There were different kinds of streamers. Some relied on their good looks, others on their gameplay, and still others on the gameplay of others! FatMelon belonged to this last category. He kept close tabs on when professional players were in solo queue and would then spectate their matches. His current stream was following CN•WuGuang who was better known as Lightless Heart, the Midlaner for the LPL team Dark Glory. He was widely accepted as the second best Chinese Midlaner, only behind Daybreak Hermes, and his team had made it all the way to the playoffs in the previous LPL season. Dark Glory almost even made it to Worlds, but lost that hope to Dust.
FatMelon glanced at his viewer count. It had stabilized at well over 100,000 viewers after the previous game. Perfect! I could get like 300k if I show Rake, Moon, or one of those guys. But there are others already doing that. I’d have to be better than all of them. I was the first streamer who specialized in following Chinese players on the Korean server though. Hehe! Best to stick to this. It’s more than exciting enough! Look at Lightless here! He’s ranked 176th on the Korean server! That’s basically the highest out of any Chinese player! Now just to hype it up a bit more…
FatMelon winked at his camera and said to his viewers, “We’re going to see another game by Lightless Heart! He’s still playing on the Korean server! Will it be another stunning victory? What Champion will he pick in the mid lane this time? STICK AROUND AND FIND OUT!”
「Lightless was freaking awesome last game!」
「yo no kidding, even the korean challengers cant do anything against our pros」
「WTF was that teamfight shit though? FUCKIN NUTTY !!!!!」
「shittin good what you mean, yeah? My lord those dudes over there in the Korea land are so much better than us!」
「Their solo queue is, anyway. Ionia is shit next to that!」
「DEFFEFUCKINGNIVETILY higher quality than on Ionia !1!1!!!」
FatMelon read the response he got in chat and grinned. His plan when he started streaming had worked. Chinese fans were fed up with the Korean players claiming they were the best in the world. But it was also a widely accepted fact that the Koreans were the best in the world right now. And that the Korean server was the most competitive in the world. That also meant that there was nothing more exciting to many Chinese players than seeing their fellow brethren lay waste to Korean opposition and rising up the ranks in Korean Challenger!
Individual skill, roams, teamfights, coordination… These Koreans are better at everything. FatMelon shook his head. There was no point in worrying about this. I should be happy! It’s getting me all the viewers I could ever want! I’ve got more than a hundred thousand people tuning in when I stream just to watch Chinese pros play on the Korean server! He took a deep, long breath and read through his chat messages again. A hundred thousand people all came here to watch me spectate a game! I’ve made it big! I am a success!
FatMelon kept an eye on Lightless’s account. Queue in Challenger could take several minutes, which gave him all the time he needed to really hype up his audience for the next game. He pulled up the Korean ranked ladder and scrolled down to 176th. “Just a bit more till he finds a game, guys! While we’re waiting, let’s take another look at the ranked ladder! You all saw how he jumped to 176th after the previous game! But look at this! If we assume he gets the same LP again, he’s going to jump up all the way to 174 if he wins again! Imagine that! We’re going to have a Chinese player ranked 174th!”
Just as FatMelon was about to continue with another tidbit of information, the queue popped for Lightless. FatMelon clicked on the spectate button and his stream showed Champion Select. CN•WuGuang was third pick on the Blue team.
「Hey ! Look at first pick!」
「Whaaaaat! Check the summoner name!」
「CN•HOOK2? WHAT ABOUT IT?!?!??!?」
「A FELLOW COMRADE!」
「holy shit11111 weve got more challengers/////////」
「wowsers!!! CHINA TAKING OVER KOREAN SOLO QUEUEUUEUEUE!!!!!」
FatMelon was an entertainer. He cared more about the response in chat than about the actual game itself. And right now, his chat was losing it over the player who had first pick. He looked at the name and raised his eyebrows in surprise. “Is that another pro?” he mumbled to himself. I don’t know who he is. I don’t think that’s Hermes’ name… Hmm… He does have the CN prefix. Has to be Chinese. He looked at the camera and said, “Looks like you guys are right! Another Chinese player! But I haven’t the faintest clue who this is…” He shook his head before adding, “Maybe it’s a new alt account. The account does look pretty new. It only just got to Challenger. Who knows! But this is great news! It means we have another Chinese player climbing the Korean ranked ladder!” He smirked. Great for my stream! I found him first! I’ll get so many views from this!
「maybe it’s hermes alt???」
「you think? WHat i heard was that hermeS doesnt play on the KOrean serever…..」
「THIS IS A CALL TO ALL HUYADETECTIVES! FIND OUT WHO DIS IS!!!!!!」
「maybe its some troll korean making fun of us……..」
「NO WAY! He has to be Chinese! HAS TO BEEEE!!!!!!」
The headquarters of the Dark Glory gaming organization was located in downtown Shanghai. It was already deep into the night, but the lights were still on in the gaming room. More specifically, one monitor illuminated the room. Lightless sat in his gaming chair with his feet on the edge of the seat. “One more game. This is the last one,” he mumbled to himself. He was currently sitting in Champion Select and looking at the names of his teammates. His eyes narrowed and he muttered, “CN•HOOK2… I don’t think I’ve seen that name before. Have I? Maybe I have… He looks Chinese… I wonder who…” He looked around the dark room, then shrugged and pressed down on the Enter key. No point in guessing when I can just ask him.
CN•WuGuang:「Hey first pick. Do I know you?」
Lightless Heart waited. And he waited. He’s banning Champions… Maybe he didn’t see it? I mean, why wouldn’t he even reply? He’ll reply. Hum… He’ll reply.
“Look at the chat! LIN FENG! LOOK AT THE CHAT!” Su Xue screamed right next to Lin Feng’s ears, jabbing at the screen with her greasy finger. “Tell him! Say something! He’s a real life pro! Oh my god! I can’t believe you get to play with a real life pro! This is so cool! Say something to him!”
Lin Feng scratched his cheek and said, “I mean, what is there to say? I don’t know him. That’ll be the end of that conversation. So why bother?” He shrugged and started browsing through the list of Champions. Who shall I play? Hmm… I could go for something like LeBlanc. But that’s dangerous in first pick. And I don’t really feel like it. What to play… Oh! His cursor landed on Lissandra. She was an Ice Mage with high damage and powerful crowd control skills. I’ll pick her! He clicked on the icon and then locked her in.
“W-what did you just do?” Su Xue mumbled, staring at Lin Feng in horror. Then she smacked him on his head and shouted, “You stole mid lane from Lightless! YOU STOLE MID LANE!”
“What the! Oww! That hurts!” Lin Feng complained, rubbing his head painfully. “I didn’t steal anything! I’m first pick! That means I get to pick whatever I want! I don’t even know who he is! Why would I trust him to carry from the mid lane? No. The only one I trust in the mid lane is me! So I’m going mid!”
“Isn’t talking, hum?” Lightless mumbled to himself. “Guess he isn’t who I thought… Oh well.” He shrugged and was browsing through a list of Midlaners, considering which one he wanted to play, when he noticed CN•HOOK2 locking in Lissandra. His eyes widened in surprise and he slowly nodded. “Another mid main, hum? Okay, okay.” His surprised expression morphed into a smile. “I guess that narrows the scope down a bit. I should be able to guess who he is… Just need to see him play a bit first.”
Lightless waited for his turn to pick and read the team chat. Every role was claimed except for the Jungle, so he limited his search to Junglers. I haven’t played around in the Jungle much after the changes in the team… Should be fun to show off what I can do. And I guess it won’t hurt to brush up my Lee Sin a bit, hehe. That’ll also give me a good vantage point to watch this CN•HOOK2 a bit more. Hum… Just gotta camp the shit out of mid lane. He locked in Lee Sin and adjusted his Summoner Spells, runes, and masteries while waiting for the game to load up. “He must have reached Challenger only recently. I would’ve ran into him before otherwise. Who has been playing a ton of ranked lately? Or who hasn’t, I guess. Hum…”
「hooooly shit who the fck is this HOOK2!!!????!」
「is he fcking blind!?!??!/1?」
「wooooooow he actually stole mid from lightless :OOOOOOOO does he think he’s a better mid or something
「WAY TO SCREW OVER YOUR OWN TEAM! NOOOBB!!!!」
「Watch him feed. If he feeds, I swear…. FUCK I WANNA SEE LIGHTLESS MID!」
FatMelon had completely different thoughts from the people posting messages in his chat. He shook his head and said to his camera, “I think you guys are jumping to conclusions here! Who knows how good this CN•HOOK2 dude is? He did make it all the way to Korean Challenger! And look at his match history! It’s almost all wins! Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt!” Let’s do that, hehe. Maybe it really is Hermes! I’ll get rich!
FatMelon shook his head and threw that thought away. Hermes doesn’t play on the Korean server. Don’t get your hopes up! He turned his attention back to the Champion Select and shifted the topic away from CN•HOOK2 and back to Lightless. “Look! Lightless is Jungling! We’re getting to see him in the Jungle again! His Lee Sin is great!”
Lightless Heart was originally a Jungler before making the switch to the mid lane midway during the previous season. He was just far more talented in the mid lane, and the opportunity presented itself after some internal tumuld in Dark Glory. It’d worked wonders, with the team going further than ever before and only just failing to qualify for Worlds. But that wasn’t to say he was a bad Jungler. Anything but. His skills in the Jungle were right up there with the best Chinese Junglers.
FatMelon latched onto this tidbit of information and hyped, “We all remember Lightless’ Jungling skills! Let’s see if we can get any cool Mid-Jungle combos! Some real Chinese synergy! I can totally see those two carry the game together!”
「idk…. still think it would’ve been better to have lightless on mid」
「Seriously! Who the fuck does this hook2 guy think he is? WHy the fuck would he steal mid????」
「fking noobs! IM SO PISSED RIGHT NOW!!!!」
「Maybe fatso streamer dude is right and this hook guy knows what he’s doing…」
「I hope… but dude. what are the odds of that happening????//」
「pls gimme a good game! Plsssss im staying up late for this!」
Su Xue tugged on Lin Feng’s sleeve and asked, “Hey, hey, are you serious? This is Korean Challenger! Not Ionia… If you lose your lane, people are going to rip you to shreds! You know there are always people watching these games! Here, watch!” She grabbed her phone and went to HuyaTV. There she quickly found FatMelon’s stream, which was showing the Champion Select that Lin Feng was in. “See!? And there are a hundred thousand people watching! They’re going to eat you alive! You can’t just snatch mid from a real pro! Oh no, I can already see the clips online…”
Lin Feng just shrugged and grinned. He said, “It’s fine. You don’t need to worry. I’ll carry this game! I’m really good at carrying games too!”
Su Xue looked at Lin Feng and saw the pure confidence in his gaze, felt it in his words. She took a deep, long breath and browsed through the comments on FatMelon’s stream. Most of them were talking about how CN•HOOK2 was going to feed. But if Lin Feng is this confident… Maybe I should believe in him? I can just watch, and if something does happen, I’ll be here for him. Yeah. I’ll make sure nothing happens to him! I’ll be here for him!
Lin Feng felt the weight of his mouse in one hand and the brief resistance from the keys against the tips of his fingers. He closed his eyes and took a slow, deep breath in. I can do this. You’re wrong to worry, Su Xue. A few hours ago? Maybe. But not now. I’mm good enough to carry in Korean Challenger. I am right up there with the pros. He breathed out and opened his eyes again. Laser focused. Nothing could distract him. Every second he was finding a little bit more of his old self. I’ll be back where I was, and then get better! An inferno of confidence blazed in his eyes as the loading screen appeared on his monitor.
Team Lin Feng (Blue) vs Random Koreans (Red)
Top lane: Darius versus Irelia
Jungle: Lee Sin versus Jarvan IV
Mid lane: Lissandra versus Orianna
Ad-carry: Jinx versus Lucian
Support: Nami versus Leona
《Welcome to Summoner’s Rift!》
The game started without much fanfare. Lin Feng’s Lissandra and Red team’s Orianna were both control mages that needed items to deal damage. So they placed their main focus on last hitting minions. But that didn’t mean they forgot about each other. Orianna’s Ball kept flying at Lin Feng’s Lissandra, and he kept dodging it. All the while, he fired back shards of pure ice. His health remained high, while Orianna’s health started dipping a little bit lower with every exchange.
Lin Feng’s Lissandra took the lead and forced Red team’s Orianna to retreat back to her outer tower. But she had enough skill to make sure Lin Feng couldn’t freeze the minion wave. It pushed towards Red team’s outer tower, forcing Lin Feng’s Lissandra to move further and further forward if he wanted to get last hits on the Red minions.
Su Xue sat next to Lin Feng on the edge of her seat, biting her nails. Her eyes shifted all around, beads of sweat popping up on her forehead. Top! Top! What’s happening in top? Are they doing ok in bot? And where is Lightless!? Oh, he’s in the Jungle. But he isn’t ganking! What if J4 is ganking? Where is J4? JARVAN! Her eyes went wide and she shouted, “Careful! Jarvan IV has to gank a lane soon! He might come mid!”
“I know,” Lin Feng replied calmly. His eyes were trained on his screen as he kept pushing the minion wave towards Red team’s outer tower. That’s why I’m pushing. To make Jarvan gank in the mid lane. He just needs to hurry up. Where is that guy… He glanced at the gametime. Three minutes in. It should be now. I just need to push a little bit more.
Red team’s Orianna let herself be pushed in, waiting patiently for the Jarvan IV to come and gank. And when the Jarvan IV arrived in the brush right above the mid lane, she made her move. She ran forward and commanded her Ball to attack Lissandra! This was also the cue for the Jarvan IV, who charged into the midlane and dashed at Lissandra with his flag-toss combo!
Lin Feng’s eyes narrowed. The change in movements from the Orianna gave the gank away before it happened. He shifted his attention towards the top of the lane, from where the Jarvan IV appeared. Focus. Calm. Wait for the flag. He had his Lissandra wait for Jarvan IV to place down his Demacian Standard, and then dodged the knock up from the flag-toss combo by side stepping it. His finger gently pressed down on the Q key–Ice Shard! Lissandra gathered magical particles of ice into a sharp chunk and hurled it at the Jarvan IV! It smashed into him, damaging and slowing him!
Several pings resounded in Lin Feng’s ears. Lee is finally here. About time. Jarvan IV was right on top of his Lissandra after dashing at him with the flag toss combo. This opened up Lissandra’s second skill for use. Ring of Frost! A wave of piercing cold energy exploded out around Lissandra! Everything caught within was frozen stiff! Red team’s Jarvan IV was rooted!
The Red minions were all fighting Blue minions at Red Team’s Outer Tower. Jarvan IV stood completely out in the open in the middle of the lane. Lightless’ Lee Sin punched the air, sending a discordant wave of sound flying forward! It connected with Jarvan IV, revealing him. Lee Sin activated the second part of the skill, Resonating Strike! He dashed at Jarvan IV, giving him a quick kick, and then slammed his palms down onto the ground! Cripple! A blast of foreign energy penetrated Jarvan IV through the soles of his feet and slowed his movement speed!
Jarvan IV panic-flashed. His health was down to the last few percentages and one more skill would kill him. But that also meant flashing in this situation was the wrong decision. Both Lissandra and Lee Sin still had their flashes up and could chase him whenever they wanted to. But they didn’t need to. Lin Feng’s Lissandra ran after Jarvan IV and quickly got in range to cast an Ice Shard. Still hampered by the slow, there was nothing Jarvan IV could do as the chunk of solid ice slammed against his armour and sheared away the last of his health.
「fckkkkkkkkkkk that was a nice turn around」|
「holy shit, r we sure those two aren’t duoing? That was so liit!」
「that was so sick! SO SICK! SUPER SICK!」
「Those Koreans got baited HAAARRRRDDDDH HAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHH」
FatMelon clapped his hands and shouted, “That was great! PERFECT! HA! We found ourselves a new great Chinese player on the Korean server! Did you guys see the Lissandra root to let Lightless Q in!? It felt like they were on voice chat! Maybe they’re duo queuing! What do you guys think? And! And! Jarvan IV Flashed away! Hahaha! He flashed! He flashed! Liss and J4 didn’t flash! He did! They didn’t!”
Lightless’ reaction was almost similar to that of FatMelon and his viewers. He hadn’t expected much from CN•HOOK2. All he noticed at first was the Lissandra putting herself in a dangerous situation. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to realise that Jarvan IV was coming for a gank. But it was the way in which the gank played out that caught Lightless by surprise. Hum… That Lissandra never looked out of control. Like she’d planned that all along. Interesting… He chewed on his lips and finally mumbled, “Is he an old Lissandra main maybe?”
Lin Feng nodded and evaluated, “This Lee Sin is pretty half-decent! That was some super okay follow up there! Not bad! Not bad at all!”
Su Xue rolled her eyes and replied, “Duh… He’s a professional player! His team plays in the LPL! And he saved your ass! If he didn’t come to help you out, the Orianna wouldn’t have backed right away and you would’ve died!”
Lin Feng waved this accusation away and concluded, “Nobody cares about what might’ve happened! Only what happened matters! I got first blood! The rest is irrelevant! And from now… I’m good. I won’t need any more help.” He smirked. I’ll show everyone just how good I am. All one hundred thousand of them! This Orianna is just another player that isn’t Rake! I will beat her. I’m going to stomp her so hard that she’ll uninstall the game! And then I’ll carry the game!