Chin Up, Princess, or the Crown Slips

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Game 2 of the High School 13 versus Shanghai International showed many similarities to Game 1, especially in the mid lane. The Twisted Fate lost his tower fairly early on in the game, and with that the pressure he normally enjoyed. He was forced to passively farm underneath his inner tower, unable to leave its safety and search around the map for an opportunity to get back in the game. That was part of the reason why Yan Liang had lost so badly in Game 1. His Twisted Fate was hunted down by the Annie and he could barely get any farm in. But Lin Feng wasn’t Yan Liang.

Lin Feng had identified how Shanghai International could hunt him down. He’d prepared for it before the game even started by picking Teleport instead of a more aggressive Summoner Spell like Ignite. His preparations extended into the game. When he came back to lane, he brought with him two wards; one pink and one green. The pink ward was a vision ward. It revealed everything around it, including hidden things like other wards or invisible Champions. He placed it on the top side of the lane, near the river. If the Lee Sin wanted to gank him from that side, the ward would spot him. He used the green ward, which only granted vision, in a similar fashion on the bottom side of the lane. Then he pushed the minion wave out, but only as far as the ruins of his outer tower. When he got there, he went into his Jungle to clear a camp. Like this, he never felt any of the pressure Yan Liang had felt in Game 1.

At 9 minutes, Lin Feng orchestrated a second play for High School 13. At his command, Tang Bingyao had frozen the minion wave just out of reach of her own outer tower, while Wei Dong had placed a ward on the far end of the lane in the brush closest to the Blue Team’s outer tower. Shanghai International’s Botlaners were oblivious to this ward and were only worrying about breaking the freeze. The Twisted Fate had ganked them only a little more than a minute ago, so they didn’t even think he would come again. They almost even missed the teleport animation. A red, blazing light descended on the ward, announcing the arrival of Twisted Fate!

Westwind didn’t miss it. He was already up on his feet, his microphone clutched tightly in his grasp, screaming, “Twisted Fate is ganking bot again! He’s doing it again! Lucian and Thresh don’t have their Flash! Double kill! Say it with me, people! DOUBLE KILL!”

Back on stage, Liu Zhengjie was grinding his teeth, fuming! He glared towards the other side of the stage, locking onto Lin Feng, and felt the urge to shout, “YOU MOTHERFUCKER! The fuck did I ever do to you! You fucking pussy! Come at me! I’ll kick your ass!”

Shanghai International reacted immediately to Lin Feng’s Teleport. They had their Toplaner teleport to a minion in the bot lane, who was followed by High School 13’s Toplaner a second later. Shanghai International’s Irelia arrived first. She dashed towards the Twisted Fate and stunned him with a strike of her blade–Equilibrium Strike! But not before a Golden Card flew from the hands of the Twisted Fate, hitting the Lucian and stunning him.

Tang Bingyao activated Fate’s Call. This was Kalista’s ultimate skill. At the start of the game, she’d made an Oathsworn bond with Wei Dong’s Leona. Now, she could teleport his Leona towards her, granting him the ability to dash in any direction he desired and knocking up all Champions he knocked into. Wei Dong had his Leona dash towards Shanghai International’s Botlaners, launching them up into the air. He followed up by slamming his shield in the Lucian’s face–Shield of Daybreak! From a stun into a knock up into another stun, the Lucian couldn’t move at all. Then the Leona finished her attack with her ultimate skill. Solar Flare! A blast of solar energy slammed down on the Lucian and Thresh and locked them down. In the meantime, Chen Ze’s Rumble had teleported to the bot lane and joined the fight. He used his ultimate–The Equalizer! His Rumble fired off a barrage of rockets that rained down in a straight line, setting the ground ablaze and damaging all enemy Champions caught within its range.

The crowd fell silent. They sat on the edges of their seats, watching the fight unfold. Shocked and enthralled. In the Champion Select, this game had looked completely different from the first game. This came mostly down to High School 13’s team composition. They didn’t have the Champions with powerful crowd control skills that could seamlessly work together in this game, nor did they have an aggressive Midlaner. But though it looked different. Though it sounded different. Though everything about it seemed different. It really was the same tactic of layering ultimate skills on top of each other and winning teamfights.

“How did we not see this…”
“The hell…”
“My god. Look at that damage. Shanghai International can’t do anything…”
“High School 13 just copied the same tactic from last game…”
“How did Shanghai International fall for this…?”

Liu Zhengjie’s Lucian was the first to die. The combination of ultimate skills and auto attacks were too much for his low health Champion. It was Rumble’s Flamethrower that dealt the final attack. Liu Zhengjie’s screen went grey, his face red. AGAIN! YOU! YOU! YOU… “AAARGGHHHH!”

You have been slain!

Lin Feng had his Twisted Fate run away from the Irelia towards Red Team’s outer tower. The Irelia chased after him relentlessly. She attacked him with her blade. He flashed away and she followed after him with a Flash of her own. This gave the other three players from High School 13 the chance to finish off the Thresh, with Tang Bingyao getting the last hit. Then they turned their attention towards the Irelia. Wei Dong Exhausted her, saving Lin Feng’s Twisted Fate by doing so. Tang Bingyao and Chen Ze followed up with a combination of skills and auto attacks. In the end, it was Tang Bingyao’s Kalista that picked up the kill.

《Double kill!》

Shanghai International lost three players in that fight and killed no one. The game had started well for them. They had even looked stronger than High School 13 in those first couple of minutes. But all that changed after the first gank in bot lane by the Twisted Fate. Still, they were in the game and could make a comeback. But this second gank was too much. Shanghai International had lost the bot lane. The Kalista had pulled too far ahead. Her KDA at 9 minutes was already 3/0/1. At this speed, she would carry the game all by herself.

Liu Zhengjie smashed his fist on the desk and yelled over Shanghai International’s voice chat, “WHY DID YOU FLASH? WHY! STOP TUNNELING, YOU USELESS TRASH! YOU PATHETIC WASTE!” His face was red hot with anger, spit shooting from his mouth with every word he spoke.

“That’s enough,” Yan Liang said sternly. He was angry too. Furious even! But he knew that screaming and cursing at each other wouldn’t help them win the game. He took a deep breath and looked at the players sitting next to him, then said, “Calm down, guys. We have to focus. Tilting isn’t going to get us anywhere. We can still win this. Let’s focus on that.”

The other players on Shanghai International’s team remained quiet. They stared at their screens, watching as High School 13 took down the Dragon, one of their wards giving the vision. Liu Zhengjie’s little outburst was probably nothing more than him venting his frustrations, but it had great ramifications. No one enjoyed working together with a toxic player. Liu Zhengjie had never been the friendliest one of the group. But there was a line he normally never crossed. He had now. And they were well and truly fed up with him. They stopped talking over the team’s voice chat and only focused on their own gameplay.

Shanghai International had picked Champions that were strong in lane. Their goal was simple. Win every lane and push the advantage into an early victory. Everything went as planned in the first couple of minutes, until the Twisted Fate hit Level 6. He completely turned the balance of the game around. His first gank in bot lane saw High School 13 grab a small advantage, while the second saw them pull far ahead. Shanghai International had no back up plan. Their Champions were great individually, but didn’t really mesh all that well together. In stark contrast, High School 13’s Champions had great synergy. They could layer their ultimate skills and become an absolutely frightening force in teamfights.

The players from Shanghai International were being force-fed this reality. They lost in Champion Select again. Yet they still had a difficult time accepting this. They were looking and searching for any other explanation, but came up empty. Yan Liang was having an especially difficult time. This wasn’t just because High School 13 was winning, but also because it was their Midlaner who was making the plays. In the first game, High School 13’s Annie had dictated the pace of the game. And now it was this Twisted Fate. Yan Liang gritted his teeth. That… That… How the hell does he know how to play those two Champions so well? They’re complete opposites! How is he this good! This is ridiculous!

It didn’t matter whether it was a game in Bronze or on the world stage, falling behind was nothing to be afraid of. It happened. It was best to accept this and look for opportunities to get back into this game. But that was easier said than done. Falling behind didn’t just affect the game, it also affected the mental state of the individual players. They had to be ready for setbacks and support each other through them. Shanghai International did the complete opposite of that, cursing each other out, rather than trying to help their teammates get back up. And it wasn’t as if the game was lost. There was still plenty of time to do something about their current situation. They had skilled players who could come together as a team and win. But their anger and frustrations with each other clouded their judgement. They were in no mood to continue playing and started giving up.

Yan Liang played LeBlanc. She was a Mage Assassin who was only good when she got the kills in the early game and snowballed. But she hadn’t gotten a single kill this game yet, nor was there any sign that she’d get one anytime soon. And with the early game drawing to an end, Yan Liang started to really feel the pressure. His patience waned. All he could see, think, hear, was the Twisted Fate. I have to get a kill on him fast!

The Blue minions pushed towards High School 13’s inner tower in the mid lane. Yan Liang was hovering behind them, hesitating between pushing or searching for a gank opportunity elsewhere on the map. The minions crashed into the tower, revealing the Twisted Fate hiding behind it at half health. Yan Liang’s eyes went round. CHANCE! CHANCE! NOW! He pressed down on the W and then the R key–Mimic: Distortion! His Leblanc jumped forward, and then again!

Lin Feng smiled. He could see the LeBlanc behind her minions. His Twisted Fate’s health was low. Come on, come on. I know you can’t resist! He pressed the W key–Pick a Card! A golden card appeared above the Twisted Fate’s head, and Lin Feng pressed the W key again to lock it in. The LeBlanc jumped forward, as expected. Gotcha! He targeted her. The Twisted Fate threw the golden card at the LeBlanc as she arrived underneath the inner tower and stunned her. He followed up with an auto attack along with a volley of playing cards–Wild Cards!

The stun on the LeBlanc wore off while she was still alive. NoNoNoNO! Yan Liang slammed down on his E key, frantic! The LeBlanc fired off Ethereal Chains straight at the Twisted Fate. At point blank range. But she missed. Again. The Twisted Fate had stepped to the side at the exact moment the LeBlanc attacked him. It was as though he knew it was coming, as if he were burning Atium and could briefly see into the future.

Westwind clutched the microphone in his fist and put it almost into his mouth, shouting, “AGAIN! IT HAPPENED AGAIN! The LeBlanc missed the important Ethereal Chains! Who would’ve thought!” He shook his head and turned to Silent Reed, then asked, “Can you believe it? It happened again! What do we think? Is this still luck? Or…”

Silent Reed looked up at the large screen above the stage. Yan Liang’s LeBlanc was still alive. She jumped back from where she came from, disappearing far out of range of the Twisted Fate, who had no skills in his kit to catch back up to her. She had failed to pick up the kill. Then things took a turn for the worse. The Kalista and Leona appeared in the mid lane, cutting off the LeBlanc’s retreat. They killed her. 

A Champion from the Blue Team has been slain!

The crowd went wild. It was a beautiful play! But Silent Reed didn’t cheer together with them. Instead, she shook her head and said, “That’s just really unfortunate for Yan Liang. Maybe he should’ve hit that Ethereal Chains. I’m not sure. We’ll have to watch it in the replay, maybe that’ll show us something.”

“It’ll show us a beautiful play by High School 13!” Westwind laughed. Then he looked over the crowd and shouted, “WOOOO! What a kill! Chant with me, everyone! High School 13! High School 13!”

Yan Liang sat in front of his computer. He stared at his grey screen. The world around him went quiet. His face lost all its colour and it felt as if his heart stopped beating for a moment. Then he came back alive. He could hear the crowd chanting “High School 13!” loud and clear. His gaze dropped to his lap, while his arms fell limply by his side. His face turned red and beads of sweat appeared on his forehead. But it could still be worse. Fortunately, he couldn’t hear Lin Feng asking his teammates, “Why is he inting?”

Poopy-di scoop, Scoop-diddy-whoop

Sietse Thought: Today’s Translator Thought subject is poop. Yep. Poop. We all do it, but most of us don’t really like talking about it. In fact, I’m pretty sure most of us don’t even want to take a dump on any other toilet but our own. But then there are people who do like to talk about poop. They like it a lot. So much so that it starts to feel a little disturbing. A couple of years ago, there was a battle royale game called H1Z1. I played it a ton with a couple of friends. It was great fun, not just because of the game but also because of the voice chat. We would join the team games, filling up empty slots on other teams. Then you start talking with whoever you end up playing with. Sometimes they don’t talk. Sometimes you meet Russian people who become great friends. And then there is that one time where you meet someone who just says “Poop.”

I wasn’t quite sure I heard her right the first time. “Poop.” Something had gone wrong. That was her go to swear word, I guessed. But that was only the start. “Oh, crap. Eric has to poop!” If only it stopped there. “Now I also kinda gotta poop.” We got to that point where our uncomfort of the situation turned into mild curiosity. So after listening to her talk poop for a good 10 minutes, we asked why. “What’s weird about talking poop? It’s just poop. You poop. I poop. We all poop!”

One game became two. And two games became many more. We became good friends with her. We talked poop with her. The funny thing about the whole interaction was that after we crossed the poop bridge, everything else didn’t seem so difficult anymore. You knew each other’s poop and that created a strange kind of intimacy. Things you usually keep to yourself, you started sharing with each other, because you were already talking poop anyway. Being about to talk with someone without having to think twice is something really special, I think. It doesn’t happen often to me that I find someone I can do that with. But this girl and her poop talk just shat away any kind of weirdness. It was great fun. Great friends. So, my advice to all of you: TALK MORE POOP!

Shanks Thought: I can’t tell if Sietse is flexing on us with the fact that he bonded with a girl over poop online or not. Either way, that thought kind of has me speechless. On the topic of poop, though, my Chinese roommates have a weird obsession with talking about it and other bowel movements over the dinner table. I’m told it’s perfectly normal, and that’s the optimal time to talk about the topic. I have no idea if I should take their word for it or not. I grew up in a single parent household where my dad was always busy working, so dinner was more or less me alone. Never really got to experience that family dinner setting you always see in TV shows. So I genuinely don’t know what gets talked about on the dinner table or not. That said, if talking about poop over the dinner table or voice comms in the games can get me a girlfriend, I’m totally down for it!

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