The summoner names of teammates weren’t visible during the pick-ban phase, unless they typed in chat. So, the viewers only realized who was on their team when his message appeared in the game chat.
「Mid please. Find my stream by searching Ol’ Black on Huya. Give me my role, and I’ll carry you to the moon~ 」This was the catchphrase of a popular Huya TV League streamer called Ol’ Black. His streams would often have around 50,000 viewers. However, unlike most famous streamers who played in Diamond, Master, and Challenger, he prefered to smurf in low elo and stomp on noobs. Bullying little kids in Silver and Gold, this was what everyone watched Ol’ Black’s stream for.
「no one knows his real rank, but he’s rank 1 smashing n00bs!!!1」
「That’s cuz he’d get zero attention playing people in higher ranks. Lawl.」
「Yeah, but it’s still hella fun to watch him steamroll people in low elo Haha」
The viewers in Su Xue’s chat stirred, going back and forth about what they thought of Ol’ Black.
“Ol’ Black?” Lin Feng scratched his head. “Never heard of him.”
“All you need to know is that he’s a pretty good streamer with a lot of viewers,” Su Xue replied.
Zuo You rubbed her chin, a pensive look on her face. “Oh, right! I’ve watched some of his streams before. Whenever I was really bored. It was pretty entertaining watching him stomp on noobs!” She turned to Lin Feng with a teasing smile. “Haha. You really lucked out this time. Enjoy the free carry.”
“Free carry?” Lin Feng shook his head. He clenched his fist and declared with a confident smile, “I don’t need a carry. I am the carry!”
Zuo You clicked her tongue. “Wow, so confident. Fine, prove it. I’m looking forward to it. Hehe.”
On another stream with 50,000 viewers on Huya TV. “Mhm, what kind of mid laner should I pick for this game? Tell me, guys!” Ol’ Black asked his viewers. He lazily reclined in his chair, picking his teeth with a toothpick.
「show us your Heimer mid!」
「I wanna see you play Xin Zhao!」
「Please show us your Riven plays!」
Ol’ Black chuckled and waved his hands. “Ah, it’s fine. Hehe. Nevermind. I already got someone in mind~” When it came time for him to pick his champion, he sat forward and locked in LeBlanc, the Deceiver.
Mid Leblanc! The tens of thousands of viewers in his chat erupted in excitement. LeBlanc was one of the champions they loved watching Ol’ Black play the most. In these sorts of low elo games, he could use her to toy around with the opponents and decide the game within the first 10 minutes. At the same time, fourth pick also locked in their champion—Lee Sin, the Blind Monk.
“Jungle Lee, huh?” Ol’ Black remarked, continuing to pick at his teeth. “A Lee in this elo, I wonder if he’s actually blind?”[ref]A saying that was popular among Chinese players. Those that could actually play the champion well were called Lee Sin. The rest were simply blind.[/ref] Ol’ Black was playing in high Silver, low Gold. Few if any players could play Lee Sin well in this elo. Ol’ Black quickly laughed. “No problem! Even if our teammates suck, it doesn’t matter. My LeBlanc will carry for sure!”
「Wow! So cooool!」
「Heck yeah! Show us your carry!」
「I want youuuuu!!! Have my babies! <3333」
“Hoh? Seems like we have another streamer in our game,” Ol’ Black mumbled. The Lee Sin had a Huya TV tag beside their summoner name. Another streamer at this rank? The viewers were all surprised. None of them had heard of this Evening Snowfall before!
Ol’ Black rubbed his chin with a pensive look. Then, he smiled and made a casual guess, “Probably a new streamer! The summoner name seems like a girl’s. I wonder if she’s pretty… Well, whatever, doesn’t matter! I’ll let ‘em see how hard I can carry! Hahahaha!”
Back in Su Xue’s stream, the initial hubbub of having a popular streamer in their game died down. The viewers quickly turned their attention to the champion Lin Feng picked.
「Li’l bro, you can play Lee Sin too?」
「Awesome! I love playing Lee!」
「Show us your Lee Sin carry!」
Zuo You stared at Lin Feng and curled her lips. “Kid, you can really play Lee Sin? Not many people can play him well, you know. Just don’t do anything to stupid, wouldn’t wanna be called blind. Hehe.”
“Hey, can you really play Lee? Don’t embarrass me,” Su Xue asked in an anxious tone. Lin Feng mostly played ad-carry on her account. She’d seen him play jungle Jarvan before but never Lee Sin.
“Don’t worry! My Lee Sin is really good!”
「You go li’l bro! We believe in you!」
「Show off your skills!」
「Are you thirsty? Should we tell the maid to get you a drink?」
“Hey! Enough of that, you guys!” Su Xue exclaimed.
They loaded into the game and before long found themselves on Summoner’s Rift. This Gold-rank match was the perfect playground for Ol’ Black with his LeBlanc. Walking down to midlane, he declared full of bravado, “Sit back and watch. I’ll show you guys my god-blanc!”
Lin Feng and his jungle Lee Sin didn’t fall short in confidence either. “We’ve already got this game in the bag!”
“Huh?” Su Xue looked at Lin Feng in surprise.
“How do you already have it won? The game hasn’t even started~” Zuo You asked.
Lin Feng patted his chest. “Because I’m the jungler!”
At 1:55 minutes into the game, the jungle camps spawned. Lin Feng chose to start at red buff, having his top laner help leash for him. He killed it and leveled up. Then, he headed for the enemy jungle.
“Eh?” Ol’ Black remarked in surprise. After forcing the enemy Ahri a step back, he happened to glance at his minimap just as Lin Feng moved down to the enemy blue buff. “Is he planning to counter-jungle?”
“No, I’m not counter-jungling. I’m picking up a free kill,” Lin Feng explained to Su Xue, Zuo You, and the stream viewers with a confident smile. ”The enemy Jarvan probably started red. When he comes to get his blue buff, we just have to wait for him to use up all his skills and then pick up a free kill.”
Su Xue was skeptical, while Zuo You had a pensive look on her face. Even though she didn’t main jungle, she saw these types of early invades often enough. If he succeeded, the payoff was great. She turned her attention to Lin Feng. Is this kid really good enough to counter-jungle? Maybe he’s bullshitting. Well, we’ll see soon enough.
Lin Feng had already crossed the river and silently entered the enemy’s jungle. He placed down a ward over the wall in the blue camp. Then, he waited in the river entrance bush behind the blue camp.
After laying in ambush for only a few seconds, a figure clad in golden armour appeared. The viewers immediately stirred. Jarvan IV was here!
Shanks Thought: To give a scale of how popular League of Legends is in China, it’s something like 110 million Chinese players versus 80 million for all other regions combined. So, top streamers in China get way more views. 50,000 is a fairly average-ish mid-size streamer.