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All By Myself, Don’t Wanna Be...

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It was the 10th minute of the game. Tang Bingyao’s Jinx was using her rocket launcher to bomb down minions from afar, and even then she was being incredibly careful not to get caught within Leona’s range. She stood under her tower in bot lane with Zeng Rui’s Nami next to her, who was healing her while also threatening Zhejiang University’s Botlaners with Aqua Prison. This was enough to keep Sun Ruinian’s Lucian and the Leona from tower diving, until Evelynn showed up.

Zhejiang University’s Leona flashed forward and cast her ultimate skill! A Solar Flare came down from the sky and slammed down on top of Zeng Rui’s Nami! It stunned her! But it missed Tang Bingyao’s Jinx. She’d Flashed away when she saw Leona’s Flash animation. And she didn’t look back. She ran straight for her inner tower and even there didn’t stop running.

An ally has been slain!

The game announcer’s voice echoed in Tang Bingyao’s head. She bit on her lips and panned her camera back towards the outer tower. Zeng Rui’s Nami lay dead next to it. Zhejiang University’s Botlaners and Jungler had killed him and were now attacking the outer tower. I can’t defend it! Mnh-mnh. But we can’t just give it away either! Where are… She panned her camera to look across the map. BunBun is in the top half of the Jungle and Zhang Hao doesn’t have much health. I can’t really bother Lin Feng either. He’s playing against a pro! A pro! I’m gonna have to… Her shoulders dropped and she breathed out loudly. I’m gonna have to give up on the tower and focus on farming. She looked back at the bot lane and watched Zhejiang University destroy the outer tower, after which they turned their attention to the Dragon.

The Blue Team has slain the Dragon!

Rollfire grabbed the microphone and placed it to his lips. He shouted, “Sun ‘Samsara’ Ruinian is doing it again! A perfect towerdive! A kill, a tower and the Dragon! Zhejiang University is killing it!”

“WOOOOOO!”
“Nice work, Samsara!”
“Show them who’s boss!”
“Zhejiang to the main tournament!”

Silent Reed looked at the audience and then at Rollfire. Gloating asshole! Why does he have to be right!? She grimaced but then leaned towards her microphone and said, “Zhejiang is playing this game really well! Team Shanghai’s bot lane is having a really hard time! And that’s only gonna get worse now that Zhejiang’s Botlaners have the first Dragon buff which gives them more attack damage and ability power!”

Team Shanghai spent the next six minutes of the game playing very defensively. Zhang Hao’s Darius hid underneath his tower and took a beating from Gnar. His tower’s health was dropping and it wouldn’t take much longer before it fell into ruin. But there wasn’t anything he could do to stop the Gnar. He wasn’t confident in winning the 1vs1 and there was always an invisible Evelynn who could be waiting for him to engage right next to Gnar. This threat also extended to the bot lane. When Team Shanghai didn’t have vision on Evelynn, she could be absolutely anywhere on the map!

An Xin glanced at her teammates in the soundproof booth before turning back to look at her monitor. She sighed. I’m playing Lee Sin and I’m having less of an impact than the Evelynn… I’m the worst Lee Sin. She shook her head and said over the team’s voice chat, “The Dragon is spawning soon. We need to do something before this game goes completely out of our control. Let’s try and fight for it.”

Zeng Rui nodded and replied, “We can’t back down from this!”

It was the 17th minute when the Dragon spawned. Team Shanghai returned to base to stack up on wards and spent the rest of their gold to increase the quality of their items. They then ran towards the Dragon pit through their bot side Jungle. Once they got in the river, Zeng Rui instructed where to place down wards. More importantly, he told them when to place the wards. He kept the team closely together and made sure that Zhejiang University couldn’t get the jump on them.

Zhejiang University was taking a similar approach. The game had moved into the teamfight phase and the first real teamfight could determine the rest of the game. No matter how far Team Shanghai was behind, one bad engagement from Zhejiang University could see them get right back in it. So Sun Ruinian took the lead in warding and firing skillshots at Team Shanghai, following the same approach as Zeng Rui.

“It’s gonna happen. It’s gonna happen any minute now!” Rollfire shouted into his microphone. He was sitting on the edge of his seat and leaning over the caster desk, staring at the screen. Win this, Zhejiang! Kick those little asses and beat the Shanghai Stupid Organization!

Silent Reed glanced at Rollfire and shook her head. He looks like some evil villain… She giggled and then said into her microphone, “Zhejiang has the better items, but I believe this fight can still go either way! Whoever gets the right engage is well on their way to winning this fight and then the game!”

The situation inside the game grew progressively tense with the second. It was two minutes since the Dragon had spawned. Both teams had placed every ward in their inventory and had cleared away as many wards from the other team as possible. Right now, they were facing off in the river. Zhejiang University was moving around above the Dragon pit and Team Shanghai pushed out from the Red team’s Jungle.

There was only one Champion on the Rift who could fire high damage skillshots from a distance, and that was Shi Hang’s Ezreal. Ezreal gathered energy at the tip of his hand and turned that into a damaging bolt! Mystic Shot! He fired in the general direction of Team Shanghai and hit Tang Bingyao’s Jinx! Or Zhang Hao’s Darius! Team Shanghai’s Champions were gathered so closely together that it was practically impossible for him to miss. He kept firing at them, making full use of the skills short cooldown period, and forced Zhang Hao’s Darius and Tang Bingyao’s Jinx to use their health potions.

Zeng Rui gritted his teeth and said over the team’s voice chat, “We can’t keep getting hit by those Mystic Shots! We’ll be forced to back before we even fight!”

Tang Bingyao nodded and replied, “Mhm, sorry. I’ll dodge better.”

Zhang Hao grimaced and said, “Yeah, sor—”

“WATCH OUT!” Lin Feng exclaimed. He spammed the red warning ping on the map and shouted, “LEONA!”

Zhejiang University’s Leona flashed forward. She then raised her sword up to the sky and called down a Solar Flare! The sun shot a pulse of fire down that slammed into the center of Team Shanghai’s team! Tang Bingyao’s Jinx and Zeng Rui’s Nami were caught at the center. They were both stunned! Zhang Hao’s Darius and An Xin’s Lee Sin were also caught in its range, but were far enough away to only get slowed.

“Fight!” Shi Hang commanded over Zhejiang University’s voice chat.

Zhejiang University’s Gnar had built up his rage meter. The small yordle suddenly grew several times in size and became a monster with sharp fangs! A mottled burst of light wrapped him up and carried him into the middle of Team Shanghai’s team! He jumped up on its hindlegs and then swept his claws over the ground, growling, “GNAR!” The immense force knocked everything back! Jinx, Nami and Lee Sin were hurled against the wall along the river! Stunned on impact!

“Kill them!” Shi Hang commanded over Zhejiang University’s voice chat. He then pressed down on the R key–Trueshot Barrage! His Ezreal jumped up in the air and drew a bow from pure energy! An arrow fell on the string and gathered a yellow, destructive energy around it. Ezreal let the string go. The low whistling sound of the arrows was followed by a powerful barrage of energy that swept over Jinx, Nami and Lee Sin!

Zhejiang University’s Evelynn ran straight towards the three stunned Champions from Team Shanghai and cast Agony’s Embrace! Shadow spikes erupted from the ground and pierced Jinx, Nami and Lee Sin! All the while, Sun Ruinian’s Lucian ran from the backline towards the action and even used Relentless Pursuit to close the gap.

Lin Feng’s eyes narrowed when he saw Lucian running forward. His fingers hovered over the keys he needed and he glanced at everything else that was happening in the game. This is all I can do. He took a deep, long breath, then pressed down on the Q key–Urchin Strike! Fizz dashed through Lucian and struck out with his Trident! A fish then spun around the trident. Chum the Waters! Fizz hurled the fish at Lucian! It started swimming around its target, a portal to the deep blue opening up beneath it!

“FIZZ IS GOING IN! HE’S GOING IN!” Silent Reed cried out from behind the caster’s desk.

“HOLY SHIT! Why isn’t he backing? BACK DUDE! BACK!”
“HE’S CRAZY! YOUR TEAM HAS LOST! BACK!”
“OMG! I can’t watch this! I CAN’T!”

A Champion has been slain!

Double kill!

“Fizz can engage all he wants. Zhejiang has already won this!” Rollfire shouted into his microphone. He grinned and added, “Look at that beautiful double kill from AyDeeCee! WOOOOOO!”

A Champion has been slain!

Team Shanghai’s Jinx and Nami were the first to die. An Xin’s Lee Sin followed shortly after. It was then that the portal to the deep blue opened completely. Megalodon smelled the bait and jumped out of the water! He slammed Sun Ruinian’s Lucian up into the air and bit into his health bar!

“Careful, Sun!” Zhejiang University’s Support exclaimed over the team’s voice chat. He hovered his mouse over Fizz and cast Zenith Blade! Leona cast a projection of her sword at Fizz!

Lin Feng narrowed his eyes. Playful. Fizz planted his trident into the ground and hopped onto the pole, temporarily becoming untargetable! Leona’s Zenith Blade shot past him! He then pushed off the pole and fell back towards the ground right on top of Lucian!

Sun Ruinian’s eyes were wide in shock. A cold shiver ran up and down his spine! He slammed down on his keyboard! FLASH! FLASH! A mottled flash of light wrapped Lucian up and carried him through space and time before spitting him back onto the rift a short distance away! Yes! He sighed loudly, relieved.

Lin Feng’s lips curled up. He pushed down on the D key. Didn’t Shi Hang warn you? Oh well. Fizz followed after Lucian and fell down right on top of him! The splash damage ripped through Lucian’s health bar! Fizz then struck out with an auto attack.

You have slain an enemy!

An ally has been slain!

Lin Feng furrowed his brow and glanced at the rest of the teamfight. They’re all dead. HaoBro also died. We lost. We’ve lost this teamfight! Dammit! We lost! I only got a single kill! He shook his head. NO! It’s not over! I’m still alive! I’m going to carry the shit out of this teamfight! He looked at the Champions from Zhejiang University and locked onto Evelynn. HaoBro at least did a number on her! I’ll get her first!

Across the stage in Zhejiang University’s soundproof booth, Sun Ruinian fell back in his chair. His screen had turned grey. I fucked up! Shit! I should’ve never flashed there! What if I’d flashed… What if… Shit! He panned his camera to look at the rest of the fight. At least we’ve won this one. Fuck! How did that Fizz Flash right on top of me there? How the fuck did he do that!?

“Kill that Fizz,” Shi Hang said over the team’s voice chat. His Ezreal gathered destructive energy with his glove before firing the Mystic Shot at Fizz! And the rest of his team followed his example. Leona, Evelynn and Gnar all unloaded their abilities onto Fizz!

Lin Feng watched all the attacks flashing on his monitor, about to slam into his Fizz and kill him! He waited for a brief moment. Then he activated the item Zhonya’s Hourglass! Golden grains of sand wrapped around Fizz and froze him in stasis! He became invulnerable and untargetable! Skills flashed through him, but nothing struck!

“Oh snap! Crazy timing on that Zhonya’s!”
“Is he gonna do it?”
“No way, right? Maybe?”
“His skills are still on cooldown though…”
“I don’t know… But he might…?”

A golden Fizz stood lonesome in the river. Four enemy Champions had gathered around him, waiting for the golden grains of sand to disperse. Lin Feng gazed at his screen, completely focused. Zhonya’s is wearing off. Eve is the best target. Urchin Strike is off cooldown. A couple more to get Playful/Trickster back. Seastone Trident and Ignite are there. I can kill her and then I need to somehow dodge… a lot.

Lin Feng chuckled and shook his head. He knew. The effects from Zhonya’s Hourglass wore off. Zhejiang University started firing skillshots at him again! But he still made the first move. Fizz dashed through Evelynn and struck out with his trident–Urchin Strike! He then activated Seastone Trident! A blue aura wrapped around the weapon, empowering it and adding a bleed effect to his auto attacks! He followed up with an auto attack and Ignite! The three sharp points from the trident pierced Evelynn and caused bleed damage, while the unquenchable flames from ignite started burning on her skin!

A massive boulder slammed into Fizz! It was Gnar’s Boulder Toss. That was followed quickly after by Ezreal’s Mystic Shot! The damaging bolt of energy slammed into him! Fizz managed to get another auto attack off on Evelynn before the Shield of Daybreak from Leona stunned him. Gnar’s claws sliced through his health bar, as did Leona’s sword! And Ezreal’s energy attacks shocked away what little health he had left.

You have been slain!

Blue team has scored an Ace!

Lin Feng watched his screen lose its vibrant colours. A dull grey replaced it. But he kept his eyes on the monitor. On Evelynn. Focused. The bleed effect from Seastone Trident claimed another hit on her health, followed by the continuous damage from Ignite. It’s enough. It’s fucking enough! It’s, not enough… He grimaced. The last tick from Ignite killed Evelynn, but he couldn’t find any happiness in the game announcer’s voice booming across Summoner’s Rift. We lost the teamfight. I wasn’t good enough to win it…

Double kill!

“WOOOOO! ZHEJIANG WITH THE ACE! ZHEJIANG WITH THE ACE!” Rollfire exclaimed into his microphone. His voice boomed through the venue and was responded to with an eruption of cheers! A symphonie of screams and shouts rocked the venue!

Silent Reed watched the LCD screen and bit her lips. Zhejiang University is so good! How are they so much better? Why couldn’t Team Shanghai be that good? She shook her head and grabbed the microphone. She then waited for the sound in the venue to die down a bit before saying, “Lin Feng fought really hard for that double kill! But in the end, it wasn’t enough. Zhejiang University has shown us how much more important teamwork is than individual skill! They claimed an ace on the back of a perfect engage! The way they work together so seamlessly, it’s hard to see anyone beating them!”

Team Shanghai still had some hope of turning the game around before the teamfight at 19 minutes. But after getting aced, that all changed. There was a heavy silence in their soundproof booth, only interrupted by Zeng Rui giving an order every now and then. But he knew just like the others that this game was over. We don’t have the team comp to turtle, our defensive Champions aren’t nearly strong enough to stop an engage from Zhejiang University, and there’s really nothing we can do to turn the tides here. The thundering… Lin Feng can’t even turn this around. He’s carrying us so hard, and we’re fucking up. Fuck! He shook his head and frowned. It’s an official tournament game. We can’t make it to surrender. But all I really want to do is move on to the next game. It’s still a Best of 5. If we can use the break to figure something out, then maybe…

Team Shanghai kept playing. Lin Feng picked up a couple more kills, somehow finding players from Zhejiang University out of position wherever he went. But his Fizz couldn’t 1vs5. The rest of his team was defending the base and were getting towerdove constantly. Inhibitor towers fell, followed shortly after by the inhibitors. Super minions spawned and marched down the lanes. And it was in the 27th minute eventually that Zhejiang forced the final push. They attacked Team Shanghai under their Nexus towers and scored another ace.

DEFEAT!

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King's Day

Sietse Thought: It’s King’s Day here in Holland. A national holiday that is usually a lot of fun! There are basically two parts to it. The night before and the day of. The day of is a day where you get together with friends, family and strangers alike on the streets. You drink away your hangover with more alcohol and buy shit you really wouldn’t ever buy sober from these little homeshops that everyone has put up. And there is also very delicious food. Tompoucen! Actually I had one the other day, because in this Corona time, celebrating a holiday isn’t really viable.

But it’s the night before that will always remain a sweet memory for me. They put up these stages in the city and artists come to perform. There are different genres at the different stages and you can just go to whichever you enjoy most. My friends and I liked to go from one to the next and just drink a ton of beer. I remember one year that my English teacher actually performed on one of these stages. And I’ve also seen the Black Eyed Peas perform there. That was really long ago.

Anyway, perhaps my best memory of that time was sometime deep in the night when we were in this strange little bar. There were only some 20 people. We’d locked the door because for whatever reason, we didn’t want more people to bother us. It still confuses me why the owners of the place were totally fine with it. But it was a place we went to more often and on this particular night, there were three stupidly gorgeous girls. The kind where you just stop and ask yourself if your eyes are lying. They were stunning. Now, two of them were there with their boyfriends (both older dudes, which didn’t strike 16 years old me as odd but now I’m thinking they might’ve been sugar daddies) and one was single.

Obviously, me and two other friends really wanted to get into her panties. Then there was a fourth friend. He was way too drunk to realise what the fuck was going on. He just heard us talk, slurred a little bit, and then went to find more booze. And suddenly he was chatting with those girls, leaning in to the single one and being a drunken mess. This was where, for one brief moment in time, shit made sense to me. In a moment of complete brilliance, I walked up and decided to join him and the girls.

The single girl was annoyed with my friend and started hugging me to get away from him. She was complaining about him and I just nodded along. Her friends’ sugar daddies came to interrupt us to ask if we wanted more drinks (they offered everyone in the bar, which again only seems to support my revelation that they really were sugar daddies). So we went outside for some peace and quiet. It obviously wasn’t quiet there since the whole city was partying, so we found another place where it was quiet.

I haven’t thought about that night in years, but when someone mentioned King’s Day the other day I thought of her. She was great fun. I wonder how she’s doing these days. Maybe she’s reading Rise! Who knows! So if by some strange twist of fate you’re reading this… Hi Bo!

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