The goal of a scrimmage was to practice tactics and strategy, so it wasn’t strange to see Team Shanghai try out different things. But there was a difference between trying out stuff and changing the entire lineup! What Team Shanghai did felt like a massive slap in the face to Shanghai University of Finance’s team! As if their opponents were taunting them! Poking fun at them! And not taking the match one bit seriously. But there wasn’t anything Shanghai University of Finance’s team could do about it, not after their painful loss last game. So they focused on their monitors, grimacing.
Qiu Le narrowed his eyes and mumbled, “Their mid is now playing Support, huh?” He turned to look at Xie Qing and continued, “Xie Qing, we’re gonna have to play the best game of our lives. Those high schoolers are looking down on us! Fuck! I’m pissed! We need to beat some sense into them! And make them realize they can’t look down on us!”
Xie Qing glared at the Thresh portrait on the loading screen. Maple… I’ll remember you. He then turned to look at Qiu Le. He snorted and said, “Exactly! We’re going to teach those brats a lesson they won’t forget! It’s like they’re trying to make fun of us! This is so distasteful!” He turned back to his monitor and continued glaring at Thresh’s portrait. “Yeah, kid, you’re a good Midlaner. You beat Luo Yu. We were wrong and you are good. But just because you know how to play in the mid lane, that does not mean you can also play Support! They’re two different roles, with different things you have to learn and master! We’re here to help you practice, so at least show us some respect by playing your normal role! Shit! I’ll show you what it takes to be a good Support!”
Huang Yang nodded at Xie Qing and chimed in, “We’ll make those brats pay for being so cocky! I got your back!” He then turned to look at Luo Yu and asked, “You should be ok in mid, right? I can put my focus on the bot lane, yeah?”
Luo Yu nodded in affirmation. “Yeah, I think so.” He stared at the portrait of the Veigar. Why does this feel like last game all over? Don’t tell me she actually knows how to play mid… If her mid is anywhere near as good as her Jungle, then I might actually need help from Huang Yang… He took a long, deep breath, trying to calm the worries rampaging in his mind. He listened to his teammates, who were talking about smacking Team Shanghai down a notch. We’re talking about stomping them again. This game is different, but it also feels exactly the same. Are we making the same mistake again?
《Welcome to Summoner’s Rift!》
It didn’t take long for Luo Yu to realize why he was so worried about this game. The role swap didn’t weaken Team Shanghai. Quite the opposite, really. It helped them improve on their synergy so dramatically that they were playing better than in the previous game! And his teammates knew as much, a constant stream of complaints flooding the team’s voice chat.
Luo Yu zoned the noise from his teammates out and focused completely on the mid lane. He was a Challenger. Teams from the LPL were watching him closely, and one of them had even reached out to him. There were very, very few Midlaners in all of China who could beat him. But one of them was apparently the Midlaner from Team Shanghai. A kid from high school had outplayed him to such an extent that he never even really got into the game. He was still searching for himself, even after the second game had already started. And it wasn’t any better now. She isn’t him. But she’s got some of his traits… Her positioning, wave control, last hitting… I don’t get it. Where did these two come from? I’m missing CS and I can’t even get any poke damage in. She’s just outplaying me. I’m even missing my abilities…
Luo Yu took a deep breath and held it. He wanted to focus and win, but he wasn’t just playing against the girl on Veigar; he was also playing against himself. I should be better than this. I’m one of the best Midlaners out there. Why am I losing to that kid last game? Is he that good? Or am I just having an off-day? Is that it… There was a constant buzz in his head, distracting him. All right. He puffed out all the air in his lungs. She’s a good Midlaner. I need to accept that. Ignore everything else. Just focus on playing against her.
An Xin sat in Team Shanghai’s soundproof booth, smiling. She had her Veigar walk back and forth, last hitting minions while also looking to land some poke damage on Luo Yu’s Orianna. Mid, huh? This has been a while. Lin Feng always takes mid. But it’s always fun when I do get to play here! Her smile grew wider and her eyes started shining. She moved her mouse and lightly grazed the buttons on her keyboard. Luo Yu is good. This is going to be double fun!
The surprise Luo Yu felt in the mid lane wasn’t anything like what Qiu Le and Xie Qing were experiencing in the bot lane. They’d been fired up and wanted to teach Lin Feng a lesson. In their minds, he was a cocky high schooler trying to show off. But they soon found out just how wrong they were. Lin Feng was a far better Support than they’d ever believed possible. And right now, he was schooling them and not the other way around.
Four minutes into the game, Xie Qing’s Janna pushed up to the middle of the lane, creating room for Qiu Le’s Jinx to land some last hits on minions. Thresh suddenly walked out of the middle brush along the bottom side of the lane. He was on top of Xie Qing’s Janna a moment later and flayed her towards Red Team’s outer tower, slowing her.
Tang Bingyao had played enough games together with Lin Feng to know exactly what to expect from him. She had her Lucian run forward before Thresh’s Flay even connected with Janna, and then closed the final bit of distance with Relentless Pursuit. Lucian lifted his two relic guns and fired a double-shot at Janna! This was the effect of his passive skill. Every time he cast an ability, his next auto attack became a double-shot. Lucian took aim at Xie Qing’s Janna again, this time shooting a Piercing Light through her! And followed up with another double-shot!
Xie Qing’s screen flashed red, warning him of his Janna’s low health. He mashed on his keyboard and had his Janna flash towards the safety of Blue Team’s outer tower. She didn’t run straight for her tower, instead taking a sharp turn left. He hasn’t used his Q yet. I ne—
Lin Feng grinned and pressed down on his Q key–Death Sentence! Thresh wound up his scythe and then threw it to Janna’s left. As the scythe flew through the air, Janna walked right into the hook. He then threw his lantern towards Tang Bingyao before dashing at Janna with the second part of Death Sentence! He followed up by igniting Janna, an unquenchable flame burning away at her health!
Tang Bingyao clicked on the lantern. Her Lucian dashed through the Dark Passage to arrive right next to Lin Feng. She targeted Janna with an auto attack, followed by Ardent Blaze. Lucian raised his relic gun and shot a missile at Janna! It exploded in a star shape. Then he raised both his guns and aimed at Janna for a double-shot.
“Awesome!” Lin Feng exclaimed, grinning. “I made a great play there! And your follow up was ok too, Tang Tang!”
“Mhm!” Tang Bingyao said, nodding. She glanced at Lin Feng and smiled. It’s so much fun to play with you in the bot lane. We should do this more often… She’d played together with a lot of different Support mains over the last few months. There were Wei Dong, who was far too defensive for her liking, and Zeng Rui and An Xin, both of whom were rather methodical in their approach. It always clashed with her far more aggressive style, and she found herself having to adapt constantly. But when she played with Lin Feng, she could be as aggressive as she wanted. And he was usually even more aggressive than her! He played the exact kind of style that she loved the most! He’s the best, mhm!
The Botlaners in Shanghai University of Finance team’s soundproof booth stared at their monitors, dazed and numb. It was only several minutes ago that they were discussing how they were going to stomp Thresh. The Midlaner who came to troll in the bot lane, that was how they initially saw him. And then he started pressuring them. Qiu Le found it hard to get last hits, and Xie Qing was forced to play more aggressively just to help his ad-carry stay even in creep score to Lucian.
“How the fuck did he hit that hook…?” Xie Qing mumbled.
“What do you mean? You walked right into it! You should’ve just walked straight to the tower!” Qiu Le cursed, annoyed.
“I was dodging! It’s like he knew where I was going to dodge!” Xie Qing argued.
The same discussion was being held by the players on Shanghai University of Finance’s second team. They were watching the game on the large LCD screen in the university’s clubroom. They could all tell that Xie Qing was trying to dodge. And they agreed none of them would’ve landed that hook. They would’ve thrown it in the wrong direction entirely. But this high schooler had somehow managed to hook Xie Qing’s Janna.
“What the hell! Man, is that Thresh cheating or something?”
“How can he? He’s on our computer…”
“Then tell me how he hit that hook!”
“I DON’T KNOW! I DON’T!”
“Right, man… Because that was ridiculous! No one is that good!”
“He’s a fucking cheater, I’m telling you!”
“Yeap! That’d explain so much!”
Huang Yang had spent the first six minutes of the game farming his Jungle to get some levels and his first big item. Now he was ready to gank. He ran down the river and arrived in the bot lane just as Lucian was pushing the minion wave towards the blue outer tower. His Lee Sin landed a Sonic Wave on Lucian, locating onto his position, and then dashed at him with Resonating Strike!
Tang Bingyao smiled. Zeng Rui was the Jungler for Team Shanghai this game and he spent most of his gold on wards. That was why she knew Lee Sin was coming long before he reached the lane. And right now, after waiting for him to dash at her, she clicked on Thresh’s lantern that was waiting right next to her. She dashed at Thresh and pulled Lee Sin with her.
Huang Yang’s pupils contracted. He placed a ward down as fast as he could and hopped towards it mid-dash–Safeguard! And then Thresh’s scythe hooked him. In the brief moment where he didn’t have control over where his Lee Sin was going, Lin Feng’s Thresh threw a Death Sentence and hooked him! “WHAT THE—”
Lin Feng activated the second part of Death Sentence. He flew towards Lee Sin, whose skills were now on cooldown, and then flayed him in the direction of Red Team’s outer tower. “Baited!” Lin Feng said over the team’s voice chat, laughing.
Zeng Rui’s Jarvan IV and An Xin’s Veigar appeared at the river entrance in bot lane. An Xin twisted the edges of space to create a cage around Jinx and Lee Sin. Janna was too far away, unfortunately, and got away. Zeng Rui followed up with a flag-toss combo, knocking Jinx and Lee Sin up into the air, before coming down on them with Cataclysm!
Tang Bingyao’s Lucian quickly dashed a short distance forward in a Relentless Pursuit! Then she ran the last bit to catch up to her teammates. Jinx and Lee Sin were both almost dead. More importantly, they were standing right behind each other! She took aim at them with both her guns. A piercing light fired from them, shooting through both of them and killing them!
Lin Feng and Tang Bingya destroyed Blue Team’s outer tower after 8 minutes. Jinx and Janna had already retreated back to their inner tower, too scared to get near the Botlaners from Team Shanghai. But Lin Feng wasn’t satisfied with just the outer tower. He grinned and said over the team’s voice chat, “Tang Tang, let’s keep pushing! We’re going to take their inner tower too!”
Tang Bingyao nodded at him and said, “Mhm!” This was exactly what she’d been thinking too. They’re being so defensive. We just need to keep pushing as far as they let us. Maybe we can just take their inhibitor! Hm. The inner tower is more likely though. We can at least give it a try and see how far we come. She pushed the minion wave towards the inner tower and tried to get a few auto attacks on it, but was stopped by Shanghai University of Finance’s Botlaners.
“Come!” Lin Feng said over the team’s voice chat. His Thresh was already moving up towards the jungle right above them.
Tang Bingyao had her Lucian follow after Lin Feng’s Thresh, smiling. We still have to ward. And now we can do that and also take the jungle camps! I want to see that asshole’s face after this! Hmpf!
Xie Qing was listening to his teammates cursing at Team Shanghai’s Botlaners while carefully following Lin Feng’s Thresh to keep vision on them. And then he lost vision of them. Quickly followed by a comment from Huang Yang that had him looking up. He was distracted and walked past a brush without getting vision on it. That was a big mistake. Thresh walked out of that brush and Flayed Xie Qing backwards into a spectral wall. This was one of the five walls from the Box, Thresh’s ultimate skill, which applied a powerful slow. Xie Qing knocked himself in the forehead. I’m fucked.
Tang Bingyao appeared a moment later. She fired a Piercing Light at Janna and followed that up with a double-shot from her two relic pistols. Then she continued with Relentless Pursuit and another double-shot. The damage kept on coming and Janna had no teammates or defensive structures nearby to hide behind. She threw the skills she had at Tang Bingyao, but that didn’t save her. Janna’s health plummeted and hit rock bottom.
The words from the voice announcer echoed in the headphones from Shanghai University of Finance’s team. The four players still alive had had enough. They were being toyed with, and they wouldn’t have it like this any longer! There was no discussion about it. Everyone was on the same page. Huang Yang charged from his top side jungle down towards where Xie Qing’s Janna died! Luo Yu’s Orianna followed right behind him from the mid lane! And Gnar teleported to a ward that Qiu Le placed inside the bottom side jungle!
Lin Feng saw the Gnar teleporting, Orianna running down into the jungle and Jinx running up into the jungle. “Huh?” he mumbled. Then he chuckled and said over the team’s voice chat, “Looks like they’re angry.” He turned to look at Tang Bingyao and added, “We should probably run… Tang Tang, let’s run! Now!”