from the large LCD screen at Yu Ping. He’s right. This is all team comp. He let go of the breath he’d been holding and said, “Team comp. That’s all there is to it.”

“Yeah! Team comp! That’s all there is to it!” another player shouted. He got up from his seat and looked around at the others in the player seating area. He continued, “Lissandra was the perfect counter for LeBlanc! And even if that failed, they had Braum protecting Corki. And if even that failed, they still had Gragas with his Explosive Cask! They had everything to deal with Team Guangzhou’s team! The guy over there is right! Team comp! That’s all there is to it!”

Zuo Cheng from Zhejiang University listened to the discussion and looked at the player who was explaining his understanding of what happened. And he laughed, long and loud. The people around him stopped arguing and all turned to look at him. He looked back at them and said, “You blind fools! Did we watch different games or something? Goalie got schooled!”

“Goalie’s an A+ Midlaner!” someone argued. “He’s almost in the percentage ranking! People of his skill level play in the LPL and might even make it to Worlds! Are you really trying to say this Lin Feng from Team Shanghai is better than Goalie? Don’t be ridiculous! It was a fluke, at best!”

Another player nodded and chimed in, “Did you guys see how much help that Lin Feng got? If it wasn’t for Lissandra and Braum helping him out, he would’ve never gotten so far ahead! Team Comp! Definitely! It was definitely that!”

Sun Ruinian watched the players around him argue about Lin Feng’s exact level of skill and about how Team SHanghai had secured this first win against Team Guangzhou. He chuckled and shook his head. All these guys know about Team Shanghai is that Zeng Rui is a decent enough player on the Ionia server. He’s the only one from their team who’s made a name for himself. And then there’s the four question marks. No one knows a thing about them, except that Lin Feng beat AyDeeCee. But what’s that when you compare it with all the hyping up that the Guangzhou Esports Association has done for Team Guangzhou? They’ve been shouting that Goalie is some kind of God! He sighed and said to Zuo Cheng, “Drop it. It’s not worth it.”

“But they’re blind!” Zuo Cheng argued. He turned his head to look at Sun Ruinian and continued, “You saw that game! Lin Feng was getting ganked and didn’t get any ganks! Yet he still won! That’s skill! He’s better than Goalie! But these… these idiots can’t see it!”

Loud protests erupted around them. Two players even broadened their tiny shoulders and flexed their miniscule biceps, trying to look intimidating. Sun Ruinian pulled Zuo Cheng down and smiled apologetically at them. It sussed the situation. He then turned his head to look at Zuo Cheng and quietly explained, “What did you expect? These guys have been under the impression for months that their biggest opponent this year is going to be Goalie from Team Guangzhou. Every game until this last one has only confirmed that impression. And now, suddenly, they see someone playing better. Of course they’re looking for excuses! What did you expect?”

“But Lin Feng was clearly better…” Zuo Cheng mumbled, deflated.

Sun Ruinian smiled and replied, “Yeah, he was. We know that and those guys …” he pointed at everyone in the player seating area. “… they know it too. They’re just not willing to admit it yet. Give it two more games. They’ll change their tunes.”

Zephyr pulled off his headset and leaned back in his chair, throwing his feet up on the desk. He glanced at Su Xue sitting next to him and said, “What a game! Who would’ve thought that Team Shanghai was gonna pull that crazy win! Nice job on all the research by the way!”

Su Xue took her own headset off and placed it carefully in front of her, making sure the wires didn’t get twisted. She then turned her head to look at Zephyr and smiled. She replied, “Thanks! I was really nervous there at the start, but I think I got the hang of it after those first few plays! It was a fun game to cast too! There was just so much happening all the time!”

“You’re a lucky one,” Zephyr said, laughing. He rolled his neck and continued, “Pretty straightforward action. There basically wasn’t a dull moment we had to fill and there weren’t any complicated teamfights either. Kind of surprised by that to be honest with you. Mostly with Goalie. He’s the one who usually leads Team Guangzhou. But that kid did not look on his A+ game there. I don’t know what it was, but he just looked out of it! I’m really hoping he’ll be back to his normal self next game. ‘Cause, I mean, someone of his status should really be beating every Midlaner he’s up against in this university tournament.”

Su Xue fought hard to keep the snort back. He really thinks Goalie is better than Lin Feng? How? She shook her head and replied, “I don’t know. I thought Lin Feng played it pretty well. I can totally see him beat Goalie again in the next game!”

Zephyr laughed and replied, “Sure, sure. Whatever, I’ma take a piss. I’ll be back in a minute.”

Su Xue watched Zephyr get up and leave the broadcast room, biting her lips to stop herself from laughing. Only after he closed the door behind him did a smile creep up on her face. He really believed what he was saying! He really thinks Goalie is better than Lin Feng, even after that game! This is going to be so fun next game! She glanced at the monitor showing Team Shanghai’s soundproof booth. The five players she knew so well were sitting in a circle, discussing something. They’re probably preparing their tactic for the next game. Come on, guys! Lin Feng! You can do this! Show everyone how good you are! I’m rooting for you!

Coach Yin barged into Team Guangzhou’s soundproof booth, furious. He looked around the room at the five team members and shouted, “What the fuck was that!? I thought you guys said you had this! You were going to beat them with their own Champions? You got your fucking asses kicked!” He paused, forcing himself to take a couple of deep breaths, then continued, “Goalie, what the fuck? That Lin Feng is trash! I watched it all with my own two eyes! That kid can’t play for shit! All he did was farm and wait for the rest of his team to carry him! I don’t give a fuck that he beat AyDeeCee or whatever. He’s not a starplayer. You are a starplayer, Goalie. Live the fuck up to that!”

The interpreter strung together a quick summary from Coach Yin’s outburst. He looked at Goalie, waiting for a response. But Goalie wouldn’t even meet his eyes. He sat behind his computer, staring at his screen. Furious himself.

“I don’t want to see that a second time,” Coach Yin continued, barking. “I want to see a focused team that is trying to win! We’ve got two Korean Challengers on our team for fucks sake! How are we losing to four no-namers and that Support idiot from the Ionia server? Get your heads in the game!” He focused on Goalie and concluded, “Goalie. Pick a Champion you’re good with. Lead the team like I know you can. Show everyone how good you really are! I know you’re better than this! Now come on!”

Goalie closed his eyes as he listened to the interpreter finally catching up to Coach Yin. He nodded and mumbled, “Yeah. Okay.” But his mind was somewhere else. He glanced across the stage at Team Shanghai’s soundproof booth and scrunched his eyebrows. Who is that kid? How… I was careless and got upset because he annoyed me yesterday. But still, he was good. There were a few moments where I felt like I was even playing against Rake– He shook his head violently, then slapped it for good measure. Don’t be stupid. You underestimated him and he was a bit better than you expected. Readjust. Calm down and focus. I’m the best player at this tournament. He looked over his shoulder at Coach Yin and said in broken Chinese, “I beat him. Trust me.”

“Good. That’s what I wanted to hear,” Coach Yin said. He then walked past Goalie and stopped behind Seo, who was staring at his feet, and asked, “Now you want to tell me what the fuck was going on with you last game? I thought you were a Korean Challenger. You looked like a boosted Challenger. Did that girl on Team Shanghai boost you? That it?” He briefly paused and then asked, “Are you really telling me she’s better than you are?”

“I’M BETTER THAN HER!” Seo screamed. He slammed his fist down on the desk and repeated, “I’M BETTER THAN HER!”

“Then show it,” Coach Yin replied.

Seo gritted his teeth, white hot fury dying his face. He slowly nodded and said, “I will. I will beat her. Crush her. Make sure no one remembers her face! Her ugly ass face!”

After a brief interlude, the players from Team Shanghai and Team Guangzhou got installed behind their computers again and moved into Champion Select for Game 2. The large LCD screen above their soundproof booths flashed to life and revealed to the audience the six banned Champions. Team Shanghai had gone for three meta Champions, while Team Guangzhou banned Lissandra, Braum and Talon.

“Looks like Team Guangzhou doesn’t want a repeat from last game,” Zephyr said into his microphone, his voice carried through the speakers to the audience.

Su Xue nodded and chimed in, “Yeah! Three Champions from the previous game are banned!–” She stopped herself when Team Shanghai locked in their first Champion. Riven. She scrunched her eyebrows and mumbled, “Riven? Is HaoBro really going with Riven…?”

Haobro? Zephyr glanced at Su Xue, confused. He glanced through his notebook at the names from Team Shanghai. Oh! He leaned towards his microphone and said, “That does look like a Riven top! Zhang Hao is Team Shanghai’s Toplaner, so he’d be playing her!”

Team Guangzhou’s Toplaner sat up straight in his gaming chair. A chill was still running up and down his spine, reinvigorated every time he thought about how Coach Yin had barged in after their loss in the previous game. We can’t lose again. We won’t! We’re going to beat these noobs! Starting with this stupid Toplaner! “Hmm, Riven, huh?” he mumbled. “Let me show you just how much better I am than you! You only won because of Gragas! But this game, this game is going to be mine!” He then clicked on the summoner portrait of Fiora and locked her in.

Team Guangzhou’s Jungler looked at Goalie and asked, “Who? Lee Sin?”

Goalie looked at Team Shanghai’s Champion. Riven… Why would they pick her first…? He took a long, deep breath and then replied, “Lee Sin.”

Team Shanghai were up next for their second and third pick. They went with Sejuani who was a tanky Jungler and Kalista who was one of Tang Bingyao’s best ad-carry Champions.

It was Team Guangzhou’s turn again to pick two Champions. Seo informed his Support he wanted something defensive, so the Support locked in Leona. He then nodded at Goalie and asked, “You want to pick now or want me to go first?”

Goalie shrugged and said, “I’ll go first. Won’t change my pick anyway.” He moved his mouse over Fizz and locked him in.

Zephyr grabbed his microphone and shouted, “It’s Fizz in the mid lane! Goalie is sticking to what he’s familiar with, ability power assassins!”

“I’m really curious to see what Lin Feng is going to play,” Su Xue replied absentmindedly. Her focus was still on the Riven pick. HaoBro never plays Riven. He doesn’t like the style! But Lin Feng does! Are they going to lane swap? Or– She finally realized it, her eyes growing wide. She leaned in towards her microphone and said, “What if… what if that Riven pick is a mid Riven?”

Lin Feng laughed when he saw the Fizz pick. He leaned back in his chair and mumbled, “Fizz, hmm? A bit interesting. Could be fun.”

An Xin glanced at Lin Feng and shook her head. Doofus. She then turned her head around to look at Zhang Hao and asked, “What you wanna play against Fiora?”

“Uhm…” Zhang Hao started, hesitating. He finally replied, “Mundo. Yeah, I’ll go with Dr. Mundo. That way you don’t really have to gank my lane. I’ll be able to hold my own.”

“That makes our team really AD heavy,” Zeng Rui noted. He mulled over it briefly and then added, “I’ll go with Morgana. That way, we’ve still got some AP.”

Su Xue jumped up from her chair, forgetting to grab the microphone, and shouted, “I was right! I’m right! That’s Riven mid!”

“But… How?” Zephyr asked, surprised. “What kind of team comp is this? Are you sure Riven is going mid? What if this is some weird Morgana mid and Riven top and Mundo Support? Or maybe it’s Riven Support? She does have her Ki Burst for some crowd control…”

“It’s obviously Riven mid!” Su Xue countered, grinning. Just wait until you see Lin Feng’s Riven! You’ll get it then!

“Team Zephyr or Team EveningSnowfall? Who is going Mid? Place your bets here!”

“Has to be Morgana, right? You want that AP damage and she won’t get much damage if she’s going Support!”

“Full AD teams have been becoming the flavour of the month, so who knows…”

“Yeah, I guess. Still, weird ass team.”

“Maybe their plan is to confuse Team Guangzhou into a surrender?”

“LOL. That’d be brilliant! Imagine Team Guangzhou surrendering ‘cause they don’t understand Team Shanghai’s team comp! Hahaha!”

“Right!? But let’s be realistic here. This has to be a stomp by Team Guangzhou. There’s no way they’re losing to that whacky ass team from Team Shanghai!”

Back in Team Guangzhou’s soundproof booth, Goalie and Seo were caught up in a similar discussion as the rest of the crowd. But they only had 70 seconds to decide on their final pick. With 20 seconds left to go, Goalie turned to look at Seo and said, “We’ll stick with our original plan. Doesn’t matter what they do. Lock in your Champion. And Seo?” He briefly waited to get his ad-carry’s full attention and then continued, “Calm down a bit. Play like I know you can.”

Seo closed his eyes and breathed in. He then opened his eyes, locked in Vayne and then breathed out. He replied, “Got it. I will.”

Zephyr turned his head and looked at Su Xue. He muttered, “Oh my god, you were right… You were right! It really is Riven mid! It’s really Riven mid!”

Su Xue smiled and replied, “Lin Feng has played Riven before all the way back in the high school tournament he played. That was long ago, but it was really good back then! So I thought maybe…”

“Wow!” Zephyr exclaimed. He shook his head and continued, “You’ve done more than just some homework. It’s like you’ve watched every single game Lin Feng has ever played!”

Su Xue giggled and replied, “You could say that.”

Back in Team Guangzhou’s soundproof booth, Goalie narrowed his eyes. Riven, huh? First Talon and now Riven? You’re trying to take the piss out of me, aren’t you? That’s what you’re doing. First acting like you don’t know who I am and now taking the piss out of me! But don’t think I’ll let you do that. I’ll show you what I do to people who look down on me! He gripped his mouse and tightened his grip just the right amount. Then he placed his other hand on the keyboard, feeling the touch of the keys against his fingers.

Over in Team Shanghai’s soundproof booth, An Xin looked at Lin Feng and asked, “Since you’re playing Riven, you should be fine, right? I won’t need to gank?”

Lin Feng ruffled his hair, grinning, and said, “Yep! Just camp bot! Or top… You can leave mid to me!”

Winter Collegiate Cup, Round of 16, Game 2

Team Shanghai (Blue) versus Team Guangzhou (Red)

Top: Dr. Mundo versus Fiora

Jungle: Sejuani versus Lee Sin

Mid: Riven versus Fizz

Ad-carry: Kalista versus Vayne

Support: Morgana versus Leona

Welcome to Summoner’s Rift!

The Champions from both teams spawned on the Rift. Starter items appeared in their inventory and then they walked towards their respective lanes. There were no early invades, with both teams throwing some wards down in the river but otherwise staying near their outer towers. This gave Zephyr and Su Xue a few extra minutes to discuss the unexpected matchup in the mid lane.

Zephyr leaned towards his microphone and analysed, “Riven is a relatively good pick against Fizz. She doesn’t have much to worry about, especially early on. If Fizz tries to jump on her, she can just stun him with Ki Burst. And from there, well, Fizz should be happy if he escapes with his life! But that doesn’t mean it’s hopeless for Goalie. Fizz has this great skill called Playful/Trickster. If he times it just right, he can hop on top of his pole and dodge the stun. Then he suddenly wins. It’s really the first game all over. We’ve got a skill matchup in the mid lane!”

Su Xue nodded along with Zephyr’s analysis. She then grabbed her microphone and said, “Right, right, I totally agree! You’ve given a great analysis! But…” She dragged the pause, making everyone want to hear what she had to say next. Then she continued, “I predict Lin Feng is gonna stomp Goalie and win his lane in the first 10 minutes of the game!”

Chapter 356 – Win lane, lose game?


Goalie gritted his teeth in frustration. How do I say this in Chinese? Why can’t these three idiots learn some Korean? That’d make this so much easier. He glanced at his teammates bar Seo and briefly closed his eyes, remembering the characters he’d practiced over the last six months. He then breathed out and said over the team’s voice chat, “Not give up us. Top bad. Focus. Focus!”

Team Guangzhou accepted they were behind. The overbearing arrogance disappeared from their game as they took a more defensive approach. This was especially evident in the top lane, where Irelia stopped trying to contest Zhang Hao’s Lissandra for every CS and instead stuck close to her outer tower.

At 15 minutes, Zhang Hao was forced to push all the way to Blue team’s outer tower to get last hits on Blue minions; his Red minions killed them otherwise. He glanced down at his minimap. There were wards in the river and the Jungle, covering his flanks. But he still didn’t feel comfortable, a chill running up and down his spine. He lightly pressed on the E key, ready to escape across a Glacial Path.

Team Guangzhou’s Irelia let a couple of Red caster minions attack her, just enough for her health to drop below Lissandra’s. She then cast Bladesurge on one of the caster minions, killing it. That reset the skill. She Targeted Lissandra and cast Bladesurge again, followed by Equilibrium Strike! She hacked her blade down on Lissandra and stunned her!

Goalie’s LeBlanc appeared on Zhang Hao’s minimap. He ran past the brush in which the Red ward was and into the lane. Distortion! LeBlanc jumped and then she mimicked Distortion for a second jump! She arrived next to Lissandra before the stun could break and cast Ethereal Chains! They sprung into life around her and fired at Lissandra, twisting around her and immobilizing her!

Zhang Hao’s eyes widened in shock. He pressed on the E key and mumbled, “Glacial Path! E! E! E!” Each next word was filled with more hurry and a bit louder. He clicked frantically and tried to Flash away. But he couldn’t move. He could only watch on, helplessly, as Irelia and LeBlanc combined their highest damage skills to empty out his health bar.

You have been slain.

Zephyr leaned over the caster desk, clutching onto his microphone, and shouted, “Beautiful! Absolutely beautiful! This hasn’t been Team Guangzhou’s game, at all. But it’s these few moments that show they do have the skill! What a beautiful kill!”

“Wooooooo!” Su Xue exclaimed, pumping her fist into the air. She glanced at Team Shanghai’s soundproof booth and saw Zhang Hao deflating a bit but not much else of a response to his death. They’ve still got it all in their control. It’s just one death, and it’s on HaoBro! She smiled and analysed, “Team Guangzhou correctly identified Lissandra as a threat they had to shut down. Zhang Hao was getting really far ahead and if he was allowed to keep going like that, he would’ve taken over the game singlehandedly! Now he has to be a little bit more careful again! But the kill went to Goalie, which doesn’t help the Irelia much.”

“WaitWaitWait!” Zephyr suddenly shouted. He pointed at the monitor and continued, “Everyone, shut up! Stop cheering! LOOK! They’re fighting in bot!”

When Goalie appeared in the top lane, Lin Feng started moving towards the bot lane. And by the time the voice announcer informed everyone about Zhang Hao’s death, Lin Feng arrived at the river entrance to the bot lane. He said over the team’s voice chat, “Engage!”

Tang Bingyao nodded and replied, “Mhm!” She then pressed the W key, which was imitated by Corki. He revved up, flying higher and faster, and dropped bombs down behind him! This was Valkyrie, a gap closer skill. His helicopter slowed down in front of Draven, followed by Corki pushing another button on his dashboard. This one activated the Gatling Gun on the underside of his aircraft. Bullets pierced Draven and decimated his health bar!

Team Guangzhou’s Thresh ran through the minions to get a clear line of sight on Tang Bingyao’s Corki. But before he could get that, Zeng Rui’s Braum jumped in front of Corki with Stand Behind Me and raised his shield defensively in front of him. Hunkering down behind it, Corki combined auto attacks with his Gatling Gun while also hurling a Phosphorus Bomb at Draven.

Lin Feng’s Talon ran into the bot lane and then blinked behind Draven with Cutthroat. He put his free hand around Draven’s chest, then placed his dagger to Draven’s throat and put pressure on it as he drew it across. He followed up with an auto attack, digging his dagger into Draven’s back, and then with Rake! He threw several daggers that sliced through Draven and then tugged on the strings connected to them, pulling them back.

Seo tried to escape. To get away from the Corki and Talon. But Zeng Rui’s Braum had hit him with Winter’s Bite, which applied the first stack of Concussive Blows. Corki’s auto attacks added two more stacks and Talon added the fourth and final stack. Seo’s Draven was stunned. He glanced at his Thresh Support, who was backing away, and snarled. Fucking dogs!

You have been slain.


“And that’s how you do it!” Su Xue shoutcasted. She turned her head to look at Zephyr and continued, “That was some burst damage from Corki and Talon, don’t you think?”

Zephyr laughed and replied, “Holy damn yeah! That was great! And Corki’s got her fifth kill! She’s unstoppable!”






Lin Feng looked at his cooldowns. He hadn’t yet used his ultimate skill or Flash or Ignite. He looked at his minimap, considered his options briefly, then said over the team’s voice chat, “BunBun, with me!” He then walked up into the river, feigning a retreat to the mid lane, then curved back and snuck into Blue team’s bot side Jungle.

An Xin saw Lin Feng’s Talon move on her minimap and smiled. She’d practiced this exact tactic repetitively with Lin Feng, and to great success. She replied over the team’s voice chat, “Coming!”

Zephyr scratched his eyebrow and muttered, “This… This… Oh shit!”

“Oh shit indeed!” Su Xue replied, laughing. She pointed at the monitor and continued, “This is a tactic those two really love to use! I’ve seen them play it so many times I can’t even remember how many times! But it’s a lot! So, what they do is like this. See that brush there, the one next to the Krug Camp? Yes! The one separating the bot lane from the Jungle, exactly! So what they do is they sit in there and wait for the ad-carry to come back. And then they kill him again! It really tilts people!”

The audience listened to Su Xue’s explanation and watched Lin Feng and An Xin move into position. There were a couple of people in the player seating area who nodded along, namely those from Zhejiang University. They’d experienced this tactic firsthand. They talked with each other about it, the people around them picking up on it and sharing that with those around them. The information spread out like a wave and before Seo had even respawned, everyone was talking about how he was going to die again when he walked back to lane.

“Oh my god! Those kids are so dirty! That’s such a nasty tactic!”

“I can’t help but feel bad for Team Guangzhou… Even if those Koreans are dicks!”

“NOT! That’s what you meant to add at the end right? That you don’t feel bad for those dicks!”

“Hahaha! Can’t wait to see him die again! Did you see that video of what he did to that girl from Team Shanghai?”

“Right! That was him! Oh shit, I hope so badly that he’s gonna get camped so hard that he won’t get off the fountain anymore!”

“Make them surrender at 20! WOOOOOOOOO!”

Seo stared venomously at his grey screen. More specifically, at his outer tower. It was at full health only a couple of seconds ago. But right now, three players from Team Shanghai were destroying it. They’d forced his Thresh Support to retreat to their inner tower too. He felt the anger and humiliation evolve into a form of rage he’d never felt before. His mind was a swirling mist of darkness, the only interruption being her face. He saw the blood staining the left side of her face as she held onto her pinky, and he wanted to punch her! He wanted to make her hurt so badly! It’s all her fault! It’s all because of her! She was an arrogant bitch when I was so nice to her and asked her out! And then the next day she falls on the ground and blames me! IT WASN’T MY FAULT! IT WASN’T! I DIDN’T DO ANYTHING!

A turret has been destroyed!

The voice announcer echoed in Seo’s ears. His eyes turned red and his hand was shaking. That. Fucking. BITCH! I’m gonna kill her! I’M GONNA KILL HER! The death timer ran out. His Draven spawned on the fountain. He moved his camera towards the bot lane and clicked. He panned his camera a bit further to where Tang Bingyao’s Corki was farming minions. Zeng Rui’s Braum hovered around, disappearing in the Jungle every couple of seconds. He’s just warding probably. Doing Support things. I’ll kill her! When he moves away, I’ll kill her! I’LL KILL HER! 

Seo’s Draven left the base and ran past his inner tower. There was a Jungle entrance to his left, and then another one right after that. That second one was a brush. It nagged at his mind. There was something about that tall grass. He squinted his eyes and looked at it, until Tang Bingyao’s Corki appeared on his screen. The brief moment of clarity was gone. Hatred was all that was left. He threw down a ward in the brush as was habit and then clicked on Tang Bingyao’s Corki. I’ma force her to back, then farm up a bit and then I’ma stomp her! I’ma stomp her and kill her and make her– His eyes went wide in shock. WHAT THE FUCK ARE THEY DOING THERE!?

Lin Feng grinned, beating imaginary drums, and shouted, “GoGoGooo!”

Seo still had Flash available, never having been able to use it in the previous fight. He slammed down on his keyboard. A veil of light wrapped around his Draven and carried him back towards his inner tower.

An Xin waited briefly, just long enough to see where Seo’s Draven flashed to. Then she activated Body Slam and Flash! Gragas recklessly charged forward with immense momentum as a mottled flash of light wrapped around him. It carried him and his momentum a short distance, dropping him down right in front of Seo’s Draven. His big frame then slammed into Draven and knocked him up! Gragas followed up with his ultimate skill! He threw an Explosive Cask behind Draven. The force unleashed by the explosion sent Draven flying straight towards Lin Feng’s Talon!

Lin Feng laughed and commended, “Nice one, BunBun! Thanks for giving me the kill!” His fingers were already gliding across his keyboard, perfectly linking together his skills to deal as much damage as quickly as possible. From Cutthroat into Rake into Noxian Diplomacy and finally Shadow Assault! Daggers cut into Draven and sliced through his back and his chest! They drained his health bar until there was nothing left of it!

You have slain an enemy!

Seo stared at the different shades of dull grey on his screen. Dead. Again. Corki stood on top of his body farming minions, almost as if teasing him. His hand started trembling so violently that he kept knocking against the table, but he didn’t feel or hear it. His mind was overcome with rage. There were no more coherent thoughts. Only hatred. Hatred for the girl who’d turned him down. Hatred for the girl who’d pushed him away. Hatred for the guy who claimed no one would remember him after this series. “I’ll fucking kill all of you!” he growled.

Su Xue fell back in her chair and laughed, incredulous. She pointed at the screen and wanted to ask something, only to realize Lin Feng wasn’t there sitting next to her. Right, I’m not streaming. I’m casting! She reached to the caster desk and grabbed the microphone. She moved it to her lips and shouted, “WOOOOOOO! Just like I predicted! The dirty play by Team Shanghai worked perfectly! They’ve got another kill on Draven!”

Zephyr sat in his chair, stunned. It wasn’t until he heard Su Xue talk that he remembered he was also casting. Going into this series, he’d been informed that Team Guangzhou was the better team. That this was going to be the Team Guangzhou show and that it was up to him to hype that up. But this wasn’t the Team Guangzhou show. This was the Team Shanghai show! He shook his head, incredulous, and said, “Draven has spent so much time on the fountain that even if Corki wasn’t like a million kills ahead, he’d still be levels ahead of Draven! This is crazy! Team Shanghai is manhandling Team Guangzhou!”


“When a movable object meets an unstoppable force!”

“How does that feel? Knowing you can’t buy yourself a win!”

“They’re soooo camping that Seo for what he did. Did you guys see that video!?”


Team Guangzhou’s Nexus was still in one piece. Technically, they were still in the game. But it was becoming increasingly obvious that they’d lost. Team Shanghai had such a commanding lead that they could force objectives. Dragons were theirs and they also took down the mid and top outer towers. Team Guangzhou didn’t even try to contest. None of them had the health to tank an unstoppable Corki!

“Team Shanghai is ahead and now that we’re getting to teamfights, we can see that Team Shanghai’s team composition is also far better,” Zephyr analysed from the casters desk. “They’ve got Braum and Gragas in the frontline. And Lissandra is basically a third frontline unit with how tanky she is right now. Then consider Talon and Corki’s damage and it’s hard to see Team Guangzhou achieving anything.”

Su Xue leaned towards her microphone and continued, “Team Guangzhou put all their eggs in the ‘win the lane, win the game’ tactic. But they lost their lanes. Take Draven. He’s useless at this point! And then there’s Goalie’s LeBlanc. What she needs to do at this stage of the game is find ways to pick off Corki or Talon! And she can probably nuke them down if she gets on top of them. But how is she going to get on top of them? Team Shanghai has Braum and Gragas who can both knock her away, and then there’s also Lissandra who can lock LeBlanc down in a Frozen Tomb!”

Zephyr nodded and took over, “You’ve hit the nail on its head, EveningSnowfall! This game is as good as over! The Nexus might still be standing, but Team Guangzhou isn’t going to magically turn this around. They needed to win this in the early game. Even if they drag this game out, their team composition is so much worse for teamfights that it really doesn’t even need to be mentioned.”

The game passed the 20 minute mark. Team Shanghai methodically took down towers and secured the Dragon for a third time. Zeng Rui left nothing to chance. He made everyone buy wards, told them where to place those wards, and called when and where to engage enemy Champions. They took a couple of small fights, picking up a couple of kills. But Team Guangzhou rarely fought back, instead choosing to retreat all the way back to their Nexus towers.

At 27 minutes, all three inhibitor towers and inhibitors were destroyed. Super minions were marching into Team Guangzhou’s base. Zeng Rui watched that, then glanced at the health bars of his teammates. They weren’t topped off. He briefly hesitated before saying, “We’re going to take the Baron, recall back to base and then push to finish.”

“Can’t we just finish it here?” Lin Feng asked, confused. “We’ve been dragging it for so long already…”

An Xin looked at Lin Feng who said directly to her left and then past him at Zeng Rui. She smiled and said, “It’s good to take it slow and push for a certain win.” She briefly paused, waiting for Lin Feng’s shoulders to droop, and then continued, “But let’s end this one. There’s nothing they can do.”

Lin Feng looked at An Xin, surprised. He then grinned and shouted, “Let’s do this!”

Zeng Rui pursed his lips but relented. He said over the team’s voice chat, “Alright. We’ll wait for the next wave of super minions and then finish this game.” He leaned forward and looked across the line of computers at Zhang Hao and said, “You ult LeBlanc. Lin Feng and Tang Tang will just deal damage. I’ll have my ultie ready …” he nodded at An Xin, “… and if anything goes wrong, you ult them all away and we escape.”

An Xin winked and replied, “Will do.”

“The wave is coming! Let’s finish this!” Lin Feng exclaimed, excited.

Zhang Hao’s Lissandra carved a Glacial Path and blinked towards the icy claw when it was on top of Goalie’s LeBlanc. He locked her up within the Frozen Tomb. Lin Feng followed right behind him, blinking behind Seo’s Draven and then activating Shadow Assault! Talon threw blades out in a circle around him, slicing through all five Champions from Team Guangzhou! Tang Bingyao’s Corki stayed at a distance and fired a Missile Barrage!

Health bars dropped fast and Team Shanghai scored an ace before the super minions did any damage. They then turned their attention towards the Nexus towers and finally the Nexus itself. Cracks spread on the Nexus as steel and magic slammed into it. The crystal broke and the energy within exploded up into the sky, where it morphed into a Victory emblem for Team Shanghai.


“TEAM SHANGHAI TAKES THE LEAD!” Su Xue cried out into her microphone. “They’re up 1-0 against the favourites from Guangzhou!”

“WOOOOOOO!” Zephyr screamed. “WHAT A GAME! WHAT. A. GAME!”





“Those kids are so good, DAYUM!”

“Korean imports are worth only this little!”


The players from Team Beijing sat in the player seating area, stunned. The cheers from the audience slammed against their backs, forcing them up on their feet. Their hands moved as if on their own volition, clapping and applauding Team Shanghai.

Sun Lei was the substitute Midlaner for Team Beijing. He rubbed his eyes and muttered, “D-did that really just happen? Why didn’t Goalie carry? Is he sick or something?”

Team Beijing’s ad-carry stared at the large LCD screen above the stage and mumbled, “What about Seo… What was he doing…?”

“But Seo is just a Korean Challenger, Goalie is a Top 10 Korean Challenger!” Team Beijing’s Support exclaimed. He shook his head and continued, “He got a lead at the very start. I’ve never seen him fail to push that advantage into a win! How did he not win this game…?”

“Team comp,” Yu Ping replied. He looked around at his teammates and explained, “Like the caster girl said. Team Shanghai countered Team Guangzhou’s team comp. That’s all there is to it.” He then turned his head to look at Team Shanghai’s soundproof booth and added, “But it does look like I underestimated their Midlaner. He did better than I expected.”


Chapter 355 – It’s Not Supposed to be Like This

Draven was stunned and Corki and Braum were attacking him in the middle of the bot lane. Around the bottom ring of the lane were three brushes. Zhang Hao’s Lissandra finished teleporting to the one on the far left, closest to the Blue outer tower. Above the lane, the ground dropped, giving way to a river. Team Guangzhou’s Jarvan IV emerged from here, spear in hand.

Team Guangzhou’s Thresh was caught, awkwardly, on Red team’s side of the bot lane. He’d missed his Death Sentence on Corki and now had to run the distance. He shouted over the team’s voice chat, “Corki! Get the Corki!”

“On it!” Team Guangzhou’s Jungler replied. He pressed down on his E key and then the Q. His Jarvan threw his standard up in the air. It arced over the Corki and planted firmly in the ground. He then stabbed his spear at the standard with Dragon Strike! When the spear and standard connected, they glued together. A strong force pulled on Jarvan IV’s arms and he held on tightly as the standard pulled on the spear.

Zeng Rui’s eyes opened wide. He shouted over the team’s voice chat, “Tang Tang!”

Tang Bingyao moved when the first syllable from Zeng Rui’s cry boomed in her ears. She pressed the W key to activate Valkyrie! The engine of Corki’s helicopter revved up. He gained height and speed as he flew away from Jarvan IV, dropping a trail of bombs behind him. They exploded into a blazing inferno and burned at Jarvan IV’s health bar!

All the while, Zhang Hao’s Lissandra cast Glacial Path. The claw of ice tore through the earth straight towards Seo’s Draven. And when the claw was upon him, Lissandra activated the skill again. She blinked in right when the stun from Concussive Blow wore off. She then raised her hands up in the air and shrieked, “Ring of Frost!” A shockwave of ice blasted out from her and froze Draven stiff again!

Corki’s ultimate skill was called Missile Barrage. He slowly charged up long range missiles which he could then fire. His distance from Seo’s Draven was too great for an auto attack. But it was just in range for a Missile Barrage. The missile flew through the air, narrowly missed two minions, and then exploded on Draven. It destroyed what little remained of his health bar.

You have slain an enemy!

Team Guangzhou’s Jungler gritted his teeth, struggling to ignore the shouting and yelling coming from his team’s voice chat. He knew Seo was mad, he didn’t need to understand Korean to hear that. And he knew Goalie was also frustrated. Not just with Seo, but also with him and their Support for not saving Seo. He pressed down on his keyboard harder than he usually would and activated Jarvan IV’s ultimate skill–Cataclysm! His Jarvan IV leaped up above the Corki and then fell back down to the ground. Letting gravity take over, his heavy armour pulling him faster and faster, he slammed down with such force that he terraformed the earth into an arena!

“Jarvan IV! Jarvan IV!” Zeng Rui ordered over the team’s voice chat.

Zhang Hao nodded and had his Lissandra run at Jarvan IV. He stopped at the edge of the arena, pressing against the earthen wall, and cast Frozen Tomb! Spire of ice erupted from the ground and pierced Jarvan IV! They dealt terrifying magic damage and immobilized him! Lissandra followed up with an auto attack and then Ice Shard! A small chunk of ice slammed into Jarvan IV, followed by a far larger chunk. All the while, Tang Bingyao’s Corki unloaded every bomb and missile aboard his helicopter until he claimed Jarvan IV’s life!

Double kill!

Team Guangzhou’s Thresh witnessed this all go down. At first he was trying to catch up to Draven, then to Jarvan IV, and finally he realized there was no saving either of them. He ran straight past Jarvan IV while Corki was dealing the last few auto attacks and went for the safety of his outer tower. Until suddenly the ground disappeared beneath his feet. A cold aura seeped in his bones, followed by a terrifying force knocking him up in the air!

Zeng Rui grinned. He’d cast Braum’s ultimate–Glacial Fissure–just in time to stop Thresh from retreating. He ordered over the team’s voice chat, “Thresh! Thresh! Thresh!”

Tang Bingyao and Zhang Hao did as he said. They ran at the knocked up Thresh and attacked him. He fell back to the ground and tried to run. But three enemy Champions were on his heels, missiles and ice slamming into his back and draining his health bar. He reached his outer tower and he thought for a second that he might actually make it out alive, barely. But what followed was a long range missile fired by Corki, claiming his life.

Triple kill!

“Triple! Triple! Triple! Triple! Tang Tang triple! Triple!” Su Xue screamed, beyond herself. She looked at Zephyr and then pointed with her head at the monitor, as if asking ‘did you see? Did you? Did you?’. She then leaned back into her microphone and yelled, “WOOOOOOOOOO! TEAM SHANGHAI!”

Zephyr laughed, infected by Su Xue’s excitement, and shouted into his microphone, “WOOOOOOOO! TEAM SHANGHAI FOR THE WIN!”





“Gimme some of what those casters are having!”

Su Xue looked at Zephyr and listened to the crowd losing it. I-I… I shouldn’t have been so excited for Team Shanghai! I’m a caster! I need to be impartial! She chewed on her lips, waiting for the cheers to die down a bit, and then analysed, “It was a really well coordinated counter-engage by Team Shanghai.”

“Felt to me like they knew the Jarvan IV was coming for a gank, even though there weren’t any wards to reveal him,” Zephyr chimed in.

Su Xue nodded and continued, “I’ve watched a ton of games from Team Shanghai. Zeng Rui, their Support, he’s really on top of these things. So often he just knows where the opponent is and what he can and can’t do. I’m guessing that he expected the gank and prepared for the countergank.”

Zephyr glanced at the monitor showing Team Shanghai’s soundproof booth and concluded, “That’s some really high level support right there if that’s true. Either way, phenomenal play by Team Shanghai! That Corki is crazy fed now! She’s 4/1! No one’s gonna stop her anytime soon!”

Sun Ruinian sat in the player seating area watching the game on the large LCD screen, stunned. People had always looked up to him for his skills as an ad-carry. His peers lauded him and fans called him the second coming of Shi Hang. They liked to exaggerate. He didn’t believe he was that good. But he did know that he was one of the best, if not the best ad-carry at the Winter Collegiate Cup and that he had a good, realistic chance of going professional. He slowly shook his head and mumbled, “Tang Tang… That… That was something else!”

Zuo Cheng looked at his ad-carry and team captain and said, “I know right! Her Corki is great! I didn’t even know she played that Champion!”

“The level of talent she has,” Sun Ruinian started. “Her feel for the game… You can see her getting better every game! I felt it during our scrims against them, and now I’m seeing it happen ingame.” He glanced at Zuo Cheng and continued, “You saw how she was being pushed back earlier, yeah? That wasn’t for show. She was being pushed back. And then it’s like she flipped a switch. Suddenly we see the Tang Tang who can beat me…”

“Mm-mhm! Mm-mhm!” Zuo Cheng replied, nodding. He added, “That’s probably game. I don’t see Team Guangzhou clawing themselves out of this one.”

“Me neither,” Sun Ruinian agreed.

“What the hell happened there!” Goalie exclaimed in Korean. He turned his head to look at Seo and continued, “We’re here to show these dogs what real players look like! How can you die to them?”

Seo glowered, watching Team Shanghai secure the first Dragon of the game on his dull grey monitor. He argued through gritted teeth, “It’s these damn teammates! How is it my fault that Irelia wasted her Teleport? We gave Lissandra a free gank! And what about you? Why aren’t you carrying harder? You’re going even at best!”

“At least I’m not losing!” Goalie countered. He then looked back at his screen and narrowed his eyes. This Talon… He’s good. I can’t even jump in to deal some poke damage and I don’t think I’ve hit an Ethereal Chain in a few minutes now! He just keeps on dodging them! This wasn’t supposed to go like this! I was going to show him what a real LeBlanc looks like! DAMMIT!

Seo glared at his screen through similarly narrowed eyes. He could come up with a thousand and one excuses, some of which might convince everyone around him. But it wouldn’t convince him. Somewhere deep inside, he knew why he lost that fight. Because he’d been too careless. Lissandra getting the jump on him should’ve never happened. That was all on him. He clenched his fist and resisted the urge to punch his screen, or teammate.

“Whatever,” Goalie said in Korean. “We still need to win this.” He briefly paused, switching to the few words of Chinese he’d picked up during his time in China, then ordered, “Freeze lanes, farm. Jarvan IV, Irelia, gank me!”

At 12 minutes, Irelia slipped away from her lane. She ran down the river, past the Baron pit, and then turned left into Red Team’s topside Jungle. Jarvan IV was already waiting for her there. They walked to the small alcove right next to the entrance into the mid lane. Here they waited for the order from Goalie, who was pushing a minion wave into Red team’s outer tower.

Zephyr leaned in towards his microphone and said, “Looks like we’ve got a 3 man towerdive coming right up!”

“You don’t gank Lin Feng,” Su Xue mumbled. Wait, casting! She smiled and added, “Lin Feng is really good. And he’s on Talon! I’m thinking that he’ll outplay Team Guangzhou and get out ahead in this gank!”

Goalie gave the order. Irelia dashed at Lin Feng’s Talon with Blade Surge and Jarvan IV dashed at Lin Feng’s Talon with his flag-toss combo. From the other side of the outer tower, Goalie jumped in with Distortion! He followed up with Sigil of Malice and completed his combo with a set of Ethereal Chains!

Lin Feng saw the skills as if in slow motion. Two were dodgeable. Ethereal Chains and the flag-toss combo. Those were also the two skills that would kill him if he got hit by them. He flicked his mouse to the side and activated Flash. A veil of light fell over his Talon and carried him a short distance, just far enough to dodge the skills from LeBlanc and Jarvan IV.

Team Guangzhou’s Jarvan IV followed his failed flag-toss combo with his ultimate–Cataclysm! He leaped up above Lin Feng’s Talon and then came down on him with such force that he terraformed the ground into an arena! He locked himself, with Talon and Irelia inside, while Goalie’s LeBlanc could fire her skills from outside.

Lin Feng narrowed his eyes. The outer tower had targeted Irelia, making her his easiest target. I’m coming for you! He had his Talon blink behind Irelia and then slashed her throat! He followed this Cutthroat up with an auto attack, the wounds causing Irelia bleed damage! And then he cast his ultimate. He threw a large number of daggers out around him, using the brief moment of confusion as the daggers cut through all three Champions attacking him to disappear into the surroundings.

“That’s Shadow Assault! Talon’s cast his ultimate!” Su Xue shoutcasted.

Zephyr continued, “Team Shanghai is collapsing on mid! Liss, Grag and Braum are all coming!”

Su Xue glanced at the minimap before quickly focusing back on the fight. She clenched both her fists and said, “This might become another 3-0 for Team Shanghai!”

Goalie stared at his screen, laser focused. “Care!” he shouted over the team’s voice chat. Then he placed a vision ward on the ground. A pink shroud exploded outwards and revealed all that was hidden. Talon’s shadow slowly formed and then the Champion himself did. Goalie smiled and cast Mimic: Ethereal Chains! The illusory chains struck Talong and wrapped around him.

Lin Feng grimaced. Ah, crap! I got hit. Guess I’m still not there for a 1vs3 against these guys. He shrugged the disappointment off and focused on what he could do. Kill Irelia. The energy shots from the tower and his attacks had whittled her health down and the root from Ethereal Chains wouldn’t come into effect for another second. He stopped dodging, stopped trying to survive. His fingers glided over his keyboard as he activated Rake, Noxian Diplomacy, and the second half of his ultimate skill. Talon threw a cone of daggers in front of him. They sliced through Irelia! He followed up by plunging his hand blade into Irelia! And he finished it off by tugging on the strings of all the daggers around him. They came flying back, cutting through LeBlanc, Jarvan IV and Irelia.

You have slain an enemy!

You have been slain!

“Haaah!” Lin Feng exclaimed, letting go of his mouse and keyboard. He relaxed back in his gaming chair and chuckled. His screen had turned grey and the announcer reminded him that he had really died. But that was fine. He got the kill on Irelia. More importantly, LeBlanc and Jarvan IV were out of position and the rest of his team was collapsing on them. He said over the team’s voice chat, “Get ‘em, boys!”

Zeng Rui focused on the game. He ordered over the team’s voice chat, “Zhang Hao. LeBlanc first! Lock her down!”

“On it!” Zhang Hao exclaimed. His Lissandra was right above the mid lane. Glacial Path! An icy claw tore through the ground and paved the road to LeBlanc! When it was almost upon her, Zhang Hao reactivated the skill. Lissandra blinked towards the icy claw and then cast Frozen Tomb on LeBlanc! Ice spires shot up from the ground and pierced LeBlanc, locking her up within the outer tower’s range!

Goalie started trembling and shaking. His teeth chattered in pure rage. His nose twitched, as did his eyebrows. He clenched his fist and yelled, “Fucking dogs!” But he couldn’t move his eyes away from the screen. He watched Zhang Hao’s Lissandra attack him with an Ice Shard. Then, just as the stun from Frozen Tomb was about to break, Lissandra froze him to the ground with Ring of Frost. The tower’s energy shots were dealing too much damage. “FUCKING DOGS!” he screamed.

You have been slain.

“That’s more like it!” Zuo Cheng said. He looked around him, hesitated for a brief moment, then leaped to his feet and shouted, “WOOOOOOOO TEAM SHANGHAI! WIN FENG! WIN FENG!”

Sun Ruinian glanced at his Midlaner and laughed. He said, “You’re right, he won that fight 1vs3. Practically, anyway. He kept them occupied long enough for the rest of his team to collapse on them. The Jarvan IV is also dead.”

“Exactly!” Zuo Cheng replied. He grinned and continued, “This was only to be expected! He beat the cap! What’s this damn Korean compared to the cap? A NOBODY!”

Team Guangzhou’s Jarvan IV was the last one alive. He ran back where he came from, Red team’s topside Jungle. His teammates were screaming in his ears in Korean, Chinese and another language he didn’t recognize. He tried to ignore them and focused on the minimap. There was a large number of wards revealing the surrounding area. He saw the Lissandra and Braum coming from the mid lane. His own Support, Thresh, was running through Blue team’s top side Jungle towards him. He shouted over the team’s voice chat, “Get to the Baron pit and Lantern me out of he–”

An Xin’s Gragas Body Slammed over a Jungle wall into Team Guangzhou’s Jarvan IV and knocked him up into the air. She then drank an entire barrel empty to power herself up and attacked with ferocious might–Drunken Rage! She then retrieved another barrel and rolled it towards Jarvan IV. A moment later, it exploded.

“Hahaha! That Gragas! Jarvan IV had no clue what was coming for him!”

“Jarvan IV was already looking at the Baron pit! Sucks to be him!”

“Team Shanghai turning another fight around!”


Team Guangzhou’s Thresh arrived in the Baron pit and threw his lantern, trying to help Jarvan IV. But when Jarvan IV started running again, an Explosive Cask sent him flying away from the lantern and towards Zhang Hao’s Lissandra and Zeng Rui’s Braum.

Zhang Hao’s eyes widened in pleasant surprise. He laughed and threw an Ice Shard at Jarvan IV! From beside him, Zeng Rui’s Braum cast Winter’s Bite. He propelled ice from his shield that slammed into Jarvan IV. He then ran up to him and landed an auto attack. An Xin’s Gragas did the same, as did Zhang Hao’s Lissandra. The four attacks activated Braum’s Concussive Blow. Team Guangzhou’s Jarvan IV was stunned. He died seconds later to another Lissandra Ice Shard.

Double kill!

“Nice!” Zhang Hao exclaimed. He then turned his head to look at An Xin and added, “Thanks. Couldn’t have done this without you.”

Lin Feng nodded and chimed in, “Yeah! Not bad, not bad at all, BunBun!”

“Not bad? Bad like you with your two deaths?” An Xin countered, laughing.

“Wow! Rude! I got three-man dived, okay?” Lin Feng argued. He then grinned and added, “I did keep them busy long enough for you guys to catch up. That has to count for something.”

Goalie slumped back in his gaming chair. The initial burst of anger dissipated. He was frustrated with his teammates, but more than that, he’d lost. His plan for this game was to pick LeBlanc and stomp Lin Feng. But he’d lost. He’d lost. He stared at his screen, shaking his head. A good gank that was executed well ended in a 1 for 3 trade. Not because they screwed up, but because Lin Feng was better. His opponent was better. He leaned forward and hit the Tab key. Top was snowballing, bot was 4/1 and he wasn’t winning mid either. It’s not supposed to be like this! I was supposed to crush him and show that stupid dog what real skill looks like! We were going to make them all look and feel useless! How… How did it get here? Why are we losing? We haven’t lost anything yet! How are we losing this game so hard!?

Chapter 354 – Mhm! This is my show!

Red Team’s outer tower activated. Energy gathered at the top of the tower, locking onto Goalie’s LeBlanc and firing at her! Goalie slammed down on his W key and his LeBlanc retreated back to where she jumped from. He followed up with Mimic: Ethereal Chains! A second set of chains manifested around LeBlanc and shot at Lin Feng’s Talon!

Lin Feng was in his element. This was a battle of mechanics and reaction speed. And when it came to those two things, there was no one in the world better than him! He pushed the D key to Flash. A ball of light wrapped around Talon and carried him through time and space, past the Ethereal Chains, and spit him back onto Summoner’s Rift right behind Goalie’s LeBlanc.

A second chill ran up and down Goalie’s spine. He searched for the F key to Flash back to his outer tower, but Talon’s Shadow Assault came first. A ring of blades swept out around Talon, a number of them slicing through Goalie’s LeBlanc! Fuck! Goalie gritted his teeth, his monitor flashing a dangerous red. He watched his LeBlanc briefly go invisible as her passive activated. Then there were two LeBlanc’s. I need to trick that stupid dog! Throw him his bone! Goalie smiled and had the real LeBlanc stand still while the fake one ran back towards the Blue Team’s outer tower!

Lin Feng looked at the two identical LeBlanc’s and felt it was too easy. You still have Flash and that one running away isn’t using it. Do you think I’m stupid? Come on… make it a little hard at least! He shook his head and then clicked on the LeBlanc that hadn’t moved. His Talon dug a dagger into her!

“Fucking dog!” Goalie exclaimed over the team’s voice chat. He banged his fist on his keyboard. Several buttons were pushed hard enough to activate, including the F key. A mottled flash of light wrapped LeBlanc up and carried her a short distance. She reappeared underneath Red Team’s outer tower. The tower locked onto her and charged up for an energy shot. Behind her, Talon appeared. The energy shot smashed into her face while the cold, hard steel from a dagger plunged into her back.

You have been slain!

Goalie stared at his dull grey screen, furious. His stomach clenched and he bit so hard on his lips that he drew blood. Different shades of humiliation dyed his sickly pale face. He breathed in short bursts, glancing at his teammates and then over the rim of his monitor at the cheering crowd in the stands. His mind was a swirling dark mess with only a single coherent thought. THAT FUCKING DOG!

At the caster desk, Su Xue shot up from her chair. She grabbed the microphone and screamed into it, “NICE KILL! NICE KILL!” She slammed her palm on the desk and laughed. Then she added, “That’s Lin Feng for you! He’s the best Midlaner I’ve ever seen! He’s even better than the Korean Goalie!”

The audience stared at the large LCD screen in silence, stunned. They knew how good Goalie was and they believed there was no one else as good as him. Not in the Winter Collegiate Cup, anyway. So when Lin Feng outplayed Goalie from a kill behind, something broke. Their minds needed readjustments and that was exactly what Su Xue offered them. They got up to their feets and started clapping, applauding.

“That Talon actually outplayed Goalie’s LeBlanc! He actually… Oh my god!”

“How did he dodge those chains? They’re like undodgeable! You know how fast they come at you? You know the kind of reaction speed you need to dodge those? That’s… Jesus, that was good!”

“Give us a close up of Goalie’s face! I wanna see him rage and tilt! Pleeease!”

“Woooooo! Team Shanghai! TEAM SHANGHAI!”

Su Xue took a long, deep breath, allowing her to soak in the cheers from the crowd. She gazed at her monitor showing Team Shanghai’s soundproof booth and smiled. Thanks, Lin Feng! That’s exactly what I needed. She leaned closer to her microphone and said, “Lin Feng’s reflexes and mechanics are really the best I’ve ever seen. Even Goalie can’t match up to them!”

Zephyr looked at Su Xue and nodded, impressed. He chimed in, “No doubt about it! That was a shockingly brilliant play by the kid from Team Shanghai. And the mid lane is right back to even! Fighting your way back from behind like that, that’s damn impressive!”

Team Shanghai’s soundproof booth:Lin Feng looked at LeBlanc’s corpse on his screen and grinned. Are you really this stupid? Did you really think I would give up after one death? Did you really believe I would just let you jump on me and kill me whenever you felt like it? How stupid are you! It was so painfully obvious you were coming for me!

“Nice one!” Zhang Hao exclaimed over the team’s voice chat.

Tang Bingyao nodded and chimed in, “Mhm! Good job!”

Lin Feng looked at his teammates, grinning, and said, “Thanks!” He then turned back to look at his screen. He narrowed his eyes and he said, “But I’ve only just begun!”

Team Guangzhou’s soundproof booth:Seo scrunched his eyebrows and asked over the team’s voice chat, “Goalie? What the fuck?”

“Shut up!” Goalie yelped. He glanced at his teammates, all four of them staring at him in shocked surprise, and said, “I hit the wrong button! That’s it! It was just a small mistake! Have you never made a mistake? Now let me focus! I have a dog to kill!” He gazed at his monitor and narrowed his eyes. He’s better than I expected. Better than every other Midlaner I’ve played against in this entire tournament so far! But that’s fine too. It’s good! There wouldn’t be any fun if I just won it all without trying. I need to try a bit and then I’ll still kick this dog’s ass!

At 10 minutes, Lin Feng glanced at bot and top. Tang Bingyao and Zeng Rui were being pushed back towards their outer tower and Zhang Hao had just forced Irelia to recall back to base. Good. Looking good. There wasn’t any immediate danger to the lanes, nothing Goalie could take advantage from. So Lin Feng had his Talon fall back and recalled back to base to upgrade his items.

There were three Blue minions in the top lane left. Zhang Hao had his Lissandra push forward into the empty lane to kill them. The sound of a ping echoed in his headphones. He glanced at the minimap and saw that LeBlanc was missing in the mid lane. I’ve still got some health left. And I’ve also got my Glacial Path. She can come and I’ll be fine. He threw an Ice Shard at the minions, killing two of the three.

There came a second ping. This one was on Zhang Hao’s top lane. He scrunched his eyebrows and was about to argue that he had time to back when he saw it. An Xin’s warning sounded distant as he saw the Teleport animation on the brush behind him. Goalie’s LeBlanc then appeared from the river entrance. There were two enemy Champions between him and his outer tower and his health was below half. When did she place that ward? How did she get that!? ShitShitShit! 

Zhang Hao cast Glacial Path. An icy claw ripped through the ground and carved a straight path ahead. When it was at the end of its power, he reactivated the skill to blink towards the hand. That was a mistake. Goalie’s LeBlanc had waited for that exact moment, that fraction of a second where Goalie knew exactly where Lissandra would be, and cast Ethereal Chains. They shot from LeBlanc and latched onto Zhang Hao’s Lissandra, locking her down!

The teleport finished and Irelia appeared from the brush along the top side of the lane. She dashed at Zhang Hao’s Lissandra and hacked at him with her blades. From the other side, LeBlanc cycled through her other skills. The damage mounted up and before the root from Ethereal Chains broke, Zhang Hao’s Lissandra fell.

Zhang Hao stared at his dull grey screen in surprise. The voice announcer reminded him that he’d overextended. It explained to him in just four words that he’d screwed up.

You have been slain.

“Wow!” Zephyr exclaimed. He shouted into his microphone, “What a close match! It’s crazy!”

Su Xue nodded and continued, “LeBlanc has picked up the kill too! She knew how hard it was to get something from mid, so she went and found an opening top! Great play!” She then glanced at the monitor for Team Shanghai’s soundproof booth and mouthed, “Come on, Lin Feng. Kick some ass!”

“Shit! Sorry, guys,” Zhang Hao apologized over the team’s voice chat. He grabbed his hair and added, “I didn’t know she had that ward there. I didn’t see her place it… I should’ve known when you pinged mid…”

An Xin shook her head and grimaced. She said, “It’s a shame we couldn’t get anything back for it either. We should’ve taken Dragon…” She glanced down at the bot lane. Usually, when the opponents sent their Midlaner top and had their Toplaner Teleport to the top lane, it was the perfect time to force a play around the Dragon pit. But Tang Bingyao and Zeng Rui were struggling, and then there was Team Guangzhou’s Jungler who couldn’t be far away. Forcing a dragon play was too risky. She chewed on her lips for a bit and then asked, “Are you two OK in bot?”

Zeng Rui shook his head and replied, “It’s tough. We can’t find any openings to fire back at them.”

“Recall to base and get full health,” An Xin ordered. “We’ll see if we can do something when you two get back.”

Tang Bingyao nodded, and together with Zeng Rui pushed against Team Guangzhou’s Botlaners. They killed the Blue minions and then turned back to their outer tower. There they recalled back to base. When their Champions arrived on the fountain, Tang Bingyao let go of her mouse and shook her hand, biting her lips. It’s hurting… Why does it have to hurt? Can’t it just… stop hurting? I just want to play this series!

Zeng Rui looked at Tang Bingyao, worried, and asked, “You alright?”

Tang Bingyao quickly nodded and said, “Mhm! I’m okay!” She gritted her teeth and put her hand back on her mouse. Then she had her Corki fly back to lane. She moved her pinky finger up and down, pushing the Tab key and forcing herself to look at the game’s stats to try and take her mind off the dull pain radiating from her finger. We’re just over 10 minutes in. I’m at 81 minions and my pinky– She shook her head and blinked the thoughts about her pinky away. Then she focused her gaze back on the game statistics. Seo. That asshole. His Draven is at 84 minions. It’s almost even. We’ve also both got one kill. But he’s got the advantage because of the bonus gold he gets from his passive for a kill. Still, that’s not a lot and my pinky– No! Stop this! Stop thinking about it! Focus on the asshole who did this! You’re playing against him! You need to beat him and make him suffer where it hurts him the most! Mhm! 

“Tang Tang, Zeng Rui, if you guys see an engage, go for it! I’ve got Teleport and Irelia doesn’t!” Zhang Hao said over the team’s voice chat.

Zeng Rui glanced at Tang Bingyao and said, “If you find an opening, go for it. I’ll follow up on your engage.”

Tang Bingyao stared at Seo’s Draven. Glared at him. There weren’t many people she hated–truly hated, but Seo was on top of that list. She wanted nothing more than to make him suffer, and she knew that the best way to do that to him was by beating him in a game of League. He kept going on about his Korean Challenger this and his Korean Challenger that. I’ll show him that his Korean Challenger doesn’t mean shit! Mhm! That’ll show him! A fire lit in her eyes. It blazed determination. She nodded at Zeng Rui and replied, “Mhm! Let’s do this!”

Anger, frustration and all other distracting thoughts had disappeared from Seo’s mind. Right now he was playing League of Legends. It calmed him. He watched his Draven throw the Spinning Axes, mesmerized. How they went round and round in his hand, how they cleaved into minions and how they ricocheted back for him to catch. He would occasionally watch his two opponents. Corki and Braum. But never more than a glance. They simply weren’t good enough to require more than that.

A ping sounded in Seo’s headphones and it flashed on his minimap. He clicked on it and saw Jarvan IV, his Jungler, running down the river. I guess he’s coming for a gank. He really should learn how to say that in Korean. That would make this so much easier. He shook his head and grinned, then focused back on his lane. The ping was, in the end, all he really needed.

Corki and Braum pushed forward. Seo laughed when he saw it. It’s like they’re asking me to kill them! As if they know Jarvan is coming to gank! He scrunched his eyebrows, taking a brief moment to translate what he wanted to say to Chinese, and then said over the team’s voice chat, “Thresh, follow! Not get away!”

“Oh shit!” Zephyr exclaimed. He pointed at his monitor and continued, “Look at that! EveningSnowfall, look! Draven’s going in! That’s Blood Rush and he just activated his second Spinning Axe! And up there in the river, that’s Jarvan IV! Team Guangzhou is coming to finish the job in bot!”

Su Xue looked at the screen that was focused on the bot lane. She then squinted her eyes and searched the minimap. It’s going to be a big fight! She reached for her microphone, nearly knocking it over, and shouted into it, “It’s going to be a big fight! Look up there! An Xin’s Gragas is also running bot AndAndAnd the teleport! That’s Lissandra! HaoBro is coming down!”

Tang Bingyao hesitated. Zeng Rui barked at her over the team’s voice chat, asking her what she was doing. Asking if they were engaging or backing off. That was quickly followed by Zhang Hao saying he was already teleporting and that if she didn’t want to fight, to say so fast so that he could cancel his teleport. She breathed faster. Faster. Faster! A Spinning Axe cleaved into her Corki and Thresh flashed on top of her and Flayed her backwards!

Every last bit of tension suddenly slipped away from Tang Bingyao’s body. She relaxed, the determination in her eyes burning away every trace of worry trying to burrow its way into her mind. She nodded and said, “Mhm! ZengZeng, on me!”

Zeng Rui’s mouse was already hovering over Tang Bingyao’s Corki and his finger on the W key, waiting for Tang Bingyao’s decision. He pressed down and cast Stand Behind Me! Braum leaped at Tang Bingyao’s Corki. Right then, Tang Bingyao’s Corki flashed towards Seo’s Draven. Zeng Rui’s Braum followed after her and landed in front of her, raising his shield to protect her!

“Hoooly shit! The turn around! It’s gonna be a turn around!” Zephyr exclaimed in shock.

Su Xue clenched her fists and shouted, “That’s more like it! Tang Tang is really good at playing aggressively! There is no one who’s better at engaging like this than she is! And the rest of her team knows exactly how to follow up on this! Just look at how Zeng Rui cast Stand Behind Me at just the right time! Their teamwork is immaculate!”

Seo’s eyes opened wide. Something felt wrong. It was a feeling that appeared in the pit of his stomach, slowly whittling its way up. A visceral clenching. Wrong! So wrong! It’s all wrong! She shouldn’t! She can’t! He shook his head, faster and faster! This is all wrong! He flicked his mouse away from Tang Bingyao’s Corki and towards his outer tower, then clicked. I need to get out!

Tang Bingyao smiled and said, “Q! Q!”

Zeng Rui aimed at Seo’s Draven and cast Winter’s Bite! His Braum projected ice from his shield! The chunks slammed into Draven and slowed him! More importantly, it applied the first of four stacks necessary to stun Draven!

Tang Bingyao’s Corki fired an auto attack, triggering the second stack on Draven! She then activated the Gatling Gun on Corki’s helicopter, a hail of bullets piercing Draven, and bombarded Draven with a Phosphorus Bomb! She continued with an auto attack and then fired an empowered missile with Missile Barrage!

Tang Bingyao was a Draven expert. She knew exactly how much damage he could take and how much damage he could deal. There was maybe no one who knew this better than her. Corki’s burst is enough to beat Draven! Especially when we’ve got the stun from Concussive Blow! And with Gragas and Lissandra coming too, it doesn’t even matter if they get a gank! Mhm! We’re winning this! We’re gonna kill that jerk– She suddenly narrowed her eyes and flicked her mouse to the side, then decisively clicked.

Seo was screaming over his team’s voice chat everything he knew in Chinese to get across to his Support and Jungler what it was he wanted. But they didn’t seem to understand him. The Thresh took several more seconds than he should’ve to line up for a Death Sentence. And when he finally did throw it, the Corki had had enough time to sidestep it. Seo looked at the three stacks from Concussive Blow and then at Corki again who was right in front of him. He knew the next auto attack was coming. There was nothing he could do to stop it. He was going to get stunned.

“Stupid girl! Fuck her!” Seo yelled over the team’s voice chat. He then added, “Protect me! Protect!”

Chapter 353 – You start by giving them a false sense of security

The player seating area was split up between regions, which meant that Fudan University and Zhejiang University were sitting right next to each other. The players from both teams were rooting for Team Shanghai, and right now were applauding Zhang Hao for picking up first blood on Team Guangzhou’s Irelia in the top lane. But then their joy fell flat again. They turned their attention back to the mid lane and furrowed their brows. Lin Feng wasn’t winning. In fact, the gank earlier by Jarvan IV had put Goalie in the driving seat.

Zuo Cheng slammed down on the armrest of his chair and shouted, “Lin Feng beat cap! I can’t even get anything going against him! There’s no way this asshole from Korea can! It’s all due to that J4 gank! That’s it! Damn gank!”

Qiu Yijie glanced at the Midlaner from Zhejiang University and slowly shook his head. He then turned back to look at the large LCD screen and scrunched his nose. “This is a tough one,” he mumbled. “Goalie can play as aggressively as he wants, and that’s exactly what he’s doing.”

“Screw him!” Zuo Cheng exclaimed. He clenched his fists and continued, “I know how good Lin Feng is! We’ve been scrimming against them! You guys don’t know; you only played him when he was sick. But I’m telling you, he’s so much better than Goalie! I don’t believe for a second he’ll give anything away against that asshole from Korea!”

Qiu Yijie glanced at Zuo Cheng and smiled. He said, “I hope so.”

“You hope so? You hope so!?” Zuo Cheng shouted. He pointed at the large LCD screen and continued, “You see how he’s staying in lane even without Flash? Goalie is trying so hard but he can’t even force Lin Feng to recall back to base! I’m telling you! Lin Feng is the best!”

“Mm-mhm,” Qiu Yijie replied, nodded. “I hope so.”

Zeng Rui sat behind his computer, staring at his screen, every muscle tense. Draven and Thresh was a combination he often played with Tang Bingyao. He knew exactly how to attack with that duo, how to play the lane to his hand. But he’d forgotten how difficult it was to defend against it. His entire focus was drawn towards protecting Tang Bingyao’s Corki, rather than landing poke, putting pressure or placing down wards. We’re losing it like this. Their Jungler was in mid, but did he go top? Or is he coming bot? I need to find an opening and check, but Tang Tang is squishy right now and Draven hurts. He always hurts, that’s why Tang Tang loves playing him! Dammit! They’re good.

Tang Bingyao sat next to Zeng Rui. She glanced at her pinky finger and winced. Stop hurting! I need to focus! She looked back at her monitor. They were in the middle of the lane fighting over last hits. She suddenly noticed that the Red minion she was hiding behind was about to die. Behind that minion stood Thresh, already winding up his Death Sentence. She glanced at Draven and saw the blue swirl beneath his feet and the crimson hue around his hands. Blood Rush! He’s engaging on me! They’re– She flicked her mouse to the right, her pinky finger dragging over the mouse pad. She yelped in surprise and pain, then clenched her teeth and flashed. The mottled flash of light carried her Corki away from Thresh’s Death Sentence.

“Sorry,” Tang Bingyao mumbled over the team’s voice chat.

Zeng Rui forgot to breathe. Every muscle in his body stood tense. He cast ‘Stand Behind Me’ on Tang Bingyao’s Corki. His Braum jumped to Corki and raised his shield just as a Spinning Axe came flying at Corki. It cleaved into his shield but the damage was negligible. Behind him, Tang Bingyao’s Corki retreated safely. He breathed out and said, “Stay focused. Focus.”

“Mm-mhm! Sorry,” Tang Bingyao repeated. She had her Corki go back into the laning, glancing at the game clock at the top right corner of her screen. 6 minutes in and we’re up 1-0. We’re struggling, but we haven’t given Draven any kills yet. There isn’t really a problem unless Draven gets a kill. Her Corki fired a missile from his helicopter, claiming the life of a Blue minion. I lost a few minions, but that’s fine. I can–

Team Guangzhou’s Thresh flashed forward and flayed Tang Bingyao’s Corki and Zeng Rui’s Braum backwards with his scythe and sickle. Draven was following right behind him, boosted by Blood Rush. A Spinning Axe was already hurling through the air, aimed at Tang Bingyao’s Corki. Up from the river, Jarvan IV rushed into the lane and dashed at Braum and Corki with his flag-toss combo.

“RUN! RUN!” Zeng Rui hollered over the team’s voice chat.

Tang Bingyao was already doing as much, straining her right hand for a second time in a minute. She activated Valkyrie! Corki went into overdrive, flying a short distance and dropping bombs to create a trail of fire behind him! The bot outer tower came closer, closer! Until an axe knocked Tang Bingyao’s Corki out of his skill. Tang Bingyao deflated. Seo had just used her trick of using Stand Aside to knock someone out of a gap opener/closer against her.

“Oh my god! Did you see that Stand Aside!? Corki is a goner!” Su Xue exclaimed at the caster desk.

Zephyr nodded and continued, “Corki didn’t get anywhere and doesn’t have Flash either! Jarvan IV is on him and auto attacking and Thresh will have his Death Sentence back in a moment! Draven is also just free hitting her right now…”

Tang Bingyao stared at her monitor. It was still vibrant shades of blue, green and grey. But she knew that was going to change. At the corner of her screen, she saw Zeng Rui running back to the outer tower. He knew too. She bit on her lips and clicked on Draven. Her Corki fired a missile, dealing a little bit of damage. A final Spinning Axe then cleaved into her Corki. Her screen faded to a dull grey. The voice announcer boomed through her headphones.

You have been slain.

Lin Feng was struggling in the mid lane. He was behind on two minions of experience, which had happened due to Jarvan IV’s gank earlier. And though he wasn’t at risk of dying right away, his health was dropping lower. He focused on his screen and counted minions. Goalie’s LeBlanc was going to hit Level 6 soon. When she did, she could kill him. He had to be ready for that moment and thread the thin line between recklessly giving away a kill and staying as even as possible with LeBlanc.

Lin Feng miscounted by a single minion. Goalie’s LeBlanc hit Level 6 and cast Distortion. She jumped underneath Red team’s outer tower, on top of Lin Feng’s Talon. She followed up with Sigil of Malice into Mimic: Sigil of Malice, the second one setting off the first one. The unquenchable flames from Ignite started burning on Talon’s skin. And finally came the Ethereal Chains, fired from point blank range. Lin Feng didn’t have Flash or any other skill to escape. He still tried to sidestep the skill, but he wasn’t fast enough. The chains connected and slowed him. A brief moment later, they locked him down with another pop of damage.

You have been slain.

“WOOOOO!” Zephyr screamed into his microphone, followed by the audience cheering until their lungs gave out.

Su Xue watched this, stunned. She glanced at a screen showing Team Shanghai’s soundproof booth. Lin Feng was taking a deep breath, but didn’t look upset to her. She then focused on a different monitor that gave a look into Team Guangzhou’s soundproof booth. Goalie was grinning. She gritted her teeth and clenched her fists. What is this! You were going to stomp your lane by minute 10!– Shit! I’m casting! She took a deep breath and then cheered, “Woooo.”

Zephyr waited for the audience to quiet down a bit before saying into his microphone, “Team Guangzhou are turning it around! From 0-1 down to 2-1 up! They’re really showing the value of the two Koreans on their team! Goalie and Seo are killing it!”

“Yeah…” Su Xue said, nodding slowly. “This is looking bad for Team Shanghai. LeBlanc and Draven need those early kills to snowball. They’ve now both gotten those kills… This game is going to spiral out of control if it goes on like this.” She clenched her fists until her knuckles were white and stared at the monitor showing into Team Shanghai’s soundproof booth. You promised me! You promised me that you were going to stomp those arrogant assholes! Make them pay for what they did to Tang Tang! I’ll whoop your ass if you don’t follow through on it! Please! Show everyone the real Lin Feng!

Lin Feng sat behind his computer, grinning. The worried thoughts from Su Xue didn’t reach him, nor did the cheers from the crowd or the analysis brought by the casters. He knew he was dead the moment LeBlanc hit Level 6. It was a small mistake, but one he knew was possible and he was willing to make. He could’ve recalled back to base earlier and played it safe, but that just wasn’t his style. Goalie played aggressively and was forcing Lin Feng to match him on mechanics. That was a challenge Lin Feng was happy to take.

The dull grey colours faded away from Lin Feng’s screen. Vibrant blues, greens and greys replaced it. Lin Feng moved his head to the rhythm of a song stuck in his head, grinning. Goalie was an A+ player. Goalie was one of the most talented players and could become one of the top few players in the world given time. But Lin Feng was better. He knew he was.

The gank from Jarvan IV was expected to Lin Feng. An Xin had even asked him if he wanted her to stick around mid and help him out, but he’d refused that. Falling behind a bit before Level 6 was fine. After getting his ultimate skill, everything was going to change. Goalie LeBlanc could be up a kill and some CS, it wouldn’t change a thing. When he hit Level 6, the lane was going to be his.

Lin Feng laughed. When it comes down to mechanics, no one beats me. No one. Come at me, Goalie! Show me everything you’ve got! Make me fight for this! And whatever you do, don’t make it too easy, because I really want to enjoy how hard I’m going to stomp you! I can’t wait to wipe that cocky smirk off your face!

At 8 minutes, Team Guangzhou’s Irelia farmed minions underneath her outer tower. Zhang Hao’s Lissandra had taken full advantage of the bonus gold from first blood. He had the item advantage and range advantage and used this to whittle Irelia’s health down to below a quarter. Right now, he was watching her while keeping an eye on his skills. More specifically, on Glacial Path. He counted down the seconds until it came off cooldown. When it finally did, he cast the skill.

A claw crafted from ice broke through the ground, smashing up rocks and dirt! It carved a path straight ahead towards Blue team’s outer tower! When the claw reached Irelia, Zhang Hao cast the second half of the skill. His Lissandra blinked to the claw and then cast Frozen Tomb on Irelia! Spires of ice ruptured from the ground and pierced Irelia, locking her up! He followed up with an Ice Shard and Ring of Frost! The freezing temperature and chunks of ice drained Irelia’s health until it ran empty.

You have slain an enemy!

“Nice!” Zeng Rui exclaimed over the team’s voice chat. “Good work!”

Zhang Hao was beaming with joy. He replied, “Thanks! I can’t believe how badly the Irelia played that! Like she thought I wouldn’t towerdive her! She really underestimated me there! I had plenty of damage to kill her and get out of the tower’s range! I only took like two tower hits! That was nothing and I got the kill! Top lane is mine! I’m really ahead now! I’m helping!”

An Xin smiled and said over the team’s voice chat, “Zeng Rui is right, that was a great play. Great job, Zhang Hao!” She briefly paused, panning her camera over the three lanes, then added, “Get ready in bot, I’m coming in a few.”

Tang Bingyao nodded and replied, “Mhm! Okay!”

An Xin finished clearing the Wolf Camp in the bottom half of Red team’s Jungle. She then moved towards the Jungle exit that led into the river. There was a ward near the Dragon pit and another one closer down to the bot lane. Those were the ones she knew about. She stayed above them, hovering dangerously close to a ward at the mid lane, and snuck into Blue team’s bottom side Jungle. She then had her Gragas run along the back of the Dragon pit until she arrived in the tri-brush right above Blue team’s outer tower.

Team Guangzhou’s Botlaners never saw An Xin coming. They were pushing their advantages by pushing the minion waves into Red team’s outer tower and forcing Tang Bingyao’s Corki to miss last hits. When they finally spotted An Xin, she was already right behind them, Body Slamming towards them! Seo activated Flash just in time. The veil of light fell over him and carried him past the Body Slam and back towards his own outer tower. But the Thresh wasn’t so lucky. He got knocked up into the air, after which the three from Team Shanghai made short work of him.

“Fucking noob!” Seo yelled over the team’s voice chat. He glared at his Support and asked, “Why didn’t you Flash that? Fuck!

An ally has been slain.

Team Guangzhou’s Support stared at his dull grey screen. He didn’t know what Seo had said, he didn’t speak Korean, but he could hear the venom in the words. He shook his head and mumbled, “Sorry, my bad.”

“What can I do with a Support like this!?” Seo exclaimed, throwing his hands up in the air. He then focused on his screen again and made sure the three from Team Shanghai didn’t continue to chase after him.

At the caster desk, Su Xue jumped up and shouted, “WOOOOO! Nice going, B– An Xin! And Corki got the kill! That’s Tang T– Bingyao for you!”

Zephyr nodded and said, “That was a great gank by Gragas! Team Shanghai’s bot isn’t out of danger yet, but they’re back in fighting shape! I feel it’s safe to say that bot is officially even again! This can still go either way!” He briefly paused and then continued, “But I don’t get why this Gragas isn’t going mid. Team Shanghai’s Midlaner clearly needs help against Goalie’s LeBlanc. Why isn’t Gragas coming to help him…?”

The Team Shanghai fans in the audience had been asking themselves the same question. But it was now that Zephyr had said it out loud that others also started joining in. A murmur swept through the crowd, quickly gaining momentum.

“Yeah… Why is Gragas ignoring mid?”

“I don’t know. Doesn’t make any sense! Their Jungler is a girl and their Midlaner a dude… Maybe something happened and they’re now mad at each other? That does sound like something typical that might happen…”

“They better put their personal problems aside if they wanna win. There’s no way Talon is getting back in this lane after that solo kill from Goalie!”

“Talon was basically screwed the moment Jarvan IV came for that gank at the start. Gragas should’ve been there for the countergank. That’s how they could’ve stopped this. Now they’re just spiralling out of control.”

“Goalie is an A+ player. Maybe it’s just a difference in skill. I don’t know. But Team Shanghai needs to do something before LeBlanc takes off and solo carries this game!”

“LeBlanc’s going in!” Zephyr cried out, interrupting the conversation taking place in the stands. 

“A large minion wave is crashing into the mid lane and she’s going to jump in with Distortion… Now!”

“Mid is dead again…”

“That’s our Goalie, he’s built diff’rent!”


Goalie’s LeBlanc jumped underneath Red team’s outer tower with Distortion. The splash damage smacked into Lin Feng’s Talon and set off the Sigil of Malice already on him. The explosion of magic drained Talon’s health down to below half! Goalie smiled. Ethereal Chains into Mimic: Ethereal Chains to finish the kill and show everyone what a stupid noob this dog is! He pressed down on his E key. LeBlanc waved her staff, chains materializing around her and firing towards Talon!

Lin Feng’s fingers were paused on his keyboard, waiting for those chains. When they came, he started linking together his skills. He started with Cutthroat! Talon blinked behind LeBlanc, dodging the Ethereal Chains, and dug his dagger into her back. He followed up with Rake! A volley of daggers cut through LeBlanc, then he tugged on the strings attached to the daggers to pull them back. He then finished his combination with an auto attack and Ignite! Unquenchable flames blazed to life on LeBlanc’s body and sapped her health away!

Goalie’s pupils constricted and a chill ran up and down his spine. He cursed, “Fuck!”

Chapter 352 – The Time of Punishment Has Begun

Su Xue stared at her monitor in shock. T-that’s… that was supposed to be Lin Feng’s LeBlanc! She mumbled, “He snatched her away…”

Zephyr who was co-casting the series between Team Guangzhou and Team Shanghai glanced at Su Xue and asked into his microphone, “Snatched away? What do you mean?”

“O-oh, right,” Su Xue replied, laughing awkwardly. I’m not streaming. These people don’t know Lin Feng like my viewers do… They probably don’t even know that Lin Feng is super good at LeBlanc! She looked at the microphone and briefly hesitated. It wasn’t quite what she was used to in her usual set up, but it wasn’t all that different either. She leaned in and said, “So Lin Feng, Team Shanghai’s Midlaner I mean, he’s got quite a few Champions he’s good at. But LeBlanc is definitely at the top of that list! That’s why I was a little surprised to see Champion Select go down like this.”

Zephyr looked at Su Xue and smiled. Finally a co-caster who’s done her work! Well done. He then said into his microphone, “Ahhh, I see! So we’ve got two LeBlanc mains here! Lin Feng will know exactly how to counter her then! This could become a very exciting game!” He briefly paused, long enough to let this line of discussion end, and then asked Su Xue, “You’re from Shanghai, right? Have you watched any of the East China Regionals games? Do you know a bit about Team Shanghai? You know, stuff most other people wouldn’t know.”

“Uhhh, yeah, you could say that…” Su Xue replied, hesitantly. She licked her lips and smiled. Know them a bit? I live together with Lin Feng! BunBun has stayed over at our place and Tang Tang has even slept in my bed! I don’t think there’s much I don’t know about these kids! But I can’t say that. That’d be unprofessional. Hehe, Tang Tang did look cute in my Jinx pyjamas! She shook her head and said, “But let’s focus back on Champion Select. Looks like Team Shanghai is replying to the LeBlanc pick with Gragas and… Talon!?”

“Yep, that’s Talon!” Zephyr chimed in. He flipped through a notebook he kept on the caster desk and then continued, “He’s a strong Champion, just like LeBlanc is. But where LeBlanc is ranged, Talon has melee auto attacks. There’s no hiding for him. If he wants to get a high creep score, he’ll have to go all in. This is promising to be an explosive mid lane!”

“Mm-mhm!” Su Xue said, nodding. I’ve seen Lin Feng play Talon before! We played it together on stream! His Talon is so good! It’s right up there with his Zed and LeBlanc! He does all these weird things that don’t make any sense and then suddenly he’s Legendary! She clenched her fist and shouted, “Lin Feng from Team Shanghai is welcoming Goalie’s challenge! This is going to be a great fight!”

“Look at that!” Zephyr suddenly exclaimed. He pointed at his monitor and continued, “Team Guangzhou’s second pick is Draven! They’re really going at it! First LeBlanc and now Draven! They’re both really strong early game Champions that can completely snowball a game! It’s clear that that’s exactly what Team Guangzhou is planning to do in this game!”

Su Xue scrunched her eyebrows and mumbled, “Yeah…” She then took a double-take of her monitor. Something strange is going on here. If it was just LeBlanc, okay. But Draven? I’ve been researching Team Guangzhou and Seo all night last night! I don’t remember him ever playing Draven! But Tang Tang does play Draven. It’s her favourite Champion! Don’t tell me… Are those stupid assholes trying to beat us– uhm, Team Shanghai, with our– uh, Team Shanghai’s favourite Champions? What a bunch of arrogant pricks! Screw them. Seriously, screw them! I hope they get their asses whooped!

Lin Feng sat in a gaming chair in Team Shanghai’s soundproof booth. Zhang Hao and An Xin sat to his left and Zeng Rui and Tang Bingyao to his right. He looked from them back to his screen and then back at them again. He scratched the back of his head and said over the team’s voice chat, “Looks like they’re BMing us right away, huh?”

“Their ad-carry, yes,” Zeng Rui replied. He then shook his head and continued, “But not Goalie. He’s known for his AP assassins, like LeBlanc. Their tactic every game so far has been to gank Mid early and help Goalie snowball, followed by Goalie tagging along with his Jungler to roam around the map. You–”

“Ah, whatever. It’s fine!” Lin Feng interrupted, waving his hand. “It doesn’t matter what they’re going to try, I’ll stomp them all the same!”

Zeng Rui opened his mouth to respond, but then paused. He glanced at Lin Feng and chewed on his lips. The thundering asshole… He’s got that look. I know that look. He nodded and replied, “Okay.”

Lin Feng looked at Tang Bingyao and asked, “Are you ready too? Is the hand all good yet?”

Tang Bingyao reflexively grabbed her hand and winced a bit. Her pinky wasn’t alright. It wouldn’t affect her gameplay too much, but there was damage there that needed time to heal. She gritted her teeth. I won’t give up now! I’m going to beat that jerk! She forced a smile and replied, “Mhm! I’m good!” She then moved her mouse over Corki, a helicopter pilot with unlimited ammo, and locked him in.

Collegiate Cup Round of 16

Team Guangzhou (Blue) vs. Team Shanghai (Red)

Top: Irelia vs. Lissandra

Jungle: Jarvan IV vs. Gragas

Mid: LeBlanc vs. Talon

AD-Carry Draven vs. Corki

Support: Thresh vs. Braum

The large LCD screen showed the lineup for the first game in this best of five series. Su Xue and Zephyr talked the fans through the different Champions and the records each player had on said Champions. The game finished loading. The blues, greens and greys from Summoner’s Rift revealed themselves. The spectator camera focused on Blue team’s base, where the five Champions from Team Guangzhou spawned.

Welcome to Summoner’s Rift!

The game got underway. The players bought their starting items and moved down the lanes and into the Jungle. They warded along the river and then retreated back to their own sides. Su Xue watched this happen, her heart beating fast every time opposing Champions got near each other, but nothing happened. She finally grabbed her microphone and said, “Looks like we’re starting without any invades happening. Both Junglers are starting on the bottom side of their Jungle! And in the mid lane… they’re already fighting?”

“Yeah! The minions aren’t even there yet!” Zephyr exclaimed. He raised an eyebrow and added, “LeBlanc definitely holds the advantage at Level 1. Her range just makes the difference. What’s this Talon doing!?”

“Staying even, I guess…?” Su Xue mumbled. She scratched her cheek and analyzed, “LeBlanc indeed has the range advantage. All she has to do is walk away and keep firing auto attacks at Talon. The only way to retaliate for Talon is to jump on LeBlanc, but that’s incredibly dangerous this early on in the game. Without his ultimate, he really has no way to escape if things turn south. All Goalie has to do is land LeBlanc’s Ethereal Chains… But the minions are here! The minions are here! And they’re somehow still even!”

Zephyr nodded along and concluded, “That was exactly what I was going to say! Perfect analysis, EveningSnowfall! One more thing, though. I think we really want to see what the Junglers are going to do this game. If one Midlaner gets a good gank early on, that could decide the lane right there.”

Qiu Yijie, Fudan University’s Midlaner and team captain, sat in the player seating area with his teammates. He relaxed back in his seat and looked up at the massive LCD screen, listening to the commentary from EveningSnowfall and Zephyr. As he listened to them, he started shaking his head. He said to no one in particular, “Wrong. Wrong, wrong. A lot of these ‘counters’ only hold true in lower ranked games. At this level, between LeBlanc and Talon, it comes down purely to skill.”

EveningSnowfall’s voice blasted from the speakers installed all around the stadium. “LeBlanc’s Sigil of Malice and Talon’s Rake have the same range. If she wants to use this skill for poke, which many LeBlanc’s like to do, she will first have to bait Talon to use Rake…”

“Exactly,” Qiu Yijie mumbled. Even at Level 1 Talon isn’t behind. It all comes down to skill. If he can throw his daggers when LeBlanc uses her sigil, he does more damage. But LeBlanc can then follow up with an auto attack which he can’t. And that’s how they end up even. He watched his understanding of the match up play out on the LCD screen, with both LeBlanc and Talon losing a portion of their health. Level 3 should be fun though, when they’ve got their main three skills unlocked.

Goalie sat up straight in his chair and cracked his neck. You’re really disappointing me with your Talon. Show me some skill! When we hit Level 3, I win. Do something like a good Talon would before then! Come on! CHALLENGE ME! He had his LeBlanc move forward, just a bit too far. Do it!

Lin Feng glanced at his experience bar. There was still a bit to go to Level 3. The current minions weren’t enough to get there. He smiled. Let’s have some fun with you! He flicked his mouse over a minion and cast Cutthroat! Talon blinked behind the minion and cut its throat! Lin Feng’s finger was already on the W key. He flicked his mouse over LeBlanc, who was right in front of Talon, and pressed down on the key. Rake! Talon threw out a number of daggers! Then he pulled on the strings attached to them to get them back!

The blink from Cutthroat into Rake was too fast for Goalie to respond to. But the second half of Rake, where the daggers flew back, wasn’t. Goalie cast Distortion! His LeBlanc jumped to the side, just out of reach from the daggers. She then waved her staff and cast Sigil of Malice on Lin Feng’s Talon!

Lin Feng’s Talon was in the middle of enemy minions and didn’t have any escape skills. He had to run back, all the while Goalie’s LeBlanc auto attacked him. The damage was minimal, but it added up. By the time he retreated back behind his own line of minions, LeBlanc had dealt as much damage to him as he had to her.

“That was beautiful!” Zephyr exclaimed from behind the caster desk. “That was a textbook exchange right there! The way LeBlanc dodged the second half from Rake there! That’s how you win this matchup!”

Su Xue nodded, glowering, and chimed in, “Correct. Goalie played that… well. Really well. He baited out the engage, got the dodge with Distortion and from there it’s all LeBlanc. Talon can only run away and eat the damage and hope that he gets back to his outer tower before he dies. It’s really hard for the Talon to beat LeBlanc here early on. He really needs his ultimate! When he’s got his ultimate skill at Level 6, everything changes! But he has to get there without dying…”

“Talon is really lucky there that LeBlanc’s auto attacks don’t nearly hurt as much as, well, Talon’s!” Zephyr said, laughing.

Su Xue glanced at him and nodded. Underneath the table she clenched her fist. Come on, Lin Feng! Don’t let this asshole beat you! I know how good you are! Show it to everyone else as well!

While Su Xue was worrying that Lin Feng might not beat Goalie as easily as he’d made her believe he would, Lin Feng himself was smiling in excitement. He looked at his screen, at the LeBlanc, and laughed. Thank you for making this fun! I won’t underestimate you. And I will smash you!

At 4 minutes, both Midlaners hit Level 3. Goalie had been expecting this, and had been preparing for it by freezing his minion wave outside his outer tower. There was nothing Lin Feng could do about it. Talon’s only ranged attack, which was sometimes the only way to secure the last hit on a minion, was Rake. This was a cone attack. When he hit multiple minions and Goalie’s LeBlanc did not, the minion wave would start pushing towards the Blue outer tower. From there it was an easy feat to freeze the minion wave.

Lin Feng found himself in an awkward situation where he could only watch from a distance as Blue minions died. He got the experience, but he didn’t get the gold. This situation couldn’t persist. Goalie’s LeBlanc would gain the gold advantage, use it to buy items and then kill him. So he gritted his teeth and decided to push. One quick engage to break the freeze and make the Red minions crash into Blue team’s outer tower.

Team Guangzhou’s Jungler, Jarvan IV, was waiting in the brush right above the mid lane. He knew Lin Feng’s Talon had to break the freeze. This was exactly what they’d prepared for in their practice run the night before. So when he saw Talong run up the lane, he briefly waited, waited, then he ran out from the brush and into the mid lane!

Jarvan IV’s reveal was Goalie’s go-sign. He slammed down on his keyboard, linking LeBlanc’s skills together. His Leblanc jumped towards Lin Feng’s Talon, crossing the Red minions. She followed up with Sigil of Malice and Ethereal Chains! The sigil struck Talon and appeared above him, waiting for the Ethereal Chains to set it off.

Lin Feng pressed down on the D key! Light flashed into existence around Talon and carried him a short distance back towards his side of the lane. The Ethereal Chains behind him failed to connect! He started running towards his outer tower.

Jarvan IV was coming from his left and threw his standard landed right in front of Lin Feng’s Talon. Then dashed towards it. Lin Feng smiled, pressing down on the S key. Talon stopped, stood dead still. Jarvan IV flew past him and missed the knock up. “Perfect,” Lin Feng mumbled. He then had his Talon run the last bit back towards his outer tower. He escaped the gank with minimal damage taken.

“Oh my god!” Zephyr exclaimed. He opened his eyes wide and shook his head, mumbling, “What was that… How…”

“That’s Lin Feng for you!” Su Xue blurted out! She grinned and continued, “He had to dodge both the flag-toss combo from Jarvan IV and the Ethereal Chains from LeBlanc to come out alive there! And that’s exactly what he did! The Flash was good, but that pause was brilliant! That Jarvan IV got duped so hard!”

Lin Feng stared at his screen and grimaced. Talon isn’t the best early on, especially with ganks…. And now I don’t have Flash either. I’m gonna have to be a bit more careful. I just have to be patient. When I’ve got Flash back, I’ll also be Level 6. It’ll get really fun then!


While Jarvan IV failed his gank in the mid lane, An Xin ganked the top lane. She had her Gragas run up the river, past a ward. Team Guangzhou’s Irelia spotted her and turned around. She didn’t even last hit a dying minion as she instead ran back towards her outer tower. But An Xin expected this. She kept running and then activated Body Slam! Gragas’ fat frame barreled forward! Irelia was still a good way away. So she flashed. A veil of light fell over Gragas and carried him, as well as his momentum, a short distance. He then slammed into Irelia and knocked her up!

Zhang Hao’s Lissandra cast Glacial Path! A claw of ice broke through the ground and carved a path across the Rift! When it arrived underneath the knocked up Irelia, Zhang Hao reactivated the skill. His Lissandra blinked to the claw’s position and then raised her hands and screeched, “Ring of Frost!”

Team Guangzhou’s Irelia fell back to the ground only to find spikes of ice shoot from the ground into her feet, rooting her! Gragas threw a barrel at her and drank another one empty. The first exploded and the second boosted Gragas’ next auto attack! Team Guangzhou’s Irelia saw her health drop. But the root from Ring of Frost didn’t last long. She still had some health remaining. She flashed away. But right then, just as she appeared on the map again, chunks of ice slammed into her and drained the final bit of her health bar.

First Blood!

“Nice gank, BunBun!” Su Xue exclaimed. She pumped her fist into the air and added, “Team Shanghai has got the lead in top now!”

“Yeah, nice gank! Uh, BunBun…?” Zephyr said, confused. He glanced at Su Xue, asking for an explanation with his eyes.

“Oh, uh, right,” Su Xue replied. She coughed awkwardly and explained, “Team Shanghai’s Jungler. I meant An Xin! Yes. Yes! An Xin’s Gragas did a brilliant E-Flash combo to knock Irelia up! From there it was an easy kill. Irelia really wasted that Flash.”

Zephyr grinned and chimed in, “That was a great play indeed! And I have to say, EveningSnowfall, props to you! You’ve really done your homework! You sound like you know everything about Team Shanghai!”

Su Xue laughed uncomfortably and said, “I guess, a bit. It’s nothing, really!”

Chapter 351 – A Real Confidence Booster

Su Xue joined Team Shanghai in the player seating area. In person, not in mind. She chewed her lips and fidgeted with her hands, deaf to the people around her. What if I’m a terrible caster? What if I say something stupid? There are so many people here and even more watching online! All of them will see me screw up! Those people are vultures! They’ll jump on it and make fun of me for the rest of my life! I’ll have to quit streaming and move to some hamlet in the middle of nowhere! Her stomach contracted and she felt nauseous. There’s still so much I don’t know about this game. I don’t know anything!

Lin Feng patted Su Xue on her shoulder, pulling her from her spiralling thoughts, and said, “Stop worrying so much! You stream to 50,000 people all the time! This stadium can’t even hold that many people right now! This is going to be easy for you!”

Su Xue looked at Lin Feng and smiled. She replied, “I know, I know. But when I stream it often still feels like before, you know? When I had like 50 viewers? I’m still chatting with everyone and I know so many people! I don’t just know their names but I know who they are! And they know me… That connection is missing here. If I say something stupid…” She shook her head and asked, “But enough about me! Shouldn’t you also be worrying? You’re playing against Goalie! I heard he’s really good!”

“Goalie? He is?” Lin Feng asked, laughing. He shrugged and added, “There’s nothing to it. We’ll go up on stage when it’s our turn, and we’re 3-0ing them.”

“Sure, sure, mister big mouth!” Su Xue replied, rolling her eyes back. She then asked, “You do know they’re like the favourites for the entire tournament, right? I was looking into them yesterday and everyone online is talking about them!”

The large LCD screen above the two soundproof booths up on stage flashed to life. It showed the Champion Select for the first game of the first match of the Round of 16! Zeng Rui told Lin Feng to focus, but he ignored that and continued, “We will win. Easy. And it’s okay, XueXue. You will do great too! Just be yourself. Remember all those times you commentated me playing? For your videos in the beginning and also when I was just playing solo queue? Your viewers loved that! That’s all you have to do here! They will all love you! Just keep doing your thing!”

Su Xue looked into Lin Feng’s dark eyes and focused on the small brown dot just off the center in his left eye. She breathed out a breath she didn’t realize she’d been holding and smiled. Just smiled. He’s right. What am I even worrying about? HuyaTV hired me because I’m good at this! They don’t want just anyone with just any type of casting. They wanted me. I just have to be me! And it’s not like I’m totally in the dark either. I know Team Shanghai better than everyone else! The only thing I don’t know… She asked, “What about my analysis of the game? I’m just not experienced with that…”

“Oh, that? Easy!” Lin Feng replied. He grinned and explained, “So here’s what you do. You tell them that Team Guangzhou is a very cocky, arrogant team who believe that relying on Korean imports will win them the game. Then you go on to say that this is a stupid conjecture made by stupid people. You tell everyone that actual skill decides the game, and that there’s nobody with more skill than me playing this tournament! Then you finish it off by saying that I’ll hard-win mid by the 10th minute and that we’ll destroy their nexus by the 20th minute.” He briefly paused before adding, “Easy, right?”

Su Xue stared at Lin Feng for nearly a minute before her mouth finally moved and a sound came out. She muttered, “You sure sound confident…” She took a long, deep breath and moved her lips around. Then she nodded and said, “Alright, alright. I’ll repeat that, word for word. But if you don’t live up to it, you can bet your tiny ass on it that I’m taking you down with me!”

Lin Feng grinned and pumped his fist into the air. He replied, “It’s fine! I’ll hard-carry these games, I promise!” He turned his head to look at Team Guangzhou’s players and continued, “I already told you. I will teach that guy a lesson he’ll never forget. After today, no one will remember him.”

Ever since entering the Tianhe Stadium earlier in the morning, Seo had been staring at Lin Feng in anger. He glowered and mumbled curses. I don’t even care about that stupid girl. She isn’t even all that pretty! I can do so much better than her! But you, you fucking asshole! How dare you mess with me like that! What you did to me yesterday… that’s unforgivable! I’ll make you regret being born!

Seo glanced at the large LCD screen and watched the first series come to an end. It was one game closer to the Team Guangzhou versus Team Shanghai series. He grinned. I can’t wait to play against your arrogant ass, asshole! I’ll stomp your girl and make her cry just like she did yesterday! And then we’ll have to make sure to also teach you a valuable lesson. Namely that I’m better than you. I am better than you! He nodded at Goalie and said, “Give it everything you’ve got today. Make that asshole wish he was never born!”

Goalie snorted. He didn’t particularly care about Seo’s feelings or his desire for revenge. But he did care about the humiliation he’d suffered at Lin Feng’s hands. He turned his head to look at Lin Feng and narrowed his eyes. Who am I? I’ll show you who I am! You think you’re all that because you beat some has-been second rate idiot like AyDeeCee? Ha! What a joke! I play against Rake in solo queue all the time! That’s the difference between you and me! I play with the best and you play with noobs! Just you wait. When we play, I’ll show you exactly how far apart we are! I’m so much better than you that you can’t even see me from down there!

Su Xue looked across the row of seats at the members from Team Shanghai and said, “This series is about to end. I’m… I guess all of us are up next. I need to go backstage and prepare.” She ruffled Lin Feng’s hair and added, “Goodluck! I want to cast you guys to a win!”

Lin Feng pulled his head away from Su Xue, then smiled. He pounded his chest and said, “Leave it to me! You focus on casting and I’ll make sure we win!”

Su Xue giggled and replied, “I won’t hear any bragging until after the series! Remember, I’m going to say what you told me to! You better not make me regret it!”

“I won’t!” Lin Feng exclaimed, grinning. His teammates wished Su Xue goodluck and she turned around and walked away. He looked after until she was almost out of earshot and then shouted, “YOU GOT THIS!”

Su Xue looked over her shoulder and smiled. She mouthed, “Thanks!” Then she disappeared around a corner. She walked along the long corridors of the Tianhe Stadium and up several stairs until she arrived at a specific door in the backstage area. Behind it was the lobby for casters. I got this! You got this, Su Xue! She nodded at herself and then pushed the door open.

The room was larger and busier than Su Xue expected. There were people from the Guangzhou Esports Association walking around with clipboards, making sure everything was going according to schedule. There was a corner with different outfits and two people hard at work there, there were several visagistes and then there were the other casters. HuyaTV had hired 7 women and 1 man to cast eight games. Su Xue was the only one given two games. On top of that, there were the professional casters hired by the Guangzhou Esports Association. And all of them, except for the two casting the current series, were here.

“Wow!” Su Xue mumbled. There are so many people here! And the girls, they’re all so pretty! She looked around the room again and spotted several people looking back at her. Shit! They know I don’t belong here! I’m not a caster! They can see it! They can… She forced herself to take a deep breath and smile. I’m a caster! HuyaTV hired me. Stop being so miserable, Su Xue! You’ve got this. She nodded at herself and then walked into the room, waving at the people looking at her and saying, “Hi!”

One woman wearing a low cut dress glanced at Su Xue and replied, “Hello. You are…?”

“Su Xue! Nice to meet you!” Su Xue introduced herself. She then raised her finger and added, “Oh! EveningSnowfall I mean!”

Several women perked up and turned their heads to look at Su Xue. But they didn’t greet her, or look especially welcoming. They glared at her and started whispering with each other, making sure that all Su Xue could hear was that they were talking about her. It was the woman in the low cut dress that eventually spoke up. She raised an eyebrow and said, “Is whatever that is …” she pointed frantically at Su Xue’s clothes. “… what you’re wearing?”

“This?” Su Xue asked, confused, pointing at her own outfit. “Yes? Is something wrong with it?” She looked at the women in the caster lobby. They all snickered and she could hear them making fun of her outfit; they made sure of that. She looked down at her outfit, deflated. There’s nothing wrong with my outfit, right? Why are they making fun of it? Zuo You helped me pick it out! She said that I don’t need to wear something super revealing… that something more like me would fit me better… She felt her heart slamming into her ribcage and a prop was forcing its way up her throat. Compose yourself. Compose yourself, Su Xue! They’re just being mean! Don’t listen to them! Zuo You said I look great!

“So…” the woman in the low cut dress started. She walked up to Su Xue and looked her up and down, walking around her. She then asked, “What’s so special about you that Huya gave you two matches?”

“She must’ve slept with some higher up,” another woman chimed in.

“Sucked a big, fat cock!” a third said.

“N-no!” Su Xue yelped. She shook her head frantically and said, “I didn’t do any of that! I don’t know why! They just asked me to do two!” She bit on her lips and sucked back the tears that had appeared in her eyes. The door behind her suddenly felt very close and very safe. She took a step back. I can’t do this! Everyone’s expecting so much from me and I’m not good! I don’t know anything about League! I just sit behind my computer and stream for fun! Not because I know things!

The cheering from the crowd sounded in the distance. One of the Guangzhou Esports Association staff members walked in and announced that the series had ended. He turned to Su Xue and said that she was up next and to get ready. She just stared at him, numb. Her knees felt weak and she wanted nothing more than to walk away. She felt trapped between the vicious glares from the other girls on one side and her boss on the other side. They’re going to make me… And those girls… If I…– Her phone buzzed in the back pocket of her jeans. She took it out and looked at it and breathed.

Lin Feng (12:05 P.M.):You can totally do this, XueXue! I believe in you!!!

Su Xue smiled as she pictured Lin Feng’s cheerful expression. She thought about how he’d cheered her on and how he believed in her. Then she started laughing. She laughed away the ugly glares, the whispers and every other form of negativity. It felt liberating. I can do this! And I’m gonna do great! She texted Lin Feng a thank you and then said to the staff member, “Mic me up!”

Lin Feng watched the host walk up on stage, clenching his fists. The audience behind him was still cheering for the 3-1 victory from Wuhan University over Nanjing University. He ignored that. What was coming up next was the only thing he cared about. He kept focused on the host as he said, “It’s our turn! You guys ready? Everyone feeling good? Ready to shock everyone and show them that we’re the team to beat!?”

Tang Bingyao nodded and said, “Mhm! We’re going to win this one!”

The host stopped in the middle of the stage. The multicoloured lights faded away until there was only a single beam of white light illuminating the host. He held a microphone up to his mouth and said, “This edition of the Collegiate Cup is a bit special. For the first time ever, it’s taking place in winter. And much more importantly, for the first time ever, high school teams have been invited!” He paused to let the audience cheer, then continued, “There were many questions wondering if these teams were good enough to compete at the university level. I think all three teams have proven that much. Right now, I think we’re all curious to see just how far they can go! But, unfortunately, for one high school team the road ends here. Today.”

Blue and red lights suddenly flashed around the stadium until focusing on the player seating area. The blue lights illuminated Team Guangzhou and the red lights Team Shanghai. The host shouted, “This is it! We have the high schoolers representing the Guangzhou Esports Association facing off against the high schoolers representing the Shanghai Esports Association! The former esports capital of the world is looking to reclaim its place by beating the current esports capital of the world! Give it up for these 10 phenomenal players! We welcome to the stage TEAM GUANGZHOU AND TEAM SHANGHAI!”

The audience cheered, louder and louder. The players from Team Guangzhou and Team Shanghai rose from their seats and walked to opposite ends of the stage. There they ascended the steps. Each time their feet hit the ground it sounded like the audience found a new breath and screamed and shouted even louder. It carried the players up on stage as they made their way to the soundproof booths. One more moment they enjoyed the sounds, then the players from both teams started entering.

Lin Feng and Goalie were the last two outside the soundproof booths. They looked across the stage at each other. Goalie smiled, confident, and drew a line across his neck with his finger. Lin Feng burst out laughing. He shook his head and walked into the soundproof booth. He then closed the door behind him, cutting off all distracting sounds.

The players from Zhejiang University watched this all happen from their seats in the player seating area. Zhejiang’s Jungler turned his head to look at his teammates, worried, and asked, “Do you think they can win?”

Zuo Cheng laughed. He replied, “Yes, of course I think Team Shanghai can win. I think they will win! That Lin Feng? He’s the real deal. There is no way that that shitty Goalie can beat Lin Feng!”

Sun Ruinian slowly nodded and mumbled, “Whatever happens, this is gonna be a special match.”

The caster desk was separated from the stands, unlike those at the Shanghai 16 School Tournament and the East China Regionals. Su Xue looked through the glass window down at the stage, smiling. Zephyr, her professional co-caster, sat behind her at the caster desk and kept reminding her that there was nothing to worry about and that he’d casted with girls from HuyaTV before and that he knew how to best help her. She didn’t care. All worries about casting were gone. Now she just felt tingles and excitement for what was to come. She was going to cast Lin Feng!

Su Xue walked around the table and sat down next to Zephyr. I’m feeling great! No, better even! I’m feeling better than I ever have! This is exactly what I’ve wanted! Who would’ve guessed! A few months ago I only had a dozen viewers and now I’m going to cast a game for like a hundred thousand people! This is everything I’ve been working so hard towards! And it’s amazing! She took a long, deep breath and then said, “Thanks, but it’s okay. I’m ready for this. Let’s cast the shit out of this series!”

Zephyr glanced at Su Xue and nodded slowly. He replied, “Alright. We’re up in a few. The players are getting in the lobby. Another minute and they’ll be in Champion Select. When that appears on the LCD screen–you can see that on this screen over here–that’s when we start.”

“Right now it is!” Su Xue exclaimed a couple of seconds later. She leaned in towards the microphone and said, “We’re getting ready for Game 1! This is the Champion Select!” She briefly paused, watching the screen, stunned. Team Guangzhou and Team Shanghai fired bans in rapid succession. More surprisingly, they left open several coveted picks. She continued, “That’s odd. Lin Feng and Goalie are both known for their LeBlancs. How come she isn’t banned?”

Zephyr grinned. He grabbed his microphone and shouted, “Obviously because Team Guangzhou is looking to pick her! First pick is for them and they… LOCK HER IN! Goalie is going to play LeBlanc the Deceiver!”