“An Emperor?” Old Huang blurted. Across all the regions, in all the teams, four players were considered the best in the world. It sounded ridiculous to think that someone who played back in Season 1 and then quit could just come back and displace an Emperor four years later. Even if they’d been training nonstop, it was still impossible to just become an Emperor! “Are you serious? You’re joking, right? That’s way outta there. That can’t be right…”
From individual skill to past achievements, there were four people who were better than anyone else. They stood at the top of the global esports scene. Fans called them the Four Emperors. A good sounding title. But it was so much more than just a title. It was a symbol of the most skilled professional esports athletes! These were their names:
Moon, The Moon Emperor!
Phoenix, The Undying Emperor!
Autumn, The Autumn Emperor!
Rake, The God Emperor!
The LPL had no Emperors. No real ones, at least. They did have Daybreak Hermes, The Star Emperor. It was a nickname given to him by his Chinese fans. Just like how they called Roundy Round “God Roundy”. However, no matter how highly the Chinese fans spoke of Hermes, or Roundy for that matter, they all knew that neither of these two had what it took to measure up with an actual Emperor. The Four Emperors were just on another level. Another plane of existence. The gap was so wide that it was hard to even compare them. That was why Old Huang didn’t really listen to Cup Noodles. The LPL had some great talents who couldn’t even get close to the Four Emperors. In his mind, some random player in solo queue couldn’t even dream about it!
Cup Noodles breathed in deeply and then let it all out. “You don’t understand it. You should’ve been there. It was something else. That guy was so good. It was just a joy to watch. He was the best player in China, and one of the very best in the world.”
Old Huang puffed out some smoke and replied, “So what? Star Emperor is the best Midlaner in China right now, right? Do you see him holding his own against the Emperors? No. He isn’t good enough. Why would this kid be? Besides. That was four years ago. He’s probably past it. I doubt he can even keep up with the current meta.”
“Please,” Cup Noodles said. “It’s not that simple.” He remembered Season 1. He could still name the players of the Unrivaled Ten. That match at the World Championships where Maple beat Phoenix was one of the few games he remembered from back then. Maple had beaten an Emperor! He was that good! And then there was the Finals. The best of five series. Maple versus Rake. It took all five games and an unfortunate mistake on Maple’s part for the conclusion. It could’ve gone either way. If Maple was really back, then… Then…
Cup Noodles shook his head. Maple had always come out on top. He was unbeatable in Season 1. Except at the very end. In that final series, and ultimately in that final game, he lost. And then he quit. He left through the backdoor, while his opponent took the Summoner’s Cup in his hands and lifted it up high. Today, there was Rake the God Emperor, but no Maple. It was the painful truth. Cup Noodles shook his head and breathed out deeply. “Nevermind. Forget I said anything. Anyway, this game is useless for your video. Let’s move on to the next one.
There was still the game of League. Cup Noodles focused on his screen. There was no tension to the game anymore. That Orianna was too strong. He didn’t surrender, but he also didn’t really tryhard. The Blue team, led by the Orianna, pushed their way down mid lane and into Red team’s base. They destroyed one inhibitor and then moved on towards the Nexus. There was a scuffle there. A few players on the Red team who were just throwing themselves at the Orianna, trying to get at least one kill in. They didn’t. She played too well. And then the Nexus exploded. The game was over and the players were moved to the endgame lobby.
Cup Noodles grinned to himself and shook his head. He didn’t care that he’d lost this game, because he’d lost to Maple. It didn’t matter if this Maple was the real Maple. What mattered was the manner in which they’d played. Full of confidence and with perfect awareness and mechanics. This Maple hadn’t let the name down. More importantly, he’d seen a shimmer of the most brilliant Midlaner from China. He muttered to his screen, to this Maple wherever he was, “Don’t let down the reputation of that Summoner Name…”
The name Maple didn’t mean anything to most Chinese League of Legends fans. There was only a small group who remembered the name, and even fewer what it stood for. The significance and weight behind it. It belonged to perhaps the best player China would ever see. The legend from Season 1. The only player who could go toe-to-toe with Rake!
Lin Feng pumped his fist. “Yes! Another win! Let’s go!” He glanced at the clock. It was only 11:30 PM. He was young, he didn’t need much sleep. And if he wanted to catch up to Rake, he had to play more and give it his all! So he hit the queue again. “I’ll play one more. Maybe two. Yeah, two sounds better. If I’m fast, it should be fine! I’ll just sleep after three more games!”
Lin Feng was a man of his word. He went to bed at a respectable time and woke up early the next morning, mostly refreshed. He went to the bathroom to brush his teeth and wash his face. Full of energy he walked towards the dining table, where he saw Su Xue just walking out of the kitchen. She was yawning, her groggy eyes barely open, while carrying her breakfast. “Wow, you look tired.”
Su Xue forced her eyes open a little more and only then seemed to notice Lin Feng. She nodded at him, though it felt more like she was rocking her head back and forth while falling back asleep. “Good, you’re awake. Come, have breakfast.”
Lin Feng grabbed the bowl of congee from Su Xue’s hands and dug in. While he was wolfing down the food, Su Xue peeled a soft-boiled egg for him while saying, “So I started looking into that video recording software. I found one and downloaded it. But there are so many options and settings and things… I don’t even know where to start.”
There was a brief silence. Just long enough that Lin Feng looked up, catching Su Xue shaking herself awake. Then she continued, “Oh, and I also watched the videos of some other commentators. Man, they’re some really smooth talkers. They just keep talking. It’s like they never breathe. I tried it for a bit, but like… I don’t get how they do it. How should I even come up with all those funny lines? I don’t just want to copy theirs. That would be lazy. But how do they keep producing more? I don’t get it. How do I even start learning about that?”
Su Xue looked down at her phone, which was playing a video on silent. It was a video she’d looked at before. She knew the words being said before they were even spoken. Another dirty joke… It was one of the constants in all the popular videos she’d found. No one shied away from making those dirty jokes. She grinned. If I’m going to do this… She looked up at Lin Feng, her eyes finally open and awake, and said, “Well, it doesn’t matter. All these videos are popular. I even tried looking for unpopular ones. There were none. They were all doing great! Getting a few hundred to thousands of new fans should be easy! Easier if I make some dirty jokes. People seem to love dirty jokes.”
Lin Feng paused for a brief moment. He put his chopsticks down and looked up at Su Xue, shocked. “You are going to tell dirty jokes?”
“You little brat! Hyperboles! Hyperboles! All I’m trying to say is that I’m taking it seriously! I’m going to learn how to do commentary!” Su Xue barked. She glared at Lin Feng, shoving the peeled egg into his bowl. “Eat that. Now. Or you’re going to be late for school.” She then put up her finger and added, “Oh, right! Make sure you’re home early tonight! The quarter finals for Worlds starts at 7! We’re commentating together on those games!”
The eight teams who’d qualified for the quarter finals of the World Championships of League of Legends Season 5 had flown from England to France. Their next set of games would be held in the Zenith Paris in Paris. It was an indoor arena perfect for these kinds of occasions. The brackets were already announced.
Legend (Europe) versus Warrior (Korea)
Season (North America) versus Fate (Korea)
Hand of God (China) versus SSK (Korea)
KG (China) versus Assassins (Taiwan)
The best teams in the world participated at Worlds. Deeper in the tournament, the matchups would only become more exciting. There were basically no weaker teams in the quarter finals. The first and second matchup were especially exciting. They were the powerhouses from Korea versus Emperor teams. As for HoG versus SSK. Even the Chinese fans didn’t have much hope for that game. It seemed like SSK would have an easy way to the semifinals. They were simply the better team in every way. Then there was KG versus Assassins. These two teams were arguably the worst, if they could be called that, of the teams in the quarter finals. Either team could make it through to the next round. This was also the matchup most Chinese fans turned their attention to.
Rolling In The Deep
Devshard Thought: We’re going to try something a little different today. So far, the translator thoughts have focused primarily on us. Today, we want to change that up. We want to create a discussion, preferably a heated one like a true Chinese flamefest, in the comment section. It goes without saying that this should be done with clever writing, and not a long string of obscenities.
Alright guys, let’s talk about the fat bitches. You know what I’m talking about. The ones that got that jam jiggle, but all over and with every single step. You dig deep in the rolls and find an Almond Joy. Or an almond surprise. Or some surprisingly well-aged Gouda. You know what I’m talking about, right?
Well, I read Moby Dick. Several times. And while it might be fun to scream “Call me Ishmael!” every now and then, I’m really sure that no one wants to be the guy that harpoons the White Whale in real life. And let’s be real with that. Every white whale isn’t exactly Moby Dick. And then there are the logistical issues! Who has the money to buy that much breakfast in the morning?
Now I’m sure everyone is wondering if we’ve had a stroke or what to say after this… tirade. But I think this brings up an important societal issue. No one is advocating for body image issues or anything like that. But we’re of the mindset that there’s a lot of overcorrecting and undercorrecting going on these days. First you got the whole “Big Is Beautiful” movement going on. Or “Fun comes in every size”. Blah, blah, blah. That’s an overcorrection. There’s also the whole “Fit is Fabulous” bullshit going on. Where everyone is talking about the best diets and superfoods and how to exercise. Then you got the skinny bitches on instagram with the green screen Maldives behind them talking about how great Skinny Bunny Tea is. I don’t know what that even is. But I will make a definitive statement on that: THERE IS NO TEA THAT WILL MAKE YOU SKINNY OR HOT! THAT’S MAGIC! WE DON’T HAVE MAGIC IN THIS DIMENSIONAL PLANE! NEITHER WILL ACAI BERRIES!
So this is the discussion. How do we become okay with ourselves? All of us. Not the version of us some high school dropout bitch on Instagram who was too stupid to become a real estate agent tells us we should be. Let’s be even more real, break the dimensional reality barrier here. There’s a lot of people talking about representation in the media, wanting to see people on that 4K screen who look like them, blah blah blah. But none of that shit matters, right? Just because someone has the same skin color or eye shape as you, it doesn’t mean they’re like you. Or that they’ve been on the same journey you have. We’re all just looking for a way to be okay with who we are, accept ourselves, and find out that the world is okay with us as we are. So how do we do that? That’s the question. Discuss.