Shanghai International fought back against High School 13’s relentless assault. But they failed at every step of the way, giving away both kills and objectives. High School 13’s team comp, oriented towards dominating the midgame teamfights, tore through them. They couldn’t even hide underneath a tower for protection! High School 13’s team had multiple Champions with more than enough Defense and Health to tank the tower turrets. Malphite, Braum, and sometimes even the Jarvan IV, would all dive a tower to start a teamfight. High School 13 won every single one of these fights. First they did this in the midlane, where they took out all of Shanghai International’s Champions protecting the inhibitor tower, then the tower itself, and finally the inhibitor. Then they changed focus to top lane to try and take out the inhibitor there.
Two destroyed inhibitors was generally considered the point of no return in any game. Shanghai International had only lost one so far, but there was little to no doubt about how the rest of this game would go down. Shanghai International’s outer tower in top lane fell first, followed by their inner tower. 26 minutes into the game, High School 13’s Champions were knocking the doors of the inhibitor tower in top lane down.
After a lane’s inhibitor was destroyed, Super Minions would start spawning in that lane. These were bigger, stronger, meaner minions. Since High School 13 had taken down the inhibitor in the midlane, the Super Minions were leading regiments of regular minions down the lane. The first of them had already arrived inside Shanghai International’s base to wreck havoc and let loose the dogs of war. If Shanghai International didn’t send someone to stop these Super Minions, they would take down the base. So while the rest of the team tried to keep High School 13 from taking their top inhibitor, Liu Zhengjie was forced to have his Sivir clear the Super Minions in mid lane.
“THIS IS IT! It’s do or die for Shanghai International!” Westwind screamed into his microphone. The crowd was buzzing in the venue, excited, enthralled. “Yan Liang and his team need nothing short of a miracle to turn this game around! High School 13 has to throw this game several times just to let them back in it! On the other hand, if the J4 or Malphite get a good engage, then they can end the game right here, right now!”
All five players from High School 13 had gathered around the Red Team’s inhibitor tower. There were four players from Shanghai International defending it, with only the Sivir missing. She was busy killing Super Minions in mid lane. This made it that much easier for High School 13. They were so far ahead that they could win a 5vs5 under Red Team’s tower, let alone a 5vs4. So they started pushing, with the three defensive Champions zoning the players from Shanghai International away and the Annie and Draven attacking the inhibitor tower. The Draven especially was doing a number on it.
When the inhibitor tower had less than half of its health remaining, Liu Yue shouted over the team’s voice chat, “I’M GOING IN!” He pressed down on the E and then the Q key. His Jarvan IV went into his normal flag-toss combo. But right before he could complete the dash towards his Demacian Flag, he disappeared with a mottled flash of light. Flash! He reappeared right on top of the Twisted Fate, still carrying the momentum to knock anyone in his way Airborne.
“WAAA! Nice!” Silent Reed cried out. “What a great engage by the Jarvan! They got Yan Liang!”
What followed was a perfectly executed teamfight by High School 13. The Malphite launched himself forward at high speed and crashed into three Champions, knocking them up into the air–Unstoppable Force! The players from Shanghai International were shortly suspended in mid-air before falling back to the ground. Then the Braum slammed his shield into the ground, creating a fissure that knocked them back up into the air. Two Spinning Axes followed up, ploughing through the ground and cutting through the three Airborne Champions. All the while, Lin Feng’s Annie was running forward to join the fight.
“I want a turn!” Lin Feng shouted. He pressed down on the R key–Summon: Tibbers! His Annie threw up her little teddy bear and turned him into a large monster! Flames spewed from his body as he swiped down at the Twisted Fate! The Annie followed up with Incinerate, casting a jet of flames over the Twisted Fate and the Fiora, killing the former. Then she threw a mana infused fireball at the Fiora and killed her too.
The students from High School 13 went wild! Their team was doing it! They were winning the first game against Shanghai International! It’d sounded like an impossible task. Shanghai International was well known for their strong League of Legends team. But their team was doing it!
“GOOO LIU YUE! YOU RULE!”
“Braum and Malphite for the WIN!”
“LIN FENG! LIN FENG! LIN FENG!”
“BRAUM! BRAUM! MALPH! MALPH!”
“MVP TANG TANG!”
Back in the game, Lin Feng switched focus to the Support and Jungler from Shanghai International. Quadra, here I come! He laughed, clicking on the two Champions. He’d used his skills on the Twisted Fate and Fiora, so he could only auto attack and wait for them to come off cooldown. His Annie threw small embers, burning away at the healthbars of the Jungler and Support. Then a Spinning Axe cleaved what little health remained away. Twice.
“Not again! Tang Tang, stop stealing my kills!” Lin Feng shouted, glaring at the girl sitting next to him. We killed four… He turned back to look at the screen and found the Sivir standing halfway between her Nexus and top lane inhibitor. He grinned, then started laughing. “The Sivir is mine! Don’t ruin my triple!”
Fuck… Shit… NOO! Liu Zhengjie gritted his teeth. His team was dead before he could even get to them. Now he was standing awkwardly between the Super Minions on one side and the players from High School 13 on the other. He slammed down on his R key–On the Hunt! A whirlwind erupted around his Sivir. She gained a surge in Movement Speed! The Annie was running towards her, but she was faster. She was faster even than the Draven who’d used Bloodrush! Fuck this stupid shit! Liu Zhengjie cursed. High School 13’s team was in their base and only he was left alive. He couldn’t do anything to stop them.
《The Blue Team has destroyed a turret!》
High School 13 destroyed the inhibitor tower in top lane, but skipped past the inhibitor. There were Super Minions swarming the base of Shanghai International and four of their five players were dead. So High School 13 went straight for the Nexus towers. The Sivir didn’t even try stopping them. She sat on the fountain while they destroyed the two Nexus towers and then the Nexus. Red energy exploded outwards and then morphed into a large victory screen.
The audience burst into wild cheers! High School 13 had done it! They’d won the first game in the Semifinals of the Shanghai 16 School Tournament! People had written them off at every step along the way, but here they were, only two wins away from making it to the Finals! The students from High School 13 were especially energetic. They were jumping up and down, screaming and laughing, and some were even dancing! Their school never made it far in tournaments, until now. They were becoming a League of Legends school!
In stark contrast to the rest of the crowd, the Shanghai International fans looked confused and upset. Until now, they hadn’t even entertained the thought of their team losing to High School 13. It sounded like a ridiculous story, even now. The players from Shanghai International’s team also felt this way. They sat behind their computers, staring at their screens. They were confused, lost, and very, very angry. Yan Liang and Liu Zhengjie especially were ready to smash their fists into a wall, a release. They were the main carries of the team, yet they were outmatched by their direct opponents.
“FUCK!” Yan Liang cursed. Then he looked over at his teammates sitting next to him and said, “We can’t let them have Annie next game!”
“Also ban Draven,” Liu Zhengjie added. Then he glared at Tang Bingyao sitting across the stage and continued, “That stupid ass broken Champion can completely take over a game. There’s no counterplay. Just a broken Champion that needs to be fixed…”
“Alright. Alright alright. The Annie and Draven were the reason we lost that game. We know their strategy now and we can just ban out their favourite Champions. This loss means nothing,” Yan Liang said over the team’s voice chat. He glanced across the stage at the players from High School 13, then added, “We’re ready for their petty tricks now. I won’t let those… those fuckers fool me again!”
After every game, the two teams were given a couple of minutes to reset their mental game and make some last minute preparations for the next game. During this time, the casters hosted a post game analysis. Westwind and Silent Reed talked about the game deciding plays and gave their thoughts on them.
“WOO! What a match! That was an exciting one, right Silent?” Westwind kicked off the post game analysis.
Silent Reed nodded and said, “YES! That was great! I have to say though. This was not how I expected this to play out. A quick game, sure. But Shanghai International losing? No way. I still can’t believe it!”
“Exactly! Shanghai International were the favourites! But High School 13 came to fight! They knew how they were going to play it, and they executed their plans to a tee! So where do you think this all went wrong for Shanghai International?” Westwind asked, evoking a murmur from the crowd.
“That’d be the Champion Select,” Silent Reed said. “That Champion Select was all about misleading Shanghai International. And it worked! High School 13 got the match-ups they wanted and that helped them win the game. But now it becomes interesting.Shanghai International knows of their plans now. What are they going to do next? Do they have another trick ready?”
Westwind clutched the microphone and moved it close to his mouth, saying, “I think this is a question for the audience. What do you guys think? If you think Shanghai International has learned from their mistakes, LET YOURSELVES BE HEARD!” He grinned as he listened to the crowd shouting, with some boos and whistles mixed in. Then he said, “Well, I think there we have our answer. That sounded like more than half of the crowd. They think Shanghai International will win!”
Silent Reed giggled and said, “You didn’t even give the others a chance! But I think you’re right. Shanghai International should still be the favourites. But I don’t think they should let High School 13 get Annie again. That Annie was scary.”
“Yeah. Ban the Annie. Ban the Draven. I think if they do that, they can win this game,” Westwind concluded.
The two casters delved into the game. They spoke at length about the early kill in bot lane, where Annie helped the Draven pick up First Blood. That was what decided the game the casters said. The Draven became strong, while the Annie kept pressuring mid. Both carries were getting the gold and experience they needed to become monsters in the mid game, while their tanky frontline got enough in terms of Defense and Health. From there, it was an easy win for High School 13. There was nothing Shanghai International could do. They’d lost at least 90% of the game in Champion Select.
The two teams were ready for Game 2. They switched sides, so High School 13 played on the Red team in this game. An Xin walked up on stage to guide them through the Champion Select again. She’d already discussed strategy with them, but the final decision on the Picks and Bans were up to her. When she walked up the stage, a buzz went through the venue. This was the first time the students noticed High School 13 actually had a coach. Before the first game, their focus had mostly been on Shanghai International.
“Wait what? High School 13 has a coach?”
“Holy smokes! That explains so much!”
“They’re like a professional team! Do you also think they have a masseuse?”
“Aww man, if only we had a coach… Maybe we would’ve gotten past the qualifiers…”
“Lucky bastards! Is this even allowed? Did someone check the rules?”
“Fucking YES! Let’s go High School 13! You got this!”
Shanghai International had the first choice to ban a Champion. They banned Draven. This elicited a small disturbance from the audience. They were quietly mocking and laughing at the players from Shanghai International. But that quickly died down as the Champion Select continued and High School 13 banned a Champion. Then it was up to Shanghai International again. They banned Annie. Now, the disturbance became a lot louder. Some people in the crowd even started heckling.
“Scaredy cats banning Annie and Draven! How pathetic!”
“I thought these guys were good? THEY’RE TERRIBLE!”
“I’ve seen Bronze players with bigger balls!”
“HAHAH! Are they really doing this? How sad!”
“I’m telling you. They’re calling in sick on Monday! Haha!”
The players from Shanghai International couldn’t hear the crowd through their noise cancelling headphones. But they could see the reaction to their bans. People were standing up and pointing at them. Some even threw stuff their way. It was the response they’d expected. But that didn’t make it any better. They gritted their teeth and focused completely on the screens in front of them. If they wanted to win this game, they had to accept the skills of the Draven and Annie. They’d been outplayed by those two Champions. So, right now, it was best to ban them. It didn’t matter what other people thought about it. Winning the game, that was all they cared about.
Shanghai International thought they’d figured High School 13’s plans out. They were preparing to face the same kind of team composition, which was another reason why they banned the Annie and Draven. But An Xin was never planning to let her team play the same team composition twice in a row. She smiled and grinned when she saw the bans. Got ‘em! Shanghai International had fallen for her next trap.