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Female Leads are the Best!

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… Flash! Tang Bingyao pressed the button. Vayne disappeared from the Rift just as Gragas’ Explosive Cask fell down on the ground. An explosion of pink liquid and foam splashed out in every direction, blasting away the enemy champions caught within its radius! Then Vayne reappeared on the Rift with a mottled flash of light. Dodged it!

“She dodged it! SHE DODGED IT!”
“The Graggy ult missed! Hahaha!”
“Tang Tang flashed it! Oh my god! How!”
“Woooooo! Now win this fight!”
“PENTA! PENTA! PENTA!”
“Tang The Carry Bingyao!”

Tang Bingyao was laser focused on her screen. Evading the Explosive Cask with Flash was only the start. She activated her Vayne’s ultimate–Final Hour! A shroud of darkness wrapped around the Vayne, boosting her stats. She Tumbled towards the Gragas, who was suddenly completely out of position, and fired an empowered silver bolt at him! A second one followed soon after. And then came the third. Three silver rings appeared around the Gragas. They lit up and exploded, dealing significant damage to his health!

Zeng Rui gritted his teeth. He wanted to curse. The fight wasn’t going as planned. Gragas was below half health after only a few attacks and they’d failed to knock up the Vayne! But there was no time to get angry or distracted right now. We can’t get split up or Vayne will eat us alive! We need to get that knock up on her! He swallowed hard and then shouted over Shanghai High School’s voice chat, “Lee, jump and ult the Vayne!”

Shanghai High School’s Lee Sin was already moving towards the tri-brush connecting Blue team’s Jungle with the river and bot lane. He dropped down a ward at the Jungle entrance and hopped towards it with Safeguard! Just as he landed, he used his Sonic Wave! A blast of vibrating air from his fist raced towards Vayne, ready to mark her. 

Tang Bingyao knew the Sonic Wave was coming. And she also knew that she absolutely had to dodge it. This fight revolved entirely around her not getting knocked up into the air. I’m doing it! Gragas’ ultie is down. Now I have to stay away from Lee Sin. I can’t let him get to me. I can’t let the team down like that! He’s going to try and dash at me. Be ready. Be ready! She spotted Lee Sin’s skill animation and tapped down on her Q key. Her Vayne Tumbled to the side, dodging the Sonic Wave, and turned invisible.

Shanghai High School’s Jungler cursed. His Sonic Wave had missed and the Vayne was now invisible! I need to see her for my ultie! He placed a vision ward down in the tri-brush. The wooden base lodged itself into the ground. Two wings spread out from the sides. Then the gem at the top started radiating a pink light, revealing Vayne. Lee Sin’s eyes went wide as he screamed out, “Fuck!”

There were large boulders and walls of stones and trees everywhere in the Jungle. After Tumbling away from the Lee Sin, Tang Bingyao walked around him and lined up for the Condemn. She pulled out her heavy crossbow and fired! A large, thick bolt collided into Lee Sin and pinned him to the jungle wall! Then she ignored him and turned back to the Gragas. I can’t let him get his skills back off cooldown! I have to kill him now. Mhm!

Lee Sin’s interference had given Gragas just enough time to run away from the Vayne. But he was still in the middle of High School 13’s team. Skillshots were being flung at him and he was trying to dodge them as best he could. He zigzagged past a flag-toss combo from Jarvan IV. And ran straight into Nami’s Aqua Prison. The bubble wrapped around him and lifted him up into the air. He was helpless, because skills and auto attacks could hit him while he was trapped inside the bubble. But he couldn’t walk. Or walk out of it. Then the silver bolts came again. Three of them to be exact. Then he watched his health disappear.

《You have been slain!》

Ren Rou jumped up and balled her fists, screaming, “YES!” Then the tsunami of cheers from the audience slammed into her from behind. She shook her head and looked back over her shoulder. The audience was louder than ever before! And they were all screaming Tang Bingyao’s name! “Good job, Tang Tang,” Ren Rou mumbled, smiling.

Ouyang had also jumped to his feet. He threw one arm around Ren Rou’s shoulder and the other around Yang Fan’s, forcing both of them to jump with him. Tears were streaming down his face as he yelled as loudly as he could, “WE’RE WINNING! WINNING! We’re going to win the whole damn thing!”

Yang Fan laughed and also put his arm around Ouyang. “Yeah, we are! Tang Tang is playing fantastically! She’s going to bring the trophy home for us!”

Wei Dong didn’t jump up, but he was just as happy as the rest. If not happier. I knew I wasn’t good enough for you, Tang Tang. Just look at you! You get a good Support and you’re carrying so hard! You’re so good at this game. It’s a damn pleasure every game I get to play with you! He took a deep breath. Then he stood up, cupped his hands around his mouth and shouted, “YOU GO GIRL!”

Back on stage, Tang Bingyao was more focused than she’d ever been. One down, four to go. She flicked her mouse, repositioning her Vayne, and started attacking the Lee Sin. He was still stunned, so he couldn’t get to her. Why aren’t his teammates helping him? Am I missing something? She glanced over at the river to see what was happening over there and then smiled. He always has my back. I need to have his back too! Mhm! I have to kill Lee Sin fast!

Lulu and Irelia hadn’t dodged Gragas’ Explosive Cask. They were knocked back in the direction of Shanghai High School’s team. Yasuo ran at them and then dashed through them, sweeping his katana out around him. This was a combination of the skills Sweeping Blade and Steel Tempest. Then he struck out with his katana in a straight line–Steel Tempest! The third consecutive use of this skill was different. Winds howled around the Yasuo, screaming to be unleashed. Steel Tempest! He slashed out with his katana and kicked up a whirlwind! It swept through Lulu and Irelia, knocking them up into the air! Then he activated his ultimate–Last Breath! He blinked toward the two airborne champions and kept them suspended in midair with a flurry of slashes. Then he slammed them back down to the ground with one final blow!

Lulu fell back to the ground. “This is for you, Tang Tang,” Lin Feng mumbled. Then he flashed into Shanghai High School’s backline and cast Wild Growth on himself. Lulu’s body exploded in size! She gained an additional pool of health while also knocking the Yasuo and Kalista Airborne! “Kalista! Focus the Kalista!” Lin Feng shouted over the team’s voice chat.

Chen Ze had started attacking Yasuo but quickly stopped. The Kalista was right in front of him. He dashed at her with Bladesurge while simultaneously activating his ultimate–Transcendent Blades! Four spirit blades appeared from beyond the veil and hovered above Irelia’s shoulders. Then, at her command, they all flew towards Kalista.

Kalista started the game with an exclusive item. The Black Spear. She could use this on an allied champion to soul-bind them to her for the rest of the game. There were several perks that came with this connection. The most important one being Fate’s Call. Kalista could pull her soulbound ally to her side, after which the soulbound ally could choose any direction to throw themselves in. Leona was the soulbound champion in this game.

Leona morphed into spirit form as she was pulled in by Kalista. She waited half a second for Lulu and Irelia to be just where she wanted them to be, and then threw herself at them! Leona regained her body as she barreled into Lulu and Irelia, knocking them both up in the air! Then she Exhausted Irelia and slammed her large shield against Lulu. The Shield of Daybreak left its target stunned!

There was so much going on in the game that it was hard for the people watching to follow everything that was happening. They were practically watching two team fights happen at the same time! Lee Sin was fighting against Vayne, Nami, and Jarvan IV in the Blue team’s Jungle. Then there was another fight happening in the river. Yasuo, Leona, and Kalista were trying to kill Lulu and Irelia, so that they could help their Lee Sin. Multiple health pools were dropping fast. And it looked like either team could get aced at any second now. The audience fell silent in response to this, students from both schools afraid that the slightest distraction could see their team losing.

Westwind and Silent Reed were doing their best to play-by-play cast the fight, but their commentary became a jumbled mess. They were finding it difficult to focus on both fights at the same time and even caught themselves mentioning a Champion or skill that wasn’t even in the game. This only added to the confusion for the people in the venue and those at home. But there were some more experienced players who knew exactly what was going on. Nightsong was one of them.

Nightsong was still watching the Finals of the Shanghai 16 School Tournament. More specifically, he was paying close attention to Lulu. I’m losing it! Look at that fucking bush midget go! I should call Hermes… Nah. Don’t do that, Nightsong. You’re better than that. “SHANGHAI HIGH SCHOOL IS ABSOLUTE TRASH! THEY JUST GOT TENTACLE-COCK-WHIPPED BY THAT LULU! High School 13’s won this. I can’t believe they let trash like Shanghai High School get all the way to the Finals.” He slammed his fist on his desk and said, “I could’ve done that too! Easy! Flash in to block three champions and make sure Vayne only ever has to fight against one enemy… Nah, I couldn’t have. Fuck me hard.”

Back in the game, Zeng Rui had to make quick decisions. Lulu and Irelia were blocking them from getting to Vayne. We need to get that knock up. I don’t know how else we’re going to win this… He shook his head. Every fiber in his body was telling him that they had to take the Vayne out as soon as possible. But he didn’t see how they were going to get to the Vayne with Lulu and Irelia interfering. So he made the call. “Kill the Lulu first!”

Leona attacked Lulu with her sword, and Yasuo did the same with his katana. But most of the damage came from Kalista. She hurled her spirit spears at Lulu, impaling her. Lulu’s health dropped fast as the number of spears lodged into her body increased from one to two to five! Lulu only had a small bar of health remaining. Kalista suddenly pulled back with her entire body, ripping out the spears! They dealt an escalating amount of damage!

《You have slain an enemy!》

“Irelia next! Irelia! Irelia!” Zeng Rui shouted over Shanghai High School’s voice chat.

“Get Kalista! Get Kalista!” Lin Feng shouted over High School 13’s voice chat.

Chen Ze ignored his red-flashing screen. He knew he wasn’t going to make it out alive, but he was determined to take Kalista down with him! Leona tried to slow him, Yasuo’s katana was cutting away at his health, and Kalista’s spirit spears impaled him! But he kept hacking away at Kalista with his Blades. All the while, Vayne, Nami and Jarvan IV were killing Lee Sin in the tri-brush.

《Double Kill!》

《Red team’s Kalista has been slain!》

《Blue team’s Irelia has been slain!》

Yasuo ran straight for the tri-brush after killing Irelia. There, he flashed past the Nami and Jarvan IV and dashed into Vayne with the Sweeping Blade-Steel Tempest combo! His katana cut through the Vayne, decimating her health!

Westwind finally found his bearings again. “WOOOO! For all the kills! WOOOO! Haha!” He quickly wiped away the sweat from his forehead and then shouted, “Yasuo’s damage is too damn high! He just killed Irelia and is still at almost full health! Can he get a very late knock up on Vayne? He can still turn this fight around!”

Tang Bingyao didn’t let the high damage values from Yasuo get to her. Her hand-speed ramped up to over 300 actions per minute! There were far too many variables for her to calculate, so she let instinct take over. She dodged Yasuo’s katana and fired back a silver bolt. Then she ran away before repeating this process again.

One of Vayne’s main items was Blade of the Ruined King. This item had an active skill linked to it that could drain health from a target and slow them. It’d been on cooldown when the fight started, but there were now only a couple seconds left before she could use it again. Tang Bingyao glanced at the item. 3, 2, 1… She used the Blade of the Ruined King on Yasuo, draining his health and more importantly slowing him. Mhm! She started smiling, clicking even faster! I’m winning! He can’t catch up to me anymore! He can’t catch me! I’m going to win!

Shanghai High School’s Midlaner knew he was in trouble. He’d been closing in on the Vayne, but just getting near her wasn’t enough. He had to get on top of her and kill her, or she was going to kill him. Then he was hit by the slow. No! This can’t be happening! I have to do something! ANYTHING! My next Steel Tempest is a knock up. Maybe if I kill vision and catch her off guard? No time to think. I have to try. He dove into the nearest brush, killing High School 13’s vision of him, and then unleashed the whirlwind at Vayne. “Eat this!”

The audience cried out in surprise and Westwind shouted that Shanghai High School was finally going to get the knock up! But Tang Bingyao was far too good to be fooled by this kind of trick. She knew that the only reason that Yasuo had broken vision was to catch her off guard with a whirlwind. Before she could even see the attack, she Tumbled away from it.

The whirlwind blew past Tang Bingyao, completely missing her. She then focused back on Yasuo. He tried to get away, but there was no one like Vayne when it came to chasing down a target. She had multiple skills that granted her movement speed for running towards an enemy champion. One silver bolt hit the Yasuo. Then came a second. And finally a third. The three silver rings that appeared around the Yasuo detonated!

《Triple kill!》

Zeng Rui had tried to save his Midlaner until the very last moment. But Jarvan IV and Nami were too good at keeping him at bay. He finally started retreating after Yasuo died, but it was already far too late for that. He was deep in High School 13’s Jungle and surrounded by three enemy champions. His teammates were shouting over the voice chat, telling him to please make it out alive. He just shook his head. We fucking lost it. That was our fight. How did she flash that Gragas ultie? Everything went wrong from there. We should’ve never taken so long to kill Irelia and Lulu. But we couldn’t just ignore them either… 

An Xin locked Leona up in an Aqua Prison. Then came Jarvan IV with his flag-toss combo, knocking Leona up in the air. All the while, Vayne was shooting silver bolts. One, two, three… Boom! The attacks kept connecting and despite Leona’s large healthpool, she died in a matter of seconds.

《Quadra kill!》

《Aced!》

Tang Bingyao stared at her screen in disbelief. The audience was so loud that no noise-canceling headphones could block it. Her teammates were cheering her on over the voice chat. But it was all a distant background noise to her. She just stared at her screen. At her 10/1/2 Vayne KDA. Then realization set in. “I-I did it. Mhm!” She smiled and balled her fist. I did it! I carried! Mhm! We won because of me!

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Shanks Experiences Retro Nostalgia!

My aunt called me the other day on WeChat and told me she’d found a box of my old stuff when she was doing some spring cleaning around the house. She asked if she wanted me to throw them away or keep them, and if I really wanted, she could mail it back to me in the UK. I told her to send a picture of the stuff inside the box and I’d let her know.

Man. I was expecting textbooks, pens, and other crap I didn’t care about. Instead, I got a blast from the past and a trip down memory lane. The box was full of my old toys, games, and other things from back when I was in middle school. There was a binder full of Yu-Gi-Oh cards back when I used to play. Also, my old Silver PS2 Slim and a bunch of PS2  games. And a plastic container full of Tech Decks, which I totally forgot about until I saw it again.

Tech Decks are these little miniature plastic skateboards. They have this rough surface on them like regular skateboards, and you could even do tricks on them with your fingers. They were all the craze back when I was in middle school. We’d play with them in class, during lunch… basically anywhere at any time. There’s just something really satisfying about grinding a Tech Deck on the edge of your desk, doing a kickflip, ollies or any of the other tricks you see on TV.  All the staff hated them, though. And the teachers and lunch monitors would always confiscate them.

On a side note, teachers really do like ruining all the fun. It wasn’t only the Tech Decks. When Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon cards got popular, the school staff would take those away too. Same with the Rubik’s Cubes. Even something as mundane as playing cards weren’t safe. There was a period of time when a lot of students would carry around a deck of poker cards with them so that they could play cards with their friends at any time. And the school decided that was a bad influence on our learning and put a ban on those too.

But yeah. I’m really happy my aunt found that box. Lots of fond childhood memories in there, and a lot of things I forgot ever existed. Like, I don’t think I’ve seen or touched a slinky since 2010! Anyway, I’m probably going to tell my aunt to hold onto the things inside the box, but she can pass on some of the toys to my younger cousins if they want them. Better than having them sitting around and collecting dust. I’m also wondering if there are any cards that are worth any money in that Yu-Gi-Oh collection.

Sietse Thought: I think we all want to know if Shanks can do a 1260 like Mitchie Brusco! Maybe he can do it on stream for us all to enjoy! Thousands of us watching him trying to pull off an insane trick. Not gonna lie, would sit there with bated breath and watch him go for the attempts. Anyways, today’s topic seems to revolve around teacher’s putting a stop to fun games. And I got me one of those. It was so unfair too!

Back in elementary school, we had like fifty different breaks a day. We were sent outside to run away some of our excess energy. Totally normal for little kids to run around outside on the playground, right? And of course, we make our own games with the tools we have. Recess usually began innocently enough. We’d play some football (soccer) until some idiot kicked the ball up on the roof and we were left standing around, not really knowing what the fuck we were supposed to do for the next 30 minutes.

Elsewhere on the playground, girls were playing this game where they stood in a line and threw a tennis ball at the wall. Then the tennis ball had to pass through each girl’s legs until the last one caught it. It was a really weird game now that I think about it. And if you failed to catch it, you were out. Then they just stood to the side and watched. Anyways, that brought us to this brilliant idea. Throw a tennis ball at each other!

Now, throwing tennis balls back and forth is boring as fuck. Even at 8-11 years old we knew this. So we had to up the stakes. It had to become more interesting. That was when our game of ‘Tap, you’re it!’ appeared. Whoever had the tennis ball was ‘it’. They had to throw the ball at someone else, and if it hit, that person was ‘it’. But! If they caught the ball, the person throwing it was out and had to go sit by himself somewhere out of range of the game. No one wanted to sit out. So there was only one logical direction this could take. We started throwing that ball as hard as we possibly could. Face was off-limits, but everywhere else was fair play.

We played this game for a couple of months, getting increasingly skilled at dealing damage more than anything else. And the teachers were fine with it. They’d admonish us when we’d throw in another window. But they didn’t really care otherwise. (Again, now that I’m writing this, it does confuse me why they were so uncaring about broken windows. There were quite a few…)

But as Nelly Furtado sang so beautifully. All good things come to an end. Some kid’s parents noticed the bruises and complained to the school board. Suddenly, we weren’t allowed to throw tennis balls at each other anymore! We hated this new rule. So we started searching for ways around it, like starting off by playing the dumb game the girls were playing. And then when the teachers looked away, reverting back to our awesome game! We were being super sneaky!

Not. The teachers spotted it surprisingly fast. Tennis balls weren’t allowed at school anymore. We had to go back to more boring games. I still miss ‘BANG! You’re it’. There was just something special about throwing tennis balls as hard as you could at other people. Especially when you hit them on the ass and it had this nice, loud sound. That was bull’s eye.

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