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Fight Fight Fight!

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Tang Bingyao saw the Thornsplitter plants and felt it. That indescribable sensation that settled over her when she saw Lin Feng’s Zyra unleash her ultimate. She knew in that instant that Lin Feng saw an opening, the possibility to win this fight. The chance to get some kills. She wasn’t looking at him, but she knew exactly what Lin Feng looked like at that moment. She could see his calm expression, the intensity pouring out of his eyes, and that imperceptible shift that came over him whenever he tasted blood. She knew his Zyra would go on the offensive now and start attacking instead of flashing away. And she also knew what she had to do. And she started doing it before Lin Feng finished saying, “Now! Go in!” 

The Stranglethorns spread out and the Morgana and Tristana were perfectly lined up. She pressed down on her R key–⁠Rat-Ta-Tat-Ta! The attack range of her Twitch grew. Twitch aimed at the Morgana and then squeezed the trigger. Empowered toxic bolts shot from his crossbow and pierced the Morgana and then the Tristana!

North High’s Jungler saw the health bars on his Botlaners drop. They were already at half health before the fight started. Now they were a few more hits away from death. He placed a ward in the lane and dashed toward it–⁠Safeguard! He followed up with a Sonic Wave. The Blind Monk didn’t know where to jump to. He needed to find a target first. His Sonic Wave was aimed perfectly. It went straight for the Twitch. The Twitch who didn’t have a Flash or any other ability that could help him dodge. But then, just as he was about to be hit by the Sonic Wave, a massive cannonball barreled into him and sent him flying backwards–⁠Buster Shot!

The Tristana sabotaged her own Jungler! Her Flash was on cooldown. She’d, again, used her Rocket Jump to engage. And the Twitch had turned around on her. Her health was too low. There was no way out. She needed to get rid of the Twitch. His toxic bolts would kill her! So she moved forward and fired off her ultimate at him. Anything to knock him away! But by doing that, she killed any hope for her team of killing High School 13’s Botlaners.

Tang Bingyao still had Flash. North High’s ad-carry had acted on fear and he was about to come to regret it. Twitched disappeared with a flash of mottled light before reappearing right back where he was a moment ago, the moment before a giant cannonball slammed into him. The Tristana was there. The Morgana was there. And his ultimate was still active. He fired at them, empowered toxic bolts skewering the two players from North High.

The Morgana ran away. Out of range from the Stranglethorns. Because this ultimate skill from Zyra had a secondary effect. First, the twisted thicket spread out before the thick vines would snap upwards, knocking anyone caught within airborne! She got out just in time. But the same couldn’t be said for the Tristana. She tried to run away, but the range was too large. It was too far. She was thrown up into the air. All the while, Twitch focused her down.

North High’s Jungler refused to give up on his ad-carry. She was still alive. There was still something he could do! Maybe this isn’t lost yet… Let’s do this! His Lee Sin was already on the Twitch. He pressed down on the R key–⁠Dragon’s Rage! The Lee Sin roundhouse kicked the Twitch, launching him back, far away from the Tristana!

However, before the Twitch flew away, Tang Bingyao pressed on her E key–⁠Expunge! Her Twitch wreaked havoc on the poisoned Tristana and Morgana with a blast of his vile diseases! There was no protecting against it. The Morgana found herself with only one auto attack worth of health left, while the Tristana dropped dead to the ground.

You have slain an enemy!

“Awesome! Great work! Let’s get the Morgana next! We can do this!” Lin Feng exclaimed. These were the moments he played the game for! Full of excitement they were! He was happy that the Lee Sin had come for a gank, it made the whole play that much more fun! Besides, it finally lured the Tristana and Morgana away from the safety of their outer tower. He exhausted the Lee Sin to get him off their backs while he chased after the Morgana together with Tang Bingyao.

Tang Bingyao activated Ambush. This skill camouflaged her Twitch for a short duration, granting him bonus movement speed. The Twitch caught up to the Morgana before she could even reach her outer tower. Her health was too low. One final auto attack left Twitch’s crossbow and pierced the Morgana. Her health hit zero. The Twitch picked up another kill.

Double kill!

The Lee Sin saw the two players from High School 13 chase after the Morgana and kill her. He knew this was the end. There was nothing he could do to change this fight around anymore. The most he could do was to not give High School 13 a third kill. Two was already too much. So he turned around and ran up the river and then into his own jungle. Far away from any wards from High School 13. Then he started channeling a recall.

There was nothing stopping Lin Feng and Tang Bingyao from taking down the outer tower. They waited for the next minion wave to slam into it and then started attacking it, while Lin Feng also called over Ouyang. They didn’t need Ouyang’s help in taking down the tower. However, after the tower Lin Feng also wanted to take down the Dragon. That was why he needed Ouyang. The Lee Sin had run away, and most likely also backed away, while North High’s Botlaners were both dead. If they were fast, they could take the Dragon uncontested.

North High had come for a gank on bot lane. A 3vs2. This should’ve been their win! Their outer tower! Their Dragon! Instead, High School 13 had turned it around and taken everything for themselves. There was nothing North High could do about it. And to add insult to injury, they heard that same, annoying, frustrating voice from the side of High School 13. “Hahaha! Good job, guys! That was awesome! We really pulled ahead with that fight!”

Standing behind the frustrated members from North High’s esports team was Zeng Rui. He didn’t care for who won the game. Nor the results of a gank. None of these players looked like a threat to him. Except for one. There was one player who kept surprising him. That Zyra. His eyes were glued on her. Impossible! How did he do that? Could he really… Ha– No. He’s just an idiot. Idiots also get lucky. Luck. Zyra’s Rampant Growth could be cast in combination with Deadly Spines or Grasping Roots to summon plants that helped her deal damage and block projectiles. This wasn’t some grand secret. Every half decent League player knew of this aspect of her kit.

Zyra could lay down a Seed with Rampant Growth, then germinate it with Deadly Spines or Grasping Roots. This was her regular skill combo. It could also be executed in reverse order, though that required low latency and fast fingers. But it also gave the opponent less time to react. This was a skill only seen at the higher ranks, or by Zyra one-trick ponies. However, what Lin Feng had done wasn’t that simple. When the Morgana flashed forward with Dark Binding, there wasn’t enough time for even the reverse Zyra method to block it. But he had done just that. There was only one possible explanation. He predicted Morgana’s next move and cast his skill the same moment that Morgana flashed! That was the only explanation that made any sense. Just that it didn’t make any sense! No one was that good!

How… It can’t be. Zeng Rui kept shaking his head. It was hard to accept. He couldn’t accept it! But the facts were laid out right in front of him. They were shoved into his face. There was nothing he could find to deny them. They looked true. Fast reaction speed. Perfect reflexes. Strong mechanics. Top. Mid. Support. A monster in every lane he plays. Who the hell is he…

At 10 minutes, the balance of the game tipped back in High School 13’s favour. After securing the first tower and Dragon, Lin Feng and Tang Bingyao roamed over to mid and started helping Yang Fan pressure the outer tower. This was a worst case scenario for Twisted Fate. His power came from pushing his lane out and then putting pressure on other lanes with his ultimate. When he instead got pressured, his ultimate was useless. He became useless. On top of that, Tang Bingyao’s Twitch was already 3/0/0! She was already strong enough that she could sweep through North High’s entire team with a well placed ultimate.

“Our team comp is really good!” Wei Dong remarked. He had nothing better to do since he was sitting out this game. So he decided to provide some commentary to Liu Yue and Ren Rou. “We don’t really have a bulky frontline, but we don’t need to either. Yang Fan has all the poke in the world with his Ziggs. Then we got Lin Feng and Chen Ze with crowd control that also deals a lot of damage, and Ouyang with his Jarvan to engage. And Jarvan also has his ulty! Our team has so many AoE crowd control skills that it’s easy for Tang Tang to get off a good ultimate and clean up anyone still alive!”

Wei Dong’s analysis was on point. It didn’t even matter that mid and top had fallen behind a little. Yang Fan only had to worry about being annoying by hitting his explosives, while Chen Ze’s Rumble only needed to get his Sorcerers’ Shoes to become a menace. His ultimate would do the rest. And with Lin Feng and Tang Bingyao helping these two, they would get back into the game soon enough and have the items to become even more of a problem for North High.

Ouyang’s anxiety also disappeared. His team was winning and he felt like a God. There was nothing to worry about. He pressed his skills, ran with the rest of the team, and tried his best to get successful flag-toss combos off.  It didn’t even really matter if he missed a combo. Lin Feng was always there with more crowd control. This knowledge gave him all the confidence he needed. His skill shots started hitting more and more often. He actually became an asset to the team.

North High quickly found themselves in a position where the game seemed lost. They were losing everywhere. Their only hope was to drag this game out and hope for a miracle in the ultra late game. Perhaps their Tristana could outperform the Twitch then. It was a steep task, but their only hope. So they hid behind their towers and gave up on the game objectives. They bided their time, pumping the few resources they did get into the Darius for a tanky frontline and the Tristana for her damage items. But High School 13 wasn’t about to let them get back into the game. They were looking to end it. And Lin Feng led the charge.

“GO GO GO! Let’s fight, guys! If we aren’t fighting! We aren’t winning! 

“Ouyang! Don’t think! Just go! Dive straight into their backline! Go ham or go broke! 

“Don’t save your Rumble ult! Just throw it down, Chen Ze! Even if you whiff it, I’ll force them to walk into it!” 

Over the next eight minutes, Lin Feng’s voice continuously rang out in the voice chat. He was the team captain. He was the Challenger on the Ionia server. He was their coach. If he told them to fight, they would fight! If he told them to sacrifice a death for the team, they would offer themselves up! And if he told them to–anything game related, they’d do it for him. So they fought!

The crowd laughed and whispered and joked. High School 13’s team looked like a pack of rabid dogs! There was no grace to their play. It was literally just fight fight fight! Their tactics were crude and simple. But somehow it worked. They came out on top in every teamfight. They never gave away an objective. And slowly but surely, they fought their way towards North High’s base. It looked stupid. It looked like it shouldn’t be working. But it did. It was frighteningly effective. For some reason, it just always worked. North High lost all control over the map and High School 13 was brute forcing their way to victory!

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How Shanks' First Relationship Began

Shanks Thought: Both Devshard and Sietse went on dates this weekend. I, on the other hand, made the sacrifice of staying home to keep you guys company. See! They don’t care about you as much as I do. They’ll ditch you for girls at the drop of a hat. Me? I’ll stand by your side through thick and thin. I’ll give my everything to you!

That’s why you should believe me when I say I had a girlfriend. I’ll share the story of how we met. I was in fifth grade in elementary school. One day at lunch, I was minding my own business and playing my gameboy on the school playground, when this girl comes out of nowhere and smacks me in the back with a plastic bowling pin. How she got it, I have no clue. I just remember she chased me around with it for a good while before the teachers broke it up. Obviously not a great first impression but I didn’t hold it against her.

Turns out I had been so absorbed in playing my Gameboy that I missed the bell. What does that have to do with anything? Well, my elementary school shared a building with an Indigenous school and their lunch time was right after ours. This was something I learned from her later after we started dating. But apparently she saw it as me invading her territory. You see, there’s a lot of complicated history with the Indigenous people in Canada (like with any colonized nation) and she was taught to hate all non Indigenous people because we stole their land.

As for how we started dating, that wasn’t until more than a year later. She and I had moved to the same middle schools and got put in the same class. One day, I brought my pet hamster to class, and it interested her enough for her to start talking to me. I learned she really loved animals, and she’d always wanted hamsters herself but her parents wouldn’t let her. We started talking more often, first about hamsters, and then about our other interests. Fast forward a few months, we’d been practically talking every day to each other and she became my best friend. I guess the natural progression after that was for us to start going out, and so we did.

That was my first relationship. It had ups and downs. But it is what it is. The fact remains that ya boy Shanks had game! Or at least his hamster did! I don’t know.

Sietse Addendum: Does Shanks remind you guys of anyone? I feel like he channeled his inner Su Xue. “See! They don’t care about you as much as I do.” But I trust you guys see right through his bullshit, just like Su Xue’s viewers saw through her bullshit!

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