Chapter 400 – Do the Lin Feng!

“Man. Man, oh, man!” Qiu Yijie said, amazed. He looked at the large LCD screen above the two soundproof booths and shook his head. “Man…”

Zou Cheng from Zhejiang University nodded vigorously and replied, “I know, right!? That positioning, holy smokes! It’s superb with a capital B!”

Qiu Yijie rubbed his chin and asked, “How does he do that? He makes it look so easy… But if I’d been the one playing? In the Finals of the biggest tournament at this level of competition? With tens of thousands… maybe even hundreds of thousands of people watching? I wouldn’t have even seen the Charm until it hit me.”

“No one would’ve,” Sun Ruinian chimed in. He shook his head and continued, “Because no one would’ve considered teleporting down there and taking the fight. That dude knew what was up from the start. Did you see how he waited before teleporting in? There was a short pause before he went. I’m thinking he did it to bait them underneath the tower.”

“ShitShit! Guys!” Zou Cheng exclaimed. He pointed at the screen and said, “It’s not over yet! Sivir is in trouble!”

Tang Bingyao’s Sivir had lost most of her health trying to help Zeng Rui survive. Team Beijing initially engaged Lin Feng’s Twisted Fate, but when they failed to burst him down, they turned their attention back to Tang Bingyao’s Sivir because her auto attacks could do a ton of damage in a prolonged fight.

Yu Ping used the second dash from Spirit Rush to get past Lin Feng’s Twisted Fate and arrive in front of Tang Bingyao’s Sivir. He followed up with Fox-Fires and Orb of Deception! Three magical flames manifested around Ahri and shot towards Sivir together with the orb! They finished what little health she had left.

《You have slain an enemy!》

“Oooooh, shiiiiit!” FourEyesChang hollered into his microphone. He clutched it tightly in his fist and continued, “They’re turning around the turn around! It’s a turn-turnaround!”

Cherry giggled and screeched, “WOOOOOOOOO!”

Yu Ping narrowed his eyes and used the third and final cast from Spirit Rush to jump away from the outer tower. W-what!? That did no damage! Each Spirit Rush generated magical friction that manifested into a powerful magic attack. The previous one had helped him kill Sivir by dealing a significant amount of damage. But on his way out, that same attack dealt almost no damage to Lin Feng’s Twisted Fate. He smashed on the Tab key and paused. His entire body stopped for a brief moment, and then he shouted over the team’s voice chat, “CARE! HE HAS MAGIC RESIST!”

“Fuck!” Team Beijing’s Jungler cursed. His Nidalee and Yu Ping’s Ahri were both ability power Champions.  And their team’s sole attack damage Champion, Ezreal, was dead. It was worse even for Team Beijing, because Ezreal had the Red Buff when he died. Upon death, this buff got transferred to Lin Feng’s Twisted Fate.

Lin Feng looked down at his skill bar and grinned. Just a few more seconds. He ran after Yu Ping’s Ahri and threw a card at her. The damage it dealt was secondary. What Lin Feng cared about was applying the slow from the Red Buff, because since Ahri used her ultimate she didn’t have any other escapes left. He followed up with a second card, counting down the last second of Pick a Card’s cooldown. And he then activated the skill.

A Blue Card appeared above Twisted Fate’s head…

A Red Card appeared above Twisted Fate’s head…

The audience, the casters and the people at home, everyone knew what was going to happen. They sat on the edge of their seats, expectant. Some even forgot to breathe, mumbling a version of, “Come on, kill him!”

A Gold Card appeared above Twisted Fate’s head. Lin Feng selected it and threw it at Yu Ping’s Ahri! There was no running from it. Even Janna’s shield from Eye of the Storm did little more than negate some of the damage. Twisted Fate stunned Ahri! He followed up with a fourth auto attack, triggering Stacked Deck for bonus damage! He then threw a volley of cards with Wild Cards! Their sharp edges cut into Ahri and sheared away her health!

Yu Ping shouted through gritted teeth, “Kill him already!”

“I’m trying!” Team Beijing’s Jungler exclaimed. He threw his arm up and continued, “But what can I do? He keeps dodging every fucking spear I throw at him! It’s like he fucking knows where I’m throwing them before I even throw them! How the fuck is he doing this!?”

“Just… Just kill him!” Yu Ping shouted, frustrated.

“Dodge it, dodge it, dodge it!” Su Xue chanted. She leaned over her desk, her nose almost pushing into her screen. When Lin Feng dodged another spear from Nidalee and then hit Ahri with an auto attack, she jumped in joy! Her screen almost fell over and she yelped from her nose hitting the monitor. But the shocked surprise only lasted for a moment, intense joy overwhelming all her other sensations. She smiled and cheered, “LIL FANCY FEET BRO! WOOOOOOOOO!”


sick dodge game!

hows he keep dodging all em skilzzzz?????

with his stanly ass manly skilllzzzz OBVIOUSLY!!!



we can dooo thizzzzzzz

omgomgomgomg kill ahri plzzzzzzzz

Lin Feng’s Twisted Fate was well clear from his outer tower. They were in the open, he and three Champions from Team Beijing. They seemed to realise this. More specifically, after missing another spear, Nidalee changed to her cougar form and pounced at him! But he just grinned. Don’t make this too easy, please. He looked around the bot lane and realised he was very close to the bottom ring, where there were three brushes. He ran towards the one nearest to him and briefly paused, waiting for Nidalee to cast a skill. When she did, he stepped inside the brush and killed vision, canceling Nidalee’s skill.

“Gotcha!” Lin Feng mumbled, grinning.

Zeng Rui said through gritted teeth, “Don’t joke. Focus!”

Lin Feng glanced at Zeng Rui and replied, “Don’t worry, ZengZeng! I’ve got this! Watch me!”

Chapter 399 – When Everyone Tells you you Can’t


Between the first game and the start of the second game, Team Beijing looked like a terrible team. It started to seem like luck was the biggest factor that saw them make it to the Finals of the Winter Collegiate Cup. But nothing was less true than that. They had a team full of incredibly talented players, most of whom were better than their counterparts on Team Shanghai. This was most evident in the top lane and to a lesser extent in the bot lane. But even Team Beijing’s Jungler could give An Xin a run for her money in every aspect of the game except for map awareness. It was only Yu Ping in the mid lane who was vastly outclassed by Lin Feng.

Yu Ping started to realise that the biggest factor holding Team Beijing back in their series against Team Shanghai was him. He wanted to duel Lin Feng and beat him. But he couldn’t; he wasn’t good enough. He gritted his teeth and looked around the map. I need to accept that I can’t beat him. He’s on Twisted Fate, so he’s not even looking to beat me either. Fine. Yep. Focus. Top lane… I can’t do much there. Mundo is holding his own. They need to gank him and even that is kind of risky. He’ll hold his own. What about bot… Hmm… That girl is good, but we’re better. If we can get a few kills on her and then use that strength to get Mundo a kill or two, then it doesn’t matter how strong Twisted Fate is. He grimaced and closed his eyes briefly. We need to play around him. I need to put my ego aside for a moment and stop tunneling. The way to win this game is to play around Twisted Fate, so let’s do that!

Yu Ping opened his eyes and looked at the top right corner of the screen. 12 minutes in. They’re going to gank again soon. Worst case, we either countergank or find a gank in the other lane. Best case, they don’t gank. He nodded at himself and said over the team’s voice chat, “We’re making a play bot. Ping me the wards, Nidalee.”

Team Beijing’s Jungler pinged the red wards he’d spotted in the river and Zhang Hongyi pinged those around the bot lane and wrote their timers down in the game chat. Yu Ping pretended like he was recalling back to base, and then snuck away from the mid lane and started making his way to the bot lane. He found a part of himself he’d lost during the first game. A calmness and clarity of his mind. A rhythm that matched his style. His Ahri danced through the river and arrived in the bot lane without Team Shanghai noticing it until it was already far too late.

“TANG TANG!” Zeng Rui yelled over the team’s voice chat. He pinged the yellow retreat sign and continued, “AHRI!” He then Flashed away and tossed his lantern at Tang Bingyao’s Sivir.

Zhang Hongyi smiled when he saw the panicked reaction from Zeng Rui’s Thresh. His fingers were already gliding across his keyboard, activating skills. A mottled flash of light sucked his Janna from Summoner’s Rift and spit her back out on the far side of Tang Bingyao’s Sivir. Janna then surrounded herself in a magical storm and threw Sivir away from Thresh’s Lantern and towards Blue team’s outer tower!

This displacement from Monsoon left Tang Bingyao briefly incapable of activating skills. Yu Ping used this opportunity to dash at her with Spirit Rush and Charm her. All the while, Ezreal attacked her with his skills and auto attacks. The combination of damage brought Sivir’s health down to the last few percentages when the effects from Charm finally wore off. Tang Bingyao still tried to run, but Yu Ping’s Ahri dashed after her with Spirit Rush.

《You have slain an enemy!》

Cherry cheered into her microphone, “WOOOOOOO!”

FourEyesChan smiled and added, “That’s more like it! Let’s go Team Beijing!”

“Fucking finally! We’ve got a game on our hands!”


“More of this please! Show them Shanghai Suckers who the best team is!”



Zhang Hongyi watched Zeng Rui’s Thresh escaping towards the Red Team’s Outer Tower and clenched his fist, smiling. “Heck yeah!” he exclaimed. He looked around at his teammates in the soundproof booth and continued, “Heck yeah! We did it, boys! Fucking got the better of that piece of shit Zeng Rui! Let’s push this lane and destroy his shitty tower!”

“Don’t,” Yu Ping cut in. He breathed in and smiled, then nodded and said, “Good job. We got the kill. But we don’t need to take the tower so quickly. Just freeze the lane and I’ll gank again in a few minutes with Nidalee.”

Zhang Hongyi chuckled and replied, “Sure. That also works.” He looked at his screen, more specifically at Sivir’s corpse, and added, “We kill her one more time and this game is ours. Doesn’t matter what Twisted Fate and Nocturne do, when we get their bot and top down, we win.”

Zeng Rui waited underneath the Red Team’s Outer Tower for Tang Bingyao to return to the lane. In that time, he was forced to watch Team Beijing freeze the minion waves just outside of Blue team’s outer tower. “That’s not great,” he mumbled over the team’s voice chat. “They’ve got the lead and we’re falling behind here.”

Tang Bingyao chewed on her lips, her heart slamming high up in her chest. I won’t fall behind! I won’t let that happen again! This Finals is going to be mine! Game 1 and now Game 2! Mhm! … But we need to break that freeze. The bitter taste of iron filled her mouth from biting on her lips too much and too hard, but she ignored it. Can’t we just break it…? We can try! She nodded and said, “Let’s break their freeze.”

Zeng Rui shook his head and replied, “We can’t. They’ll gank us the moment we pass the halfway point of the lane. Let’s stay back and take the Gromp Camp.” He panned his camera towards the top lane and breathed out through his mouth. “Their Mundo is staying even with Zhang Hao’s Irelia too…”

Zhang Hao grimaced and said, “Yeah, that’s my bad. Sorry, guys, I’m really trying here. It’s just… I can’t really push because I’m afraid of the Nidalee and when you don’t push against a Mundo, he can just heal himself back up with his ultimate… It’s really annoying!”

An Xin looked at Zhang Hao and smiled. She said, “Don’t worry about it. It’s fine. Actually, you know what? The lane is going to push your way anyway. How about you let it push and then freeze it outside of your Outer Tower? When Mundo pushes, I’ll gank.”

Lin Feng ruffled his hair and mumbled, “Sounds like you guys have got it covered. Guess I’ll just keep farming in mid then.”

At 14 minutes, Yu Ping had his Ahri recall to the fountain. He opened the shop and bought her her next item upgrade, then moved his camera across Summoner’s Rift while having his Ahri run towards the bot lane. Hmm, I think it’s about time… Top is okay and Twisted Fate is just farming in mid… Yeah. He pinged on the bot lane and said over the team’s voice chat, “Come, Nid. We’re ganking bot.”

Team Beijing’s Jungler nodded and replied, “On it!”

“Top, top!” Team Beijing’s Toplaner suddenly shouted. He pinged on the top lane and continued, “Nocturne is here! Gank bot now! She can’t get to bot that fast! Her ultimate can’t reach that far yet!”

Yu Ping scrunched his nose briefly and then laughed. He replied, “Well, that’s perfect! Now we don’t have to worry about her either! Get that gank going! I’m almost there!”

Zhang Hongyi chuckled and said, “The trash Thresh don’t have Flash!” He then had his Janna float towards Zeng Rui’s Thresh and cast Zephyr on him! Janna’s elemental hit Thresh and slowed him!

Tang Bingyao’s Sivir threw her Boomerang Blade at Janna in retaliation and prepared to follow up on that, but she was stopped by Zeng Rui who cried out, “TANG TANG! RUN! NIDALEE IS HERE!” She glanced at her minimap and her eyes grew round and wide. Mnh-mnh! I don’t wanna retreat! But… She chewed on her lips and then activated her ultimate skill. On the Run granted Sivir and nearby allies a massive movement speed boost. She then said over the team’s voice chat, “Come!”

“I’m trying,” Zeng Rui replied through gritted teeth. The slow from Zephyr had thrown him off just enough to confuse him. A Howling Gale was flying at him right now. He tried to sidestep it with the movement speed boost from Sivir, but he was too slow. The strong winds lifted his Thresh off his feet and knocked him up into the air! Fuck, no!

Zhang Hongyi smiled, enjoying every second of knocking Zeng Rui up. He shouted over the team’s voice chat, “He’s got no Flash! KILL HIM!”

Team Beijing’s Jungler arrived in the bot lane and cast Javelin Toss! She then changed to cougar form while the javelin flew towards Zeng Rui’s Thresh! Next to her, Team Beijing’s Ezreal fired auto attacks and skills at Thresh! And from behind Blue team’s outer tower, Yu Ping’s Ahri also arrived in the bot lane! They combined their damage, most of it focused on Zeng Rui’s Thresh and a small portion on Tang Bingyao’s Sivir.

Zeng Rui forgot to breathe. He pursed his lips in frustration and clicked with far too much power on his mouse. I’m dead! I’m already dead, Tang Tang! Stop trying to save me! He ordered, “Tang Tang, get out! Just back away! Get to safety! There’s no value in both of us dying here!”

“We can both get out alive,” Tang Bingyao mumbled, defiant. She looked at the fight and where the players from Team Beijing were. Ahri was still too far away and Nidalee would catch up soon. Ezreal was the only one who was really on top of them. We can still get out. Mhm! Both of us! 

“We can’t!” Zeng Rui argued. “GET OUT!” He then pressed on his R key to activate The Box! Five spectral walls rose up around Zeng Rui’s Thresh, the sounds of howling ghosts coming from them. Two walls broke down when Ezreal and Janna ran into them. It slowed them and gave Tang Bingyao the space she needed to escape. He shouted, “Please! Can’t you see I’m dead? RUN!”

Tang Bingyao shook her head and said, “We can both—”

《An ally has been slain.》

Ezreal’s ultimate skill was a powerful barrage of energy missiles called Trueshot Barrage. The missiles had shot through Zeng Rui’s Thresh and killed him. They then continued and smashed through Tang Bingyao’s Sivir! Sivir’s health dropped down to below half.

“Now they get you too,” Zeng Rui said with a loud sigh.

“No they won’t!” Lin Feng interjected. He grinned and theatrically lifted his left finger before pressing down on the R key. He continued, “I’m finally in range! I’m coming down! Destiny!” All-seeing eyes appeared above the heads of all five Champions from Team Beijing.

Su Xue sat behind her computer, chewing on her nails and mumbling, “Come on, Tang Tang. You can do this. If anyone can, you can! Come on, girl! You’ve got this! I believe in you. We all be—” She jumped up from her gaming chair when Lin Feng activated his ultimate and screamed, “HE’S COMING! LIN FENG IS COMING IN WITH HIS TWISTED FATE! LET’S GOOOOOOOO!”


tangtang’s at her outer tower! theyre gonna have to towerdive to kill her!!!

lil bro can get them both ez EAZYYYYYYY




we can dooo thizzzzzzz


Tang Bingyao’s Sivir arrived underneath her outer tower. But because she’d allowed Team Beijing to keep chasing her, they didn’t give up. They kept pressing, even when Lin Feng activated his ultimate skill. Team Beijing’s Nidalee, with a shield from Janna, tanked the energy shots from Red team’s outer tower. Towers could only attack one Champion at a time, allowing Ezreal to get in range and keep dealing damage without taking any.

Lin Feng grinned and shouted, “ALMOST THERE!” He clicked next to the outer tower. A deck of cards spread on the ground and the magic of the cards channeled into a gate that opened above it. Twisted Fate stepped from it into the bot lane holding a Gold Card. “Now, let’s kill Ezreal first,” Lin Feng mumbled. He had Twisted Fate move towards Ezreal, then suddenly slammed on his S key and continued by stepping to the side.

FourEyesChan’s eyes grew round and wide. He muttered, “Wow!”

Cherry nodded slowly, speechless.

Yu Ping’s Ahri had dashed in with Spirit Rush and cast Charm at Lin Feng’s Twisted Fate! But before she’d even cast it, Lin Feng had already started dodging it, as if he knew it was coming and where it was coming. After dodging the Charm, he ran at Ezreal again and threw the Gold Card! It stunned Ezreal on top of dealing a ton of damage!

FourEyesChan adjusted his glasses and said into his microphone, “Wow! Just… Wow! He just… Wow!”

Lin Feng smiled when he saw Tang Bingyao throw boomerangs at Ezreal and then focused on his own Champion again. He pressed the Q key and cast Wild Cards! Twisted Fate threw a cone of cards that cut through Ezreal in the middle and Ahri and Janna on the sides! Only Nidalee from Team Beijing managed to dodge it by Flashing away. He then started throwing auto attacks at Ezreal. The first three attacks did minimal damage because he was an ability power Champion and his damage came from his skills. But the fourth card triggered Stacked Deck, a skill that added a magical damage property to his next card!

《You have slain an enemy!》


Chapter 398 – IReallySuck-Strategy

“NO TILTING!” Yu Ping shouted over the team’s voice chat. He looked to his left at Zhang Hongyi and the ad-carry, then turned his head to the other side and looked at his Jungler and Toplaner. They were all staring at their screens with scowls of frustration. He continued, “It’s just TF and Nocturne. Nothing to worry about. We’ve got 8 minutes to make them absolutely worthless!”

Zhang Hongyi replied through gritted teeth, “And worthless we will make them! Show that ass in mid how good you are!”

Yu Ping nodded and said, “I will. I will show him exactly how wrong he is in underestimating me!” He briefly paused to look around at his teammates before adding, “But I can’t do this alone. All of us need to shut them down.”

Team Beijing’s Jungler took a deep breath and agreed, “Yes. And we will. I’ll make sure the Nocturne is useless! Screw his nightmares!”

“And I’ll kick their Toplaner’s ass!” Team Beijing’s Toplaner chimed in. He clenched his fist and continued, “Let me show everyone how bad that guy really is!”

Yu Ping smiled and said, “We got this!”

“WE GOT THIS!” the other players from Team Beijing shouted.

An Xin asked over the team’s voice chat, “Will you be alright in mid? You know they’re gonna camp you.”

Lin Feng grinned and replied, “Of course I’ll be fine! I’m me!” He scratched the back of his head briefly before adding, “But yeah, I know. Ahri again and this time I don’t have Cleanse…”

Twisted Fate was a Champion who was relatively weak during the early game phase. His strength came from his ultimate skill, which gave him vision of all opponents and allowed him to teleport anywhere in a large area around himself. The most obvious way to correct this weak early game from Twisted Fate was to play with a strong Jungler who would gank and put pressure on the mid lane. But Nocturne wasn’t a strong Jungler like that. Nocturne needed to hit Level 6 before he became a threat. This gave Team Beijing a window of 6 to 8 minutes to shut Lin Feng’s Twisted Fate down and keep him out of the game.

This information wasn’t some grand secret privy to only the most elite players. Everyone knew it, from the Bronze players in the stands to Yu Ping on Team Beijing’s side of the stage. The first 8 minutes of the game were going to decide who was most likely to win the game.

But the first few minutes of the game came and went without first blood happening. Lin Feng’s Twisted Fate sidestepped the Charms from Ahri and dodged the spears Nidalee hurled at him. He was practically playing a 1 versus 2 in the mid lane, and he still refused to fall behind. Lin Feng was so good at dodging the pokes, traps, and plays from Team Beijing that it felt like nothing was really happening at all.

Yu Ping’s jaw pulsed as he furiously clicked on his mouse. Twisted Fate was on the other side of the lane, hovering near his outer tower. At least you’re not on Varus. Your poke on Twisted Fate sucks in comparison! He smiled a smile that didn’t reach his eyes. He then glanced at the scoreboard. They were five minutes into the game already. His smile fell flat and he narrowed his eyes a bit more. Your poke sucks and I’m ahead by 7 CS! But that’s not nearly enough to shut you down! At this rate… “Nidalee,” he said over the team’s voice chat.

“Yeah, boss?” Team Beijing’s Jungler asked.

Yu Ping continued, “I’m going to hit Level 6 on the next wave. Come mid again. Actually, go around. Come from behind his tower.”

Team Beijing’s Jungler nodded and said, “On it.”

At 6 minutes, Yu Ping’s Ahri hit Level 6. He learned Ahri’s ultimate skill, Spirit Dash, and activated it. Ahri dashed at Lin Feng’s Twisted Fate and blew a kiss at him! The power of love manifested into the form of a heart and flew towards Twisted Fate. Ahri winked at him, teasing.

Lin Feng expected the Level 6 engage. He was more than ready for it. He Flashed away from the Charm, dodging it, and activated Pick a Card. A blue card appeared above Twisted Fate’s head, followed by a red card. Ahri followed up with a second dash from Spirit Rush and cast ignite on him. Right then, the gold card appeared above Twisted Fate’s head. Lin Feng pressed the W key again and hurled the Gold Card at Ahri. It hit her before she could cast her Orb of Deception or Fox-Fires and stunned her.

“NOW!” Yu Ping hollered over the team’s voice chat.

Team Beijing’s Nidalee had snuck into Team Shanghai’s bot side Jungle. She moved through the brushes until she appeared in the mid lane, between the inner and outer tower. She followed up with Javelin Toss! A large Javelin flew through the air, gaining in power the further it flew, and hit Lin Feng’s Twisted Fate at max range! Nearly half of Twisted Fate’s health disappeared! She then cast Aspect of the Cougar! The amazonian Champion transformed into a cougar and pounced at Twisted Fate!


“Kill her!” Team Beijing’s Jungler shouted over the team’s voice chat.

Yu Ping grinned and replied, “Of course.” He cast Spirit Rush for the third time and dashed underneath Team Shanghai’s outer tower. He followed up with Orb of Deception and Fox-Fires! The powerful magic hit Twisted Fate and killed him.

《First Blood!》

“EAT THAT, SUCKER!” Yu Ping shouted over the team’s voice chat, cheering. He nodded at his Jungler and added, “HECK YEAH! We got him!”

Zhang Hongyi smiled and said, “Nice work! Keep it up!”

Across the stage in Team Shanghai’s soundproof booth, Lin Feng groaned and complained, “How was I supposed to survive that? They dove me! If only I had Cleanse…” He shook his head for a bit, annoyed. He then turned his head to look at An Xin and asked, “How much longer? When are we online?”

An Xin smiled and replied, “Not much longer now. And stop yapping, you got through the first 6 minutes without giving away a kill. They’re screwed.”

“But they killed me…” Lin Feng started. He then took a deep, long breath and added, “Yeah, yeah.”

Yu Ping pushed out the lane after killing Lin Feng’s Twisted Fate and then recalled back to base to spend his gold. When he came back to lane 7 minutes into the game, he continued where he left off by pushing the lane towards Red team’s outer tower. Because the more pressure he put on Lin Feng’s Twisted Fate, the more last hits he would miss and the smaller the impact of his ultimate skill was. I’ll just keep pushing a bit more. Nocturne can come soon, but I’ve got the area warded and I’ve got Charm and Flash. I can get out. I only need to worry about keeping Twisted Fate locke— Huh? Wait. Where? He narrowed his eyes and searched for the Nocturne, which was the only explanation he could come up with as to why Lin Feng’s Twisted Fate had activated Pick a Card.

Zhang Hongyi happened to notice the hesitation from Yu Ping and said over the team’s voice chat, “Just back.”

Yu Ping replied through gritted teeth, “What if it’s just a trick to get me to back?”

“THERE! THERE!” Team Beijing’s Jungler shouted, pinging on the minimap. “SHE’S THERE!”

An Xin’s Nocturne had reached Level 6 and learned the ultimate skill Paranoia. It was a skill that caused paranoia by turning day into night and reducing the vision of all enemy Champions to a small area around them. She then activated it. Darkness fell over Summoner’s Rift. But it was the second part of the skill that made the darkness so much more terrifying. An Xin’s Nocturne could fly at opponents within a large area around her. She smiled and focused on Yu Ping.

“Where is she?” Zhang Hongyi asked.

“Not top,” Team Beijing’s Toplaner replied.

“Mid. I know it,” Yu Ping said through gritted teeth. “Goddamn mid.” He had his Ahri run away, casting Orb of Deception for a small boost to her movement speed. It was enough to get away from Twisted Fate’s Gold Card. The shadow of Nocturne appeared on top of him. KNEW IT! She flew at him and struck at him with her shadow claws! He countered with Flash, travelling a short distance towards his outer tower! He then turned around, waited for An Xin to follow him with Flash, and cast Charm! Try and kill me now, bitch!

A pink heart flew at Nocturne. It was a physical apparition of love! An Xin’s fingers glided across her keyboard. She first cast Shroud of Darkness! A protective layer appeared around her and nullified the effect of Charm! You’re ugly! She continued with Unspeakable Horrors! Nocturne snuck its way into Ahri’s mind and uncovered her greatest fears! He then started playing them on repeat, forcing her to watch them until she was overcome with so much fear that she lost control over her body!

Lin Feng activated Twisted Fate’s ultimate skill. Destiny revealed where all the players from Team Beijing were, and Gate allowed him to teleport a large distance. He used the second part of his ultimate to teleport right behind the feared Ahri, a Gold Card still hovering above his head. When he stepped through the Gate, he grabbed the Gold Card and threw it at Ahri! The card hit her just as the fear from Unspeakable Horrors wore off and stunned her. He followed up with Wild Cards and an auto attack. A large number of playing cards flew through the air, their sharp edges cutting through Ahri and decimating her health bar!

《You have slain an enemy!》

FourEyesChan leaned over the caster desk and screamed, “WOOOOOOOO! THAT’S IT! RIGHT THERE! THAT’S IT!”

Cherry giggled and shouted, “It’s the Twisted-Turne combo! They’re online! Team Shanghai is online! GG!”

“Oh damn! What the…”

“I thought for sure Ahri would get out… She had Charm and Flash!”

“Nocturne was really fast with the spell shield there. That was kinda very impressive.”


“The tilting man is probably tilting hard right now!”

“They really tried to stop TF in the first 5 minutes of the game. But like… That kill was the only thing that really happened…”

“They should’ve tried harder I think. Aside from that kill, TF was never in any real danger…”

Qiu Yijie from Fudan University recoiled in pain, grimacing. He watched the screen and listened to the conversations around him and shook his head. “I know this pain,” he muttered. He then looked at Zou Cheng and continued, “He’s tilted. We both know it. The pressure Lin Feng can put even when behind… And then that happens. All your hard work… Just gone. Gone.”

“That was so, so disgustingly AWESOME!” Zou Cheng replied. He grinned, shaking his head, and added, “Fuck he’s good! How did he do that? 6 minutes of pure defense! And then he just gets the kill…”

Sun Ruinian looked at the two Midlaners and analysed, “We didn’t focus on mid until just now, because there weren’t any fireworks. But we really should’ve been watching. Look at how even he is with Ahri. He was playing a 1 versus 2 lane! Yet he played it so perfectly that it looked boring. He made it look boring. 1 versus 2 with a weak early gamer versus strong early game Champions…”

Qiu Yijie nodded and replied, “Yeah. I’ve given up on trying to understand how he does that. It’s…” He breathed in deeply and then let it all out through his mouth before continuing, “It’s insane. What’s even crazier is that I’m comparing him to Hermes and I can’t help but think he’s better…”

“I know right!” Zou Cheng exclaimed, grinning.

The audience was cheering and the casters were similarly losing their voices. There was only one place in the stadium that was quiet, and that was Team Beijing’s soundproof booth. Yu Ping’s teammates were staring at their screens, trying very hard not to look at him. But they could still feel his anger and frustration. It was so thick in their soundproof booth that it turned tangible.

Yu Ping looked at his screen, at the different shades of black and white, and ground his teeth. Every notion of embarrassment morphed into anger, which cast a bigger and denser cloud in his mind. He squished his mouse between his fingers, ignoring the squeaking and groaning sounds coming from it. SHIT! FUCK FUCK, FUCK! I knew Nocturne was Level 6! I KNEW IT! I GODDAMN KNEW IT! Why did I think I could escape? How did I convince myself that I could escape? HOW STUPID AM I? I SHOULD’VE WAITED FOR MY ULTIMATE! Why? WHY? Why did I let this happen? Now we’re fucked! FUCKED! He closed his eyes and focused on his breathing. In, out, in— “FUCK! FUCK FUCK, FUCK!” he screamed.

Across the stage in Team Shanghai’s soundproof booth, Lin Feng patted himself on the back and said over the team’s voice chat, “Got ‘em first try! Easy like I said!” He had his Twisted Fate recall to base to spend his gold and get back on even ground with Ahri. When he walked back into the lane, he continued, “This is what I like to call the IReallySuck-strategy! I act like a weak puppy and look at them cutely and give them this false sense of security. And then… BAM! We win. Oh, BunBun, come gank mid again soon!”

“You absolute donkey!” An Xin replied. She glared at Lin Feng and continued, “Your IReallySuck-strategy is a flawed strategy! What strategy gets you killed to win!?”

“Mine!” Lin Feng replied, grinning. He then scratched the back of his head and added, “Yeah, shouldn’t have gotten killed earlier… That was a woopsie moment.”

At 9 minutes, Team Beijing’s Nidalee snuck through the Jungle like a cougar. She bypassed Team Shanghai’s wards and appeared behind Zhang Hao’s Irelia who was pushing the lane. But Zhang Hao didn’t notice it. He was focused on landing poke on Dr. Mundo. Until a spear hit him and his health bar dropped by a large amount. He flicked his mouse and spotted Nidalee. His eyes grew round and wide and he muttered, “Fuck.”

《You have been slain!》

Zhang Hao looked at his grey screen and grimaced. He said over the team’s voice chat, “Sorry, guys. I didn’t see her. She just… I thought with the Mundo and… It shouldn’t have happened, my bad. Sorry.”

Zeng Rui replied, “You underestimated Nidalee and Mundo combined. Mundo’s got the slow and Nidalee, when she hits her spear, does a lot of damage. You need to be ready for that. Pay more attention to your wards and when you see her approach, just back. You don’t need to outplay them, you just need to play a steady game.”

“Understood! Thanks,” Zhang Hao replied, nodding.

Lin Feng grinned and interjected, “HaoBro! Why the long face? Cheer up and keep pushing top! BunBun and I will come top in a bit and help you get a kill!”

At 10 minutes, Twisted Fate and Nocturne both had their cooldowns available. Zhang Hao was pushing the top lane with his Irelia and forcing Dr. Mundo to hide underneath his tower. He said over the team’s voice chat, “Ready!”

“Paranoia!” An Xin shouted.

“Destiny!” Lin Feng continued.

Darkness fell over Summoner’s Rift! Nocturne flew across the map at Dr. Mundo and struck him with his shadow blades! Following behind him was Lin Feng’s Twisted Fate, a Gold Card in his hand. Zhang Hao’s Irelia dashed in as well! The three of them unleashed every skill they had! They dealt so much damage that it didn’t matter that Dr. Mundo had a massive health pool, or that his ultimate helped him regain health, or that the outer tower was attacking them. They tore through his health bar within seconds and it was Lin Feng’s Twisted Fate who landed the killing blow.

《You have slain an enemy!》

“Oops!” Lin Feng said over the team’s voice chat. He scratched the back of his head, grinning and apologised, “Sorry, didn’t mean to take the kill.”

“Of course you didn’t,” An Xin replied, her voice filled with sarcasm.

Zhang Hao laughed and said, “It’s okay! Don’t worry about it! Thanks for helping me!”

Across the stage in Team Beijing’s soundproof booth, the Toplaner smashed his fist on the desk and cursed, “What the fuck am I supposed to do there!? I was underneath my tower! They jumped on me anyway! That stupid Nocturne-TF combo is broken! Just like the Varus! Those assholes are just playing broken Champions!”

Yu Ping took a deep, long breath. He closed his eyes and repeated to himself to stay calm, to stay cool, to stay collected. He then opened his eyes and said, “It’s easy, guys. All we need to do is roam ourselves. If we keep talking and know what’s going on, the rest can respond by roaming and making plays. We can counter this Nocturne-TF ridiculousness!”

Chapter 397 – The Tilting Man

A game of League of Legends wasn’t over until one Nexus exploded. It was a simple fact that led to discussions that were still going strong five years after the game’s release. One side of the argument said that there was always a way back; no game was truly lost until the Nexus exploded. They continued to explain that the biggest reason why it often felt like a game was over before the Nexus exploded was because people gave up. But the ‘loss’ in someone’s mind wasn’t the same as the ‘loss’ on the board, and the one on the board wasn’t absolute until the Nexus exploded.

The other side of the argument explained that there was a point in the game where the game was still going on, but where there was no way in which the losing side could win unless the winning side made several large mistakes. These mistakes, this side argued, had to be of such magnitude and specificity that they only came to pass in less than 1 percent of all games in which the opportunities presented themselves. This percentage went down the higher the rank of the players on the board. So while the game wasn’t truly over, it was over in every other sense of the word.

This same argument broke out on the stands in the Chaoyang Sports Center. A group of people from Beijing refused to see that Team Beijing was losing. They pointed out possibilities they believed were there and argued that if Team Beijing exploited those opportunities, they could still win the game. Everyone else agreed there was a way for Team Beijing to win this first game of the Winter Collegiate Cup Finals against Team Shanghai, and that was by casting a curse on Team Shanghai that forced them to make a large number of mistakes.

Team Beijing hadn’t hired a witch and there was no cultivator who exited his closed door cultivation for them. They were forced to rely on their own ability. And their own ability simply wasn’t enough in this game. 

To the surprise of absolutely nobody, Team Shanghai didn’t screw up. They played like they had all tournament. Calm and precise. They abused the long range from Varus to besiege the tower. When his arrows that never missed their mark culled the ranks from Team Beijing, Tang Bingyao’s Jinx moved in range of the tower and started firing with her minigun. She shredded through the protection of the tower and destroyed it in seconds.

FourEyesChan adjusted his glasses and said into his microphone, “My god. This is one of the most one sided games I’ve ever had to cast. Team Shanghai could send their Toplaner, Jungler and Support to the loo! Between Varus’ long ranged arrows that absolutely always smash their mark and Jinx just tearing through the towers… I don’t know what to say or how to cast this game. There’s really nothing to say, other than that congratulations are in order for Team Shanghai. They’ve dismantled Team Beijing. Well and truly dismantled them.”

“Mm-mhm!” Cherry mumbled, nodding. She looked at her microphone, trying to think of something to say but not coming up with anything. She finally leaned forward and said, “Let’s hope Team Beijing can put up a better fight next game. But for this one… We’ve got just a couple more seconds to go I think. They’ve already got two inhibitors.”

“And they just aren’t stopping!” FourEyesChan said. “They just keep going and going and with the blue buff Varus never has to stop and because Team Beijing isn’t getting any gold they can’t buy the items they need to stop him either. It’s hopeless. It’s over.”

“Good game to Team Shanghai…”

“Great game for a Team Shanghai fan. Not so great for quite literally everybody else…”



Team Beijing’s Jungler turned to his teammates and said through gritted teeth, “I know you told us to stay calm, Yu Ping. I know this. And I wanted to… I was going to! But come on! You saw that game! We were all there, huddling behind our stupid ass towers! You know why it ended up like this? Let me tell you why. It’s because Riot didn’t fucking nerf Varus! Everyone knew he was op as all fucks! Why didn’t they nerf him? Just explain this to me. Why didn’t they nerf him?”

Yu Ping closed his eyes and replied, “Please…”

“I know, I know!” Team Beijing’s Jungler exclaimed. “You’re right. You are, Yu Ping. We could’ve banned Varus. We probably should’ve! It’s on us. I just feel frustrated about it, you know? It’s such an obvious overpowered Champion. And that's why they won the game.”

Zhang Hongyi ground his teeth and growled, “Zeng Rui got so fucking lucky. We had him in bot and then the stupid Varus and his stupid arrows…”

“Don’t. Stop this,” Yu Ping said. He looked around at his teammates and continued, “Listen, guys. Yeah we lost. Yeah Varus was strong and destroyed us. We failed to shut him down early and paid for it. But it wasn’t just the Varus. Stop tunneling on him. This was a team effort by Team Shanghai—”

“Yeah right,” Team Beijing’s ad-carry mumbled.

Yu Ping glared at his teammates and said in a louder, more commanding voice, “If it wasn’t for the Evelynn camping mid, Varus would’ve never gotten strong like he did. If it wasn’t for Braum, the Jinx would’ve never gotten as strong as she did. If it wasn’t for Braum and Rumble layering their ultimates perfectly, we would’ve never lost the fight at the Dragon pit that badly. If it wasn’t for the Jinx getting kills and being far better than the B+ grade people say she is, we would’ve never lost as badly as we did.” He briefly paused and looked at his teammates for a bit. He then continued, “See how it wasn’t just Varus? See how it was a team effort in which each individual player contributed a vital part to Team Shanghai’s victory in that game? Yes, you’re right. By the end of it, it was just Varus harassing us and Jinx shredding towers. But to get to that point, it took a full team effort. Stop tunneling on the outcome and start analysing how they got there. If we want to win this series, we need to get over this Varus and improve together. As a team.”

The players from Team Beijing stared at Yu Ping. The anger and frustration they felt towards Lin Feng’s Varus slowly dissipated. One by one, they started nodding. And when they were all nodding, faster and faster, Zhang Hongyi was the first to open his mouth and say what they were all thinking, “You’re right, Yu Ping. You always are. That’s why you’re the best. Yes. We’ll stop tunneling. It was a team effort. Even…” He took a deep, long breath and said through gritted teeth, “Even Zeng Rui contributed to that victory.”

“Good,” Yu Ping said. He then focused his attention on his screen and added, “Then let’s get ready for the next game.” And time to make that asshole on his Varus pay! How dare that jerk underestimate me—ME!—by picking some weak early game Champion!

FourEyesChan grabbed the microphone from its stand on the caster desk and brought it to his mouth. He said, “Both teams have had a couple of minutes to unwind from the… the lack of action in game 1 if I’m being honest here. Let’s hope we get to see some more fireworks in game 2!”

“And we’re in Champion Select!” Cherry exclaimed. “Team Beijing is the Blue Team in this second game of the Finals, which means they’ve got the first ban… EVELYNN! THEY BANNED EVELYNN!”

FourEyesChan adjusted his glasses and analysed, “Smart ban. She helped Varus get through the early game. Which makes me wonder if Varus is going to be their next ban.”

“First up is Team Shanghai though! And they’re banning… Leona!” Cherry said into her microphone.

“AND VARUS! IT’S THE VARUS BAN!” FourEyesChan yelled into his microphone.

“They really did it! They banned Varus!”



In Team Beijing’s soundproof booth, Yu Ping looked at his screen through narrowed eyes. They got the first choice of Champion and they went with Nidalee for their Jungler. Next up was Team Shanghai with two picks, then them again and then Team Shanghai again. It was in this round that Team Shanghai picked their Midlaner. Twisted Fate. He fucking did it again. This motherfucker. This little piece of shit! Yu Ping glanced across the stage at Team Shanghai’s soundproof booth. Are you really trying to say I’m so bad that you can’t even be arsed to take a decent early game Champion? You think I’m such a bad player that you can get by playing another weak early game Champion? Well. FUCK YOU! FUCK. YOU! He gritted his teeth in frustration and locked in Ahri. I’ll FUCKING SHOW YOU!

Zhang Hongyi glanced at Yu Ping and asked, “Wasn’t he supposed to play something more aggressive? Like Riven or Fizz?”

“He. Was,” Yu Ping replied, grinding his teeth.

Team Beijing’s Jungler interjected, “Huh? Nocturne? Their last pick is Nocturne?”

Winter Collegiate Cup Finals, Game 2

Team Beijing (BLUE) vs. Team Shanghai (RED)

Dr. Mundo vs. Irelia

Nidalee vs. Nocturne

Ahri vs. Twisted Fate

Ezreal vs. Sivir

Janna vs. Thresh

“Here we have it! The lineup for the second game!” FourEyesChan said into his microphone.

Cherry nodded and added, “And this is the first time we’re seeing Nocturne I think! With Twisted Fate and Nocturne, Team Shanghai’s got two global ultimate skills! Just imagine what they can all do with that!”

FourEyesChan grimaced and replied, “A whole lotta things. None of which are promising of an enjoyable game for anyone but Team Shanghai. We can only hope that Yu Ping learned his lesson mid and shuts the Twisted Fate down early.”

“Yep!” Cherry agreed. “If Twisted Fate and Nocturne are allowed to get going… Well, that’d be game, wouldn’t it?”

“It would,” FourEyesChan mumbled.

Sun Ruinian from Zhejiang University sat in the stands, listening to the discussion between the casters. He shook his head and said, “Yu Ping didn’t learn his lesson. If he had, he wouldn’t have picked Ahri.”

Zou Cheng grinned and chimed in, “He looks like a tilting man!”

Qiu Yijie from Fudan University glanced at Zou Cheng and replied, “Can’t blame Yu Ping. It’s hard not to tilt against Lin Feng. The way he plays… We both know how it feels to feel so goddamn powerless. Like it doesn’t matter what you do, he’ll stomp you anyway. But yeah… Yu Ping looks like a tilting man.”

Chapter 396 – TangTang WARP SHINKAIII!

“A Piercing Arrow for you!” Lin Feng shouted over the team’s voice chat, laughing. He pressed on the Q key and held it, charging up the skill for increased range. When he let go, the arrow shot across a large distance and struck Team Beijing’s Lucian!

“And a Piercing Arrow for you!” Lin Feng continued after the skill came back off cooldown. He pressed the button again, held it to charge it up, and then let go. Another arrow shot through the air, this time piercing Team Beijing’s Gragas.

“And a Pier—”

“Yeah, yeah. We get it,” An Xin interrupted. She glanced at Lin Feng and continued, “You want to pierce everyone on Team Beijing with your love arrow. Right?”

Lin Feng nodded, grinning. “I just don’t get it,” he said. “Why would they try to fight us at Dragon? We’ve got Rumble and I just got the Blue Buff, so I’ve got unlimited fire power!”

“They don’t know you’ve got blue. Well, they didn’t anyway,” An Xin replied. She then looked at her screen which showed the Dragon Pit and paused for a brief moment. She then added, “They know they won’t beat us late game. This is their final act of desperation. Either they win this fight and get back into the game. Or they lose it and it’s game. From their perspective, it’s better to do it like that than to sit back and wait for minute 40 when they’ll eventually lose.”

Zeng Rui pinged on the Dragon Pit and interjected, “Let’s focus on the fight. BunBun is right. This is their do or die attempt. We’re going to make sure they die.”

“Not to worry!” Zhang Hao exclaimed. He looked next to him at his teammates and continued, “You’ve got my Rumble ult! I’m coming right away!”

Tang Bingyao looked at the items in her inventory. Her Jinx was starting to become a real threat. I can show them how good I am now! Mhm! She nodded and said, “I’m coming too!”

Yu Ping ground his teeth in frustration. Every time an arrow came, it found a target. He lost a bit of the control he usually had over himself and ordered louder than usual, “Find those damn wards! They’ve got them somewhere! We need to kill his vision or he’s going to kill us!”

Zhang Hongyi threw his hands up in frustration and replied, “I am searching! But there are no wards here! He’s hitting those arrows blind! I’m telling you. NO WARDS HERE!”

Another Piercing Arrow whizzed out from the fog of war. Yu Ping flicked his mouse and had his Ahri sidestep the attack. But his ad-carry wasn’t as fast. The arrow struck Lucian and claimed a third of his health bar.

“FUCK!” Zhang Hongyi cursed. He pinged on his ad-carry and continued, “Jesus, what’s wrong with you today? You’re playing like shit! Start dodging those damn arrows! It’s not that hard! Click your stupid mouse and dodge!”

“I’m trying!” Team Beijing’s ad-carry replied through gritted teeth. His screen was flashing red. One more arrow would kill him. I’m trying to dodge! But there’s no time to react!  I can’t see him or where he’s shooting from! The arrows jump out of the fog of war! What do you want? Have me go all the way to the back and sit there waiting for Evelynn to flank us and kill me? I’m not doing that! 

“Guys, stop,” Yu Ping said. He narrowed his eyes and asked, “Where is their Rumble…?”

Team Beijing’s Toplaner grimaced and replied, “I couldn’t stop him. He’s teaming up with the—”

“Why didn’t you fucking say so!?” Yu Ping cursed. “Shit, okay. So all five of them are presumably below us. We don’t have vision on any of them. They can run right around the corner at the bottom of the river and charge at us. We need to run…” He shook his head and corrected, “We need to fight. Get down here Darius.”

“Almost there!” Team Beijing’s Toplaner responded.

The Dragon Pit was located in the bottom half of the river. It was an alcove carved into Blue Team’s Jungle, with the only entrance being in the river. All five Champions from Team Beijing stood there, indecisive. They couldn’t see Team Shanghai anywhere, even with the extended vision from their wards. They had a decent idea of where Team Shanghai was hiding, but they couldn’t see them.

A bit further down the river was an entrance into Blue team’s Jungle. It was a sharp corner, which created a good spot to hide behind. All five Champions from Team Shanghai were waiting there, closely packed together.

Lin Feng looked at the fog of war clouding the Dragon pit. Team Beijing had destroyed all wards from Team Shanghai. He glanced at Zeng Rui and said, “ZengZeng, what are you waiting for? Let’s go in!”

“I’m the shotcaller,” Zeng Rui replied. He briefly paused, his eyelid twitching, and then added, “Let’s go in!” He flashed across the wall and arrived right in front of Team Beijing. He followed up with Braum’s ultimate skill. Braum jumped up into the sky, raised his shield above his head, and then came down with the power of a thousand ice moons! A Glacial Fissure spread out in front of him, and a burst of cold air knocked Team Beijing’s Lucian and Leona up into the air!

“HaoBro, you next!” Lin Feng shouted over the team’s voice chat.

“HaoBro’s on the job!” Zhang Hao replied, laughing. Rumble’s ultimate skill was an area of effect skill, similar to Braum’s Glacial Fissure. The big difference was that where Braum’s skill went more in the direction of crowd control, Rumble’s skill also dealt a lot of damage. His Rumble cast The Equalizer! Six missiles fired from his contraption and exploded over the Glacial Fissure! A fire started burning!

Team Beijing’s Lucian was already at low health and was now also knocked up and receiving burn damage. His health bar was almost empty. He smashed on his D key repeatedly, trying to Flash away the moment his feet hit the ground again. But Varus’ Chains of Corruption rooted him before that could happen. Team Beijing’s ad-carry stared at his screen, despondant, as it turned to grey.

《You have been slain.》

Yu Ping fought two battles. One was versus Team Shanghai and the other against the frustration he felt towards his ad-carry. Idiot! How many times do we need to remind you to watch your damn positioning!? We’re fucked. Fucked! All I can do… He looked at Team Shanghai and narrowed his eyes. If I can dash in, kill Varus and dash back out… He said over the team’s voice chat, “We’re going in. Support me. Varus first!” He then dashed at Lin Feng’s Varus with Spirit Dash and threw all Ahri’s abilities at him!

“WOOOOO!” Cherry screamed into her microphone at the caster desk. “Yu Ping is gonna kill Varus!”

FourEyesChan chimed in, “Finally!”

The large pink heart kissed Lin Feng’s Varus. He became enamored with Ahri, even while the Orb of Deception and Fox-Fires tore through his health bar. In the distance, Team Beijing’s Leona raised her sword up to the sky and called down a Solar Flare on Varus. And through all of this, Lin Feng smiled. He remained calm, patiently baiting Team Beijing into using their most powerful crowd control skills. When the Solar Flare was about to hit him, he pressed F into D. A cleansing light helped him see Ahri for the devilish fox she really was and the veil of radiant light that followed carried him away from the Solar Flare!

Yu Ping ordered through gritted teeth, “Stick to him.” He then cast Spirit Rush for a second time, dashing after Lin Feng’s Varus.

Zeng Rui had stuck close to Tang Bingyao to protect her. But when Yu Ping dashed at Lin Feng for a second time, leaving his team far behind him, Zeng Rui saw the opening. He dashed at Lin Feng’s Varus with Stand Behind Me and followed up with Winter’s Bite! A chunk of freezing air slammed into Yu Ping’s Ahri and slowed her! He then cast Exhaust on Ahri! The red, debilitating energy wrapped around her and made her all but useless.

Yu Ping smiled. His Ahri had used her abilities. She wasn’t going to deal a lot of damage with or without Exhaust. He pinged on Tang Bingyao’s Jinx, who was left undefended, and ordered, “Take her out! FAST!”

“On it!” Team Beijing’s Jungler replied over the team’s voice chat. He Body Slammed towards Tang Bingyao’s Jinx and then tossed his Explosive Cask at her!

Su Xue was streaming the Winter Collegiate Cup Finals from her apartment in Shanghai. When she and her hundred thousand viewers saw Team Beijing shift their focus towards Tang Bingyao, she screamed, “NoNoNONONONOOOOOO! TANG TANG!”


how dare they slay our goddesss! LETS KILL EM ALL!!!! CRUSADDEE TANGTANGGANG!

why did braum run away? what a shit support….

plsplspslplss someone save tang tang!!!

i cant watch this. i just cant. someone tell me what happens


Tang Bingyao was laser focused on the fight. ZengZeng is gone and— The Explosive Cask flew through the air, about to burst. It was going to land behind and knock her into Team Beijing. The world ground to a halt. She finally got a glimpse into how Lin Feng played the game. Several different options played out before her eyes.

If I get hit, the force will knock me at the Darius and I’m dead. Can’t do that.

If I Flash forward, I Flash on top of Darius. Can’t do that either.

If I Flash sideways, I won’t clear the range because of the wall next to me. That won’t work.

But if I Flash back, I’m so far away from the fight that I can’t hel— Unless… What if I fire my Super Mega Death Rocket and kill Ahri? That would activate my passive skill and boost my movement speed. Then I can… Mhm! That’s it! That’s it! 

Time resumed for Tang Bingyao. She went against all her instincts and Flashed away from the fight. Her Jinx disappeared with a mottled flash of light and reappeared on the other side of the Explosive Cask. The pink liquid burst and sent her flying away! She pressed on the F3 button to center her camera over Lin Feng’s Varus. It didn’t matter where she landed; she just had to know where Ahri was. Still Exhausted. 2… 1! MHM! She pressed the R key and the SUPER MEGA DEATH ROCKET shot across the river straight at Ahri where it went up in a fiery explosion!

《You have slain an enemy!》

“Did she just…?” Cherry mumbled into her microphone at the caster desk.

FourEyesChan pushed his glasses up the rim of his nose and said, “Yeah, yeah… Yeah, she just did that.” He briefly paused and then added, “Wow! That’s the trademark of any LPL ad-carry! Stunned me right into silence! WOW!”

“Wow indeed! Crazy…”

“Those reflexes… How in the world…?”


“Jinx is a crazy bitch… Player matches Champion! WOOOOOOO!”


Lin Feng turned his head to look at Tang Bingyao and grinned.

Tang Bingyao glanced at Lin Feng and mumbled, “Hmm?”

Lin Feng grinned brighter and said, “You know how nice that was, right? That was so nice! Reminds me of Silent! You channelled your inner Silent there! I knew you had it in you! I’m lovin’ it!”

Tang Bingyao forgot about her Jinx running towards Team Beijing. She turned her head to look at Lin Feng, suddenly feeling very warm. D-did… Uhm… I did good? Mhm! I did! Like Silent! He’s comparing me with the best ad-carry to have ever played! He’s… He is… She smiled and mumbled barely audibly, “Thanks.”

“He’s right, you know?” An Xin said. She winked at Tang Bingyao and added, “That was a great play. I was really confused when you Flashed away from the fight. That’s so not like you. But then you hit that rocket and… Lin Feng is right. That was reminiscent of Silent. That was a fantastic play and an even better sho—”

“WE’RE IN THE MIDDLE OF A TEAMFIGHT! DAMMIT!” Zeng Rui screamed over the team’s voice chat. His eyes were bloodshot as he clicked on his mouse with increasing fury. “WE’RE IN THE MIDDLE OF A TEAMFIGHT!”

“ZengZeng!” Lin Feng exclaimed. “My ears! Jeesh! We’ve already got two and look…” He charged up a Piercing Arrow and released it, piercing Gragas and Darius. “I’ve got them both! We’ll kill them!”

“Just focus,” Zeng Rui said, staring at his screen.

Team Shanghai stopped chatting and channelled their attention towards the teamfight. There were still three Champions from Team Beijing alive, but they’d used their strongest crowd control abilities and didn’t have the damage to kill anyone from Team Shanghai. Tang Bingyao’s Jinx fired at Gragas with her minigun while Lin Feng’s Varus fired arrows from his bow. An Xin lashed out with her sharp nails and Rumble activated his Flamespitter. All the while, Zeng Rui had his Braum running between Gragas and Darius and slowing them both.

Zhang Hongyi looked at the fight, the corner of his lips twitching. He focused his camera on Zeng Rui and narrowed his eyes. You. Little. Chickenshit! If my ad-carry wasn’t such a braintard this game, we would’ve won this fight! It’s all because of that stupid ass Varus and his longshots… FUCK! He clicked away from the fight. No one cared about his Leona. She was irrelevant in this game. He was irrelevant. “FUCK! WE LOST! FUCK!”

Zhang Hao’s Rumble got the last hit on Gragas and claimed the double kill, after which Team Shanghai turned their attention on Darius. They chased him down and killed him. Leona got away, but she wasn’t worth chasing. Not with a Dragon ready to be taken, anyway. Team Shanghai took the Dragon and then recalled back to base to spend all the gold they’d just earned.

FourEyesChan adjusted his glasses and said into the microphone, “That’s game. The Nexus is still standing, but Team Beijing has basically lost this game.”

Cherry nodded and added, “I don’t see them coming back from this one. It would take something truly special.”

Sun Ruinian looked up at the speakers from which the casters’ voices boomed and shook his head. He mumbled, “Something phenomenally terrible would have to happen. Like a meteor or an EMF wave. Or Team Shanghai suddenly getting sick…”

Chapter 395 – The Blind Arrow

Yu Ping squeezed his mouse in frustration. Tendrils of corruption clung to his Ahri and rooted her to the ground. A blight-tipped arrow pierced her. Varus was an attack damage Champion, making his auto attacks far more potent than hers. That alone wasn’t enough to kill Yu Ping’s Ahri though. That also wasn’t why Yu Ping was grinding his teeth and punching his keyboard. It was An Xin’s Evelynn. She was there the whole time, wasn’t she? That’s why he didn’t hit Level 6 on the last wave. She was soaking up half of the experience! I should’ve seen something was up, but… But… But I was too busy trying to bait him!

An Xin’s Evelynn ran up to Ahri and slashed with her two razor sharp claws. She followed up with Hate Spike, a thorn of malice that penetrated through Ahri’s chest! Her claws then lit up with a baleful, purple aura. They defied physics as the skill Ravage moved them up again and across Ahri’s chest!

“Break already!” Yu Ping cursed at his screen. He was frantically clicking next to his outer tower and smashing his R key for the third and final cast of Spirit Rush. The tendrils of corruption glued to his Ahri started dissipating. His Ahri still had a bit of health remaining. Hope reignited. He saw on his minimap that Gragas was almost in the mid lane to help him escape. I’m gonna get out! SPIRIT RUSH!

Lin Feng’s Varus hadn’t stood still after rooting Ahri. He’d started walking at her and past her, only stopping to hit another auto attack. When Ahri dashed past him and back towards her out tower, he laughed and said over the team’s voice chat, “See how obvious?”

“Yeah, yeah,” An Xin replied. She followed after Ahri with Flash and auto attacked her another time before stopping. She added, “You finish it. I’m going to block Gragas.”

“I will!” Lin Feng exclaimed. He clicked on Ahri again. Varus pulled back the string on his bow and then let go. A blight-tipped arrow pierced Ahri and killed her.

《First Blood!》

On the casters desk, FourEyesChan pushed his glasses up the rim of his nose and grabbed his microphone. He shouted, “WHAT A DIRTY TRICK! DISGUSTING! … But fuck me if that wasn’t a beautiful kill. Don’t you think, Cherry?”

Cherry was the female co-caster for the Winter Collegiate Cup Finals. She smiled and replied, “Woooo! Nice trap!”

“Come on, Yu Ping! Show them the Beijing way!”

“What the fuck? SO DIRTY! YUCK!”

“Can’t cheer for this crap. DIRTY TRICKS! DIRTY TRICKS!”

“Beijingers don’t need cheap tricks!”


Zou Cheng from Zhejiang University looked behind them at the audience. People were up from their seats, jeering Team Shanghai. He shook his head and said to his teammates, “Those guys are in for a rough awakening.”

“Yeah,” Zhejiang University’s Jungler added, laughing. “I still get goosebumps when I think back to that game we played against them. Yu Ping is going to be in for a bad fucking time. Lin Feng’s Varus is insane!”

Sun Runian nodded and chimed in, “Shi Hang kept him down for quite a bit in the early game. But then… Well, you guys were there. You know.”

“Yeah…” Zhejiang University’s Toplaner muttered.

Su Xue sat on the edge of her seat. Each movement from Lin Feng got an excited response from her. And when he killed Ahri for first blood, she jumped to her feet and struck his trademark victory pose. It was this genuine joy that saw close to a hundred thousand people tuning into her stream. She lifted their days.

The game reached the 9th minute and Su Xue was hopping around on her gaming chair. “Look. Look!” she shouted, pointing at her screen. “Our lil bro is at 84 CS and that stupid Ahri is stuck at 71! He’s got such a big lead in only 9 minutes!”

thats our lil bro for you!!!! BEST PLAYER EVAAHHHHH

hed be further ahead if it wasnt for the gragas coming mid 24/7/365!!

Can’t believe Li’l’ Bro didn’t even kill the Gragas yet. He’s definitely underperforming today.


“No. No!” Su Xue screamed. She put her hands over her face and pulled down, stretching her skin. “NO! GET OUT, LIN FENG! GET OUT!” She stared at her screen in horror. Varus was an immobile Champion and Team Beijing knew this. Their Gragas snuck towards the mid lane again, this time evading Team Shanghai’s ward coverage by sneaking into their Jungle. Lin Feng was pushing his wave when Gragas appeared behind him. Ahri jumped at him and Charmed him.

“CLEANSE! FLASH! DO SOMETHING!” Su Xue screeched. But Lin Feng did neither. He instead had his Varus last hit a few more minions while dodging skillshots until a final Spirit Rush dash from Ahri slew him.

“Why? Why–y–y?” Su Xue weeped. She flung her arm at the screen and cried out, “Why didn’t he just Fla—”

coz he was dead anyway…

varus has low health. He got the most out of that…

“SHHHH!” Su Xue interrupted. She pointed at her screen and continued, “Look. Look! They’re fighting in bot! Looks like BunBun came for the gank and HaoBro teleported down from top!

“Darius is following after HaoBro, but Tang Tang’s Jinx put down her Flame Chompers! That’s a stun on Darius!

“They’re killing Lucian! It’s everyone on Lucian!




Su Xue pressed her finger to her mouth and shouted, “They’re still going! Shhhh! They’re still going!

“Look! Darius gave up! He’s running away and they’re letting him… BECAUSE THEY’RE ON THE LEONA!




lil bro was just keeping gragas busy. 300iq play right there!

did ya guys see the braum ultie? Holy hot diggity damn! Crazy sexy!!!!!


people dont r3sp3ct haobro enough. the dude never complains and always supports



Zhejiang University and Fudan University were sitting next to each other in the stands. Both their Junglers were staring at the large LCD screen above the two soundproof booths and shaking their heads. After the previous bout of action, the game calmed down a bit. More specifically, the Jungler from Team Beijing and An Xin returned to farming their Jungle. But An Xin played the invisible Evelynn. Even when she was farming in the Jungle, Team Beijing didn’t know where she was. For all they knew, she was sitting in one of the lanes like she’d done in the mid lane before.

“My god. This is brutal,” Zhejiang University’s Jungler mumbled.

Fudan University’s Jungler nodded and said, “Don’t get me started on it. Gragas not showing himself in lane means he’s not in lane. Probably just farming minions. But that Eve not being in lane? She’s putting as much pressure on Team Beijing as she would when ganking. It’s that psychological warfare-thing here. And Team Shanghai is running away with it!”

Zhejiang University’s Jungler chuckled and replied, “BunBun is playing Eve to her full potential. Hella impressive!”

Sun Ruinian listened to the conversation with a half ear, most of his attention focused on the game. He suddenly scrunched his eyebrows and asked, “Do you guys think Team Shanghai is going to drag this game out? They’ve got the early lead and the stronger late game team. It’d make sense. But we’ve seen Lin Feng. He doesn’t really enjoy dragging a game out.”

“They’re not going to drag. They won’t have to,” Qiu Yijie replied. He pointed at the large LCD screen and continued, “See how Gragas just walked over a ward there? It’s pretty obvious he’s going to take his Wraith Camp.” He briefly paused, watching the developments on the screen, and then said, “Yep. Like I said. See An Xin and Lin Feng moving there?”

Inside Team Shanghai’s soundproof booth, Lin Feng laughed and said over the team’s voice chat, “See? Told you guys that Gragas was gonna screw up! I knew it the moment he started ganking mid! Come on, BunBun! Hurry up already!”

“I’m there,” An Xin replied. “Engage.”

Lin Feng took a deep breath and then pressed down on the R key! Chains of Corruption shot from Varus’ bow and rooted Gragas to the ground. An Xin’s Evelynn ran past Varus and engaged Gragas with a Hate Spike! A dark crimson spike manifested in the air and pierced Gragas’ heart!

Team Beijing’s Jungler yelped in surprise when the Chains of Corruption hit him and cursed when the Hate Spike pierced him. He hadn’t expected the gank at all. But he played Jungle Gragas, and Jungle Gragas had a ton of health. The blight-tipped arrows from Varus and slashes from Evelynn tore through his health bar, but he remained calm. He knew the root would wear off before he died. His fingers rested on the keys for Explosive Cask and Body Slam. The first skill was to knock Evelynn away and the second was to get away himself.

The root from Chains of Corruption wore off. Team Beijing’s Gragas hurled the Explosive Cask and sent An Xin’s Evelynn flying away. He then Body Slammed away, deeper into his Jungler. Suckers! Wasted all your damned abilities to kill me. Look at me now! I’m still alive! Hahaha! SUCKER

The audience cheered when they saw Gragas make his escape. They cheered louder when An Xin’s Evelynn was knocked away too far to catch back up. But then the camera zoomed in on Lin Feng’s Varus. A purple halo pulsed around his hand as he pulled on the string of his bow. The Piercing Arrow grew thicker and larger. The audience fell silent. They leaned forward, their hearts beating loudly. Varus released the string. The arrow shot forward! It pierced through a wall of boulders and trees, flew through Team Shanghai’s fog of war, and finally connected with Gragas.

《The Blue Team has slain an enemy!》

Cherry put her hands before her mouth and exclaimed, “Oh my god! Oh my god!

FourEyesChan adjusted his glasses and nodded. He forgot for a couple of breaths about his job as a caster, just like how the crowd forgot to cheer. But then it all came back to him. He grabbed his microphone and shouted, “WOOOOOOOO! WHAT A SNIPE! THAT’S SOME CRAZY ACCURACY! AND HE DID IT THROUGH THE FOG OF WAR!”



“9000IQ PLAY RIGHT THERE! What am I saying… OVER 9000!”


Sun Ruinian felt a shiver run up and down his spine. He shook his head and mumbled, “I’m going to get PTSD from this guy. Just when you think you got away, he’s there with a perfect arrow. How does he keep hitting them like that? It’s like he’s got an aimbot? Is he hacking? Is that it? Is that how he’s hitting these impossible shots? He didn’t even know where Gragas went!”

Qiu Yijie chuckled, helpless. He glanced at Sun Ruinian and replied, “Trust me. It’s worse when you’re up against him in lane. The dude’s insane.”

Chu Fang sat a short distance away from the teams from Zhejiang University and Fudan University. He was grinning and laughing. Every couple of seconds, he caught himself glancing at Fan Yuan. Hehe! He looks so mad! These idiots kept begging to have the tournament changed to allow high schoolers! They really thought they were going to get one over on our Shanghai department. But there’s no one better than me at nurturing talent! Well, that and the fact Lin Feng is back… Hehe!

Yu Ping hit the Tab key and looked at the state of the game. He grimaced. We’re behind. Every lane is losing. It can’t go on like this. They’ve got Varus and they’ve got Jinx… Plus with Evelynn and Rumble they do have ability power damage… We’re fucked in the late game. This cannot drag. He pursed his lips and took a deep, long breath. He then said over the team’s voice chat, “We can’t drag this out, guys. Either we force a teamfight and we win this, or we’re screwed.”

“We could force a fight at Dragon,” Zhang Hongyi suggested.

Yu Ping panned his camera and looked at the Dragon pit. He sighed. Their Rumble has got his ultimate and their entire team is alive. We’re asking to get fucked in the ass here. But what choice do we really have? If we don’t do anything, then we’re losing in minute 40 while having felt helpless since minute now. He shook his head and said, “Guess we could. Maybe if we play it just right… We need to make sure the Rumble can’t get his ult off.”

“I could keep him away,” Team Beijing’s Toplaner said.

“Alright, let’s try and do that,” Yu Ping agreed. He then pinged on the Dragon pit and said, “Gather up!”

Across the stage in Team Shanghai’s soundproof booth, Lin Feng scrunched his eyebrows. He scratched his chin and tilted his head from one side to the other. He then pointed at his screen and asked over the team’s voice chat, “You guys seeing this? They’re running towards the Dragon Pit? Are they stupid…?” He shrugged and added, “Oh well. If they want a fight, let’s give them a fight!”

Chapter 394 – Everyone Saw it Coming, Except for the Victim


Yu Ping closed his eyes and focused on his breathing. Varus is the diametrical opposite of Ahri in terms of playstyle. He is an immobile, attack damage Champion who wants to snipe down opponents from a distance, while my Ahri is an in-your-face ability power assassin. But the first couple of levels will be skill based, especially since he went with Cleanse. But after Level 6

《Welcome to Summoner’s Rift!》

Yu Ping opened his eyes and smiled. He mumbled, “But after Level 6, I’ve got my jumps and then there’s nothing he can do to me anymore. I just need to get there without falling behind.” He turned his head to look at his teammates. They were all focused on their screen, clicking their mice to buy items and have their Champions move down the different lanes. They’ve got this. I need to make sure I do too, because this game is going to come down to mid. If I take out Varus, we win the 5 vs 4 that remains. He clenched his fist and said over the team’s voice chat, “Standard opening.”

Across the stage in Team Shanghai’s soundproof booth, Lin Feng bought his starter item and then had Varus run towards the mid lane outer tower. Hmm… Winter Collegiate Cup. Teamplay. But I first need to win my lane. I’m playing against an Ahri and Yu Ping is a decent enough Midlaner. I have to be focused. Her Charm can kill me and after Level 6 positioning becomes far more important because of her ultimate. I’ve got Cleanse, but that is to make a play and not to escape from one. He panned his camera towards the Red team’s Blue Buff Camp, which was hidden from him by the fog of war. Their Gragas is most likely starting here, which means I need to hover closer towards the top of my lane at the beginning and then slowly rotate towards the bottom side as he runs up for his Red Buff…

The minions marched into the lane and started fighting each other at the halfway point. Lin Feng had his Varus join them, firing arrows at minions while keeping an eye on Ahri. He paid close attention to her movements, searching for habits and potential mistakes.

She just needs to— Lin Feng suddenly narrowed his eyes. Yu Ping’s Ahri had stepped forward to last hit a caster minion. He pressed down on the Q key, making Varus pull on his bowstring, charging up for an attack. And then he waited, patiently. The range of the shot kept increasing, so Ahri couldn’t outrun it. When the two minions between Ahri and Varus were almost dead, Lin Feng released his finger. A crimson blight arrow pierced through the minions, killing them, and then penetrated Ahri!

Lin Feng grinned and rolled his shoulders. It was pivotal for Varus to hit these long ranged Piercing Arrows if he wanted to win the lane. They were the primary damage dealers of his kit. Lin Feng rolled his neck and mumbled, “Not too shabby. Looks like I’ve still got it today.”

Lin Feng pressured on the lane, pushing it forward to Red Team’s outer tower. The first minute since the Jungle Camps had spawned passed, so he started repositioning towards the bottom side of the lane. He continued pushing the minion wave from there while also keeping an eye on the top side brush. I’m pushing it. We’re 4 minutes in. It’s about time for Gragas to come in for a gank. If he’s coming mid. Hmm… He clicked on his minimap, moving his camera towards the top lane. He followed up right away with the spacebar to focus his camera back on Varus. The top lane was revealed to him for less than a second, but it was long enough to give him an idea about the way in which Team Beijing’s Darius was pushing the lane. Lin Feng repeated this process to check on several locations on the map, until he spotted Gragas. He’s mid, just a bit late.

Team Beijing’s Gragas ran into the mid lane from the top side brush. He aimed at Lin Feng’s Varus with Body Slam and used Flash to cover a bigger distance. Yu Ping’s Ahri followed up on Gragas with a Flash-Charm combination. The manifestation of pure love in the form of a pink heart flew at Varus, forcing him towards Gragas.

Chu Fang heard the audience erupt. There was such power behind their cheers that it felt like a knock to the back of his head. He grimaced and looked at Team Shanghai’s soundproof booth, clenching his fists until his knuckles were white. Come on, Lin Feng! Don’t let them get you! COME ON!

The gank came as no surprise to Lin Feng. He’d prepared for it before the game even began. The skills from Gragas and Ahri were layered well enough that he had to use his Flash to get away from them. The veil of light fell over his Varus, carrying him back towards his outer tower just as the Body Slam and Charm arrived where he stood a moment ago.

Team Beijing’s Gragas clapped his hands together and exclaimed over the team’s voice chat, “Damn! So close! I thought for sure we had him!” He shook his head in disappointment and added, “I was so hoping he’d let your Charm hit him and Cleanse it and then try to run away… Then I could’ve knocked him right up! But he Flashed. Sadge.”

Yu Ping glanced at his Jungler and replied, “It’s fine. We got his Flash and he’s missing a full minion wave at least, that’s plenty.” He then turned his attention back towards his screen. He narrowed his eyes and focused on Varus. You would’ve never gotten hit by the Gragas Body Slam. You knew this was coming, didn’t you? You’re a far better player than he’s expecting you to be. We’ve all watched you play… But that pressure you put on your opponent… Seeing it and experiencing it are two entirely different things. This is going to be a real challenge. He smiled when that last sentence appeared in his mind. He nodded and mumbled, “You’re exactly what I’ve been searching for.”

The fans, the caster and even the players had most of their focus on the mid lane. They all knew that the outcome from that lane would for a large part determine the outcome of the entire game. That wasn’t to say nothing happened in the other lanes. Zeng Rui and Tang Bingyao were trying as best as they could to stay even with Team Beijing’s Botlaners. But their choice of Champions, Braum and Jinx, wouldn’t start shining until they had their first items. Team Beijing countered this with their Leona and Lucian pick. These two Champions were very strong from the first minute of the game.

Zhang Hongyi was grinning, excited. He said to his ad-carry, “We’ve got this! Zeng Rui sucks! I’m goin’ in!” He then had his Leona dash in on Tang Bingyao’s Jinx, who countered the engage by stunning Leona. But the time Tang Bingyao spent defending against the Leona was time Team Beijing’s Lucian used to get in some damage on her. She retreated back towards her outer tower safely, but lost a bit of health.

Zhang Hongyi laughed and shouted at his computer, “If that’s all you got, you better start packing, SUCKER!”

Across the stage in Team Shanghai’s soundproof booth, Zeng Rui grimaced. I should’ve jumped faster there and given Tang Tang a shield. She wouldn’t have lost so much health. It’s just… I used that shield a few seconds ago. It was still on cooldown. He massaged his temple. Focus, Zeng Rui. Focus! He glanced next to him at his teammates, all four of them staring at their screen. Like them. Focus. Don’t let Zhang Hongyi get to you. He took a deep, long breath and then asked over the team’s voice chat, “Zhang Hao. How you holding up?”

“Holding up so far,” Zhang Hao replied, tense. “Not sure how long I can handle this though…”

Zeng Rui nodded and said, “Do your best. BunBun won’t have much time to help you. Just stick to your outer tower if you have to.”

“Will do!” Zhang Hao agreed.

At 5 minutes, Gragas returned to the mid lane for another gank. He waited in the brush above the lane for Lin Feng’s Varus to walk within range of the skill. But Varus never got close enough. Team Beijing’s Jungler grumbled, waited a bit more, and then activated Body Slam. His Gragas barreled into the lane, stopping just short of Lin Feng’s Varus. And behind Varus he discovered An Xin’s Evelynn. His eyes grew round and wide and he cursed, “Fuck!”

“Back!” Yu Ping ordered over the team’s voice chat, using a defensive Charm to stop Lin Feng and An Xin from engaging.

All the way over in Shanghai, Su Xue sat behind her computer. Her stream was running and she was watching the Winter Collegiate Cup broadcast with her viewers. When Gragas engaged, her heart rate sped up and she put her hands to her mouth. And after the gank failed, she breathed out in relief. She wiped her forehead and exclaimed, “PFEW! That was so close! Did you guys see?”

thank god he’s still alive! bunbun really saved him there



they just knew the gank was coming! How did they know? Bunbun sat there for a good 10 seconds early!!!!

Back in Beijing, Lin Feng exclaimed, “Told you they want me dead!” He then grinned and continued, “Good thing I knew this was coming and had you sit behind me! No way I’d fall for such an obvious plan! I’m way too good for that. Right! Speaking of which, you can go take the Wraith Camp, but… get back here after. They’re gonna try this again in like a minute.”

An Xin looked at Lin Feng and winked at him. She replied, “Won’t it be easier if I just stay with you then? Nice and tight and since I’m invisible, no one will see it! All they’ll see is you kis—”

“Great idea!” Lin Feng interrupted. He pinged on top of his Varus and continued, “I’ve got a plan! Come, sit here! Right on top of me! Don’t leave! You’ll love this!”

At 6 minutes, Yu Ping’s Ahri reached Level 6. Yu Ping chewed on his tongue and scrunched his eyes. I could engage. Varus is still Level 5 after missing that minion wave after the first gank. He does have Cleanse. That might screw me over. Shit, I can’t think about this for too long. I need to do something. He pursed his lips and moved his head left and right and finally clicked next to his outer tower. His Ahri followed the command and retreated, then started recalling back to base. I’ll just recall for now. When I get back, I’ll look for an opening to kill him.

Evelynn was a Champion who walked the shadows. She only revealed herself when she attacked or used a skill. She’d been sitting in the mid lane, patiently waiting. Yu Ping couldn’t see this, but the audience could. They were growing progressively confused about this choice by Team Shanghai, especially when she didn’t leave even after Yu Ping’s Ahri recalled back to base.

“What’s the Eve doing?”

“She’s just sitting there… Did her mouse stop working or something?”

“A bug? Something like that? She’s stealing all the experience from Varus!”

“This is gonna ruin mid for Lin Feng!”


“Are they trolling…?”

There were only a few people in the audience who were starting to see what was happening. They were the experienced and high ranked League of Legends players, like Qiu Yijie from Fudan University. He was watching the Finals together with his teammates and Zhejiang University. He shook his head and said, “Eve’s playing the long game… That kind of patience is so impressive.”

Sun Ruinian shook his head and added, “It is. Yu Ping is going to be in for one nasty surprise.”

Back in Team Beijing’s soundproof booth, Yu Ping scrunched his nose and tilted his head. The minion wave is gone. Why is he still Level 5? Did I forget about a minion? Maybe it happened when Eve ganked before? In which case he needs three more minions at the most. That’ll be it. He grinned when he noticed Lin Feng’s Varus continuing to push despite his Ahri returning back to the lane. He’s trying to get those three minions. Too greedy! I’ll make you pay for that! 

“Gragas. Mid. Now!” Yu Ping ordered over the team’s voice chat. He then focused on Lin Feng’s Varus and narrowed his eyes, mumbling, “Now you’re trying to back, huh? Too late. Far too late. Watch this!” He pressed on his R key, activating Spirit Rush!

Lin Feng laughed when he saw Ahri dashing towards him. He charged up a Piercing Arrow and aimed at a caster minion behind Ahri. The crimson blight arrow shot through Ahri and then the minion. The experience from killing the minion brought Varus to Level 6. He learned Chains of Corruption!

Yu Ping’s Ahri dashed a second time with Spirit Rush and arrived right in front of Lin Feng’s Varus. She followed up by blowing a kiss at Varus. Charm! Yu Ping’s fingers were gliding across his keyboard, activating Ahri’s damage abilities Orb of Deception and Fox-Fires. But there was no one faster than Lin Feng when he knew exactly what his opponent was doing. He fired Chains of Corruption at Ahri, paused for a brief moment to let the Charm hit and then cleansed its effect. After which he sidestepped the Orb of Deception.

“W-what?” Yu Ping muttered. He clicked on Lin Feng’s Varus, making Ahri auto attack him.

Lin Feng grinned. He cast Hail of Arrows, and while his Varus took aim he shouted over the team’s voice chat, “BunBun, I CHOOSE YOU!”

Yu Ping felt his stomach drop. He stared at the Evelynn stepping out from the shadows. It finally all made sense to him. That’s why it took him so long to hit Level 6… FUUUCK!

Chapter 393 – Pills and Gunpowder; Overdose and Terrorist Attack?

There were 3,000 League of Legends fans at the Hongkou Stadium. Many more had called in sick from work and school and were sitting at home glued to their televisions. They felt their hearts slamming against their chests from a combination of excitement and expectation. Today was the day. It was the faceoff between AyDeeCee and Hermes! Two of China’s best Midlaners were going head to head and they both had something to prove! AyDeeCee wanted to announce his return to the competitive scene by beating then King Hermes. And Hermes was looking to solidify his position as the undisputed number 1 Midlaner from China!

The offseason had gone well for Team Rapids. They went from a bottom team to an expected title contender by upgrading their roster. But after the first few games, they found themselves back where they’d spent so much time in Season 5. At the bottom of the LPL. It wasn’t unexpected. They played KG and were outclassed by God Roundy. But the fickle fans only cared about the team’s ranking, and they were already starting to put pressure on Team Rapids through a social media outrage.

Team Rapids’ coach looked at his team. They were sitting in a small room backstage, making their final preparations for their game against HoG. He chewed on his lips and got up from his seat, then started walking from one end of the room to the other and back again. Management is already putting pressure on me! They know we need time and they promised me time, but it’s only the second week and they’re already forgetting all their promises! We just need some more time! It takes time to make a new… He grimaced and turned his attention to Shi Hang. He’s got it. He’s still got it. But the team needs to adjust to that, dammit! He sighed loudly and shook his head. I can’t imagine the pressure he must be feeling. The posts online alone… He walked up to Shi Hang and put a hand on his shoulder. “You alright?” he asked. “Your nerves I mean. I hope it’s not too bad?”

Shi Hang looked up at the coach and smiled. He replied, “You coached me back in Season 2 and now again. Do I look that nervous to you?”

Team Rapids’ coach looked at Shi Hang, pierced the calm look in his eyes, and said, “You don’t fool me, Shi Hang. You might fool the others with that perfectly calm smile, but not me. I’ve seen how you get when you play… You know who. I know how you get when you’re serious.”

Maple. The name appeared in Shi Hang’s mind and he looked at his phone. That kid’s playing his own finals. I really can’t wait to see him up on this stage again. He nodded at his coach and said, “Well, it is King Hermes I’m up against today. But don’t worry, I’m alright.”

“Good,” Team Rapids’ coach said. He then paused, chewing on his lips. Hesitating. He finally asked, “Do you think you can beat him? He is a King…”

Shi Hang laughed loud enough for his teammates to look at him. He looked back at them before turning his attention back to his coach and said, “I’m AyDee–fucking–CEE! That King ain’t got shit on me! What? Huh? You sayin’ you don’t trust me?”

Team Rapids’ coach looked at Shi Hang, stunned. He looked past his old friend at the other players on the team. They were all staring at Shi Hang. He shook his head and said, “Sometimes, you really are an idiot. You know that, right? But yeah. Yeah. I trust you.”

“Good. That’s all I needed to hear,” Shi Hang replied. He got up from his chair and waved for his teammates to gather around him. They made a small circle and put their hands in the middle. He looked at them, one at a time, and gave them each a nod. He then said, “We’ve all seen HoG kicking ass at Worlds. We’ve seen them do well in their scrims and they won their first rounds in the LPL. They’re a team in form. But we’ve got a team just as strong as them! We’re title contenders just like them! It’s about time we show that to the fans and, more importantly, to ourselves! FOR THE TEAM!”

“FOR THE TEAM!” Shi Hang’s teammates echoed.

An Xin sat on the sofa in her hotel room, cradling her hand. She wasn’t currently experiencing any real pain or problems with it, but there was this voice at the back of her mind trying to convince her she was. She pinched the areas that were especially sensitive whenever it flared and grimaced in pain. They’re going to need me on my best game. I can’t screw up. This might be my last tournament with Lin Feng… Every game could be the last. I have to enjoy this. I need to create memories now before it’s too late. She closed her eyes, tears rolling down her cheeks and dropping on her hands.

A knocking sound came from the hotel room door, followed by Chu Fang reminding her that it was already 1:30 P.M. and that they were going to the stadium soon. An Xin wiped her eyes and looked around the room. I can’t let it happen again. Not today. I can’t. She got up and walked over towards her backpack, dreadfully slow. I need to be prepared. Just like last time. Yeah. She got a few pill bottles from her bag and carefully divided the medication in plastic cups, counting how many more days worth of medicine she had.

“Just like last time. It worked fine last time,” An Xin mumbled to herself as she stared at the little plastic cups. There was enough medicine to last her well beyond the end of the week. She grimaced and poured it all in the same cup. She then walked to the bathroom and filled another cup with water. Just this once. This should work. I won’t have problems if I do it like this. She put the pills in her mouth and hesitated. Her stomach contracted. She knew this was a bad decision. But it was a decision she was willing to take if it meant playing at least one more time with Lin Feng. She closed her eyes and forced the pills down her throat with the help of some water.

Tang Bingyao walked into the hotel room and said, “BunBun, are you still here? We’re—” She stopped, her eyes growing round and wide. There, right in front of her, was An Xin’s bag and several empty bottles of pills. “BunBun? BunBun!?” Tang Bingyao shouted, running into the bathroom. “BUNBUN!?”

“It’s okay, shh. Shh. It’s okay. I’m okay,” An Xin said, pushing her finger to her lips. She then brushed past Tang Bingyao and stuffed the pill bottles in her backpack. After which she looked back at Tang Bingyao and explained, “Don’t worry about it, Tang Tang. It’s nothing. I’ve just not been feeling my best self, so I went to the doctor last week. He gave me a few pills to take and I just took the last few. That’s all. But, uhm… Could you do me a tiny favour? Can you not tell the others? I… I really don’t want them to worry. You know how Lin Feng gets.” She smiled and winked.

Tang Bingyao nodded slowly, shocked. When she saw the pills, her first thought was that An Xin had taken an overdose. There were so many pill bottles that it was difficult to think of anything else. She blinked a couple of times and only then noticed how fast her heart was beating. It took another couple of breaths for the pulse of adrenaline and worry to settle. She then looked at An Xin. If she says she’s fine… She looks okay, I think? I’m not a doctor. If the doctor says she needs to take so many pills… But if it’s nothing big, then why does she need so many pills? What doctor just gives out pills like that? What kinds of pills are they? She opened her mouth, but paused. There were so many questions she wanted to ask that she didn’t know where to start.

“We’re going to be late!” An Xin said, hurried. She grabbed Tang Bingyao by the arm and dragged her out of the room and towards the elevator where Lin Feng was already waiting for them. He was waving at them, shouting at them in the way that was so recognizably ‘Lin Feng’. An Xin smiled and waved back, then leaned a bit closer to Tang Bingyao and whispered, “It’s our little secret.”

It was 2 P.M. when the doors to the Chaoyang Sports Center closed. The fans had found their seats and the teams were being introduced up on stage. Chu Fang sat right below the stage next to his rival from the Beijing Esports Association, Vice President Fan Yuan. The entire thing with high school teams joining the Winter Collegiate Cup was a play by the three branches of the Chinese Esports Association to prove who was nurturing the most talented players. That competitiveness spilled over into hostility as the two vice presidents glared at each other, instead of cheering for their teams.

“We’ll smash you!” Fan Yuan told Chu Fang through a twitch of his eyelids.

“We’re gonna wreck you!” Chu Fang replied through a small shake of the head.

The smell of gunpowder didn’t just hover around Chu Fang and Fan Yuan, but also between the two teams up on stage. They stood across from each other while the host was introducing the individual members, highlights from them playing on the large LCD screen above the two soundproof booths. But they weren’t interested in the highlights or the cheers from the crowd. Zhang Hongyi and Zeng Rui weren’t, anyway. They were glaring at each other with such hatred that it was almost palpable.

Yu Ping took a page from Zhang Hongyi’s book and looked intently at Lin Feng, narrowing his eyes and trying to draw his opponent’s attention. But Lin Feng was oblivious to it. He looked around the stage and waved and smiled at the fans until the host informed the two teams they could enter their soundproof booths. He then grinned at Yu Ping and said, “Good luck!”

Yu Ping narrowed his eyes until they were almost closed and mumbled, “Yeah.”

The two teams entered the soundproof booths and got settled behind their computers. They were given 15 minutes to get their gaming chairs just right and to configure the ingame settings so that they were exactly as they wanted them to be. The casters used this time to go over both teams again, pointing out the strong and weak points from both sides.

When the fifteen minutes were up, the audience went silent. The large LCD screen above the stage revealed Champion Select and a live feed from the two soundproof booths. The host walked up on stage one more time and said into his microphone, “The moment is finally here. These are our finalists of the Winter Collegiate Cup! TEAM SHANGHAI AND TEAM BEIJING! And they’ve already picked their Champions for Game 1!”

Collegiate Cup Finals, Game 1

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

Top: Rumble vs. Darius

Jungle: Evelynn vs. Gragas

Mid: Varus vs. Ahri 

Ad-Carry: Jinx vs. Lucian

Support: Braum vs. Leona

Yu Ping narrowed his eyes. Lin Feng had picked in Varus a very immobile and vulnerable Champion. It was a Champion who didn’t see much gametime either, having only been picked once in the entire main tournament. “Gragas, camp mid,” he said over the team’s voice chat. “We’re going to shut him down.”

Across the stage in Team Shanghai’s soundproof booth, Lin Feng nodded at An Xin and said, “Counting on you here, BunBun!”

“Oh? Are you?” An Xin asked, smiling. She then winked at him and teased, “You know, it’s very unbecoming for a man to always lean on the fairer sex. But don’t worry. I’ve got you. I’ve always had you. Just leave the counter ganks to me.”

Lin Feng turned his head to look at An Xin and grinned. He then replied, “Thanks! Just help me scale and this is gonna be easy!”

Chapter 392 – It’s About How Hard You Can Get Hit and Keep Movin’ Forward

Shi Hang was in Team Rapids’ gaming room. Two of his teammates were playing duo queue on the computers and another teammate came walking in munching on some chips. Shi Hang watched them and sighed. We could’ve done better. I… I probably should’ve done a bit better. He took a deep, long breath and then said over his phone to Aurous, “Yeah, we played earlier today. Lost.”

“You lost?” Aurous asked, surprised. “You never lose! You’re bloody AyDeeCee! What happened? Did you fuck up? Or was it a team thing?”

Shi Hang looked at his teammates and chuckled. He shook his head and said, “Nah, the team played alright. I’ve just been out of it for too long. The new meta feels strange to me and I need a bit more time to adapt. Give it another week, two tops! Our teamwork and coordination will get up there and then we’ll be the team to watch out for!”

“So it was you who screwed up! Pity, dude. That’s a damn pity,” Aurous teased. He briefly paused, thinking about the high bar Shi Hang put up for himself and the damage fans could do to the mental fortitude of even the most talented players, and continued, “Hey, bud? Don’t let it get to you. This was your first match and it was against KG right off the bat! No one expected you to win this one. You’ll get more chances. Just chill and… You might wanna steer clear from social media for a couple of days… You know. The fans.”

Shi Hang laughed and said, “No worries. I’ll be fine.” He then cleared his throat and continued, “For you know, the heart of a fan is fickle. One moment, they love you. They want to have your babies and they worship you like a God, maybe even build a shrine in your name! But in the next moment, when you feel the spark of divinity that will grant you immortality, they tear it away from you! They strip you of every last bit of confidence you have! And then… Then they call you a steaming pile of trash and throw you in the gutter! They’ll charge you with the murder of their hopes and dreams and have you hanged it! That is the way of the fickle fan.”

Aurous snorted in laughter. He replied, “I love you, man. I fucking love you. That’s brilliant! But, for real. Don’t check your social media. I’m betting the fickle fans are already stalking you and waiting to unleash their fury on you!”

“Yeah, probably,” Shi Hang agreed, grinning. He glanced at his Toplaner who was still chewing chips and continued, “Don’t worry. I know the pressure and I wouldn’t have come back if I didn’t think I could handle it. That said… Holy damn was Roundy good. That dude hard-carried the game with his Fiora. Seriously, we couldn’t stop him. We tried, but we couldn’t.”

“Sometimes, you’re a raging idiot. You know that, right?” Aurous snapped. “Stop complimenting everyone you play against! Your fans don’t care about who you play against! They care about the high hopes they have for you. You know that they come to the stadium to watch you hard-carry a game, right? Speaking of which, who are you playing next? Ready to get a pentakill against them and show everyone that you still have what it takes to be the best Midlaner in China?”

Shi Hang laughed and replied, “You’re going to love this! Next game is the one where I get to show to everyone that I still have what it takes to be up there with the best Midlaners of China! Wanna know why? ‘Cause we’re playing Hand of God!”

“Fuck me. For real? HoG?” Aurous blurted. He breathed out loudly and continued, “I’m starting to feel nervous for you here, bud. KG first and now HoG? You’re playing against the best two teams right off the bat! And if you lose against HoG too, everyone will decide for you that you suck… The fickle fan and all that… Can’t believe that you have to play against Hermes this early. He’s a proper King! You have no luck whatsoever.”

“You worry too much,” Shi Hang said, calm as ever. “It’s not the ideal situation. I would’ve liked to ease into it a bit more. But I’m okay with this too. Let the fans doubt me and drag my name through the dirt if that’s what they want to do. I’ll show them that I still belong up there with the best Midlaners. Oh, and Aurous? You can trust me on this. I’m going to come out swinging against Hermes.”

Lin Feng’s alarm buzzed before the sun came up. He’d slept for only a few hours and he refused to give himself more rest than that. Not until he’d achieved One’s challenge, anyways. He rubbed the sleep from his eyes and groaned as he pushed himself off the bed. He wasn’t a morning person in any sense of the word and usually needed the smell from Su Xue’s breakfast to fully wake up.

“Why am I doing this…” Lin Feng mumbled to himself as he squinted his eyes to the bright light from the bathroom. “Right. Top 5, Top 5, Top 5…” 

Lin Feng took a quick shower, brushed his teeth and combed his hair. He then rushed down the stairs to the lobby, where breakfast was being served. On most days, breakfast was the highlight of his day, matched only by dinner. But he couldn’t care less about it right now. He only had two days left to reach the Top 5 of the Korean Challenger ladder, and in those two days he also had to practice with his team for the Winter Collegiate Cup Finals and play in the Finals. It was a lot, even for him.

The next few hours came and went. A blur of wins and losses on Lin Feng’s mind. The Top 20 on the Korean Challenger Ladder was different. Everyone there knew him, and everyone there played League of Legends at the highest level. He had to play at the best of his ability, and even that wasn’t enough in a portion of his games. But his climb didn’t stop and by the time it was lunch, he’d reached Rank 14.

Chu Fang decided to take Lin Feng out to a small restaurant a few blocks from the hotel for lunch. And some much needed fresh air. The others from Team Shanghai were already there, having spent the morning exploring the city. They laughed and joked with each other and enjoyed the food. But Lin Feng heard nothing they said or tasted anything he ate. His mind was still on the Korean Challenger Ladder.

After lunch, Zeng Rui decided that Team Shanghai needed to practice for the Finals against Team Beijing. Lin Feng grimaced but agreed. He knew Zeng Rui was right and that it would do the team good to get together one last time before the Finals and confirm their tactics and strategy. But that also cut into his time on the Korean Challenger Ladder. So when he finally got home after dinner, he sat back down behind his laptop and continued playing through most of the night.

“Hey, Lin Feng,” Chu Fang said. He put a hand on Lin Feng’s shoulder and said, “You’ve been going all day again. How about you take a break? The Finals are tomorrow and your teammates are counting on you.”

Lin Feng glanced over his shoulder at the worried look in Chu Fang’s eyes and grimaced. He knew Chu Fang was right, but he also knew that he was currently only sitting on Rank 11 of the Korean Challenger Ladder. He still had a long way to climb before he reached the Top 5. He hesitated, moving his mouse between the play again and log out buttons.

“Come on, Lin Feng,” Chu Fang repeated. “It’s bedtime.”

Lin Feng sighed and nodded. He clicked on the log out button and then turned his laptop off, saying, “Uh, okay. Fine. It’s just… I’ve only got one day left to get to the Top 5 and tomorrow we’ve got the Finals and I still need to do so—”

“It’s okay,” Chu Fang interrupted. He looked Lin Feng in the eyes and continued, “You’ve got this. You know you do. Trust in yourself.”

Lin Feng looked back at Chu Fang, stunned. His mind was briefly pulled away from the Korean Challenger Ladder. He found a brief moment in which the worries about making everyone proud and happy slipped from his mind. It brought a calming serenity. He smiled and said, “You’re right. You’re right!” He clenched his fist, grinning, and continued, “Who cares if it’s just one more day? I’m Maple! I’m going to win the Collegiate Cup tomorrow and then I’m going to hit the Top 5 on the Korean Challenger Ladder! And there’s no one who can stop me!”

The president of the Beijing Esports Association had requested the files on the four Semifinalists a few days earlier. He’d glanced at the five documents before the Semifinals. Four were about the teams and their members. None of them were of particular interest to him. They were strong teams with good players, but they lacked the flair that made something special. Except for one player. Lin Feng had his own document. The president leaned on the banister of his balcony and looked at the document again. He mumbled, “Lin Feng. It’s been a while.”

Chapter 391 – Peaking in High School

U-Tech Beijing were the defending champions of the Collegiate Cup. But the tournament taking place this winter was not going well for them. They qualified to the main tournament in second place behind Team Beijing, who had completely outclassed them in every part of the game. They’d made it all the way to the Semifinals, where they were up against Team Beijing again. This was supposed to be their redemption for what happened during the qualifiers. They’d spent countless hours researching Team Beijing. They hired analysts from professional teams to help them develop new strategies against Team Beijing. The entire team had even taken a semester off from their University courses to get in as many practice hours as they possibly could. They fought so hard, and got so far. But in the end, it didn’t even matter. 

The players from U-Tech Beijing got up on stage at 9 A.M. The fans in the Chaoyang Sports Center cheered in support. The five from U-Tech Beijing usually took a moment to acknowledge this support, but not this day. For on this day, their eyes were on the soundproof booths and their minds were filled with the countless hours of practice that had led to the conclusion that they simply weren’t up to the task of beating Team Beijing. They were going to lose their title. They believed that, anyway.

Fifteen excruciating minutes passed in which the players from U-Tech Beijing sat behind their computers, waiting for the host to finish announcing them. They looked at each other for moral support, but no one knew how to offer that. Because they were winners; they didn’t know how to deal with loss. When they entered the lobby, their team captain sighed and said over the team’s voice chat, “Let’s just give it our all, guys. Those kids over there…” he nodded with his head towards Team Beijing. “… They’re just kids. Maybe the pressure will get to them and we can cheese our way through this.”

“They’re basically a top LSPL team…” U-Tech Beijing’s Jungler muttered, defeated.

U-Tech Beijing’s team captain grimaced and responded, “And we’re basically an LSPL team.” He briefly paused, letting that bit of information settle in with his teammates. He then continued, “Those guys at the bottom in the LSPL, they don’t give up. Despite their odds, despite everything and oftentimes everyone being against them, they don’t give up. They go up on stage and they play their damndest! We need to do that today. Not to win this series, but to prove to ourselves that we are, in fact, an LSPL worthy team. Let’s show everyone we have that backbone. And if Team Beijing messes up? We’re winning this.”

U-Tech Beijing’s ad-carry nodded, at first slowly but then faster. He grinned and clenched his fist and said, “You’re right. We’ve been so focused on how to beat them and realising we can’t beat them when they go all out that we’ve lost the bigger picture. No one is at their best every series. Upsets do happen. When we give it our all in this series, the worst case scenario is that we give up. Not fighting at all, that would be a shame.”

“Yes!” U-Tech Beijing’s Toplaner exclaimed. He narrowed his eyes, smiled and said, “My stomach is going crazy, and not because I just had coffee! My arms are shaking and look, just look at my hands! They’re trembling like crazy! But that’s good, that’s fine. I like this feeling. We might go down, but we’ll go down fighting. FOR U-TECH!”

“FOR U-TECH!” the four other members from U-Tech Beijing echoed their Toplaner.

TheBrawnster grabbed his microphone and said, “Yo, yo yo! It’s your boy TheBrawnster here, bringing you this amazing semis with his best girl PufPuf!” He turned to look at PufPuf and continued, “Yo girl, whatcha thinkin’ ‘bout this series?”

“Only that it’s gonna be ah–mazing, of course!” PufPuf shrieked in her high pitched voice. She smiled and asked, “You must be so excited to be here! You get to cast two Beijing teams!”

TheBrawnster nodded, grinning. He said, “It’s an honour, really. I’m a proud Beijing local myself and to see two title contenders fighting it out for a spot in the finals… I can’t begin to tell you how great this feels! Just a shame it’s only the semis. I’ve seen the other two teams… Let’s just say Beijing has the most talent. This could’ve made for a great Finals!”

PufPuf giggled and replied, “I sense some of that famous Beijing superiority there! But you’ve got every right to! Beijing really has two of the best teams with U-Tech Beijing and Team Beijing! Oh, oh! Enough talking!” She turned her head to look at the camera, paused briefly for dramatic effect, and then shrieked, “Let the games begin!”

The first game was full of fireworks. Team Beijing started with a Level 1 invade, catching U-Tech Beijing’s Jungler completely out of position. The kill went to Yu Ping’s Fizz. He recalled back to base and bought a second Doran’s Ring. That gave him a big edge over his lane opponent, which culminated in a kill at Level 3. A few minutes later, U-Tech Beijing tried to put a stop to Yu Ping’s Fizz. But the gank went wrong very fast when Yu Ping dashed towards a minion and used it to reach Level 6. He unlocked his ultimate skill and when megalodon jumped through the portal and knocked both Champions from U-Tech Beijing up into the air, the game was as good as played. Team Beijing was up 1-0.

Team Beijing carried their momentum from the first game into the second. Their Top- and Botlaners found a boost in confidence after watching Yu Ping carry them to an easy win, and they used that confidence to make plays they would usually hesitate on. But U-Tech Beijing didn’t let Team Beijing walk all over them. They retreated, allowed towers to fall, and used a turtle strategy to get themselves mentally into the game. Not to win the second one, that one was quickly slipping from their grasp, but to be ready to come out swinging in the third. They managed to drag the second game for nearly 50 minutes, when Yu Ping found an opening and helped Team Beijing ace U-Tech Beijing. Team Beijing went up 2-0.

U-Tech Beijing found their stride in the third game, while Team Beijing felt their nerves tickling them just enough to put them off balance. U-Tech Beijing’s Midlaner realised that there was nothing to gain in the mid lane, because Yu Ping was just too good. So he roamed bot and top and helped those lanes get the advantage they needed to beat their lane opponents. When the teamfights came around in the mid game, U-Tech Beijing was far enough ahead to beat Team Beijing to every major objective. Including at 34 minutes when they slew Baron Nashor. That boost was the final push U-Tech Beijing needed to close the game out.

The third game was a wakeup call for Team Beijing. Mistakes they usually never made had slipped in and Yu Ping was furious with his teammates over that. He admonished them in the short break between the games and warned his teammates to be ready for the next game. And ready they were. The fourth game was the strongest performance by Team Beijing up to that point in the entire tournament. They rose to a new level entirely as they deconstructed U-Tech Beijing. It only took them 27 minutes to destroy the towers, kill the Baron and ace U-Tech Beijing on top of their fountain. Team Beijing won the Semifinals against U-Tech Beijing convincingly with a 3-1 final score!

TheBrawnster shouted into his microphone, “WOOOOOO! What a performance, yo! Fuckin’ sick! These two teams, you know, LSPL WORTHY! I’M WAITING TO SEE ALL OF THEM GO PRO!”

PufPuf nodded and shrieked, “U-Tech’s team is a bit older, but Team Beijing… Oh my god! Can you believe it?  They’re high schoolers! They’re, like, BARELY LEGAL!”

TheBrawnster looked at PufPuf and laughed. He then said into his microphone, “Barely legal indeed. These 18 year old kids are throwing the Chinese esports scene upside down! I can tell you all one thing, I’M A PROUD BEIJING LOCAL! We’re gonna get some mad talent flooding the LSPL, the LPL and holy damn, we’re gonna win Worlds one of these years! I’ve said it! Beijing has the talent! WE’RE GOIN’ TO WORLDS!” He briefly paused, putting his hand to his chest to feel his heart slamming against his ribcage. The voice from a staff member sounded from his earpiece, reminding him about the second Semifinals. He scratched his head and laughed awkwardly. He coughed and continued, “Yo, yo! I almost forgot! Beijing isn’t the only talented side here! We’ve got another semifinals and another high school team! Stick around because right after lunch we’ve got another great series lined up! Fudan University and Team Shanghai from East China are going to fight for the second Finals spot! It’s gonna be sick!”

It was 2 P.M. when the players from Fudan University, under the loud applause of the audience, walked up on stage and took place in their soundproof booths. They were in a good mood, all five of them. They’d practiced with Zhejiang University, rehearsed their different tactics and analysed every game from Team Shanghai. Fudan University’s Toplaner looked at his teammates and said, “Alright, guys! We’ve got this! I’ll stomp that Zhang Hao guy just like I did in the East China Regionals Finals and then we’re going through!”

“Heck yeah!” Fudan University’s Support cheered.

Qiu Yijie nodded and was about to reply when he felt his phone vibrating in his pocket. Crap! Forgot to turn that damn thing off. He shook his head and grabbed his phone, glancing at the screen to see what the message was about.

Aurous:Yo kid. Good luck with the game. Just remember, there’s no shame in losing. Try your best and keep your head up.

Qiu Yijie scrunched his eyebrows and mumbled, “What?” He started typing a response and then paused, hesitating. Why does it sound like he thinks we’re going to lose? Why would he say this right before our game? Am I misreading this? Does he mean something

“You ready, cappie?” Fudan University’s Jungler asked over the team’s voice chat.

Qiu Yijie looked up and nodded. He turned his phone to silent and put it away, then focused on the screen. Of course there’s no shame in losing… Why would he…? He shook his head and grabbed his mouse. Don’t think about it. The games come first and then I can ask him what the hell that message was about. He glanced at his teammates and asked, “Ready?”

“Ready to rock ‘n ROLL!” the players from Fudan University replied, grinning.

Qiu Yijie laughed and shouted, “Just like the Regional Finals! We’re going to win this series!”

Across the stage in Team Shanghai’s soundproof booth, Zeng Rui was giving a few more instructions to his teammates. But it all took too long for Lin Feng. He kept glancing at the time on his monitor and shifted around in his gaming chair. “What is it?” Zeng Rui asked over the team’s voice chat, annoyed. “Is this too boring for you, Maple?”

“No, no, it’s not that!” Lin Feng replied. He scratched the back of his head and continued, “It’s just. Eh, you see… Uhm, I still need to finish climbing the Korean Ranked ladder. So the faster we get this series over, the faster I can go back to that!”

Zeng Rui looked at Lin Feng, incredulous, and muttered, “W-what?”

An Xin shook her head and said, “Idiot.”

Zhang Hao turned his head and looked at Lin Feng. He played all day yesterday, and all night! He played when we were already in bed and when we got up in the morning he was playing again! And now look at him! He’s still all fired up! He wants to play! He really wants to get going! How is he so calm? I wish I could be that excited and that… unworried? Worryfree? Shit it must be great to be the Maple! He nodded, grinning, and exclaimed, “He’s right! Lin Feng is right! LET’S GET GOIN’! WE GONNA WIN THIS SERIES! WOOOOOOO!”

Qiu Yijie slumped back in his gaming chair and pulled his phone from his pocket. He looked at the text from Aurous again and sighed loudly. What the fuck just happened? It went so fast… It all happened so fast… It’s over. We’re done. The blink of a fucking eye and we’re out. That’s how it feels. It feels like I blinked and suddenly BOOM I’M OUT! DAMMIT! How did this happ— He focused on his phone. Aurous was typing something.

Aurous:It’s okay, kid. No shame in losing to him.

Fudan University’s Toplaner put his hand on Qiu Yijie’s shoulder and said, “Come, bud. It’s okay. Shit happens. Let’s go and congratulate them.”

Qiu Yijie nodded, despondent. He held his phone in his hand and read the two messages from Aurous again and again, letting his teammates walk him up on stage. When he arrived in the middle of the stage, he bowed to the players from Team Shanghai. His teammates turned around and started walking away, but he remained where he was. Team Shanghai was already moving to thank the audience, but he reached out his hand towards Lin Feng and asked, “Do you know Aurous?”

Lin Feng looked at Qiu Yijie in confusion and asked, “Who?”

Qiu Yijie shook his head and replied, “No, no one. Sorry. Congratulations.”

Lin Feng grinned and clenched his fist. He said, “You played really well! With a bit more practice, you can make it pro! Keep at it!”

“Qiu Yijie, come,” Fudan University’s Toplaner said, pulling his team captain away from the stage.

“Yeah, yeah,” Qiu Yijie replied to his teammate. He followed them off the stage, but then paused. He turned around and looked at Lin Feng again, at the kid grinning brightly and waving at the crowd as if he’d done it a thousand times before. Everyone else looks uncomfortable and nervous. What is it about him…? He read the messages from Aurous again and shook his head. We lost 3-1, but I lost 4-0 to him… How did he do that? I got stomped!

Aurous looked at his chat with Qiu Yijie, waiting for a reply from his student. Come on, kid. I’m watching the stream. I know you’re looking at my messages. Just say you’re okay. You got wrecked by Maple. And I would’ve got wrecked by him too. Just like Shi Hang got wrecked. He breathed out loudly and called Shi Hang. When the line connected, he said, “3-1. Could’ve— Would’ve been 3-0 if his teammates didn’t screw up that second game. Knowing who he is and watching him play… I really wanted to see Fudan win this year…”

“Ah, cheer up!” Shi Hang answered, laughing. “Don’t be such a downer! It was a great show Maple put on! Isn’t it something else when you watch him play? I’ll tell you, it’s a real experience to play against him! You should try it!”

Aurous clicked his tongue in annoyance and said, “Hey, jackass! Can you let me sulk for a minute here? My team just got knocked out! We lost because of one damn player who shouldn’t even be playing on a high school team!”

“Well, technically…” Shi Hang started, chuckling. He then continued, “It’s okay, bud. I’m here. You can vent to me for a bit and I’ll pretend to listen.”

“Jackass,” Aurous replied. “Why do you sound so relaxed anyway? Don’t you have a big game today? Or did you play already? Shit. You did, didn’t you? How did it go? Did you beat KG?”