Chapter 186 - Adding Foreplay to the Teamfight...

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“The game is looking pretty dead even,” Silent Reed said. She turned to Westwind, who sat next to her on the caster desk, and asked, “What do you think?”

Westwind nodded and said, “Can’t believe it, but yeah, you might be right. Three to three in kills and there’s no real difference in gold. But. And this is a big but. There is so much more to a League game than statistics…” He paused for dramatic effect, making the crowd really want to hear what he had to say next. Then he continued, “Like map pressure, plays, power spikes. Look at top lane. The Fiora is destroying the Malphite. I don’t see High School 13 stopping her.”

“True, true. You know, I spoke with Shanghai International’s Midlaner backstage earlier,” Silent Reed said. “He was pretty convinced that they were going to win this series. He was already talking about the Finals. But it looks like he’s struggling in mid…”

“Of course he’s struggling. He’s playing a Twisted Fate into an Annie!” Westwind laughed. “The game would be over already if he wasn’t struggling! But he isn’t losing. He got the return kill and he’s only going to get stronger now. The Annie needs to do something really special here if she wants to stay relevant.”

“Hmm, don’t you think the Annie already is doing that?” Silent Reed asked. “She’s barely back in lane and already pushing the Twisted Fate back to his tower. That is pretty special.”

“No doubt it’s special. But…” Westwind paused, smiling. “There is a big difference between special and really special. The Annie is great, but she can’t stop the Twisted Fate from ulting away after he reaches Level 6… Actually, you know what? Let’s ask the audience!” He clutched the microphone and pushed it close to his mouth, then asked, “What do you guys think? Let yourself be heard if you think Annie will do something really special!”

There was a lull in the game. The crowd started buzzing. Then the students from High School 13 jumped up and started cheering, “LIN FENG! LIN FENG! LIN FENG!” He was their hero! It didn’t matter in which lane he played, he always pulled off a phenomenal performance. There were even students from Tonji Affiliated High and Shanghai High School cheering.

“See?” Silent Reed chuckled. “The crowd agrees with me. The Annie… Lin Feng is doing something special!”

“Hold on, hold on,” Westwind said. He clutched the microphone a little harder and shouted, “Shout as loudly as you can if you think Yan Liang will carry this game with his TWISTED FATE!”

“We’ll win. EASY!”
“HAHAHAHA! What is this question. High School 13 SUCKS!”

Westwind winked at Silent Reed, grinning. A little hyping up of the crowd was enough to make them lean one way or another. He decided who won the vote just by the way he asked the question. “But,” he said, again pausing for a brief moment. “Twisted Fate is in a weird position. If he roams, it has to be successful, because the Annie will just take his tower. It’s really a question of how well he’s going to use his ultimate.”

Silent Reed giggled and said, “This game can go either way! You heard it here first!”

Zeng Rui sat in the seating area for Shanghai High School, shaking his head. The casters had successfully hyped up the crowd, which was their job. But their analysis was off. The few precious seconds Twisted Fate had bought himself by killing the Annie were hardly enough to get the lane pressure he needed to catch back up. He was a long ways away from salvaging his lane. “I don’t see Yan Liang getting back into this,” Zeng Rui mumbled. He turned to look at Lin Feng. The thundering dumbass. He can’t have thought of this… Is he just following her instructions? He glanced down the row of chairs to where four players from High School 13 sat. Amongst them was a new face. Did she come up with this? The plan is great. Shut the Twisted Fate down early and then transition into a very powerful mid game. In theory, that is. I doubt they have the skill to pull it off in practice.

At 10 minutes, the game was still fairly even. There was nothing exciting happening. The crowd was watching, listening to Westwind and Silent Reed attempting to entertain. The initial surprise of seeing High School 13 going toe-to-toe with Shanghai International had worn off. They were getting bored. Their attention wavered  as they looked away from the large screen and started looking at the stage and the 10 players seated behind their computers. There were nine guys and one girl.

“My god. I can’t believe how hot she is…”
“I know right? She’s a 10 outa 10!”
“Even behind the computer and with that big headset on, you can still tell… She hawt!”
“I’d kill for a night with her…”
“So pretty and good at League… She’s every man’s dream!”
“I just wanna, you know… Bang bang!”

It felt like everyone shut up for a brief moment, emphasizing the less than pure thoughts some students voiced. Their words traveled from the three different sections of the crowd towards where the students from High School 13 were sitting. There were some raised eyebrows, while others started arguing.

“Tang Bingyao is off limits! Watch the game.”
“Why do there always have to be those damn perverts?”
“There always have to be these stupid perverts…”
“They should ban these pervs from the event!”
“Fucking leave her alone! She’s just here to play the damn game!”
“Horny asshats!”

It was to be expected. The crowd at the Shanghai 16 School Tournament was predominantly male. Amongst them, there were bound to be a couple of perverts who couldn’t keep their thoughts to themselves. Tang Bingyao was beautiful. There were plenty of guys interested in her, some of whom still remembered their painful loss during the 1vs1 Love Confessions. But that didn’t mean they were professing her love to her while she was participating in the Semifinals of a tournament. And they especially knew not to shout out those feelings, whether in the privacy of a classroom or in a public venue. But not everyone felt that way.

“Horny asshats? LOOK AT HER! With those clothes, she’s practically begging us to hit on her!”
“YEAH! She’s leading us on! If you dress a whore, you are a whore!”
“I was just saying that I thought she looks cute… What the fuck you guys piling on me for?”
“Whatever. All hot girls are just attention whores. That’s just how it is. It’s not my fault that she looks like that…”
“Can’t I even say that she’s the perfect girl? I’m just giving her a compliment!”
“All I hear are JEALOUS SIMPS! We all think it… BANG BANG BANG!”

There were more people in the crowd who turned to look at the group of perverts spread out throughout the venue, shouting and screaming their desires for a night with Tang Bingyao. They looked confused, appalled, and stunned. They couldn’t believe what they were hearing. Then they shook themselves out of their daze and started arguing again.

“What is wrong with you people? Act normal. Please!”
“How oblivious are you guys? Stop objectifying the poor girl! She’s playing a goddamn game! Let her!”
“Those clothes? She’s wearing a sweater and jeans, for fucks sake. Those are NORMAL CLOTHES!”
“Can you leave her alone? We’re here to watch the game! Take your disgusting shit elsewhere!”
“You guys aren’t funny, you know, right? This is sexual harassment. There’s cameras everywhere. I hope you all get what you deserve.”

The two sides couldn’t see eye-to-eye. Both were convinced of their righteousness and wouldn’t let anyone convince them otherwise. This was only further emphasized in a conversation between two students sitting next to each other.

“Do you get these idiots? How is it my fault that she looks like that? She’s the one dressing up like that, doing her make-up and all that, you know? And now I can’t let my eyes feast on that? That’s just stupid!”
“Dude. Stop being a creep. You’re here to watch a game. This isn’t porn…”

“What? Even you? How is this my fault? She’s asking for it! I’m only entertaining her!”

“You aren’t entertaining anyone. You’re being a creep. We’re here to watch the game. Stop objectifying the girl. Watch her gameplay and judge her on that. You know how you’re bitching on the guys for sucking at the game? Do the same for her!”

“She’s a GIRL! Girls can’t play games. They only make it onto a team for their looks. That’s all her teammates care about.”

“Have you been watching this game? She’s going toe-to-toe with Liu Zhengjie! How can you possibly think…”

“Right. Because she’s getting all the help in the world. I’m telling you, she’s just there because of how she looks. That’s the truth and you know it.”

“She’s a damn good ad-carry, that’s why she’s on the team! And you’d known that if you’d looked away from her chest and up at the large fucking screen above the stage. I’m done. Shut up.”

The two sides disagreed with each other from start to finish. Everyone thought they were in the right and there was no argument that could convince them of anything else. This ended the discussion prematurely. The students felt there were more interesting things to do, like watching the game they came to see. They craned their necks to look at the large screen above the stage, which was currently giving a bird’s eye view of mid lane.

At 11 minutes, Yan Liang found the first opportunity to use the ultimate skill of his Twisted Fate–Destiny! The fog of war was blown. He had full vision of the map and five large eyes appeared above the Champions from High School 13. They couldn’t hide from him, even if they hunkered down in a brush or went back to the fountain. Yan Liang had his Twisted Fate walk up the river toward top lane, then pressed the R key again–Gate! This was the secondary effect of his ultimate skill. It allowed him to teleport anywhere within a large area around him.

The Twisted Fate appeared in top lane, right in front of the Malphite. He used Pick a Card and selected the golden card, which granted him a single target stun. The Malphite was already running low on health after being whittled down by the Fiora. He tried to run away to safety, but didn’t get far. The golden card struck him and stunned him. A volley of Wild Cards hit him, followed by the Fiora lunging at him with her rapier. They dealt too much damage and he didn’t have enough health.

《An ally has been slain!》

Lin Feng heard the kill announcement, but he didn’t stop smiling. He didn’t care that Chen Ze had died again. His Malphite was not worth that much anymore after dying several times earlier. He had his Annie attack the outer tower in mid lane. She took it down together with the minions before the Twisted Fate could return to lane. “Perfect! Just like planned!” Lin Feng laughed.

Westwind ignored the cheering crowd. He said into the microphone, “Just like I said. Twisted Fate lost his tower roaming top. The gank did get them a kill, but that can hardly be considered a success. The Malphite wasn’t worth anything. The Fiora was already dominating him. Yan Liang should’ve made a play in bot lane. That’s where he could make the difference.”

“You’re absolutely right,” Silent Reed said, smiling. “They could’ve taken Dragon after killing the Botlaners. This felt like a desperate play more than anything.”

Westwind nodded and said, “It really was desperate from Shanghai International. But did you notice? The Malphite just let it happen. He still has Flash and his ultimate! He probably could’ve gotten away, only he didn’t! I wonder why he did that.”

“Yeah, I still got Flash and Teleport,” Chen Ze said over High School 13’s voice chat.

Wei Dong grinned and said, “Nice! I was worried you used them to try and escape in that last fight. Remember, we only care about the teamfights!”

“Woot!” Liu Yue shouted, laughing. “That’s our Chen Ze! The dude has got enough patience to watch paint dry!”

Chen Ze coughed, embarrassed. “Eh, thanks guys. Don’t worry, I’m not tilted. BunBun was pretty clear…” That if I used my Flash for anything but an important teamfight, she’d kick me off the team. That girl can be really scary… He shook his head and smiled. “I’m good, really. I’m ready whenever. Teleport is off cooldown.”

“Guys! Guys!” Lin Feng suddenly shouted. “A chance! Let’s teamfight!” He’d just seen the Twisted Fate running into his own Jungle towards the Blue Buff Camp. The Lee Sin was already there, fighting the large golem that granted the Blue Buff to whoever killed it.

Earlier in the week, An Xin had admonished the team, and Wei Dong specifically, about their poor ward placements. Wei Dong had worked hard on improving that over the last couple of days. So when he spotted the Lee Sin on the top side of the map, he grabbed the chance to show off the results of his training. He had his Braum run into Shanghai International’s Jungle and placed a deep ward in the brush next to the Blue Buff Camp. That ward now revealed everything the Twisted Fate and Lee Sin were doing, while also giving Chen Ze’s Malphite a target to teleport to.

“Chen Ze, TELEPORT!” Lin Feng shouted, excited.

Everyone Knows A "Kevin"

Shanks Thought: You ever had one of those mind blown moments, where you meet someone that behaves like they’re a caricature straight out of a popular meme? And you’re thinking, I can’t believe you’re a real person! This is my passing encounter with that kind of person at a small Yu-Gi-Oh tournament. Let’s call him Kevin. That’s a pretty easy name to remember.

Kevin wasn’t a regular to the card shop. I didn’t recognize him, at least. Nor did the regulars I was friends with. It’s nothing unusual. The entry fee was like $5 and the prize was $50 in store credit and a booster box. So, we usually get a bunch of new faces whenever we host one of these things. Sometimes they come back. Sometimes they don’t. But, Kevin was a little different from our typical wandering Duelists.

I hate to say it, because I was getting on Sietse’s case about stereotypes and caricatures, but Kevin was a neckbeard. You wouldn’t find a more apt description, and this was before the term really entered the mainstream. Kevin was fat and poorly groomed. He was also rude and stand-offish, and it was clear he’d only come for the tournament prize.

I also had the bad luck of facing Kevin in the first round. I lost and it was by far the most unpleasant duel I’d ever experienced. For one, his BO had an uncanny resemblance to spoiled milk. Putrid and sour. and whenever you caught a whiff of it, you’d feel a little nauseous and faint. Secondly, he was one of those guys, the ones who stack their deck with too many proxies. Lastly, he really liked getting under your nerves, especially when he was winning. Like, he’d purposefully slow down and enunciate every card effect, just to rub in the fact that there’s nothing you can do. And there really was nothing you could do, because he ran a burn deck that locked down your entire field, while he directly chipped away at your life points with card effects.

But I digress. The fucker didn’t win the tournament. He got disqualified, after having a meltdown in the semis. When it was clear that he was going to lose, he tried accusing his opponent of running a broken deck and cheating with ‘banned’ cards. Then when that didn’t fly, he packed up his stuff and left. Except he didn’t. He made a beeline for the tournament prize and tried to take it with him on his way out. Obviously, he got stopped, and was asked to give the prize back. He tried to refuse, but backed down when he was threatened with having the police called on him. Then he was escorted out and permanently banned from the shop.

And that was the first and last I saw of Kevin. In the three+ years that I hung around in that card shop, I never met another guy like him. Oh, as an aside. After the incident, enough people complained that a rule about wearing deodorant and showering was added to the shop.

Sietse Thought: this shit reminds me of that World of Warcraft episode from South Park. The heavy breathing and the loud smacking while chewing on potato chips. That was a great episode… I’ma watch some South Park. See you guys later! I remember another episode! The TSA one! That was such a good episode. I need to go watch some more South Park. Time to go searching again. See you all in the comments!

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