This was the final hurdle! All High School 13 had to do was to win this best of three series against North High, and then they’d qualify for the Shanghai 16 School Tournament! Two games stood between them and their goal. They’d make sure it never even got to a third and deciding game! Two wins. Fast and clean. A stomp in game one to swing the series in their favour and then ride the momentum through the second game. Easy enough. But their opponents felt the same. North High wouldn’t let High School 13 walk all over them without putting up a fight. They would struggle for every inch! They would take game one and then game two! High School 13 wouldn’t win this series, they would! The players from both teams slowed their breathing as they zoned out everything but the monitor in front of them. Everyone but the players on their team. If they wanted to win, they had to find that competitive mindset and never lose focus!
《Welcome to Summoner’s Rift!》
Lin Feng and Tang Bingyao rushed down from the Red team’s fountain into bot lane. They stopped halfway in and ventured into the jungle. Opposite of the Blue buff camp was the Gromp. A lone monster. They waited for it to spawn and then killed it, juggling its aggro so as to take as little damage as possible. The experience from killing it would get them close to Level 2. A small advantage that could see them win the lane! Except for the fact that on the Blue team, North High’s Botlaners had the same idea. They were killing the monster camp closest to their bot lane, the Krugs; durable monsters of stone! This was a tactic often seen in professional play and was being copied more and more in regular games.
The minion waves in bot lane clashed. Lin Feng and Tang Bingyao had their Champions rush to lane to get as much experience as possible. While clicking towards the lane, Lin Feng looked over at Tang Bingyao and grinned. “Seems like they had the same idea. Doesn’t matter. Let’s crush them!” He didn’t care that the champion he decided to go with, Zyra, had fallen out of favour for a lot of players. They couldn’t do what he could! He would carry this game all the same!
“Mhm.” Tang Bingyao nodded. Her focus was on her screen. She was going to give it her all, like she always did. It was just… This stupid two-legged rat is ugly. Not cute at all. We have to end this game quickly. She’d started playing Twitch because Lin Feng told her to. He was the coach and she wouldn’t argue. But that didn’t mean she enjoyed playing Twitch. This stupid rat was one of the Champions she hated the most! I can’t let this drag on.
Zeng Rui from Shanghai High School stood behind North High’s team. His gaze was firmly on their screens. This game had started normally. He looked at the Toplaner’s screen. He was fighting a Rumble with his Darius. Darius was a strong Champion in the current meta and had an advantage over Rumble during the early laning phase. But as long as Rumble followed two simple rules, he could still win. The first was to avoid Decimate, an ability where Darius would heft his axe and swing it around himself. The second was that Rumble needed precise management of his Heat, which was the resource that Rumble used to cast his abilities. If he kept to these two rules, then and only then, would he push the Darius out of lane and get an easy win.
Top lane could be fun to watch, but it wasn’t what Zeng Rui cared most about. That was bot lane. His evalutation of Lin Feng had gone down substantially after Lin Feng’s little outburst, but that didn’t change the facts. This cocky dumbass had played two games and carried hard in both of them. So Zeng Rui would devote some extra attention to the bot lane. He narrowed his eyes and focused on Lin Feng. Still grinning like an idiot… I can’t believe he’s any good… But. There’s that stupid word. But he did carry his team twice now. I should see if there’s anything I can learn from him.
North High had the advantage in the bot lane matchup. Tristana had the attack range advantage over Twitch and could deal significant damage with her Explosive Charge, blowing up a bomb on someone’s head, all the while the Morgana supported her from the rear with a powerful binding tool in Dark Binding. Twitch had no dashes, no jumps, no nothing to dodge these Dark Bindings. And Zyra had little to nothing to protect him, especially in the early game. The lower Twitch’s health became, the harder Tristana and Morgana could push the lane. They could force the Twitch to use his Summoner Spells and force High School 13’s Jungler to come down for support. There really wasn’t any other way this lane should play out. However, none of this happened. To the surprise of even Zeng Rui.
Tang Bingyao focused on farming the minions, while Lin Feng threw auto attacks at the Tristana whenever she tried to last hit a minion. The Tristana wasn’t having a good time. It couldn’t go on like this. She had to do something. So she walked forward a bit to throw an Explosive Charge on the Twitch. That was the wrong thing to do. Tang Bingyao had her Twitch turn around the moment the Tristana started moving. The Twitch threw a Venom Cask over his shoulder, which exploded in the Tristana’s face. It slowed her and inflicted her with Deadly Venom. If this wasn’t bad enough, what Lin Feng did definitely was. He didn’t walk away like the Twitch. Quite the opposite. He had his Zyra move forward and pressed down on the Q key–Deadly Spines! Thick vines spread through the ground and exploded into spines, piercing the Tristana! Her health dropped a lot from this short exchange.
Zeng Rui raised his eyebrows halfway up his forehead and nodded. “Not bad… Not bad at al–”
“Wow! You’re really in the zone today, huh?” Lin Feng exclaimed, loud enough for everyone to hear.
While the rest of the NetCow Cafe looked over at Lin Feng, Tang Bingyao ignored his very existence. She didn’t have time for his nonsense. Not right now. If she wanted to win this game quickly, she had to focus. She was a Draven main. A master at putting pressure in the early game and dominating her lane opponents! Even if this Twitch was nothing like Draven, in every sense of the word, that aggressive playstyle she was so comfortable with still shone through.
“What the hell is this? Why is this Twitch playing so aggressively? Why are we letting her?” North High’s ad-carry complained. “I’m playing Tristana. I should be bullying that stupid rat! Not the other way around! What the fuck!” He pushed forward to try and get a last hit on a minion, only to find his health drop low again! The Zyra. It was the Zyra! His eyelids twitched. “That stupid plantgirl keeps attacking me. She’s fucking mental. Their Support is crazy!”
Whenever he tried to attack the Twitch, there was Zyra. Whenever he tried to last hit a minion, there was Zyra. Whenever he tried to just get a second of freedom, there was Zyra! She was always there, poking his Tristana and being a generally obnoxious piece of shit! He couldn’t take it any longer! And then she hit Level 2. She sent forth her vines through the ground and ensnared his Tristana–Grasping Roots! He felt frantic! Clicking towards his tower and trying everything to get away. The only saving grace was that the Twitch was out of position. He was too far back and couldn’t get to his Tristana in time. That was the only reason he survived. It was too close. That Zyra had played it perfectly. He knew it. If he didn’t do something about his positioning quickly, the same would happen again. And next time, next time he feared the Twitch wouldn’t screw up. Fuck.
Lin Feng glanced at his minimap. Their Jarvan IV was clearing the Red Buff Camp. That meant that Lee Sin was doing the same. The Junglers were on the second Buff Camp in their jungle. Their next step would be to look for a ganking opportunity. Did Lee start on Blue or Red? Lin Feng looked at the information he had, which was restricted to the flow of the lanes. His eyes fell on the Morgana and Tristana in bot lane. They were letting the minion wave push towards their outer tower. It looked sketchy. A little too easy.
At 4:35 minutes into the game, High School 13’s minion wave was pushing towards North High’s outer tower. Tang Bingyao had her Twitch go up for a last hit, extending just a little further than she normally would. There. Lin Feng spotted it immediately. He’d been wary, but now he was sure. A gank. The Morgana was moving forward. He mirrored her actions, walking towards the opponent ad-carry.
The Tristana stood near the river wall. The tri-brush connecting the lane, river, and jungle was just above her. She moved forward a little, just far enough to get in range of the Twitch while also staying back. Then the Lee Sin appeared. He rushed towards the Tristana from the fog of war and shielded her–Safeguard!
Lin Feng pressed down on his E key before the Lee Sin even appeared–Grasping Roots! The Zyra sent forth vines through the ground, heading straight for the Tristana. As Lee Sin rushed to her side, the vines passed through them, ensnaring them both. They were rooted! “Haha! Beautiful! Great job, me!” Lin Feng exclaimed.
Amongst the audience was Zeng Rui. He bit down on his lips, fighting back the intense urge to knock some humility into Lin Feng. This goddamn kid! Stop bragging… That play was great. He’d seen Lee Sin come for the gank. It’d looked perfect. He didn’t see how High School 13 would stop it. But Lin Feng was one step ahead of everyone, and stopped the gank before it could even happen. That was a really high level skill. Zeng Rui had to admit that. But then he had to go and pat himself on the back… Shut up and play!
Shanks Thought: My life has been consumed by Rise. Beside schoolwork, I’ve dedicated the rest of my free time from the moment I wake up to the moment I go back to bed to Rise. And it’s started to do strange things to my sleep. After last night’s thought, I had a dream about Devshard and Sietse. I was going about my regular day, and then Sietse video calls me on my phone out of the blue. I answer and he says, “Hey Shanks! Look who’s here!”, then pans the camera to someone beside him, and it’s Devshard.
Devs immediately goes, “WAZZAAAAPPP”, and Sietse follows up with him like a dumbass, and I’m just going, “What the fuck…?” We shoot the shit for a bit before I hang up and let the two of them on their way. In reality, though, I’m pretty jealous that they’re having fun without me, and I end up in a pissy mood all day. This comes to a head at dinner time with my Chinese flatmates, where they’re acting like idiots and making fun of our other flatmates. So, I got tired of their shit and started calling them out on it. We get into a fight, and they end up leaving.
And the whole thing gets overheard by this cute girl in the flat who I haven’t talked to yet when she walks in the kitchen. Apparently, it’s enough of an icebreaker for me and her to start talking. Turns out we have a lot in common and we hit it off really well. I eventually invite her to my room and she accepts. We sit down on my bed and start getting intimate. And then the dream ends.
I honestly don’t know what to make of that dream. Maybe it’s a sign that I need a girlfriend.
Sietse Thought: Shanks was so jealous that he had an angry dream about Devs and me… This is a whole new level of stupidity. Shanks. I’m trying to think of something nice to say. Some supportive words. But I don’t know what I can possibly say to… ease your suffering. You’re fucking getting upset in your dreams! And then it went from crazy to crazier. Shanks talking to a girl? We all know that’s a lie. It did get me wondering, though. Is this girl he dreamt of based on someone in his flat? Does he know who this is? If he’s dreaming of her, he must really like her. So how do we, as his good friends, help him gather the courage to ask her out? Not to a run, but to a real life date! You can do it Shanks! I and all the readers believe in you! You can totally go and ask her out! And you know the rule. If you have an SO, it’s your moral duty to get them addicted to Rise!
Dev Thought: This is quite honestly Top 10 Dumbest Things Shanks has ever said. Oh my god. I can’t even begin to talk about how dysfunctional this relationship is. Forreals. The only time Shanks can talk to a girl, wake the sleeping Lion of Manhood deep in his soul, is when he’s jealous of Sietse and I hanging out IN A DREAM! But also, the whole thing only happened in a dream. We all know that Shanks can’t actually talk to a girl, invite her back to his room, and get the juice in one go. The day that happened, it would be a sign of the Apocalypse.
I would also like to point out that I never say “WAZZZZAAAAAAP” and I’m moderately insulted that Shanks thinks that I was born in the early 1970s. Because that’s when going “WAZZZZAAAPPP” was cool. Seriously. I would never, ever, ever, ever, ever say that. Even as a joke and ironically. I’m the goddamn Sage of Literary Wit. If I ever say something like that, it means that I’ve suffered a traumatic head injury and I’m no longer the Devshard I once was.
Tl;dr: It deeply concerns and saddens me that Shanks can only get the juice when he’s losing his shit about his friends hanging out without him. That’s a LonelyBoi right there.