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Tang Bingyao quietly watched Su Xue joking around with her viewers on stream. She spectated as Lin Feng complained about how life was unfair and that he should be the one practicing together with her, only to be shut down by Su Xue. They’re always like this. It’s just like… it’s just like on stream. This is always what they do when I watch them. And now I’m a part of it! She smiled and made a fist. I’m going to show Su Xue how good I am! Mhm! I’m going to play my best game! Maybe she’ll invite me again then!

And the viewers… Tang Bingyao glanced at the camera, briefly. Short enough that no one really noticed it. Then she quickly looked down at her hands again. She wasn’t feeling comfortable in front of the camera. There was something invasive about it that sent a creeping feeling up her spine. Thousands of people were watching her. She gritted her teeth and forced herself to look up. I can do this! I’m going to carry! Mm-hm! I won’t embarrass myself! I’ma win!

Lin Feng was just told off by Su Xue again, when he noticed Tang Bingyao hadn’t said anything in a bit. He looked at her, noticed the difficult expression on her face, and grinned. He moved over to her and said, “Hey, Tang Tang! Having a bit of a headache from last night? I totally understand! No worries, you can go nap a bit more in my bed! I’ll play a few games in your stead!”

Tang Bingyao didn’t get the chance to respond. Su Xue smacked Lin Feng on the top of his head and shouted, “Enough! I’m playing with Tang Tang! Go and get me some water! And add some lemon to it!”

“Mhm! I have no headache! I’m fine!” Tang Bingyao said, nodding. She then turned to look at Su Xue and continued, “Let’s play!”

Su Xue smiled victoriously and said, “That’s what I wanted to hear!” She clicked on the play button and the two girls went into the duo ranked queue.

It didn’t take long for the queue to pop. Su Xue and Tang Bingyao moved into Champion Select, where they called their roles and then locked in their Champions. As agreed upon before, Su Xue was playing Support. She wasn’t great at the role yet, though she’d dabbled a bit with it lately, but was confident that her Nami could impress Tang Bingyao. Another reason for her choice of Support was because Nami had great synergy with Draven, which was the Champion Tang Bingyao was playing, due to her strong crowd control and healing skills.

Lin Feng was forced to watch Su Xue and Tang Bingyao lock in their Champions. Why does Tang Tang look so serious…? And she’s playing Draven! That’s her best Champion by far… He scratched the back of his head and said, “Your opponents are going to be in for a rough time. Tang Tang’s Draven is really good! I almost feel bad for them!”

Su Xue glanced at Lin Feng and replied, “You don’t feel bad for them. That’d require you to have some level of EQ.” Then she turned back to look at her monitor which was showing League of Legends’ loading screen. “Let’s see, who are we up against… That looks like a Lucian ad-carry. Huh?” She moved her mouse over Lucian’s summoner name. “Douyu TV Heartless? That sounds like a streamer name. Anyone know them? Is it a streamer?”

Wowaaa! I just looked him up! He is a streamer!
lawl, he looks like a nerd…. A dman ugly one! Hahahhahaha
rough him up, hehe. This gunnnaa be fuuun!!!

Online streaming services had grown exponentially in the previous several years. New companies popped up every day, looking to grab a piece of the pie. Huya TV, the platform on which Su Xue streamed, was one of the more popular ones. Then there were a large number of smaller streaming services. Douyu TV was one of those. It only had a fraction of the viewers that Huya TV pulled in every day and only the top few streamers on these smaller platforms made any kind of revenue.

There were three tested methods to wade through the swamps of grassroots streamers and make it to prominence. The first of the three methods was through pure skill. It didn’t particularly matter which game the streamer excelled at, just that they were among the very best. This was far from easy. For a game like League of Legends, it meant that the streamer had to be at least at the Master rank, preferably even higher.

Another method was to be an entertainer. The streamer didn’t need to worry about their gameplay, because it wouldn’t carry them to more viewers anyway. They were looking for the people out there who wanted to have a laugh, joke around, and be entertained. It was an incredibly difficult feat to be entertaining and it required no small amount of talent and hard work. In this sense, the first and second option were similar.

There was a third option, though there were many people who looked down on this method. They would claim it wasn’t really “streaming”. Not for the websites these “streamers” were on, anyway. The streamers who made it big through this option did so purely based on their looks. They smudged their faces with half a dozen layers of makeup and flexed their muscles or showed off their impressive cleavages.

And Heartless hated everyone who used any of these options to get a following! He believed he was the most talented League of Legends player and that the jokes he made were absolutely hilarious! And that as such he was the best of the first and the second option! Yet the people weren’t coming to his stream to watch his gameplay or his entertainment. Horny idiots! He browsed through Douyu TV, which was the platform he streamed on. All the top streams are these stupid thots! With their makeup on and their fake ass boobs!

Heartless was a grassroots streamer. He’d been playing League of Legends for quite a while and reached Diamond 4, something he took great pride in. After doing some research, he decided to stream. And Douyu TV was the right platform for him. But it didn’t go quite as he expected. People didn’t flood his stream. He rarely ever had more than 30 viewers, with his record sitting at a measly 89. Horny kids watching thots because they can’t get a girl themselves!

It surprised absolutely no one that Heartless found it impossible to gain any kind of traction on Douyu TV, though he was blind to it himself. His skills at League of Legends were second rate, his entertainment value was sub zero, and he looked like a homeless person. The sole reason people stuck around in his stream was to make fun of him. They told him that he cut his hair himself with a mirror and scissors and that he could maybe get some more viewers if he hid himself behind three layers of filters. And his reaction to those messages was absolutely hilarious to the viewers. He’d blow his top, screaming at his viewers and banning them.

Heartless sat in his dorm room, hunched forward behind his computer. There was a camera pointed at his face at just the wrong angle, showing off every ugly feature of his already not very pleasing face. But he liked this angle of his face. He glanced at his second screen where he had the Douyu TV page open and grinned. Looking sharp again today! I’m feeling lucky! Today I’m going to hit 100 viewers! He suddenly frowned, annoyed. Fucking trash stealing all my viewers! If I had boobs, I didn’t need to work this hard! Douyu would put me on their frontpage in a heartbeat! They’d probably pay me for it too! It’s so unfair! But… He glanced at himself in the camera feed again. Looking sharp today!

Alright! Time to hype the viewers up a bit! Heartless smiled, showing off his crooked teeth, and announced, “This is it, guys! Today’s the day! I’m going to hit Diamond 3 and get 100 viewers!”

Ha. Dream on..

Heartless frowned and complained, “You guys should really be a little more optimistic! I swear, if I was one of those ugly thots, you’d all be falling over me! All I’m asking for is some activity! Is that so much to ask?” It was his go-to move. Complain. Whine. Bitch. And it was also the reason why he lost the few viewers he gained every stream. After this latest outburst, just one of many, there were another five people who left his stream for good. That was nearly half of the people watching him.

“Really? Leaving because I say the truth? Go watch their fucking shit streams! Good riddance!” Heartless yelled, frustrated. They know I’m telling the truth! It just hurts their fragile egos! Fucking simps! He’d never stopped to think that maybe the problem wasn’t something or someone else. That maybe he was the problem. But he lacked the common sense to consider that.

Heartless was a coward at his core. He had no problem badmouthing absolutely everything and everyone on his stream. His favourite victims were popular streamers, especially those he considered thots or e-girls, and the Douyu TV administrators. None of these people would ever tune in on his stream anyway. But the moment he got the opportunity to talk with an admin, he fell at their feet and kissed their toes. It was even more ridiculous the few times he showed his face in a QQ group chat from one of the famous streamers. He was without a doubt the biggest asskisser out there. But I only do that to steal their viewers! And if I get an admin to like me, I might get a slot on the frontpage! That’d really see my stream get big. But those fucking thots just keep hogging up all the top spots!

Two months of hard work. Heartless tried everything he could think of. But when he looked at the number of viewers, he couldn’t help but feel disappointed. He wasn’t anywhere near as popular as he felt he should be. I swear! All I need is a feature on the frontpage and I’ll take off! My stream is really good. I just need people to see itHuh? He looked at his streamchat. There were more people there than before. In fact, he couldn’t remember ever having seen his chat move so quickly! What’s going on?

goodluck bud, ya gonna need it!!!
streamer vs. streamer!!!! SO EXCITIINGGGG!!!!! <333333
you get to play against a famous streamer!!!! this is your chance to make it bigg!!!! PLS DONT BE YOURSELF!!!!!!

Heartless looked at his main monitor. He was on the loading screen for a game of League of Legends. EveningSnowfall? That sounds like a girl’s name… Am I playing against one of those stupid thots? He opened a new tab on his browser and searched for EveningSnowfall. There, Huya TV. He clicked on the link and opened the stream. A wheel spun on his screen, loading, loading, and then he saw it. Two pretty girls. He glowered and said, “Fucking thots! Oh my god! Look at that! See? SEE? What do I keep telling you guys? 6,000 viewers! I’m telling you, they’re all there jerking off to those tiddies! FUCK ME! Those thots probably don’t even know how to cast a skill! This is so unfair!”

y u mad bro??? gonna get ur ass kicked by some girls!!
HAHAHHAHAHA look at him getting mad XDDDDDD lil kid
he always so mad??? Dafuq is wrong with him?
Dude…. Those two aint “thots”… They’re great players…
wow… what a delusional toad
Lawl. Idiots gonna be idiots.

Heartless read his streamchat and snorted. “What am I so upset about? Let me tell you what I’m so upset about!” He jabbed at his screen and continued, “You see those two girls there? Those thots? That’s what I’m upset about! They’ve got zero skill! They’re trashy female streamers relying on their fucking looks to get viewers! I bet you guys they bought their accounts and are like Bronze or something!” He shook his head in frustration and eventually added, “Wouldn’t surprise me if they’re sleeping with Huya admins for some extra views…”

The streamchat lit up. There were almost a hundred viewers and all of them had come from Su Xue’s stream. None of them were willing to let this small-time streamer talk about their Su Xue like this. Some started flaming Heartless and were quickly banned from the channel. Others just left out of disgust. But Heartless didn’t care about these viewers. Stupid white knights! I don’t want any of you guys anyway! This is a stream for good viewers! Go asskiss for your fucking thots! Then he turned his attention back towards the loading screen. He narrowed his eyes, focusing on the Draven and Nami, and mumbled, “Blame your bad luck for getting matched up against me. I’ll reveal to the world exactly how you two get your viewers!”

Welcome to Summoner’s Rift!

Tang Bingyao was a bit nervous, while also fighting off the throbbing in her head. Breakfast had taken care of most of her hangover headache, but she still felt more than a little uncomfortable. Su Xue sat next to her, cheering her on. Su Xue is really nice and so cheerful. She smiled, glancing over at the stream chat. They’re really nice too. Mhm!

Rek that other streamer!
lil bro says your draven is amazing… i really wanna seeee!!!!
draven is my favorite champion, but i can’t play him :(((((( pls teach me sometime
maybe you can help the maid finally win a few games… would be nice for a change!
Our xuexue isn’t the brightest bulb of the bunch. You might needa carry her… Well, not might. Definitely gonna have to if you wanna win this one…. Hehheeheh <333

Su Xue’s viewers were excited to see Tang Bingyao play. But that didn’t mean they’d go easy on Su Xue. They always grabbed every opportunity they got with both hands to make a joke about Su Xue. And she glared back at them, unamused as always, and complained, “Oi! What’s this all about! I don’t need carrying! I’m really good! You guys should be grateful for once and cheer me on!”

AS IF! AHHAHAHAHHA pls dont feed xuexue
dont be a deadweight maid xue

“YOU UNGRATEFUL BASTARDS!” Su Xue yelled. She took a short, frustrated breath, then continued, “I’ll show you all how good I am! I’m going to support Tang Tang so well that she carries even harder than she already would!” She then turned to Tang Bingyao and winked at her. “Right?”

Tang Bingyao nodded and said, “Mhm!”

Sietse's Haunted Mansion Pt. 1

Sietse Thought: A while back I told you guys about a dream I had. I woke up back then next to my bed thinking a bowling ball was out to get me. And I tried to dodge the damn thing! A couple of days (or weeks, I don’t remember) later, I talked to you guys about how the Rise team is cursed, with all of us getting sick. And today, today I bring to you a staggering revelation. IT IS ALL RELATED!

So hear me out here. I’ve been sleeping poorly for the last week. Maybe 3 hours a night. I just keep waking up to this sound in the ceiling. At first I thought it was a bird on the roof, because it happened in the morning. But I should’ve known something was up when I checked outside and didn’t see any birds on the roof. Stupid me. Then it happened at night, and I figured it was a mouse. That scratching sound I kept hearing, it just made sense. So I started the mousehunt.

There was no mouse. I threw apart the entire fucking house (Four floors, including the attic) and didn’t find the smallest evidence of mice. So I went back to the sketching board. And came up empty. That all changed this morning. For the second night in a row, there weren’t just weird sounds that aren’t really scratching but more like foam against foam, but there was also a sound that sounded suspiciously similar to a marble. Or, as I later realised, a bowling ball rolling down the lane!

My house is haunted. There is a ghost messing with me. It’s throwing bowling balls at me. I’m losing sleep because of it. My sanity is slipping away. Please, send help!

Shanks Ghosthunter Extraordinaire: As the one with the most experience with the paranormal on the Rise Team (See here in my first Phasmophobia run:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWZsJ7P1-4M), I think I have a solution for your ghost problems! 

See, what you need to do Sietse is to be even more annoying than the ghost. You’re playing to its tempo right now! If it wants to annoy you with bowling balls, you can annoy it with rolling pins! Buy a set, set them up right on your bedside. Listen as it rolls and rolls that bowling ball on your ceiling, only for it to never get a strike!  

Sietse Interjection: Hold on! Hold on! Your brilliant plan is to piss this ghost off!?!??!?!?!??!

Shanks (Continued): Yes! That’s how you do it in Phasmophobia! Then when you manage to piss it off enough to come down from the ceiling, you can identify it! Then you go back to your ghost hunting van, and leave with $500 or something. That’s how it works, right!?

As an alternative, I can offer you my Chinese voodoo magic services to capture the ghost in a pickle jar. Actually, nevermind. My mind went somewhere….

Sietse Interjection Number 2: Shanks just said, “Let’s not sexually harass the ghost. Let’s not do that, Shanks.” He said this completely out of nowhere. No one prompted him to say these words. He just out of the blue started talking about sexually harassing a ghost. What the fuck, Shanks. What the actual fuck. You need to get laid, bud.

On a side note, I just want to get rid of this ghost! I don’t want it to sue me for all I’m worth!

Shanks Defense: I blame Japan.

Sietse Concludes: There we go again. Shanks throws someone under the bus. This time, it’s an entire damn country… It’s funny how it’s never his fault.

Shanks’ Real Ghost Advice (For those that actually came looking for it): Try burning some incense in your room. I also heard hiding an onion under your bed works too. Don’t worry about the rats though. 

Sietse Final Note: And what if it’s a mouse and I’m now feeding it onions? Wait… Is that how vampires are born? Are they mice that ate an onion?

Shanks Gets the Last Word: That’s what you have the catgirl locked up in your basement for!

Sietse’s Second Final Note: What…?

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