Fuzhou Tech had given up on defending their outer towers and were even willing to give up on large parts of their Jungle. They recognized that Team Shanghai was stronger right now, but they also knew that they were stronger in the late game. All they really needed was time. And when their line of wards was set up and they had a good idea of where Team Shanghai was at all times, they started feeling some confidence again. The mood in their soundproof booth lifted and they were actively talking with each other, discussing their next move.
Fuzhou Tech’s Midlaner said over the team’s voice chat, “Turtle. Sit back. Scale. Grow strong. We got this!”
“I’m on it!” the ad-carry replied, scanning the map for minions to kill.
The Toplaner chimed in, “I’m fine giving up a couple of minions in the top lane here. If either of you need it to hit your powerspikes faster!”
“Don’t forget to ward,” the Jungler reminded the team. “We need to keep an eye on that Fiddlesticks. If he gets an ult on us, it’s all over.”
“What about the second Dragon?” the Support asked. “Are we challenging it?”
The Jungler shook his head and said, “Don’t worry about that. There’s still a few minutes before it spawns. We’ll decide when it’s about to spawn.”
The game approached 12 minutes. After losing their mid outer tower, Fuzhou Tech also lost their bot and top outer towers. But they ignored the announcer’s voice and instead focused on the parts of the map where they did still hold control. There were Jungle Camps to clear and minions to kill. Each kill on them brought Fuzhou Tech one step closer to their power spike. One step closer to turning the game around.
Fuzhou Tech’s Midlaner had his Fizz recall back to base and spent his gold. “Oh!” he said over the team’s voice chat. “I’m a lot closer to hitting my power spike than I thought. I’m almost there! I think I can take out the Ezreal in the next teamfight! Just a little more, guys! We got this!”
“Already?” Fuzhou Tech’s ad-carry asked. He looked at his creep score and items and added, “I need a bit more. Maybe six minutes. But we’ll have the advantage when we get to the late game!” He glanced at his teammates and smiled. Rek’Sai and Rumble are a strong frontline. Then we’ve got Fizz who can jump to their backline and kill the Ezreal. And their Zed can’t jump on me because Alistar is next to me to protect me! I’ll free fire and kill all of them! This is going to be our game! We’re going to win this! We have to win this! Keep vision on that Fiddlesticks and we got this!
Fuzhou Tech’s Midlaner and ad-carry were on the same wavelength. Both had their cameras panned on the Fiddlesticks. The Midlaner reminded everyone over the team’s voice chat, “We can’t let Fiddlesticks get an ult on us! Keep your guard up.” One Fiddlesticks ult and we’re out. We can’t go out now! Not to this team! We’re ready to make it to the main tournament!
The Support from Fuzhou Tech chuckled and said over the team’s voice chat, “What are you worrying about? Look at our vision! We know exactly what they’re doing! And what they’re doing is slowly pushing towers and stealing some Jungle Camps. Big fucking deal! The Fiddlesticks isn’t getting the jump on us and we’re slowly fighting our way back into this game! And when we’re back in, we’re also winning. It’s easy!”
“Right! We got this! They’re searching for an opening to engage but we aren’t giving it to them! This is going to be a win for us! We just need to keep playing,” the ad-carry agreed.
The players from Fuzhou Tech already saw themselves getting back into the game, while Rollfire was saying pretty much the same at the caster desk. The audience found themselves agreeing with him, quietly conversing with each other. No one understood why Team Shanghai went with Fiddlesticks in this game. They told each other it was obvious that Fiddlesticks wouldn’t get a good ultimate skill off, and they argued how it was possible for a team that showed so much skill in the previous game to fall flat on their faces in this game.
But An Xin and Zeng Rui were far more prepared than most people in the audience realised. An Xin had explained to Zeng Rui how they were going to get a good Fiddlesticks ultimate in a private message before the game even started. And now it was time to share that information with the rest of the team. An Xin smiled and said over the team’s voice chat, “You’re up, Lin Feng.”
“It’s my turn? Really?” Lin Feng asked, growing excited.
An Xin giggled and answered, “Yes. It’s your turn. Fuzhou Tech has let their guard down and we’ve taken everything they were willing to give away for free. Now it’s about time we shut down that Kog’Maw and end the game.”
Zeng Rui stared at his monitor. His Leona was standing on the fountain in their base. It’s all going to come down to him. BunBun told me to trust him. I know I have to trust him. I have to trust in the thundering dumbass. How did I get myself in this situation? He chewed on the inside of his cheeks and closed his eyes. Why is this so difficult for me to trust him? He opened his eyes again and said over the team’s voice chat, “Yes. You lead the charge. If you see the opening, go for it. We… we will follow up.”
Lin Feng’s eyes started shining. His entire face lit up with joy! He glanced at the minimap and exclaimed, “Alright! Follow me!”
At 13 minutes, Lin Feng’s Zed was sitting in the river brush right above the mid lane. Fuzhou Tech was slowly pushing further and further out from their base to kill minions and Lin Feng just knew someone was about to make a mistake. He panned his camera towards the Red topside Jungle. There were several Blue wards there, revealing the Raptor Camp. Where are they? They should be here already. Come on! HA! KNEW IT!
Fuzhou Tech’s Rumble was searching for minions or monsters to kill. His team had vision of their entire Jungle and they hadn’t seen anyone from Team Shanghai enter, so he felt safe enough to attack the Raptor Camp. But right as he engaged, four blood red shadows dashed at him from all around! They placed a Death Mark on him.
Lin Feng had used Zed’s ultimate skill on Rumble! Death Mark allowed Zed to dash at his target and mark them. He followed up with throwing a Razor Shuriken and Shadow Slashing with his bladed gauntlets! Then he Ignited Rumble, an unquenchable flame tearing through Rumble’s health bar!
“FUCK!” Fuzhou Tech’s Rumble exclaimed. He smashed down on his keyboard to activate Flash. His Rumble disappeared towards the Red Buff Camp. But in his panic, he forgot to look at his minimap. Fiddlesticks had walked through Fuzhou Tech’s Jungle and just arrived right where Rumble reappeared. An Xin’s Fiddlesticks targeted the Rumble with Terrify and then started sapping his life away with Drain!
Lin Feng’s Zed ran towards the Rumble that was walking aimlessly in terror! He auto attacked Rumble twice before the Death Mark triggered. A portion of all the damage Zed dealt to Rumble over the last three seconds was repeated, decimating Rumble’s health bar!
An Xin nodded and said over the team’s voice chat, “Not bad. Could’ve done without the killsteal.”
“What killsteal?” Lin Feng asked, confused. He narrowed his eyes and continued, “That was totally my kill! I got the pick and dealt the damage!”
Sun Ruinian watched the game on the large LCD screen above the soundproof booths. He chewed on his lips, listening to the audience cheering and the shoutcasters arguing with each other. Something has changed. That Zed. Something about the way he’s playing. It’s like he upped the tempo of the game by himself. How is he doing this? Was he just dicking around until now?
Zeng Rui and An Xin had told Lin Feng to stop thinking a few weeks ago. They explained to him that they would make the decisions and that he just had to follow them. Right now, An Xin had taken that restraint away from him. Lin Feng was allowed to think and he was allowed to play as he liked. The rest of the team would follow him. And that change brought Lin Feng to life. He searched around the map, his eyes blazing with excitement, and said over the team’s voice chat, “Outer towers are gone, so let’s take the inner towers! Mid first!”
Fuzhou Tech’s Kog’Maw and Alistar were defending the mid inner tower when they noticed Lin Feng’s Zed killing minions and pushing the lane. The Kog’Maw player smiled. Nice! Keep pushing those minions here! That’s more free farm for me! And I have Alistar with me, so you can try and ult me all you want, it won’t work! Alistar will just knock you up and then we’ll kill you! He had his Kog’Maw move forward a bit and last hit a minion. This is so perfect! I just need a little bi—
Lin Feng grinned and pressed down on his D and R keys. Zed disappeared from the map, crossing a large distance through the shadows, and only reappeared when four blood red shadows dashed at Kog’Maw and marked him with the Death Mark!
“ZED WENT IN!” Silent Reed cried out into her microphone, her voice blasting through the venue speakers.
Rollfire’s eyes went wide and he screamed, “IMPOSSIBLE! THAT’S SUICIDE!”
Lin Feng pressed down on the R key again. Zed had left behind a Living Shadow when dashing at Kog’Maw, and now jumped back to his original position. But Fuzhou Tech wasn’t about to let him go. In their eyes, he’d overextended far too deeply and his Flash was on cooldown. Alistar flashed forward and then targeted Zed with Headbutt to close the gap and Pulverize to knock him up into the air!
Fuzhou Tech’s Fizz appeared from the Red team’s base and activated his ultimate! Chum the Waters! He tossed a fish at Zed that stuck to its target, slowly swimming in circles around him while a portal to the ocean opened up beneath him! Fizz followed up with Urchin Strike! He dashed through his target and dealt a large amount of magic damage! A shark suddenly jumped through the portal knocking Zed up into the air again and taking a large bite out of his health bar!
“THEY’RE GOING TO KILL THE ZED!” Rollfire hollered into his microphone, responding to the gasps sounding out from the audience.
But Lin Feng didn’t worry. He knew exactly how much health his Zed had and what he and his team were capable of. This play was still completely within his control. He smiled and said over the team’s voice chat, “ZengZeng! Stun them!”
“I’M TRYING!” Zeng Rui yelled. YOU SHOULD’VE SAID SOMETHING! He gritted his teeth and slammed down on his D key. Flashing forward was the only way to close the gap. He knew I had to Flash. He fucking knew! Zeng Rui was looking between the Fizz and Kog’Maw, deciding which one to target with his ultimate. A split second decision, but Fizz made it easy. When he flashed, the Fizz panicked. He hopped away with Playful Trickster and jumped right on top of Kog’Maw. How…? Zeng Rui couldn’t believe his eyes. He activated Leona’s ultimate skill. Leona raised her sword and called down a Solar Flare! The blast slammed into Kog’Maw and Fizz and stunned them both!
“Just like I planned!” Lin Feng exclaimed, laughing. He waited for his Zed to fall back to the ground and then cast Living Shadow! A new shadow appeared in front of Zed and he quickly switched positions with it to arrive next to the Kog’Maw again! Then he threw a Razor Shuriken and slashed at him with Shadow Slash!
Fuzhou Tech’s Rek’Sai dug his way into the battle. He shouted over the team’s voice chat, “BACK! BACK! KOG! CAREFUL! KILL THE ZED!”
“FIDDLE! FIDDLE!” Fuzhou Tech’s Midlaner suddenly screamed.
All eyes were drawn towards the minimap. Not just the players from Fuzhou Tech saw the Fiddlesticks charging up his ultimate skill, the people in the audience noticed it too. As did Rollfire. His eyes went wide and he shouted into his microphone, “They lost sight of the Fiddlesticks! He’s ulting! The Fiddlesticks is going in!”
The Jungler from Fuzhou Tech panned his camera towards the top side Jungle. His heart slammed into his chest and his throat dried out. He hoarsely shouted, “THE FIDDLE IS ULTING! BACK! BACKBAAACK!”
Fiddlesticks was a scarecrow. He stood in the topside Jungle, right above where the fight was happening in the mid lane. There was only a wall of trees separating him from the fight. But his ultimate, Crowstorm, allowed him to jump that wall. He raised his arms and struck a T-pose.
It felt like time froze. Fuzhou Tech’s Fizz, Rek’Sai, Alistar and Kog’Maw were all gathered together. They wanted to run, to escape, to have saved their abilities and knock the Fiddlesticks away! But they’d used their abilities on Zed, and failed to kill him. Rek’Sai and Alistar had used his movement skill to enter the fight and Fizz had used it to escape from Leona but was still stunned by her. Kog’Maw was the only one with an escape. Flash. But even that wasn’t enough to escape the range of the Crowstorm.
The distant cries from a murder of crows arrived. Fiddlesticks jumped over the wall and opened the portal of black death and damnation! The crows appeared and flew around within Fiddlesticks’ sphere of control! He drained everything of their life while the crows dove down and attacked everything that was still living! Fuzhou Tech’s health bars disintegrated!
Kog’Maw’s Flash carried him to the edge of the Crowstorm. Several ticks slammed against his health, but he got out alive! The inner tower was right in front of him and he was almost safe! But then Ezreal’s Trueshot Barrage washed over him! The powerful barrage of energy sheared away at his health until there was almost nothing left! I GOT OUT! I GO— A Razor Shuriken struck him from behind.
《You have been slain!》
The Kog’Maw player stared at his grey screen, numb. He could see the fight that was still going on. Tang Bingyao’s Ezreal had jumped in and was firing bolts of energy, helping the Fiddlesticks who was already dealing massive amounts of damage with his ultimate skill. And then there was Leona running interference and Zed jumping around his shadows. “We lost. This… We… No. Please. NO!”
Fiddlesticks had cast Terrify on Alistar and then Drain! Even his defensive ultimate skill couldn’t save him! His health bar dropped and dropped and bottomed out! But not before Rek’Sai died. She never got to buy items with magic resist or a lot of health. She died within seconds to the murder of crows.
“THE FIDDLE GOT A DOUBLE KILL!”
“WOOOOOOO! HAHAHA! WHAT AN ULTIE!”
“GET EATEN BY CROWS! HAHA!”
“WOOT WOOT! BUNBUN IS THE BEST!”
“HOLY SWEET MALONY! CHRIST! WHAT A FIGHT!”
“I thought for sure Team Shanghai was fucked!”
“DAMN! THEY CRAZY GOOD!”
The fight was over. Fuzhou Tech had lost Alistar and Rek’Sai to Fiddlesticks’ ultimate and Lin Feng’s Zed had slain Kog’Maw. Fizz was the only survivor. He’d escaped the Crowstorm and was now running away through his bottom side Jungle. Zed was hot on his heels, and Lin Feng had the patience to wait for Fizz to make the mistake. And then Fizz cast Playful Trickster to hop over a Jungle Wall. Lin Feng grinned and mouthed, “Got you now.” There was a brief moment when Fizz landed where he couldn’t dodge. Lin Feng had his Zed cast a Living Shadow over the wall and followed up with Razor Shuriken! The Living Shadow imitated the skill and threw the shuriken exactly where Fizz landed.
The crowd erupted in a second round of cheers, with Silent Reed hyping them on and Rollfire sinking back in his chair. Sun Ruinian watched all of this, pure horror playing in his eyes. That Zed even shut up Dickfire… What the fuck was that? How did he— What happened? He went from a decent Zed to— How did Team Shanghai play that fight that well? Everything just worked perfectly together! They couldn’t have done that any better if they’d tried it a thousand times! And they basically ended any hope Fuzhou Tech had to turn this game around! It’s over. It’s really over. Team Shanghai is moving on to the next round. All they gotta do is play this one out! We still have to win our games, but then, then we have to play against them. We have to play against that Zed. How?
Shanks Defends his Bland Tastebuds!
You guys really didn’t like Dickfire, huh? Now imagine how bad it would’ve been if you guys had to read all 6-7 chapters about him! Yep. If we hadn’t merged these chapters, it would’ve been an entire week of Dickfire being a terrible caster. And this was another merged chapter! We took the RAWs for 319 and 320 to create this beauty!
Shanks Thought: I’ve recently gained a reputation on the Rise Discord for having terrible tastes. That’s not true at all! Also totally an unfair judgement! My tastes are perfectly fine! Like, seriously. Between the three of us, Sietse, Devshard, and me, I definitely have the most open palate! Sietse is Dutch. He’s automatically disqualified for having good taste in food. We’ve discussed the topic religiously before, but I really have to emphasize that you could not find a man with more awful tastes. Like, he’d be the one in a billion food critics that actually likes Jamie Oliver’s food! You could serve him a plate of soggy rice that’s been drained through a mesh strainer, and he’d tell you it’s perfectly cooked and eat it happily. Would you really trust that kind of man to recommend good food to you?
As for Devshard, don’t get me started on Devshard.. You know the rich, out-of-touch billionaires on social media, who try so hard to pretend they’re the same as you and I? And you might fall for it for the briefest of moments, but then they go on and expose themselves by casually bringing up all the things no normal person could ever afford or experience? That’s Devshard! One moment he talks about how he only subsists on cheesy bites, hot pockets, and PB&J sandwiches. The next he casually drops that the 3-Star Michelin restaurant in his neighbourhood has a really good Avocado Caprese Salad sprinkled with gold dust and truffle shavings. You ask him for restaurant recommendations in his city, expecting to get some good but moderately priced eats. Instead, he points you to a hipster-looking cafe tucked away in some dingy back alley, where the appetizers start at $100 and their craft beers at $30. Not to mention, the portions are barely enough to fill a small teacup!
Don’t fall for Devshard’s facade! HE’S A BOUGIE BASTARD IN DISGUISE! He portrays himself as the every-man, but he’s really the out-of-touch billionaire! Also, he doesn’t even eat meat! That’s a whole major food group he’s actively avoiding! We’re meant to eat from all FIVE major Food Groups, not FOUR! That’s what we were taught in health class! I can already imagine middle school gym teachers across North America shaking their heads in disappointment. Can you really put your faith in a man that’d even disappoint Coach Miyagi? I wouldn’t.
Then, there is moi, the humble Shanks. I have simple tastes. I like good food. That’s really it. I don’t care if it’s expensive, cheap, or moderately priced. Heck, if I like it enough, I’ll try recreating it at home. I also have a pretty open mind. I’ll give almost everything a try at least once before passing on judgement. I’ll even give it a second shot to confirm the first wasn’t an exception. I have good tastes! And I can prove it to you all! Send me food, and I’ll try it out live on stream! Heck, we might even do a live cooking stream in the kitchen if it’s a recipe! Then, I’ll tell you if it’s good or not, and you can all agree or disagree with me!