Zeng Rui glanced at his minimap and said over Team Shanghai’s voice chat, “They went top. No possible ganks bot. This is our chance.”
Tang Bingyao nodded and replied, “Mhm! Okay!” She glanced at her experience bar and smiled. I need to stop worrying so much and just play! Mhm! That’s what I’m gonna do! I’m going to play! Be the person Lin Feng first saw in the NetCow Cafe! She said, “Zeng Rui, I’m one minion from 6. Can you get that one?” She then pinged on the Red melee minion next to Zeng Rui’s Leona before focusing her attention on Zhejiang University’s Botlaners.
Zhejiang’s Janna noticed a sudden change in Vayne’s movement pattern. She isn’t going for the minion. She’s running straight at Sun Ruinian! Janna moved her wand to call forth a Howling Gale! The winds started gathering in front of her, slowly gaining in power! I’ll knock her right back! The Howling Gale blew forward and carved a path through the Rift!
Tang Bingyao expected the Howling Gale. The whole reason she was pushing before hitting Level 6 was to make Janna use it prematurely. Nice! She glanced at Zeng Rui’s Leona, who was smiting the melee minion with the help from a Support item. The item sucked away the experience and then shared it between Zeng Rui’s Leona and Tang Bingyao’s Vayne. A blinding radiance erupted from Vayne! Level 6! Tang Bingyao learned her ultimate skill and activated it! Final Hour! She then had her Vayne Tumble to the side, dodging the Howling Gale and disappearing into the shadows!
Vayne ran towards Sun Ruinian’s Jinx and then raised her crossbow to fire an empowered silver bolt! The arrow shot from the string, after which Vayne would lower her crossbow. It was the final part of the auto attack animation. But Tang Bingyao canceled it by clicking on her mouse button! Vayne’s arm jumped to its normal position faster than it normally would and then she raised it again for a second auto attack!
Sun Ruinian narrowed his eyes and grimaced. She’s stronger than me right now because of that kill on Janna earlier. I can’t fight this. I need to… RUN! He pushed down on the E key and activated Flame Chompers! His Jinx raised her bazooka and fired three grenades! They landed on the ground in front of her and started cackling, searching for a victim! Jinx then turned around and ran away towards her outer tower!
Tang Bingyao smiled and pressed the D key. Knew you’d do that. You always do! A mottled flash of light carried her Jinx past the Flame Chompers before placing her back onto the Rift. She then arced around Jinx and found the angle for Condemn! Vayne raised the large crossbow from her back and squeezed the trigger! A large, heavy bolt flew out and pinned Jinx to the wall behind her! The third silver ring appeared beneath her feet, setting off an explosion of true damage!
“Nice flash!” Zeng Rui exclaimed in a rare show of emotion. He glanced at his experience bar. Almost 6. One more… He saw a melee minion that was about to die and slashed at it with his sword! Perfect! We got this! He cast Flash and had his Leona followed after Tang Bingyao’s Vayne!
“Good job, ZengZeng! Keep going!” Lin Feng exclaimed over the team’s voice chat.
Zeng Rui narrowed his eyes and replied, “I know.” He then activated Zenith Blade. His Leona projected a solar image of her sword that pierced through the air, shooting straight at Jinx!
FuckFuckFUCK! I’m dead! Sun Ruinian was biting on his lips, waiting for the stun from Condemn to wear off. He saw the Zenith Blade flying towards him. I CAN’T GET HIT! FLASH! There was a miniscule gap between the moment that the stun wore off and the Zenith Blade would hit his Jinx. He managed to find it. The light carried Jinx away a small distance. Sun Ruinian shook his head and sighed loudly. I got—
I got this! Perfect! Zeng Rui never even considered the possibility of Zenith Blade hitting. It was a distraction tactic. His Leona already raised her sword to the high heavens and called down a Solar Flare! A blaze from the sun slammed down on Summoner’s Rift! It smacked Jinx to the ground and stunned her!
Tang Bingyao wanted to kill Sun Ruinian’s Jinx before the stun from Solar Flare wore off, but Zhejiang’s Janna ran interference by casting Exhaust! A debilitating energy wrapped around Vayne and hampered all her stats! Tang Bingyao bit on her lips and focused her full attention on Jinx. Not letting you go! I won’t! She kept firing auto attacks, until the third silver ring appeared beneath Jinx and set off an explosion of true damage! But Janna had designated Vayne as the Eye of the Storm! A gale blew to life around Vayne and protected her from the damage!
Zeng Rui watched the stun about to wear off and grimaced. I’ll have to step into tower range… I will. He said over the team’s voice chat, “Push! We’re killing her!” He then had his Leona charge at Sun Ruinian’s Vayne! The Red team’s outer tower targeted Zeng Rui’s Leona and fired an energy shot! He ignored the damage while casting Ignite on Jinx! The unquenchable flames burned away on Jinx’s skin! He followed up with Shield of Daybreak and stunned her right as the stun from Solar Flare wore off!
Tang Bingyao’s Vayne broke free from the Exhaust! Jinx’s health was down to the last few percentages and there were two silver rings floating around her. Tang Bingyao smiled and pushed down on the Q key–Tumble! Her Vayne made a somersault towards Sun Ruinian’s Jinx and fired an empowered auto attack! A third silver ring wrapped around Jinx! It set off a chain reaction in which all three silver rings exploded and dealt massive true damage!
《You have slain an enemy!》
Tang Bingyao smiled brightly and leaned back in her gaming chair. I did it! I act—
“DON’T STOP! JANNA IS ALIVE! GOGOGO!” Lin Feng cried out.
“Huh?” Tang Bingyao mumbled, confused. “But she’s under the to—”
“Go! That dum–” Zeng Rui stopped himself and took a deep breath before continuing, “Lin Feng is here.”
Lin Feng’s LeBlanc appeared from Red Team’s bottom side Jungle! She dashed at Janna with Distortion! As the splash damage tore through Janna’s health bar, a Sigil of Malice took shape above her head and two Ethereal Chains wrapped around her body! The chains set off the sigil, dealing a ton of damage! Janna’s health evaporated and she was rooted to the ground! One auto attack would finish her off!
Tang Bingyao’s eyes went wide as she saw Lin Feng’s LeBlanc jump in and then jump back out again. Zhejiang’s Janna was rooted and had only 50 health remaining. He’s giving me… She nodded and said over the team’s voice chat, “Mhm! Thanks!” She then had her Vayne run forward and fire an auto attack.
Zhejiang University’s Janna stared at his grey screen. He finally mumbled, “What the hell…?”
Sun Ruinian just shook his head, his eyes wide in shock. What the hell was that? How did that LeBlanc just appear? How did they just happen to both hit Level 6 at just the right time? How… Since when are they this good? It’s like we’re playing against a different team! This is… This is shit!
Up on the caster desk, Rollfire had spent the seconds before the fight in bot lane lauding Zhejiang University for their gank in the top lane. Now, he fell into a silent daze and let Silent Reed take over. She clutched the microphone tightly in her fist and moved it to her mouth. She shouted, “A tower for a tower! And a kill for TWO KILLS! Team Shanghai fights back! They’re taking the Tower in bot lane and now have the clear advantage there!”
Up in the stands, Yan Fang adjusted his glasses and said, “That caster is right. We’ve got the advantage in bot. Tang Tang is doing great this game! Her Vayne is going to become a real monster!”
Ouyang clenched his fists and shouted, “Hell yeah! I knew the second brophina was great! Didn’t I always tell you guys how good Tang Tang is? All the way back when we had to play Senior Class 8, I said she was the best! But you guys didn’t believe me then! Believe me now? Ha! She’s doing super great!”
Liu Yue laughed and cheered, “Tang Tang is amazing! WOOT WOOT!”
Shi Hang closed his eyes and breathed in deeply. Sun Ruinian, I needed you to… He shook his head. Can’t blame this on you. It’s not your fault that we’re playing against Maple. It’s not your fault that he… He breathed out loudly. It’s not your fault that he can lift the level of his entire team up. I didn’t think he could do it to this extent after the first two games. But this is exactly the strength of Maple. And then he shows up in bot to secure the second kill and the tower. It’s, it’s… He breathed in deeply and let it all out again. He then opened his eyes and chuckled. It’s going to be real fucking hard, but I’m not giving up!
“Yo, guys,” Shi Hang said over the team’s voice chat. He waited for a brief moment and then continued, “We’re a bit behind. Top is good, so let’s focus on that. We need to play it safe everywhere else. Just farm it up. Bot lane needs a freeze near their inner tower. And we all need to help Mao ward his Jungle. Keep your eyes on LeBlanc and Rengar at all times! Don’t lose them! We’re gonna play the long game!”
This was the first game in which Zhejiang University, both with and without Shi Hang, was pushed back all tournament. But they’d played plenty of training matches in this exact scenario. They retreated from the various lanes in practiced motion and slowly built up their line of wards. That wall of vision was also a divide they didn’t cross.
In the top lane, Irelia clung to her tower. If the minion wave pushed past it, she left the lane and farmed the monster camps in the top side Jungle.
In the mid lane, Shi Hang’s Orianna farmed the minions near her outer tower. And when the Red minions pushed out into the lane, he left his lane to farm monster camps in the Jungle.
In the bot lane, Sun Ruinian’s Jinx froze the minion wave right outside his inner tower. His Janna Support was hovering nearby, but she concerned herself with keeping vision on the entire bottom half of the map. She was losing experience doing this, but that was an acceptable loss because it meant more experience for Sun Ruinian’s Jinx. And the faster he hit Level 18, the better.
Rollfire leaned back in his chair at the caster desk. He put the microphone on his chest and said, “That’s Zhejiang University for you! They’re showing some real quality here! Their team is great in the late game, so they’re forcing the game to get there. They’ve killed all action and are just farming now. It doesn’t even matter if they lose a Dragon, or two! This game is all theirs when they get their Champions to Level 18!” He glanced at Silent Reed, who was leaning forward in her seat watching the game, and grinned. Stupid bitch, show me what you got! Tell me how Team Shanghai is gonna win this one! They’re “oh so good!” right? Right, they’re not! He stretched his head before continuing, “That brings me to Team Shanghai. Eh, there isn’t much to say about them. They’re ahead and doing good! Thumbs up to them! But… But they’ve got a Rengar Jungler. You guys ever seen a Rengar be relevant in the ultra late game? I haven’t. She’s gonna fall off hard.”
Dickfire is at it again! What a shocker! Silent Reed rolled her eyes, annoyed. She then grabbed her microphone and said, “Say what you will, but that Rengar is fed. She just needs to find an opening. Maybe two. And then it’s game over for Zhejiang University.”
At 12 minutes, An Xin checked the minimap. I’ve been keeping track of the wards… It should… She narrowed her eyes and had her Rengar slip into Red Team’s bottom side Jungle. Ward here and there. If I wait here for a few more seconds… She went through her mental notes, remembering exactly where she saw the wards go down. Got it. They won’t see it coming. That Jinx is still farming. An Xin giggled. Her Rengar had arrived at the jungle wall separating the bot lane from the Jungle.
Thrill of the Hunt! An Xin’s Rengar disappeared, stalking its prey from the shadows! The eyes of the predator flashed to life above Jinx’s head! Rengar leaped over the Jungle wall at her! She followed up with Savagery! The five ferocity stacks empowered the attack as Rengar cut into Jinx with his sharp blade! He then let out a Battle Roar and threw a Bola! The cooldown on Savagery had already reset. She cut down again, the massive damage tearing away Jinx’s health!
Sun Ruinian sunk back into his chair, his screen having turned a dull grey. What the… What was that? He shook his head and looked at the damage table. That Empowered Savagery did more than 60% of my health as damage! What the fuck!? How did Rengar get this… He bit on his lips and shook his head again. This good… She tricked us. This is a different player. The first two games… We need to adapt. He took a deep breath and turned to look at his teammates. He waited for a bit, but then said over the team’s voice chat, “Sorry, guys. I don’t know…”
“Not your fault,” Shi Hang interrupted. He looked at his teammates one by one and continued, “They’re good. That LeBlanc? Insane. That Rengar in this game? Also really good. We need to focus and play our damndest! We can’t give them anymore.”
Across the stage in Team Shanghai’s soundproof booth, An Xin raised her head to look past her monitor at the crowd behind. She could see them jumping up and down, and smiled. This is what he loves. And I’m here, playing with him! I can still do it! I’m playing with him and helping him! This is what I want! The smile disappeared from her face and was replaced by a frown. I wish this series would never end.