Chasing red. Su Xue charged after Lin Feng. She wouldn’t let him off. Not this time. He’d really done it now! She’d worked so hard! She’d done everything he taught her! All those sleepless nights where she was working behind her computer, trying to get good enough to pass his training. He’d started giving her compliments. A few of them. Here and there. And now he did this. They were back where they started. He dared to tell her she wasn’t good enough! He was siding with her viewers again! She grabbed his shirt, but he pulled free and slammed the kitchen door shut behind him.
Su Xue slammed on the door. “Lin Feng! You little shit! Open the door! NOW!” And he did. Just as she asked. But he didn’t give himself to her. Instead, he slipped through the gap between her legs as she was trying to block him and ran into the living room. She was breathing heavily, a sharp pain in her side. Why is he so fast! He was on the couch. Jumping around. Trying to keep her away. Back and forth. And she kept running after him, always a step too late.
She clutched her stomach, wheezing and gasping. Lin Feng was still jumping around, full of energy. He wasn’t even sweating! She leaned on her knees and said, “E-enough! W-w… Dammit! I-im done! So fast. Why? I-i thought esports… not track and field!”
Lin Feng jumped down from the couch and struck his victory pose. He clenched his fist and threw it up in the air, grinning like a fool, and shouted, “That’s because I’m really good at running too!”
Su Xue rolled her eyes. “Of course you are. You’re good at everything. How could I have forgotten?” She breathed in deeply and then let it all out. “Alright, alright. Enough fooling around. The food is getting cold. Let’s go eat.”
The two returned to the dining room and resumed their dinner. Lin Feng did, at least. Su Xue still had something she wanted. To learn how to play Riven. She looked at Lin Feng, hopeful, and asked, “Hey hey, do you really think I can’t learn Riven?” She was desperate to prove her viewers wrong. But she needed Lin Feng to do so. If he taught her Riven, she could! She just had to change his mind! Or maybe he already had and he was just having some fun with her! Either way, if she convinced him to teach her Riven, she could prove her viewers wrong! Then it’d all be worth it! Plus, when she made the flashy plays God Roundy had shown at Worlds, that would definitely attract new viewers. Learning Riven was a win win!
“I fink ish bttchur if chu keep pracishing yur ad-kary,” Lin Feng replied. There was too much food on the table and not enough time to eat it all before it went cold. So he couldn’t bother to elaborate or even slow down the speed at which he ate to reply to her.
“Hmm. Maybe you’re right.” Su Xue rubbed her chin. He had a point. There was no good reason to change course right now. Her hard work and practice were paying off. The improvements in her skills as an ad-carry were noticeable, and she saw herself climbing up the ranks in Platinum. Even Diamond seemed feasible! Diamond! When she got that rank, she would finally shut all her viewers up! Then she could finally call herself a good player! Just the thought of showing off her rank on stream made her smile. Evening Snowfall. Diamond ad-carry! Her viewers wouldn’t dare to make fun of her again! She would be making fun of them! She started grinning as she rubbed her hands together, and then broke out in full laughter!
Lin Feng ate his fill. He rubbed his stomach and leaned back in his chair. Satisfied. He was in a much more talkative mood now. “Hey, did you watch the match between HoG and COG? Who won?”
Su Xue looked at Lin Feng, dazed. She blinked a few times as the words registered in her head. Oh! Worlds! She snapped out of her daydreams. If the topic was Worlds, she was always happy to talk! She was watching Worlds all day these last two weeks. And when there wasn’t a game on, she was watching reaction videos! She loved everything Worlds related! “Oh! Yeah, of course I did! HoG won that big! You should’ve seen it! It was awesome! COG thought that now that they had Seven, they would suddenly win. He was their super-duper trump card, or whatever the analysts called it. He got really hyped up. And then he totally bombed! Hahaha! It was hilarious! He couldn’t get anything done! HoG kicked their asses!”
“Oh, nice! Sounds like HoG is going to make it out of Groups too!” Lin Feng nodded, excited as ever. This match was supposed to be a great game. A battle between Kings! That was why he was curious, though it helped that HoG was from the LPL. But the prospect of Hermes and Seven facing off was the far more exciting part of this match! It looked like it’d be a close game on paper. One full of excitement and battle! But it sounded like none of that had come to pass. It was just a one sided stomp. Though Lin Feng wasn’t too surprised.
Many people expected that HoG versus COG would be a close matchup. However, the only reason they thought this was because it was a match between Kings. They never stopped to think who the Kings were, nor what the teams around those Kings were. HoG was the better team. One player couldn’t change that. HoG reminded the hopeful North American fans that there was a lot more to League of Legends than putting a strong Toplaner into a team. They beat COG and now COG was in danger of being eliminated from Worlds!
COG did great in the North American LCS last year. They’d had some skirmishes against other teams around the world and won. Those few wins gave them far too much confidence. They decided it was best to hide their full strength at Worlds. To say a player wasn’t available in Week 1 and have him chill in London. For even with their substitute, they believed their group would be easy. It proved to be anything but. Conceit was not rewarded. Due to their own stupidity, they were now at risk of being eliminated before even reaching the quarter finals. This was a good reminder to all other teams. Only the 16 best teams in the world qualified for Worlds. None of them could be underestimated!
“Worlds this year is really competitive! It’s like it doesn’t even matter if your team has Kings or Emperors. Anyone can win! It’s so nice! The games are crazy exciting! Wouldn’t it be super weird to not see COG make it to the next round? What do you think?” Su Xue asked, lost in her own excitement.
“Yeah, I suppose some Kings and Emperors have lost. But those are just a few games. I don’t see them getting knocked out of Worlds in Groups,” Lin Feng said, scratching his hair. No team was invincible. At Worlds, anything was possible. Take the KG versus Legend game. A team without even a King had beaten an Emperor team! The underdog would win. And every tournament had a dark horse that could make it all the way to the end. If the analysis on a piece of paper would decide the outcome of a match, there’d be no excitement. No one would watch that.
That said, the title of Emperor carried an entirely different weight. Even on the world stage. This was more than just a good player. This was a good team. The best teams! They were the final bosses in a video game. There was a reason why they always made it deep in tournaments, and why they’d never been eliminated in the group stage of past Worlds. They were of a different caliber. They were on a level of their own!
Lin Feng didn’t care much for the group stage. There were some fun matches, but nothing too crazy. That was reserved for the knock-out stage! Emperor teams could face each other. They would be long and bitter battles in a best of five series. Those were the games to look forward to! That was where the silverware would be decided! The battle had only just begun!
After helping with the dishes, Lin Feng disappeared into his room and sat down behind his desk. He cracked open his textbook and got started on his homework. He tackled the easy problem first. Then as he built up momentum, he moved onto the more difficult ones. Until eventually, he finished the hardest. Leaning back against his chair, he checked the time on his phone. I wonder if Su Xue is still up… He got up and strolled over to her room.
Su Xue was still up. She was playing a ranked game! Her focus was entirely on her monitor, so she missed Lin Feng walking into her room. But her viewers didn’t. Many of them had their eyes on her webcam feed. They spotted Lin Feng the moment he walked in. The new viewers who hadn’t met Lin Feng yet were the first to type their feelings out in chat.
「THE FUKKK! WHOS THAT!?!!」
「watch out, xuexue! you got a creep sneaking into your room!」
「this some of kind of new roleplay!? How exciting!」
「is that her bf or sumtthing? fukkk! The betrayal!」
「thats no creep….. THATS LIL BRO!!!!!!1」
「lil bro is here!」
「LIL BRO!!!! hurry and come over! we missed you to death!」
「damn how could you ditch us all day like this! you made us watch worlds with the maid…………….」
Su Xue noticed the commotion in the chat and looked over her shoulder. “Oh? You finished your homework?”
“Yeah, I did!” Lin Feng said. He pulled up a chair beside Su Xue and sat down. Then he waved at the camera with a big smile and said, “Heya, everyone!”
「mah bro,, what’s upppp」
「yayyyyyy, it’s feng feng!」
Chat forgot about Su Xue. They forgot about the game. All that they cared about was Lin Feng. Their favourite streamer was back! They wouldn’t have to be bored by the maid any longer! The main man was back to take over and show them some real gameplay! To show their support for him, they even started spamming crying emojis and complaining about all the bad things the maid had done in his absence.
「how could u leave us for so long!」
「we wanted to watch Worlds with you!」
「right! we wanted to hear ur thouhts on the game, but we neded up listening to the maid instead!」
「u dont even know our pain! i’d rather hear a jackhammer next to my ear than listen to her. Al she does is shout and gasp. I’d get more meaningful commentary out of a cricket! 」
「(╥ᆺ╥；) I feel like i popped my ear drums from all her screaming.」
The vein on Su Xue’s forehead bulged. If looks could kill, her stream would be empty now. These fucking ingrates and their stupid fucking JOKES! She hated this. They were great viewers, most of the time. But at moments like this. They really knew how to get under her skin. She shouted at the camera, “Hey, you bastards! Speak for yourselves! You lot became 666 spam bots whenever a big play was happening!”
Lin Feng scratched his hair and apologized, “Oh, sorry guys. I had a tournament today. I couldn’t make it back home in time to watch Worlds with you guys.”
“Right! See, if it isn’t chasing after girls, it’s something else! He doesn’t care about you guys at all! Why care about him? I say we don’t! Let’s only care about me! Alright? Right!” Su Xue said, grinning. She wanted nothing more than to see her readers go off on Lin Feng. They always made fun of her. For once, just once, she would like to see them make fun of Lin Feng.
「shut it! who asked you??????」
「go fetch the water… we want to hear lil bro talk!」
「hey hey! what kind of tournament did you play?」
「didja win? you definitely hard carried right!? RIGHT?!?!??!?」
「Of course he did! He’s li’l’ bro! When he plays, he wins!」
Su Xue stared at her chat. She couldn’t believe what she was seeing! They were cheering him on again! Why is it always like this? Why do they never back me? Why do they only care about him? I’m the streamer! It’s me! Me! I’m the streamer! She wanted the attention the viewers gave Lin Feng. She pouted, “So what? It’s just some crappy high school tournament. He only got lucky and passed the first round of the prelims. Nothing worth talking about.”
「hot dang! Really? GRATZ LIL BRO!!!」
「Niiiiiceee! that’s amazing! We’re so proud of you」
「see what’d i tell you that’s our feng feng」
“Yeah! Really! Thanks guys! I’ll win the whole tournament!” Lin Feng said, striking another victory pose. The viewers loved it. They spammed the chat with 666s and kept telling him how great he was. Lin Feng laughed when he saw all of this. It was always nice to hear people talk nice about you.
“You guys didn’t even watch the tournament! We don’t even know how he actually played! What the hell are you congratulating him for!” Su Xue was at a loss for words. Time and time again, she was blown away by how much better her chat treated Lin Feng than herself. His brief absence wasn’t met with anger, but longing! They wanted to see him back! And now that they did, they couldn’t find enough words to welcome him back. If she didn’t know any better, and perhaps she didn’t, she’d believe they were in love with him!