The first match in Group C was the game to watch! It was a clash between two titans, a game that guaranteed edge-of-your-seat-almost-shit-your-pants moments! Team Season versus Team Meteor! A battle between North America and Europe. Two of the teams most likely to make it through to the next round. The winner of this game could very well cement their position as number one in the group! The crowd in the Wembley Arena was cheering. The casters were hyping up the game! And Su Xue tried to do the same with her viewers. “This is a super hype game, bois! A Midlaner who’s a King up against an Emperor Support! I really wonder how this game will go!”
Su Xue’s pathetic attempts at building hype fell flat. The viewers on the stream just ignored her. Besides, they weren’t here in this particular stream to listen to her. They were here for Lin Feng. His insights, his breakdown of the game. They knew he saw more in the game than they did. So they waited until he decided to chime in. Lin Feng shook his head, disagreeing with Su Xue’s assessment. “I don’t think we should see this game as one between a King and an Emperor. The roles that each of them are playing, they’re too different to compare directly. I think. But… uh, let’s see what happens in champion select first, yeah? We can learn a lot from that. Then we’ll talk about who’ll win this game!”
Kings and Emperors weren’t only given the title for sheer mechanical skills. There were many other variables taken into consideration, such as showmanship both domestic and international games and their ability to build plays that substantially impact the team’s performance. Spoon from Team Meteor was Midlaner and a flashy-sort of King. People watched games with Team Meteor just to see him and his outstanding game mechanics! Autumn, on the other hand, was a completely different type of player. It really made no sense comparing the two. Autumn was much more of a team player. He wasn’t really flashy, nor did he ever do anything that focused the spotlight on him. What made him great was his ability to ward the map to maximize vision just where it was needed, the calculations he did to create opportunities for his team, and the plays that he called for his team. His presence alone made his team far better than they could be without him, all while he stood in the background. This skillset is what earned him the nickname of God Support and the title of Emperor.
For this first game of the day, Su Xue and the casters all focused on the idea of a titanic clash between a King and an Emperor, the rest of the players on both teams were afterthoughts. People there to round out the numbers. But Lin Feng thought this was ridiculous. This game was Season versus Meteor. Two strong teams, both talented in their own way. It was a fight for dominance between raw individual skill and perfect teamplay. Of course, this wasn’t to say one had no teamplay and the other no individual skill. They were both among the best teams in the world, skilled in all aspects of the game. It was simply a matter of what they excelled most at.
The two teams entered into Champion Select. It was Season on the Blue team and Meteor on the Red team. Season banned Mordekaiser, a strong Champion in the current meta. There were other meta champions that were generally banned out in every game, like Gangplank, Azir, Darius, and Lulu. These Champions were too strong right now. However, instead of taking one of those Champions off the board, Meteor banned Thresh. Thresh wasn’t especially strong in this patch, but he was a frightening Champion in the hands of Autumn! Meteor showed their respect. They weren’t going to try and compete against the world’s best Support on his best Champion.
The Champion Select ended without any surprises or shocking twists. The teams loaded into the game while the fans and analysts were discussing the picks. More specifically, they were honing in on the King versus Emperor perspective. They couldn’t let this go. Spoon had picked Yasuo in the mid lane, while Autumn went with a support Morgana. One of Yasuo’s skills was a Windwall that could block Morgana’s skillshots. So the analysts argued that Meteor had come out with the advantage in the draft.
“Meteor is farming minions. Season is farming minions. Man, why are these European and American teams always so boring in the early game? All they do is farm and farm and farm even more. I wanna see them fight!” Su Xue complained. To which her viewers were quick to point out that this was just how Europe and North America played the game. They prefered to scale up into the late game and then win it through one big teamfight.
The Jarvan IV from Meteor did try to force a fight at bot lane. Several times, in fact. But the first two times failed miserably. Autumn had warded correctly and spotted the Jarvan IV before he was even close to lane. They backed away to their tower and didn’t even try to fight. That changed during the third gank. Autumn had his Morgana retreat a little, but not completely back to his own tower. There was just enough room to bait the Jarvan IV into jumping at him.
The Jarvan IV flashed forward and then used his flag-toss combo to dash at the Morgana and knock her up. Autumn was ready. He activated Dark Shield on his Morgana, blocking all crowd control effects. She wasn’t knocked up. The Jarvan IV found himself out of position, far ahead of his teammates. The Morgana binded him with her dark magic–Dark Binding! Then she used her ultimate skill–Soul Shackles! Wings unfolded from her back. She unleashed the full force of her Celestial power! Chains of suffering made corporeal latched onto the Jarvan IV, slowing him and dealing damage before stunning him. All the while the Tristana blasted the Jarvan IV with her cannonballs and Explosive Charge. They ended the Jarvan IV’s pitiful existence before the stun ended.
“Wow! Nice! Awesome play!” Lin Feng exclaimed, giving a thumbs up at the camera. The people watching Su Xue’s stream were quick to agree. They flooded the chat.
「HOLY SMOKES!!!! if only my support was that good. ez game then」
「teach me senpai!」
「what a support play! just goes to show you dont have to play a carry to carry」
「Did you guys see that reaction speed? Like fk dude. That was fuckign mental!」
“It really was a brilliant bait. Autumn knew there wasn’t enough space for a flag toss combo. He didn’t just get the Jarvan to jump at him, but also waste his Flash while doing so!” Lin Feng explained to the chat and Su Xue. “He also knew he didn’t have to worry about Jarvan’s ultimate. That was still on cooldown after the little skirmish Jarvan had with Elise in the jungle a little earlier. There were still at least 30 seconds left on that cooldown. Autumn knew all of this and made the perfect play for it. That really was great to see!”
「that’s some great insights lil bro!」
「see, maid? That’s how you cast a game! You should take a lesson from his book!!」
「You know so much lil bro! That’s really cool! Thanks!」
「this just goes to show: LIL BRO >>>>>>>>>>> the maid. GO BACK TO THE KITCHEN WHERE YOU BELONG!!!!!1!」
While Autumn was making plays in bot lane, Spoon tried to do the same in mid. To no effect. Season’s Midlaner had picked Lulu, a defensive Champion who was hard to pressure in lane. Then there was the Elise, the Jungler from Team Season, who was also focused on shutting mid lane down and constantly hovering around it. Whenever the Lulu needed any help, she’d be right there to provide it. There was nothing Spoon could do, except farm the minions and stay even in CS with the Lulu.
“Heh. That Spoon isn’t all that great… Is he really a King?” Su Xue asked Chat. She chuckled and added, “Roundy is way better than him! Right, guys? Roundy should take his spot and become the new King!”
Su Xue’s viewers agreed. All of them. Without exception. Because they only remembered the last game. Their judgement was based solely on Roundy’s Hecarim and Riven game and Spoon’s Yasuo game. And then not even on the actual quality of their play, but rather how it looked on the screen. Lin Feng understood this and he knew how wrong they were. He thought for a second about arguing with the viewers over it, but then decided it wasn’t worth the effort.
Spoon wasn’t making flashy plays nor was he getting solo kills on the Lulu. But no one could reasonably expect him to. That just wasn’t how the game worked. Lulu was a strong pick in mid lane because of how defensive she was. It was really hard to get a solo kill on her, almost impossible. To this end, it was rather impressive how Spoon forced the Jungle Elise into mid lane to protect the Lulu. This was a testament to his skill. Something the viewers completely missed. And when the Elise and Lulu would make a mistake, and they would—people always did—he’d be there to make the outplay and pick up the kill. That was the skill of a King.
Lin Feng looked at the minimap, at the icon of the Morgana. It’s just… Autumn is just better. A lot better. Spoon is great, but it’s not enough. He really needs to do something special here, otherwise Autumn will walk away with the game on his Morgana. Autumn is playing super good!
At 14 minutes, the second Dragon spawned. Season had gotten the first. The game was slowly slipping out of Meteor’s hands. They really needed this Dragon if they wanted to stay in it. So they warded aggressively around the Dragon pit and tried to force Season away. It looked like a success. A few skillshots hit and Season retreated into their own jungle, around the edge of a wall. A wall they then used perfectly.
The players from Meteor had to walk around it to chase Season. The Morgana ran at the front of Season’s team, and the Jinx from Meteor at the back of their team. A wall separated them, but they could almost touch hands if it wasn’t there. The Morgana called upon her dark magic. No wall could stop it. She threw it at the Jinx and bound her–Dark Binding! Then she flashed over the wall and cast her ultimate–Soul Shackles! Wings unfolded from her back. She unleashed the full force of her Celestial power! Chains of dark pain lashed onto the Yasuo, Jarvan IV and Jinx, slowing them and dealing damage before stunning them.
The other four players from Season turned around as if they’d been waiting for this exact moment. They were ready and pounced on the three Champions that were pinned down. Yasuo and Jinx were blown up fairly quickly, since they were squishy, and the Jarvan IV barely managed to survive longer than those two. The remaining two Champions from Meteor knew what was coming and were already in the process of retreating. But Season didn’t chase after them. The second Dragon was way more valuable than an Ace.
“Nice catch!” Lin Feng exclaimed. “That was a great play! They got baited so hard! Haha!”
That teamfight turned out to be the one that decided the game. Season grabbed such a large advantage from it that there was nothing Meteor could do to turn things around. Not that Team Meteor gave up. No one ever gave up during Worlds. But they never really had a chance to claw their way back. Team Season methodically played it out, taking down every Red tower on the map. Finally, at 32 minutes, Team Season destroyed Meteor’s Nexus and ended the game.
“Autumn was amazing! He was really amazing! Wow! That was crazy! Did you guys see it? Can we see a replay? I want to see the replay!” Lin Feng couldn’t get enough of Autumn. From start to finish, he played a perfect game on his Morgana. He showed the world why he was the second Emperor and proved himself worthy of the title. He played like a machine, and didn’t make a single mistake.
Lin Feng stared at the screen, but had stopped watching what it showed. Watching this Autumn play made him recall his old Support. These two were polar opposites. One played meticulously. Like a machine. The other played full of style and passion. They were completely different approaches to the game. And both worked, when coupled with the right ad-carry. He grinned. The perfect bot lane. A duo that complemented each other’s plays perfectly into a tango. That was something special. Season showcased it this game, and he’d seen the Support and ad-carry in his old team do the same. His old teammates, they were great. Every single one of them. He smiled wistfully and rubbed his eyes. I miss those guys.