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Strength of the Team Comp

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The Blue Buff Camp was walled off by trees on three sides. Yan Liang had his Twisted Fate run around the trees and towards the opening that was on the side closest to bot lane. He stopped in the brush next to the Blue Sentinel and started attacking the monster together with his Jungler. Suddenly, a pillar of blue light descended on top of the Twisted Fate. Or rather, on a Blue ward placed right beneath him. Yan Liang’s eyes went wide. “Shit! Back! BACK!” he shouted over the team’s voice chat. There were two Champions with Teleport on High School 13’s team; they were Annie and Malphite. They saw the Annie running towards them, so it had to be the Malphite that was teleporting in.

Lin Feng had set his sights on the Twisted Fate. He had his Annie run after him into the Red team’s Jungle. “Come out, come out, wherever you are!” he mumbled in his best Annie impression, grinning. The Twisted Fate and Lee Sin had killed him a few minutes earlier in mid lane. It was about time he settled the score. His Annie ran into the wall of trees around the Blue Buff Camp. But rather than going around it, she disappeared with a mottled flash of light and then reappeared on the other side. A Molten Shield wrapped around her and a blazing heat started swirling around her. She then tossed her teddy bear up in the air and shouted, “Get ‘em, Tibbers!”

The small teddy bear grew into a nearly three meters tall monstrocity. Scorching hot flames burned from its fur and two large embers blazed in its eyes. He crashed down onto the ground, stunning the Twisted Fate and Lee Sin. Then he tore into them with his claws, while the searing heat from its body dealt burn damage to the two Champions from Shanghai International.

“Oh my god! That stun!” Silent Reed exclaimed into her microphone, her voice reaching across the entire venue. “The Annie got them both! What a perfect enga—”

“WaitWaitWait!” Westwind interrupted, tapping her on the shoulder, excited. “Look! The Malphite is almost here. Imagine his Unstoppable Force! Woo!”

Lin Feng’s grin grew wider, reaching all the way to his ears. He got the double stun. The rest was easy. He tapped down on the W key–Incinerate! His Annie blasted the Twisted Fate and Lee Sin with a jet of flames. She followed up with a mana infused fireball that struck the Twisted Fate. All the while, Tibbers was swiping his claws at the Twisted Fate.

Yan Liang grimaced. I should’ve seen this coming… Dammit! He looked at the Flash icon. It was still on cooldown. His Twisted Fate’s health was evaporating. He frantically clicked away on his mouse, hoping that the stun would break before the Malphite arrived. Then, maybe, he had a chance to escape. But that was a fool’s hope. The Malphite appeared next to him. The massive creature of living rock launched himself towards the Twisted Fate and Lee Sin and rammed into them, knocking them Airborne–Unstoppable Force!

《An enemy has been slain!》

The Twisted Fate died instantly in the collision, while the Lee Sin was launched high into the sky. At the highest point, he reached a brief moment of weightlessness. Then he came crashing back down to the ground, powerless. He couldn’t use any skills. Two large Spinning Axes ploughed through the ground towards him, coming all the way from bot lane and ignoring every obstacle in their way–Whirling Death! The Lee Sin couldn’t dodge them. They passed through him as he crashed into the ground and killed him.

《An enemy has been slain!》

“Eh? Wait… What? Where are my kills?” Lin Feng muttered. He turned to look at Tang Bingyao. Chen Ze had actually helped with the kills, so it was acceptable that he got one. But not Tang Bingyao. She was still farming away in bot lane and hadn’t done anything in this fight. He narrowed his eyes and cursed, “Tang Tang, you killstealer! That was mine!”

Tang Bingyao tilted her head and looked at Lin Feng, visible confusion on her face. Then she smiled and shrugged. “Hmm, I was securing the kill.”

Below the stage, An Xin smiled. She listened to the crowd cheering behind her, screaming and shouting in support of her team. She looked at the three teammates around her. Ren Rou was dancing on her feet; Yang Fan was adjusting his glasses, like he always did; and Ouyang was laughing and showing Shanghai International’s team his middle fingers. An Xin shook her head, giggling, and turned back to look at the large screen. High School 13 was fighting the Dragon and there was nothing Shanghai International could do to stop them. She mumbled to herself, “The idiot did something good. Two kills and a Dragon for the team. Nice.”

《Blue team has slain the Dragon!》

The players from Shanghai International stared at their screens with defeated looks on their faces. They lost a lot in that fight. It was more than just the deaths and the Dragon. They’d lost momentum. The Malphite got some much needed gold to catch back up to the Fiora, while the Draven could pull even further ahead of the Sivir now. As for the Annie, she could keep pushing mid lane all the way to the inner tower or roam the map to look for ganks. There was no one who could stop her.

Yan Liang’s eyelid twitched. I should’ve seen this coming… He’d never considered High School 13 their opponent. They were shit last year… Even though they were eliminated in the first round of the qualifiers last year, they made it all the way to the Semifinals this year. That should’ve been enough for him to really look into them and figure out how they’d done it. It was too simplistic to call it luck. But that wasn’t what he had done. Now, he faced a team that knew how to play and had a good strategy to boot. When they combine their ults… We should’ve never let them get this team composition.

At 14 minutes, Tang Bingyao made the next big play. Liu Zhengjie had his Sivir step too far forward, desperate to get the last hit on a minion. Tang Bingyao immediately pressed down on her D and then Q keys. Her Draven flashed forward and started throwing Spinning Axes. The Sivir panicked and activated her Spell Shield before the Draven had even cast Stand Aside. The Draven kept chasing after the Sivir, throwing Spinning Axes and waiting for the Spell Shield to disappear. But it didn’t take that long. The Sivir died before the Spell Shield could wear off.

《Killing spree!》

Tang Bingyao secured another kill on Liu Zhengjie. A shower of coins rained down on her Draven, the visual representation of Adoration stacks turning into gold. She could use this gold to pull even further ahead of the Sivir. On top of that, she could hear the people in the venue through her noise cancelling headphones. They were chanting her name! She smiled as a tingling sensation went up and down her body.

“NICE! Good job, Tang Tang!” Lin Feng exclaimed over the team’s voice chat. “See? I told you that you’re better than that guy.”

“Mhm!” Tang Bingyao replied, beaming. She turned to look at Lin Feng and clenched her fist, throwing it up just a little. A small nod to Lin Feng’s victory pose.

Across the stage, Liu Zhengjie stared at his grey screen. He’d been furious at his Support after the clumsy play that led to First Blood. That was all on the Support and he had to work with that! He’d been quietly cursing for the last several minutes. But now this… This was his fault. He felt his cheeks burning. His whole body felt like it was burning anger and embarassment! There was no one else to blame. I got solo-killed by that bitch? … A girl! She’s a girl… No. This isn’t possible… This can’t be!

High School 13 had Shanghai International in a choke hold. After his first kill, Chen Ze got his Malphite back in the game. The Fiora lost her edge over him and failed to kill him in lane again. On top of that, High School 13’s Braum and Jarvan IV had been doing well for themselves from the start of the game. All the pieces were in order. They were ready for the mid game, where their team composition started to really shine.

At Lin Feng’s command, High School 13’s team would gather and force a teamfight. All they had to do was land one ultimate skill from Braum, Jarvan IV, or Malphite. From there, the rest was easy. They’d waltz through Shanghai International’s ranks and then turn to take down an objective. In this very fashion, they won a teamfight at 17 minutes, after which they took down the inner tower in mid lane.

Below the stage, Zeng Rui shook his head in frustration. This game wasn’t going like he’d hoped to see it go. He’d prepared to face off against Shanghai International in the Finals, not High School 13. All he knew about them was that they had a thundering dumbass who talked a lot and a mostly insignificant supporting cast. He rubbed his temples. It’s only one game in a best of five. This is not over. Shanghai International just has to start focusing and stop doing whatever this is if they want to win…

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Young Shanks was a Nerd, Who'd Have Guessed

Shanks Thought: Talking about the card shop reminded me of all the other places I hung out at when I was younger. Like the library, the internet café, the park, and McDonald’s too. I wasn’t a mall rat, though. Never saw the appeal of hanging out in that kind of stuffy place. But, I guess the fun is mostly being somewhere, anywhere with your friends. Now, I’m rarely going out with any friends. No need to, I guess. We’re always connected through social media. If we want to have fun, there’s always video games we can play together.

Funnily, out of all those mundane places I hung out in as a kid, the library was the least boring. You’d be surprised with the weird stuff people get to in public libraries. There was no small number of weird adults willing to watch porn on the public computers, or druggies who used the bathrooms for less than legal purposes. I remember seeing one guy openly browsing porn on one of the computers, in full view of anyone walking across the walkway. No shame at all. It took like 30 minutes for anyone to notice and call the security guard over. He was escorted out. But then an hour later, he was back again and watching porn on another computer.

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