Cornered Rats; Fight or Flight

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It was Lin Feng on Annie versus Yan Liang on Twisted Fate in the mid lane! Both Midlaners bought their starting items from the fountain shop and then started making their way into lane. Twisted Fate was on the Red Team. He was a Champion that wasn’t very strong in lane, especially not in the early game. His main objective was to farm and reach Level 6 as quickly as possible. Then his Twisted Fate’s ultimate skill would unlock—Destiny! A unique ultimate that blew the fog of war away and gave him complete vision on the map, while also allowing him to teleport instantly to any point within a large radius. He was essentially a card-flipping ninja assassin who exerted constant pressure on every lane and every enemy Champion. Because when Twisted Fate had a winning hand, he’d come in out of nowhere to throw it out for the kill. This sleight-of-hand made him the ace in his team’s sleeve. Annie, on the other hand, was a blunt hammer compared to Twisted Fate’s finesse. She had some of the highest burst damage in the game, which made her very strong in the early laning phase. “Push. Pressure. Kill.” That was her mantra.

Yan Liang knew this. He was aware of how screwed he was if this Annie was any good. But, he was a Master on the Ionia server. He was one of the best solo queue Midlaners in all of China. And Twisted Fate was one of his favourite Champions. So he didn’t see a need to worry. He figured that with his skill, holding lane and not giving too much away would be easy. He’d do this until he hit Level 6. That’s when playtime would end. Or start. Depending on how you looked at it. I’ll show you… the power of a true Super Saiyajin!

Unfortunately for poor Yan Liang, this game was going in a way that made him Hercule instead of the Prince of All Saiyajins. What the hell… His opponent knew how to play Annie. Fuck! The Annie skipped right over the pushing part and started straight pressuring his Twisted Fate. Fuck! She abused her long range to alternate between last hitting minions every Red minion and getting in some damage on him. Fuck! Then, whenever Disintegrate came off cooldown, she hurled a mana infused fireball at him. Dammit! He bit down hard on his lips, trying to get some last hits of his own. But she kept attacking him. Nearly half of his health was gone already. Shit! She’s so damn aggro!

Lin Feng was playing very aggressively. That was how he would win this lane. He would never let Yan Liang find any room to maneuver around, or give him any opportunity to just farm minions for a couple of minutes. This was because the further behind Twisted Fate fell before he reached Level 6, the lower his impact would be when he could use his ultimate skill. So Lin Feng clicked on the Twisted Fate, having his Annie fire off an auto attack. Then he pressed on his Q key–Disintegrate! His Annie fired off another mana infused fireball, while the minions were slowly pushing towards Red Team’s outer tower. He was only last hitting the minions, but that was enough to build up a bigger wave that started pushing.

Yan Liang used a health potion, but it only kept his Twisted Fate at around half health. He could see the minion wave. There was so much gold and experience in it… Dammit! I can’t lose this wave to the tower! Should I just recall now? Or stay… He wasn’t sure. The first option forced him to use his Teleport, while the second could see him killed. He inched forward, indecisive, and last hit a minion. That was definitely the wrong choice. The Jarvan IV from High School 13 came running out of the brush above mid lane and dashed towards him with a flag-toss combo.

FUCK! Yan Liang cursed as he slammed down on his F key–Flash! His Twisted Fate disappeared with a mottled flash of light, dodging the knock up from Jarvan IV and escaping certain death. The minions were marching towards his tower. The Annie was with them. She hurled another mana infused fireball at him–Disintegrate! His health was sliding down to critical levels. He had no more health potions. There was a massive wave of minions on his doorsteps. Yan Liang gritted his teeth. He knew what he had to do. And he hated it. He hated what it represented. The Midlaner from High School 13 had forced him, a Master on the Ionia server, out of lane. He walked behind his outer tower, out of range from the Annie, and recalled back to base.

Yan Liang looked up from his screen and across the stage at the players from High School 13. There, right in the middle, sat Lin Feng. “You son of a bitch,” Yan Liang cursed. That stupid idiot with that stupid grin on his face and that stupid, stupid stupid… I’m a Master! He pressed down on the D key–Teleport! A radiance lit up around the outer tower in mid lane and his Twisted Fate arrived back in lane a moment later. The minion wave was still there. Only a couple had died to his outer tower so far. But this early in the game, a couple of minions was worth a lot. And being forced to blow both Summoner Spells and recall back to base were basically adding insult to injury.

Mid lane was lost. Yan Liang knew it, though admitting it was still difficult. But his Flash was on cooldown. He had to play carefully, or he’d be giving away kills. And that was never good. Whatever. We still got Liu Zhengjie. He glanced over at his ad-carry. Liu Zhengjie was the best player on their team. He was the real carry. He can do it. I’ll just focus on keeping this Annie in lane. His plan had changed. There was no longer the goal of roaming around the map, picking up kills and pushing for a quick win. His Twisted Fate had fallen behind. The Annie wouldn’t let him roam around the map. But what he could do was keep the Annie occupied. Like this, Liu Zhengjie would have the time he needed to get strong enough to slaughter this Annie! He’s just playing against a girl anyway. Girls are terrible players. And Draven? Hah. Who does she think she is? This’ll be easy.

It was a completely different game in bot lane than it was in mid lane. Liu Zhengjie showed everyone why he was the star player of the team. Why he was being scouted by professional teams. Without the help of his Support Leona, he was pushing the lane towards High School 13’s outer tower. Tang Bingyao played Draven. He was an extremely powerful Champion, especially when dueling. She also had the support of Braum, who had strong crowd control and high health. Yet the both of them couldn’t land the skills or get the position to pressure Liu Zhengjie’s Sivir. In fact, it was quite the opposite. When Tang Bingyao tried to last hit a minion, Liu Zhengjie pressed down on his Q key, smiling. His Sivir hurled her crossblade like a boomerang. It cut through the Draven on the way forward, and then again on the way back. Liu Zhengjie grinned. Yeah, take that! Bitch! Fucking idiots replacing their ad-carry with a girl! Heh. It’s like they want to lose! Let me help them with that, heheh!

Wei Dong pushed forward. Sivir had just hurled her crossblade. She couldn’t move for a short moment. But he was already too late. Still, he pressed the Q key–Winter’s Bite! His Braum propelled freezing ice from his shield in a straight line. The Sivir dodged it. It was as if she knew it was coming. Then she turned her attention to Wei Dong. He’d ran forward, past his minions, to get the angle for this skillshot. If the skill had hit, there was nothing to worry about. But now he was caught out of position, and this Sivir knew how to punish him for it. She hit him with her auto attacks, again and again until he’d finally retreated back under his own outer tower. It was fortunate that he was playing a defensive Champion with a lot of health, or this single exchange would’ve seen his health go down to critical levels, assuming he wouldn’t be forced to Flash away.

Mhm. He’s really good. Tang Bingyao focused on her screen. She needed to catch the axes. But Liu Zhengjie could also see where the axes would land. He knew where to put pressure, and when. And he was doing just that. This was something she hadn’t experienced since Lin Feng started teaching her. But Liu Zhengjie was a genuine Master of the game. She couldn’t remember the last time she played against someone this good. Maybe that time when Lin Feng and I just started playing together… But this slight setback didn’t demotivate her. If anything, it only made her want to try harder! I have to win! I promised Lin Feng that I’d take care of bot… Mhm. Can’t let him down.

Liu Zhengjie pushed the minion waves under High School 13’s outer tower. This was perfect for a Sivir. There was less room for Tang Bingyao and Wei Dong to maneuver, which meant it was easier to hit her skillshots. On top of that, Boomerang Blade had a relatively long range. And if it hit a Champion twice, it dealt serious damage. So Liu Zengjie could have his Sivir stand out of range from the tower, while still dealing damage to the Draven. That meant that Tang Bingyao had to choose between taking damage and being forced back to base early, or missing last hits. Both scenarios saw her losing gold. There was no winning here. She was already missing last hits and her health was dipping below half.

Silent Reed and Westwind were invited once again to cast the games. They sat at their desk to the side in the venue, talking with each other while watching the game. Silent Reed listened to Westwind talking about the last few moments of the Sivir, then sighed. This was painful to watch. “That Sivir is playing so good…”

Westwind nodded and said, “Yeah, Liu Zhengjie is a really good ad-carry. No wonder he’s being scouted. His Sivir is insane! How is he even doing this… 1vs2… The Draven and Braum can barely farm under their own tower.” He shook his head in disbelief, then added, “I’m starting to feel a little bad for them.”

The Leona hovered around bot lane. She was there, always putting that pressure without actually using any of her skills. Wei Dong watched her, apprehensive. Their health was dropping too low, while she was still at full health. He turned to Tang Bingyao and said, “Tang Tang, let’s recall back to base. Our health is too low. That Sivir can just kill us like this, if the Leona doesn’t dive us first. We’re dead. We need to back now!”

Tang Bingyao bit on her lips. I won’t lose. She glanced at her minimap. Liu Yue was in their top side jungle. Too far away. She looked up at top lane. Chen Ze was being pushed back towards his outer tower by the Fiora, which meant that he couldn’t use his Teleport to come and help them. He’d lose too much in top lane if he did that just to give bot lane some breathing room. No. I have to do this myself. I said I’d take care of bot.

Tang Bingyao tried to get in some last hits on the minions, dodging the Sivir’s attacks and trying to figure out what to do. Wei Dong talked to her. Urged her back. He always preferred the safer approach. That was just how he was. But that wasn’t her playstyle. She liked to play aggressively. She wanted to fight and win. Wei Dong said something again, slightly distracting her. She shook her head and said, “Uh-uhm.” No. We can’t leave lane. That will give them too much of an advantage. We have to stay. It’s dangerous. But we have to stay in lane and fight. If we go back, it’s over. They’ll hit Level 6 and…

“Now!” Tang Bingyao suddenly said. The opening was there. It presented itself to them and she pounced on it, clicking on the Leona.

Wei Dong was a step ahead of her. The Leona had walked forward, in front of her minions and in range of the tower. He pressed down on his Q key–Winter’s Bite! His Braum propelled freezing ice from his shield. It connected with the Leona, slowing her and more importantly applying a stack of Concussive Blows. They needed four stacks to stun her. But after the first, every next auto attack that hit her would add a stack. Three more attacks. That was all they needed!

Shanks Watches JAV While on VC with Dev and Sietse

Shanks Thought: So today Sietse, Devshard, and I were in a call and Devshard asked me, “Hey Shanks, do you have thought for today?” And I told him no I didn’t. So he tells me, “Okay, your thought today is going to be writing a treatise about the similarities between JAV and webnovels, and you have to sound like a pseudo-intellectual prick and use your ye old Victorian era English that nobody ever seems to use outside of a webnovel translation.” And now we’re here…

Truth be told, I’d absolutely no inkling of what Devshard was talking about. JAV? The moniker was foreign to me. Thus, I had to scour Google’s search engine to find out for myself, as I usually do when coming across a topic I’m unfamiliar with. When I eventually surmised its essence, I was appalled. However, thereafter, I also received enlightened on why I was ignorant before. Matter-of-factly, it’s s not a tributary of the intravenous web that I’d normally dare venture to. It’s too vulgar and crass. Too beneath a translator like I who has translated over 3.5 million characters. However, I was able to glean some insights regarding the commonalties between this JAV and webnovels.

Depravity. That’s my prevailing theory on the point of commonality between the two. Why else would someone endure the grating, high-pitched moans of the women in those videos? Why else would someone seek out the clan extermination and genocidal fantasies found in webnovels? It’s simply human nature to seek out the taboo. To deprive pleasure fro—

Yeah. No. Let’s stop. I can’t do this anymore. I don’t know where and how Devshard comes up with this stuff. I don’t know even know why I agreed to it. I honestly think I was too mind blown when he came up with the idea that I sort of agreed without thinking. Now I know it was a mistake. I’m sorry Devs. I can’t tune into the Degen Force like you can. I can’t be the Wally West to your Barry Allen. You’ll have to find your successor in Sietse.

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