Summoner’s Rift. A duel between two of the strongest duelists in the game. Jax and Fiora. Lin Feng got the early level advantage. He pushed the Fiora out of lane. And the Fiora let it happen. She went back a little, waiting for another minion to die. Then she would also be Level 2. The advantage would be gone. A moment, and then the minion died. Everything was back to even. The Fiora dashed back in.
“Let me at ‘em!” Lin Feng shouted from behind his computer, jumpscaring Liu Yue sitting next to him. But he didn’t notice. Nor would he care. His entire focus was on the game, emulating his Jax only heightening his senses. The Fiora dashed towards him, so he Leap Striked at her! Then he pressed the E key–Counter Strike! His Jax spun his lamppost in the air, a transparent mantle enveloping him. He now dodged every basic attack, all the while auto attacking the Fiora.
Counter Strike was a crowd control skill. So the Fiora used Riposte! She leaned back, brandishing her Rapier, and took aim. But Lin Feng knew it was coming. He’d been waiting for it. He had his Jax walk out of the direction the Fiora was aiming in and then waited out the 0.75s duration of Riposte. The counter by the Fiora failed. Now it was his time to shine.! He moved in on the Fiora again and activated the second part of Counter Strike.
The Fiora Lunged away. A last ditch effort. But she was too late. The lamppost hit her in the face. She was stunned. All she managed to do was create a little distance. To make it a little more difficult for the Jax to kill her straight away.
“WOOOOO!” Silent Reed exclaimed from behind the caster’s desk. She turned to West Wind and said, “They’re really going at it in top lane!”
West Wind nodded and said, “Yeah, that Jax is playing it really well. The Fiora isn’t half bad either. These are some high Diamond level plays!” He looked back at the screen, which was still focused on top lane. It was the only lane with anything interesting happening. “But look at their health bars. Jax got out on top here.”
The invincible Jax! Grandmaster at Arms! He was one of Lin Feng’s favourite Toplaners. One of few. There was also Riven, which he’d played in the qualifiers of the Shanghai 16 School Tournament. Then there was Olaf. A simple man who knew how to throw an axe and run across the map! Technically there was one more Champion Lin Feng enjoyed playing. Though this Champion didn’t really count. He could barely be considered a Champion. It was the spin to win legend. The master of nothing and joy of all! GAREN! A man and his sword, running across the Rift, being little more than a tanky nuisance.
Jax was a simple Champion. His skills were straightforward and there was nothing really special about him. That was, for the average player. But to become a good Jax player. Truly good. That wasn’t so simple. It took a lot of skill and experience to make use of all the tricks. Of all the little things that made Jax such a powerful Champion.
To truly understand the power of a Jax, getting to know his skills and how they worked together was the first step. Take his passive. Relentless Assault granted bonus attack speed every hit up to eight stacks. At eight stacks, which wasn’t hard to get to, Jax could attack three times in the time his opponent could only get two auto attacks off. Well. That was, assuming he didn’t use any of his skills. Empower. A skill that reset his auto attacks and empowered them and had an incredibly short cooldown. That brought him to four attacks when his opponent could only attack him twice.
But wait, there was more! There was Leap Strike! Leap Strike and Empower could be used together. The power of the two skills were stackable! This gave rise to an easy Jax trick. Activate Empower, then Leap Strike in and auto attack once before running away again. It didn’t sound like much, but the damage was surprisingly high! So high that the lane opponent would have to respect it and play around it.
But wait, there was more! Before hitting Level 6, Jax was just a Champion. Not a Grandmaster quite yet. At Level 6, he was promoted. The Grandmaster’s Might! It was an ultimate skill that passively empowered his every third basic attack. This could also be combined with Leap Strike and Empower! His damage would go through the roof! It was almost ridiculous! And if he activated it, he gained bonus armor and magic resistance. That was why he was invincible!
But wait, there was more! Jax also had Counter Strike. While dealing all this damage, he could dodge every attack sent his way! If he wasn’t permanently locked down, there was almost nothing that could stop him! He was a real menace of the rift!
Crude and simple to the layman, but a Champion that had far more potential than many players realized. This was just one reason why Lin Feng greatly enjoyed playing Jax. It also helped that with Leap Strike, Jax had some real mobility. So even when things weren’t going great for him, it was still relatively easy to get away.
As for why Lin Feng enjoyed playing Olaf, that was a little of the same. But then also a lot not. While Jax had a lot of small tricks that could make a great difference, Olaf was just a man with an axe. Lin Feng liked the playstyle. No thinking, just running. Throw an axe. Run towards the axe. Pick up the axe. Throw the axe. Run towards the axe. Pick up the axe. Rinse and repeat. Olaf was special in that way.
Su Xue sat on the edge of her chair, biting on her nails. Her eyes were on the large screen above the stage. It was still focused on top lane. The Jax and Fiora were going at it, using their skills to grab any kind of advantage. Their health bars dropped and it looked like it could go either way. To Su Xue, it even looked like it was going the Fiora’s way. The Jax’s health was too low. One mistake. One tiny mistake and Lin Feng would give the lane away to the Fiora. His promise of carrying the game looked far away.
Su Xue tugged on Zuo You’s arm, her eyes never leaving the large screen above the stage, and said in a voice fraught with worry, “H-hey, h-hey… Don’t you think he’s being too aggressive? His health is so low… I-if he’s not careful, that Fiora will kill him!”
Zuo You pulled her arm free and shook her head. “Well, pulling my arm off won’t help him…” She looked at her friend and smiled, friendly. “Jax doesn’t have much health left, right? But look at the Fiora! She is as good as dead! All Lin Feng needs to do is hit her a few more times!”
On the large screen, the two women saw how Lin Feng leaped onto the Fiora and hit her with an auto attack. The Fiora wouldn’t have any of it. She dashed at the Jax and struck out with her rapier–Lunge! She followed up with an auto attack. But her health was too low. She didn’t deal enough damage. If she stayed any longer, the Jax would kill her, and not the other way around. So she flashed away, retreating under her outer tower.
“Nice!” Su Xue cheered, jumping up from her chair. Then she slumped back down. “Damn.” She shook her head and looked at Zuo You. “Look at that Fiora’s health. That could’ve been first blood! All Lin Feng needed was Level 3. If he’d had his W1Empower, he would’ve gotten the kill…”
Lin Feng wasn’t at all concerned about the Fiora or his own health bar. He didn’t try to chase after her when she flashed away and instead chose to go back to the minion wave and continue last hitting them. That was where the money was at. Kill or no kill, this situation was a win for Lin Feng. He got some time to free farm experience and gold while the Fiora had to hide underneath her tower or even recall back to base. It didn’t take him long to use this advantage to hit Level 3 first.
West Wind turned to Silent Reed at the caster desk and said, “This Jax, man, he’s got a good head on his shoulders. Many players would’ve gotten greedy there and flashed in for the kill. But that Fiora still had Riposte. So killing her was impossible. He would’ve given away a kill instead. Good call to focus on the minions instead.”
Silent Reed smiled, a development happening on the large screen. She said, “You know. Both of them are at low health. If only a Jungler were to show up… Hey! Look! Two Junglers are making their ways up top! Hehe!”
West Wind looked back at the large screen, at the Rek’Sai and Lee Sin rushing top. The Lee Sin was almost there. The Rek’Sai was still a ways away. “Uh oh! Jax is in danger! Can he make it out of this alive? Let’s see!”
In the crowd, Su Xue couldn’t control her nerves anymore. She pinched hard in Zuo You’s arm and shouted, “No no NO! Lin Feng! Oh no! He has no ward! He doesn’t know! We have to tell him he’s in trouble! We have to! Lin Feng, watch out!”
“Ai!” Zuo You yelped, grabbing Su Xue’s hand and pulling it off her arm. Then she turned back to the game, for the first time showing some concern towards Lin Feng. She bit on her lips and then cursed, “This stupid kid! How dumb is he? All he needed to do was place one ward! Now that Fiora is going to turn on him and get the kill…”
Lin Feng was farming his minions, oblivious to the approaching danger. Until Liu Yue shouted into the voice chat, “LIN FENG! WATCH OUT! The Lee is coming for you! I’m right behind him! But he’s got a bit on me!” Lin Feng glanced down at the map and noticed the fog of war blocking his vision. Oh. Right. I forgot. Oh well, doesn’t matter. Haha…
The Lee Sin ran into top lane from the river entrance. He placed a ward in front of him and dashed towards it–Safeguard! Then he threw out a Sonic Wave, searching for a target to dash towards. But Jax wasn’t that easily killed. Lin Feng Flashed the Sonic Wave, as the discordant wave of sound struck a minion behind him. It was all the Lee Sin needed. Another gap closer towards the Jax. He activated the second half of his skill–Resonant Strike–and dashed towards the minion. He arrived right next to the Jax. All the while, the Fiora left the safety of her tower and charged back into lane.
Lin Feng’s Jax reappeared. The Lee Sin was too far away. The Fiora was even further away. He could get out! Until a flash of light appeared. Then the Lee Sin arrived right next to him. The Lee Sin raised his arm and slammed it down on the ground–Crippling Strike! Behind him, the Fiora Lunged forward, trying to close the gap again. This was his chance! He pressed on his Q key. His Jax Leap Striked on the Fiora!
“THE TURN AROUND!” West Wind cried out behind the caster desk. “He’s going to get the kill! He’s going to do it! WOOOO!”
Lin Feng pressed down on his W key–Empower! His Jax’s lamppost lit up. Its next attack would deal frightening damage. Its next attack would kill the Fiora. If it landed. He moved his arms back, his hands tightly wrapped around the weapon, and then swung his thick and sturdy lamppost down. Down onto the Fiora.