Video content creation. It was a spontaneous suggestion by Zuo You. A spur in the moment topic that could blow away into forgotten lands by the time the subject shifted again. But Su Xue didn’t want to forget it. Video content creation, and then specifically gameplay commentating, was on the up in China. There were many people doing it with great success. They would hire a professional or famous player and record gameplay with them, then commentate and finally prepare the video for release. This was another avenue for streamers to get their name out there and become popular enough, so that they could make a living by playing the video game they loved to play!
The main gripe as a streamer was that you could only attract viewers while you were online. It was the content that was created in the moment that got everyone together. If the streamer was lucky, they could get a feature on the main page of their streaming website and more people would come and watch. Then there was word of mouth advertising and short clips on social media. But beyond that, there weren’t a whole lot of ways to find new viewers, because the only way they’d come and stay was if you were online and they liked what they were seeing.
It was completely different on a video hosting website like PlayMoreLoL. There was no need to be online at specific times. People could come and watch a video whenever they felt like it. On top of that, PlayMoreLoL was at least as popular as the big streaming sites like HuyaTV. Content creators could reach an entirely different set of people who might enjoy their work! And who knew, maybe some of those new fans would come and watch the stream, or vice versa. The traction created through this would only make the content creators more popular. It was a win-win situation for them.
Su Xue enjoyed browsing PlayMoreLoL. She used to do it all the time, before she started streaming. Though not so much anymore. She was struggling to find any free time. And what time she did find was spent preparing dinner for Lin Feng. Just getting in a good night’s rest sometimes felt impossible. But she knew PlayMoreLoL. She knew how videos could easily gain traction and reach hundreds of thousands if not millions of views. Not to mention the much larger number of featured slots on the frontpage. It also helped that Su Xue was already a streamer. She could have her fans watch the videos, like them and leave a comment. There was no way this plan could fail.
All of this information swirled through Su Xue’s head even long after Zuo You had left. She’d done the dishes, absentmindedly, and sat back down at the dining table. Just staring in front of her. Maybe. Maybe I really could? The more she thought about it, the harder it became to see the negatives. Her mind focused completely on everything that could come from it. There were no negatives! Not that she could think of at least! It would be a success! There was nothing stopping her from becoming famous except herself! She looked into the hallway at the door to Lin Feng’s room and shouted, “Lin Feng!”
A few seconds later, the door opened and a head popped out. “Yeah?”
Su Xue beckoned him over with her hand. “Come! Come here! I want to talk with you about something.”
“Ok?” Lin Feng mumbled as he pushed open the door completely and walked over towards Su Xue. He sat down across from her and asked, “What is this all about? Is everything ok?”
Su Xue clasped her hands and looked at him. There was no smile in her expression. No joy. No anger. Just utter concentration. “What do you think of Zuo You’s idea? You know, the thing about me making videos.”
Lin Feng ruffled his messy hair. “Oh, sounded like a good idea. Probably going to be really exhausting though. Aren’t you already complaining all the time about how little time you have? It’s only going to get worse. You’re basically going to need twice the time!”
“Don’t worry about me,” Su Xue replied. She breathed out, letting all tension escape her body. “I’m new to the scene. If I want to make a name for myself, I can’t chill. I can’t sit back and expect everything to be handed to me. It’s going to take hard work. I’m willing to put in that hard work. I’ll make this a success.” She then turned to Lin Feng and looked him in the eyes. “But this plan from Zuo You. I can’t do it alone. If I’m going to do this, I’ll be needing your help. For the first bit at least.”
Though Su Xue had never done commentary videos before, she’d watched plenty of them to know what was important. A good video had two strong elements. The commentary and the gameplay. Both had to be of high quality. Commentary was something she would have to work on. All she had to do was put in the time and effort to research how others did it and then create her own style. It was a lot of work, but it was doable. However, quality gameplay was something a lot more difficult. She couldn’t just start playing like a professional player. She wasn’t that good at the game.
Quality gameplay was just as important as a good commentator. The Chinese people watching videos on PlayMoreLol were particularly picky about this. If someone new tried to break into the scene, the viewers would put this new video content creator under a loop. All it took was one mistake. One bad play. One bad comment on a good play. And it was all over. Their hopes of becoming a video content creator would be ruined. Even Diamond players weren’t immune to this. Only the best players could create the gameplay the Chinese fans felt was worth watching. Anything else and they would take to the comment section and write out their displeasure.
「I’d be embarrassed even uploading this garbage. What a waste of bandwidth.」
「Gold gameplay? Lmao. get out of here fucktard」
「lol, no point in watching this. Not even a quadra or penta…..」
「pls learn to play before posting this shit….. scratch that. just dont post and delete your acc」
「if your mom saw this shed off herself」
「I’ve seen two year olds with more personality than whoever this idiot is.」
Su Xue had read through these kinds of comments many times before. She knew how ruthless people could be on the internet. Even her stream saw it from time to time. But this example also showed why she needed help with procuring gameplay. Diamond players weren’t good enough. She was Platinum. It was absolutely hopeless if she tried to make some videos herself. Her only hope was that Lin Feng would be willing to step in and help her get quality gameplay.
Lin Feng didn’t need to think twice at her suggestion. “Sure! Of course I’ll help you!”
Su Xue smiled. She’d spent the last half an hour worrying how she was going to get her hands on quality gameplay if Lin Feng said no, and hadn’t come up with any solution. There really was only Lin Feng she could rely on for this. “Thanks,” she said. Then she added before he could say anything, “I won’t let you do this for free, of course! You’ve already helped me out so much! I can’t keep taking advantage of you! How about this, if this ends up making money, we’ll split the profits 50-50?”
Su Xue and Lin Feng lived together. They shared everything together and were quickly coming to see each other as family. But just because they were so close, that didn’t mean Su Xue felt good with Lin Feng helping her for free. She was making money for the time he spent streaming! As long as it wasn’t more than a little here and a little there, she didn’t feel too bad. She’d just prepare him a little extra for dinner to thank him. But if it became something more permanent, a deal where he would actively have to make time free in his schedule to record with her, then it became something different. She would have to pay him for his time with money, or she wouldn’t feel good about it.
Lin Feng waved his hands. “No need. Let’s talk about money when you’re actually successful. You just go and find out how we can record the gameplay. It doesn’t really change much for me anyway. I’ve been meaning to get my own account and play some solo queue anyway!”
Lin Feng looked at his laptop. He’d spent the last few hours finishing up his homework. But his mind was never really on it. Not after the SSK versus Dust game the other day. That game had helped him realize how far behind Rake he was. How much work he had to put in to reach those heights again. He would find his old form again and then only get better! His games with Su Xue or High School 13’s esports team were only child’s play in comparison. They were good fun but wouldn’t really help him. If he wanted to achieve his goals, his first step would be to make an account and fight his way up the ranked ladder in solo queue.
The Koreans were the best players in the world right now. By that logic, their solo queue should also have the strongest players. It was the best place to get better. So Lin Feng chose to play on their server. He downloaded a VPN so that he could connect to it and bought a Gold-rank account that had finished its placement matches. Then he opened up the Korean League client and entered his new login information. The client loaded in. He took a deep breath. A smile spread on his face. Let’s do this!
Lin Feng had felt pretty comfortable about his chances of getting back to the top of the League of Legends scene, until that SSK versus Dust game. That one game had shook him awake. He realized how wrong his thinking had been. A four year hiatus wasn’t just him being away for four years, but also everyone else becoming better for four years. Rake was the number one player in the world. But the Rake of Season 5 was incomparably more dominant than the Rake from Season 1. They were like two different players. If Lin Feng wanted to have any chance against Rake, just playing a few games here and there wouldn’t do. He needed to take this seriously. He had to put his all into this. And he would have to work every waking moment on improving if he wanted even the tiniest chance of catching back up again.
Lin Feng breathed in through his nose and then let it all out. It was time to finally do this. He amped himself by moving around in his chair and then said, “I need to get better! That’s the only way!”
In a small town in the Northeast of China was an almost abandoned apartment building. That was how it looked, at least. No one could be reasonably expected to live here. But voices could be heard and lights were on. In one of the apartments, in a dirty room with dishes piled up in a corner and a thick layer of dust, a man in shorts and a tank top sat on the floor in front of his computer. He had the QQ messenger app open and was talking with someone.
Smut Sentinel:「Are you ready?」
Cup Noodles:「Okay, ready.」
Smut Sentinel:「Good. Get on voice.」
Smut Sentinel, or Old Huang as he was called in the outside world, lit up a cigarette and inhaled deeply, letting the smoke fill his lungs. Then he blew out rings of smoke, smiling brightly. His plan was a success. He’d found someone who could help him bring his videos to the next level!
Old Huang was still new to the whole video content creation scene, but he was already doing phenomenal for himself. His choice of name in combination with his skillful commentating style that heavily leaned on his sexual humour got his videos to average 250,000 views. This was a very impressive number for a newcomer. However, his viewers were never satisfied. They always wanted, even demanded, more from him. It was to the point where his channel was stagnating.
The comments sections below his most recent videos all complained about the same thing. Gameplay. The quality of the gameplay didn’t live up to the quality of his commentary. But his own rank was only Diamond 5, so he couldn’t use that. As for his friend who was helping him, he was high Diamond. That still wasn’t enough. So Old Huang had reached out to a Master player on the Ionia server and asked them to help him get some source material. To make it even more interesting, for this next video specifically, this mystery Master would play on the famous Korean server!