Two games. Two different chapters in two different lives. Two friends on the same Champion, both carrying their teams. One had millions of fans watching his game online and cheering him on and 12,500 people booing his name in the arena he was playing in. He was the one taking down the crowd’s favourite! The other one had a small audience of little more than a dozen people gathered around an isle of computers. They were talking amongst each other, never really cheering. Not like the fans watching the other game did. The stakes were too different. A world apart. But the importance in that very moment felt the same for these two young players. This was their story.
High School 13 versus Tonji Affiliated High. Bottom side river, just above the Dragon pit. Lin Feng had just jumped on the Caitlyn. No one had seen it coming. Everyone panicked. The players from High School 13 stared at their screens, forgetting they were playing the game, while the players from Tonji Affiliated High were screaming into their voice chat. They were shouting incoherently, searching for something, anything they could do to save the Caitlyn. They couldn’t. She flashed away and then she died to the second part of the Riven’s ultimate–Wind Slash! Then, at Lin Feng’s command, a full teamfight broke out.
KG versus Legend. KG’s top side jungle, Blue Buff Camp. Tian Tian had just killed the Morgana. The other four players turned away from whoever else they were chasing and all focused on him. He was the only one worth killing, because he had the bounty to his name. The Yasuo flashed on him, while the others walked into a funnel towards him. He didn’t flash away. He didn’t try to run. This was his game and this would be his play! He flashed right into the middle of the three other players from Legend and pressed down on the W key–Ki Burst! Fiora, Kalista and Sejuani were all stunned!
“…HE IS GOING FOR THE 1v4!” Stone finished shouting into the camera. He let go of the camera and turned back to Qinghe and Lolo behind the caster desk. “OH. MY. GOD! HE’S DOING IT!”
“He really is, isn’t he?” Qinghe laughed. His eyes never left the monitor. He chewed his lips, afraid to blink and miss even a fraction of this fight. This was a 1vs4! This could very well become the play of the year! “Come on, Roundy,” he mumbled.
The Chinese fans at the Wembley Arena were also shouting in support of God Roundy, but their voices were drowned out by the crashing waves of booing from the European fans. Their team was losing and they wouldn’t have any of it! But the message to KG from their fans around the world was clear. Every one of them wanted to see God Roundy pull this play off.
「YESYESYES! RIVEN 1V4 TURNAROUND!」
「GOD ROUNDY 6666666666!」
「BIKINI CALENDAR FOR 2K COMMENTS ON A CHAPTER!!!!!」
「HE IS MY GOD!!!!!」
Tian Tian sat in his gaming chair behind the monitor. His eyes were laser focused on the screen. He felt his heart pounding in his chest and his hands were sweaty. This was it. There was no turning back. He’d gone for it. I-i… There was no time to think. The worries that came up disappeared. His mind was blank and his hands moved on instinct. They knew what to do. The timing on his skills was perfect. The movements of his mouse were perfect. He was in the zone.
A green energy wrapped around Riven’s blade. She lashed out with a strike, hitting all three players from Legend around her–Broken Wings! She followed up with an auto attack on the Kalista. Kalista couldn’t do anything. She was stunned. The Riven continued with the second strike from Broken Wings, the increased stats that her active ultimate gave her helping her shred through the three Champions around her. The Kalista, Fiora, and Sejuani broke free from the stun. They could move again, and then they couldn’t. The Riven had timed it perfectly. The third strike from Broken Wings knocked those hit airborne. All three players found themselves up in the air, for just a moment.
The Riven cut down on the Kalista with an auto attack, then used the second part of her ultimate–Wind Slash! The Kalista’s health bar went almost empty. Only a sliver remained. But that was enough. The Kalista used her Heal and then flashed away. Her team would keep the Riven busy, and she’d make it out alive. She stopped just out of reach of the Riven and hesitated. Maybe she could get some poke in, help her team get the kill and grab an assist for herself. This was the wrong move. Only the Xerath was dead on the side of KG. There were still three other Champions besides the Riven. The Tristana had Rocket Jumped away and had to walk around the Jungle to get back and the Rek’Sai was almost dead only a moment ago, but the Thresh hadn’t joined the fight yet. The ghoulish green spectral appeared.
“I’m here!” the Thresh player shouted in voice chat. “Here! Grab my lantern! Let’s kill this Kalista!” He flashed towards the Kalista and Flayed her with his chain, knocking her back enough to keep her from escaping. Then he threw his lantern towards Roundy–Dark Passage!
“Thanks!” Tian Tian replied in voice chat, clicking on the lantern and traveling towards the Thresh. It pulled him away from the Sejuani and Fiora and towards the Kalista. The Kalista had some health back after using her Heal, but it was far from enough and she had no skills left to escape. The Riven auto attacked her, then canceled the animation perfectly. Animation Cancel! She slashed down on the Kalista again and killed her.
“WWOOOOOO! That is 5/0/0! Riven is 5/0/0! She’s on a Rampage! God Roundy is on a rampage!” Stone shoutcasted. The Chinese fans at the Wembley Arena shouted similar lines as did the people watching from home. God Roundy had gone in 1vs5 and had already picked up two kills! And he was still alive!
“It’s not over yet! The fight is not over!” Qinghe said. He didn’t care anymore how he looked. His eyes were glued on the monitor. He was beating his fist on the table to the rhythm of a fight song. “Legend is still going for him! He can clean them all up! This is God Roundy! He can do this!”
“Oh! Oh!” Lolo interjected, just as excited as the other two. “Konjac! Konjac is coming back around! He’s almost there! It’s a 3v3! It’s a real fight now! Go KG!”
All roads lead to the Blue Buff Camp. The players from KG were all world class and full of determination to win this game. So when they saw the chance presented to them, they turned around. It didn’t matter how low their health was. It didn’t matter that one or two of them might die in this fight. The only thing that mattered was that this was their chance to win the teamfight against Legend. A teamfight that would help them put themselves in a very good position to win this game!
The Rek’Sai was at the end of the jungle path leading all the way to KG’s base. It was a winding path that went up all the way to the Blue Buff Camp. She Burrowed underground and followed it. Then she created a tunnel, quickly closing the distance with the Fiora and Sejuani, and Un-burrowed. She came up from underground and knocked the two players from Legend airborne.
Konjac had also walked around the jungle and back into it with his Tristana. She was now to the left of the Wolf Camp, right below the funnel at the Blue Buff Camp. The Fiora and Sejuani were in range. She placed a bomb on the Fiora–Explosive Charge! It’d explode in a few seconds, and it could be charged up by shooting auto attacks at the target! That was exactly what Konjac did. He activated Rapid Fire and went to town on the Fiora.
Demon’s screen was flashing red. The Riven had already done a number on him. Now the Tristana was also attacking his Fiora! The Fiora’s health dropped quickly and he needed to do something about that fast! There was only one thing he could do to get health back. Grand Challenge. Fiora’s ultimate revealed all four Vitals on her enemy and gave her bonus movement speed while near them. If she could hit those four Vitals or the target died, Fiora and her allies in the area would be healed over the next few seconds. She targeted Rek’Sai and attacked her!
Phoenix also caught back up. He dashed through Rek’Sai–Sweeping Blade! Then he turned around and thrust his katana forward–Steel Tempest! He knew very well that this fight was lost if Fiora couldn’t get the heal from her ultimate. They needed that health now more than anything! He hit the Rek’Sai with another auto attack, all the while cursing that he didn’t have enough attack speed! Then his heart sank. Fuck.
Konjac hit the Fiora with the last auto attack that could strengthen the bomb. The bomb attached to Fiora was flashing red and about to burst. Her health had dropped low. Too low. The Rek’Sai still had some health left. She wasn’t fast enough. The bomb exploded. Fiora died. Konjac didn’t pause. Getting a kill reset the cooldown on Rocket Jump. He pressed down on the W key. His Tristana aimed her cannon to the ground and fired, launching herself towards the Yasuo.
Phoenix clicked towards the Thresh, frantic, while smashing down on his E key. The Tristana was too strong right now and his health was too low. He couldn’t kill her. The only way out was through the Thresh. He dashed through the Thresh–Sweeping Blade! Then he ran straight into the Riven. It almost looked as if God Roundy had been waiting for him.
Tian Tian had his Riven lash out with the first strike of Broken Wings. Then he struck out with an auto attack, cancelling it before the animation completed to hit the Yasuo with the second strike of Broken Wings! The Yasuo tried to run. He didn’t even try to fight. But That didn’t matter for Tian Tian. He pressed down on his E key–Valor! His Riven dashed after the Yasuo and then leaped up in the air and slammed down onto the Yasuo, killing him–Broken Wings!
“WOOOOOOO! TRIPLE KILL!” Qinghe shoutcasted, throwing his arms in the air and doing a little dance. “It’s a triple, it’s a triple, it’s a triple kill!”
Stone and Lolo laughed, excited. Thy high fived and then turned to look at the monitor hanging behind Qinghe. It was where the stream chat was displayed.
「TRISTANA STOLE HIS PENTA!!!!! SHE BETTER AFK AND THINK ABOUT HER ACTIONS」
「god roundy with the ssiiiccckkkkk outplay」
「SOMEONE PINCH ME! IM AFRAID IM DREAMING」
「best riven world, discuss」
「BEST TOPLANER WORLD!!!!! GOD ROUNDY IS DA BEST!!1!」
One of the fans watching Worlds from home was Su Xue. She sat in her bedroom, chilling in her gaming chair, and watched the KG game. When God Roundy killed the Morgana and started the turnaround of the fight, Su Xue was one of those who sat up straight in her chair. Then, as the fight went on, she leaned in closer and closer to her monitor, until she was almost touching it with her nose. As the Emperor fell, she jumped up and pumped her fist in the air. “NICE! Awesome! Great play! KG is going to win this game!”
Su Xue let herself fall back down in her chair, almost toppling over. She reached out with her arms, searching for something to grab onto, but didn’t find anything. Nor did she fall. She grinned and then breathed out through her nose. “Ah! What a game! Hmm…” She looked at the empty chair next to her. It was the chair Lin Feng so often sat in. “I wonder how that kid is doing. Did he already qualify?” She tossed a sunflower seed in her mouth and munched down on it. “Oh well, who cares. That’s just some silly tournament. This is Worlds. He’s got nothing on God Roundy! Hmph!”
A teamfight broke out between High School 13 and Tonji Affiliated High! Liu Yue’s Jarvan IV threw out his flag-toss combo and dashed into the heart of the Red team. This was the decisive moment! The game deciding fight that would see the strongest team top their qualifying group! There might not be ten thousand plus people in the crowd, or shoutcasters hyping up every play. But this game was as exciting as any other at Worlds! At least, it was to the students participating in the Shanghai 16 School Tournament.
“Back back back! Get the fuck back!”
“Exhaust! Where’s our fucking Exhaust!!!”
“CC the Riven! STUN HER! DO SOMETHING!”
Tonji Affiliated High’s voice chat was in chaos mode. They’d just lost their Caitlyn and now their entire team was getting sandwiched! The Janna player had no Exhaust but he still had his ultimate. He smashed down on his R key–Monsoon! A maelstrom erupted out from his Janna and pushed the players from High School 13 away, while his allies inside the maelstrom got some health back. It was a short timeout. A few seconds to breathe and get their act back together. But a few seconds were hardly enough.
Liu Yue leaped into the air and slammed down on the Syndra. The impact transformed the terrain and formed an arena around him. Wei Dong’s Leona followed up with her ultimate–Solar Flare! She used her sword to summon down a beam of supercharged sunlight right into the heart of the cluster of enemy champions! It stunned both Syndra and Elise while also slowing the Janna! Yang Fan followed up with his Orianna’s Ball, launching it into the center of the trio. He pressed down on the R key to activate his Orianna’s ultimate–Command: Shockwave! A storm of electromagnetic energy raged out from the Ball and captured Syndra and Elise with its flash. Then the invisible electromagnetic pulsations dragged both of them in towards the ball, all while damaging them. Their health plummeted. The Janna barely flashed away in time, only to be met face to face with the Riven.
“Haha! You’re not getting away! Give me my penta!” Lin Feng laughed, his fingers gliding over his keyboard. He’d found his way back into the fight after being blown away by the Monsoon. Everything went as planned. He’d ace them and then push for an easy victory! He had his Riven close in on the Janna with the first two strikes from Broken Wings! Then he pressed on the Q key again for the third strike. His Riven jumped in the air with her sword raised above her head and hacked down on the Janna! The power knocked the Janna airborne! She couldn’t do anything as the Riven hacked and slashed away at her. Her health dropped and disappeared completely. Lin Feng had killed the Janna!
While Lin Feng beat down on Tonji Affiliated High’s backline, Tang Bingyao did the same on their frontline. Wei Dong had hit the Syndra with a Solar Flare. The Syndra was stunned. Her Jungler was stunned. Only their Darius could try and stop Tang Bingyao’s Draven from Blood Rushing into the fight. But he didn’t. Or rather, he couldn’t. There was a Leona who’d slammed into him with her shield, stunning him–Shield of Daybreak! Tang Bingyao maneuvered her Draven, juggling his Spinning Axes, throwing them at the Syndra and catching them again as they ricocheted off of her. The Syndra was a squishy caster at already low health and the Draven dealt a ton of damage. It only took two axes to finish her off.
《You have slain an enemy!》
Tang Bingyao turned to the Darius. She threw two spinning axes out in a straight line, slowing the Darius and knocking him aside–Stand Aside! Then she continued her deadly dance, throwing Spinning Axes and catching them again. It looked like a well rehearsed play as she manipulated her axes just enough that she could reposition herself, continuing to find the best spot to throw the next axe from. The Darius couldn’t do anything. There wasn’t just the Draven, there were also the Orianna, Jarvan IV, and Leona. All four of them focused him down. Tang Bingyao caught a Spinning Axe and activated Blood Rush again for that extra bit of attack speed, when Lin Feng cried out in voice chat, “Wait! Tang Tang! Don’t steal my kills!” But she ignored him and threw the last Spinning Axe to finish the Darius off.
After securing the kill, Tang Bingyao tilted her head and looked over at Lin Feng a few monitors over. “Hmm? What did you say?” she asked, blinking.
“Nooo! My penta!” Lin Feng wailed. He let go of his mouse and keyboard and started pulling his ruffly hair, turning to Tang Bingyao to show her his pain. He was absolutely devastated! “That was my penta! What good Riven game doesn’t have a penta! You’re so mean!”
“Oh, was that it? I already killed the Syndra. You wouldn’t have gotten a penta anyway,” Tang Bingyao replied, honest and direct as ever.
Tian Tian carried KG to win the fight. He’d killed the Emperor and picked up a double kill! Konjac had also dealt a ton of damage in the end and gotten the kills on the Fiora and Sejuani. He’d played a good fight, as had the Thresh and Rek’Sai. Everyone had forgotten how the fight started. The outcome was all that mattered. And it was precisely that outcome that a lot of Chinese fans had an issue with.
「the hell!? Where’s our penta!!!」
「what is this bullshit! konjac stole his penta…………」
「I already have my pants down! I can’t finish if I don’t see my roundy get a penta!」
「i want my money back!!!!!11!!」
「screw this im not watching anymore of this shit HOW FUCKING DARE HE GIVE GOD ROUNDY HIS PENTA NOW」
「useless team dragging GOD roundy down……」
Qinghe laughed and said, “I see how the chat feels about this last fight. How about we take another look at it and see if they’re right. Did Konjac really steal a penta away from God Roundy, or was it a good teamplay? Let’s see!”
《You have slain an enemy!》
《You have slain an enemy!》
“Gotta say I agree with the viewers here,” Stone laughed. “That was absolutely totally a penta steal! Haha! What a great play by God Roundy! Shame about that penta steal. Really puts a damper on the whole thing!”
“God Roundy with the beautiful plays getting screwed over! It’s like solo queue all over!” Lolo laughed. “What a play! Best play of the year! Best play of League ever! He so should’ve gotten that penta! We want to see a penta! Penta! Penta!”
“Hmmm…” Qinghe looked at the replay for a second time. He watched God Roundy pick up the first two kills, and then Konjac picked up the third kill of the fight. Then God Roundy again before Konjac killed the Sejuani and ended the fight. He took the chat seriously for just a moment, while they were just having a laugh. “If Konjac hadn’t picked up that third kill, I would’ve agreed. But this was very much great teamplay on the back of a phenomenal play by God Roundy!”
Lolo smiled and said, “Never! That was totally a steal! God Roundy should just rage quit! He deserves to after that fight! Haha!”
The chat jumped on the Lolo bandwagon. They loved her and roasted Qinghe! Qinghe shook his head. He’d been far too absorbed in the fight. It was just that exciting! And then he misread the room. Everyone was excited! Thrilled! KG was winning! They were actually beating an Emperor team! And their messages reflected that. Now, they were just having some fun, releasing all their stress into chat. This small victory just about secured the game for KG! They would move on to the next round in Worlds if nothing crazy happened!
KG still had to play the game out, but Lin Feng and his team had already won against Tonji Affiliated High! They’d pushed hard after winning the teamfight and picking up the Dragon and after the game hit the 27 minute mark, Tonji Affiliated High gave up. They surrendered unanimously. The primal energy within the Red Nexus twisted and warped before erupting out in a powerful explosion. On the screens of the players from High School 13, the large “VICTORY” message appeared.
Ren Rou and Chen Ze ran up to the players behind the monitors, screaming,
“We won! We won! You guys did it! Oh my god, you guys really did it! You beat Tonji Affiliated High!”
“That was so beautiful! Amazing teamwork! Thanks Lin Feng! Your top lane plays were crazy!”
Ouyang didn’t join Ren Rou and Chen Ze. He stood still, staring at the monitor. His head rocked back and forth and his knees started shaking. “D-did we really beat Tonji? T-they were semifinalists…” He tried to swallow the lump in his throat down, ruffling his hair. “D-did we really…” Only two weeks ago, he thought this was something impossible. A dream he didn’t even dare dream of. But in a short two weeks, here they were. They’d defeated Tonji Affiliated High! “W-we, we won!”
Liu Yue leaned back in his chair and looked up at the ceiling before sitting up straight again and rubbing his eyes. He looked at his screen. The letters ‘VICTORY’ still stood there. He started laughing and crying, “W-we really won?”
Yang Fan put a hand on Liu Yue’s shoulder. He adjusted his glass, quickly wiping his eyes with his sleeve. He played it calm and said, “Yeah man, we did it. We won!” Then he readjusted his glasses again, and again. He couldn’t hide the joy and happiness and most of all disbelief.
Wei Dong kept shaking his head. His hands were still on his mouse and keyboard. The game couldn’t be over yet. They hadn’t lost yet. He didn’t think any other result was possible. His eyes rested on the victory screen. He pinched his arm and muttered, “We really did it. I’m not dreaming. We won!”
High School 13, the school that had lost in the qualifying round last year and the school that other teams never even considered as contenders for the main tournament, had won their qualifying group this year! They’d won all three matches and would move on to the main tournament with a perfect record!
The members of Tonji Affiliated High stood up from their seats, one a bit faster than the other. This loss didn’t mean much to them. They’d already secured their spot in the next round. But that didn’t mean they were happy either. They were rather muffled. High School 13 had outplayed them and that was why they’d lost. They walked around the isle and congratulated them on a game well played.
Just because this qualifying round was for a tournament and everyone was in a competitive spirit, that didn’t mean that both sides couldn’t be friendly before and after the game. After shaking hands, Tonji Affiliated High’s Toplaner walked over and nodded at Lin Feng, “Your Riven is amazing, man. Those were some crazy plays. I could easily see you playing in Challenger.”
“Haha, thanks! My Riven really was pretty amazing!” Lin Feng laughed.
Ouyang had walked over after his initial shock and happened to hear Lin Feng brag. He narrowed his eyes and shook his head a little. Then he pushed through a few people and grabbed Lin Feng by the shoulder. “Hey, bro. What the fuck… Show some humility. Bragging everywhere and about everything isn’t some great trait. It’s kind of stupid is what it is.”
While Lin Feng was talking with Tonji Affiliated High’s Toplaner, Tang Bingyao got approached by their ad-carry. He scratched his hair and took several fake steps in her direction before finally walking up to her. “H-hey,” he mumbled, sticking out his hand and almost punching her in the stomach. “U-uh, your Draven was really good.”
Tang Bingyao shook his hand and nodded, “Thank you.”
The ad-carry from Tonji Affiliated High felt his face heat up. His stomach was taking a roller coaster ride and his knees were wobbling. He still mustered up the courage to talk. “U-um… D-do you want to be League friends? M-maybe we can duo together some time?”
Tang Bingyao slightly tilted her head. She didn’t answer right away, instead observing him a little. How he was wobbling on his feet. How he was playing with his hands. How his eyes wouldn’t meet hers and his face was beet red. She hesitated for a moment and then asked, “Are you trying to ask me out?”
His eyes went wide. It felt like his world came to a stop. His heart dropped to the pit of his stomach. He wobbled back and crossed his arms in front of his chest. “U-uhm… N-n… I-i d-d…” He looked around for his friends, then found the door to the internet cafe and bolted away.
“What the…” Tang Bingyao looked after Tonji Affiliated High’s ad-carry. Then she turned to Ren Rou who’d just walked up to her and asked, “Why’d he run?”
Ren Rou tried to stop herself from laughing, hiding her smile with her hand. “Tang Tang–” She couldn’t hold it in anymore and burst out laughing. She grabbed her stomach and clutched in, lunging forward and almost falling down on the ground. “Hahaha!” She felt for the table and pushed herself up against it, then took several deep breaths. She wiped the tears from her eyes and looked up at Tang Bingyao. “Aww, haha! Tang Tang, guys aren’t used to us girls being so direct. Haha! You scared him off! Ha! He just ran away, did you see him run? Hahaha! You know? You know, if you keep this up… Hahaha! You’ll scare them all off!”