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There is no Right or Wrong Way, Just Two Phenomenal Players

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“WOOOOOOOOO! TEAM SHANGHAI!”
“RENGAR CARRY!”
“WOOT WOOT! BUNBUN BEST JUNGLER CHINA!”
“JINX GOT OBLITERATED!”

There were eight teams still competing in the East China Regionals. Two of them were up on stage, and the other six were watching the games from the player seating area at the front of the venue. All six of them were rooting for Team Shanghai, just because they didn’t want to have to play against Zhejiang University and their former professional player in the next rounds. So when they saw Rengar perfectly time the wards in Zhejiang University’s Jungle and evade all of them, they shot to their feet and cheered in support of Team Shanghai!

One player said, “Holy crap! The way that Rengar dodged the wards and then instagibbed Sun Ruinian? That was intense as fuck! She moved around so perfectly! It’s like she’s playing in spectator mode or something!”

“Lawl,” another player replied. He scratched the back of his head and continued, “That Rengar is good. But she’s also fed. That was such a typical Rengar ult. Still, very slick! And they’re beating AyDeeCee’s team, so that’s always good.”

“Lethal woman!” someone chimed in, laughing. He shook his head and said, “She’s been playing great all game. I really wonder what they fed those kids during the break. Sure as hell seems to be working out for them. Wonder if they can keep this up…”

A Fudan University player said, “They better! I want to see them obliterate Zhejiang University! Screw Zhejiang for having a former pro play for them! It’s stupid!”

At 13 minutes, the second Dragon spawned. Team Shanghai started moving towards it, with Zeng Rui commanding their exact approach. He had them place wards and move as a group. But Zhejiang University wasn’t there to contest the placement of wards. Zeng Rui still had the team move around carefully, expecting Zhejiang University to try and make a move. Then the Dragon spawned and there was still no sign of Zhejiang University’s team, so he made the call to attack the Dragon. It was right then that Zhejiang University appeared on the minimap, attacking the mid outer tower.

Lin Feng looked at the outer tower going down and complained over the team’s voice chat, “We should stop them. They’re taking my tower! Who wants to help me!?”

“Leave it,” Zeng Rui replied. He shrugged and continued, “Just let them take it. We get the big objective, they get a smaller one… It’s clear they’re just trying to drag this game out. And I say, let them. We’ll keep them company.”

An Xin giggled and said, “Right. My Rengar isn’t the best late game Champion. But we’ve got Dr. Mundo and Vayne. Those are two of the strongest late game Champions in the entire game! Zhejiang has got something coming for them if they think that we’re scared of going late against them!” She briefly paused before concluding, “The only way we’re losing this now or in the late game is if we make some seriously big errors.”

Across the stage in Zhejiang University’s soundproof booth, Sun Ruinian came to the same conclusion. He said over the team’s voice chat, “We can’t actually keep dragging this out forever. We’ll end up losing if we do.”

No one said anything. Sun Ruinian turned his head to look at his teammates. I can buy some defensive items to stop the Rengar from killing me, but then I don’t have the damage to kill Dr. Mundo. And if I get the damage to kill Mundo… It’s a stupid situation where nothing works! I guess they know… He finally turned his attention to Shi Hang and continued, “You know it. We all do. We can’t keep dragging this out. We need to find something.”

Shi Hang took a deep breath and nodded. He replied, “Yeah, you’re right. We do. I was hoping to find them slipping up. In the late game, it doesn’t take much to turn a game around. If their top or adc screws up, we gut them…” He paused and looked at his teammates. But then there’s Maple. He won’t screw up. He sighed and agreed, “Yeah, we need to find a good fight soon.”

Chu Fang was watching the Team Shanghai versus Zhejiang University best of five series in a private room backstage. There were several large monitors in front of him, giving him a perfect view of everything going on. And right now he looked at one monitor in particular that showed LeBlanc and Orianna on opposing ends of the mid lane. Maple and AyDeeCee… Fucking legends! He grinned. This is what people want to see! We’re going to make bank if we get both of them back into the professional scene!

Team Shanghai… A chill went up Chu Fang’s spine when he turned his focus towards the five of them. I thought I screwed up there for a second, that I pushed him too hard… But I didn’t! Ha! I was right! I didn’t push him too hard! I knew he could do it! And he is! This is the reaction I wanted to see from Maple! He’s on his signature Champion destroying the mid lane and lifting his entire team up a couple of levels! He looked at An Xin’s Rengar and at Zeng Rui’s Leona. Two great players who are finally showing how good they are in this series! This is exactly the response I wanted to see from them! He finally turned his focus to Zhang Hao’s Dr. Mundo and Tang Bingyao’s Vayne. And then there’s those two. The two weak links, who are anything but weak this game! They really stand a chance to win when they play like this!

Chu Fang breathed in deeply, letting the air flow into his lungs, and closed his eyes. But just being good won’t be enough to beat AyDeeCee. Lin Feng knows. I wonder if he told the others… He turned his attention back to the two Champions in the mid lane. The oppressive LeBlanc versus the controlling Orianna. Even the Champions match their approaches to the game. Lin Feng will push and make life impossibly hard for Zhejiang University, but then there’s Shi Hang… AyDeeCee…

Chu Fang looked down at his feet and shook his head lightly. Shi Hang was never a lane specialist. His goal early on was to not fall behind. And then, when the play got into the mid game or even later phases, he started to come alive. Like a steam engine! He has this crazy ability to find small gaps in the opponent’s game and wedge them open into full blown errors! He even did that against professional teams! He turned his attention back towards Zhang Hao and Tang Bingyao. Team Shanghai has those two. All it takes is one small mistake from either of them…

Zhejiang University has a strong front line, good controlling Champions, high damage… They’ve got everything that makes a great team! Chu Fang shook his head and chuckled. This game is Team Shanghai’s to lose. But they shouldn’t think they’re there yet. Shi Hang knows exactly what he needs to do to turn this around, and knowing him, he’s just patiently waiting for the opportunity to present itself! All he needs is one 3,000 elo Orianna ultie and Zhejiang University wins the game. And the series.

Silent Reed grabbed her microphone from its stand on the caster desk and moved it in front of her mouth. She waited for a lull in the audience and then said, “We’re almost 19 minutes into the third game between Team Shanghai and Zhejiang University! The third Dragon is a couple of seconds from spawning. My spidey senses are telling me this is going to be it for Zhejiang University! They’re either going to find their way back into the game through a teamfight at the Dragon pit, or they’re going to lose this game!”

Rollfire nodded and added, “That sounds about right. Zhejiang University really needs to find the engage here, because there is only so much they can allow Team Shanghai to take. A third Dragon, that just might be too much. Best if they take this fight. Yeah, best if they do.”

“Exactly!” Silent Reed replied, smiling. “And we can already see the teams starting to move in the direction of the Dragon pit! Wards are going to start popping up everywhere soon!”

“And then we’ll see a great teamfight!” Rollfire concluded. He stared at the large LCD screen through narrowed eyes. I’ve been wrong too damn much. Every time I say something in support of Team Stupid’s opponents, they lose. Maybe it’s the caster curse. I’m going to become the second Prophet Stone! Hehe. That’ll land me my firstrate credentials! He leaned in towards his microphone and said, “Maybe Team Shanghai will win this one.”

Back in the game, Team Shanghai was hovering around the Dragon pit. Tang Bingyao’s Vayne walked along the wall of trees and boulders. Just on the other side was Red Team’s Jungle. There were two openings into the river. Her Vayne ran between them, going just far enough to cast some vision inside. And it was when she ran into the opening leading towards the Blue Buff Camp that she bumped into Zhejiang University’s Janna.

Tang Bingyao’s eyes went open wide in shock. She expected the entire team from Zhejiang University to be there, but she realised a brief moment later that she could only see Janna. A pick! This Mhm! She clicked on the Janna and started chasing after her!

Zeng Rui noticed Tang Bingyao’s Vayne running into Zhejiang’s Jungle on his minimap. He looked around the map and then shouted over the team’s voice chat, “Keep going! I’m right behind you!” He then had his Leona chase after Tang Bingyao’s Vayne.

Zhejiang University’s Support clicked on his mouse, frantic. He searched around, looked at where his teammates were. FUCK! FUCK! He slammed down on his Q key! A Howling Gale blew to life and carved a path through Red team’s Jungle!

Tang Bingyao smiled when she saw the Howling Gale. Always the same direction! She had her Vayne Tumble to the side and evaded the Howling Gale! Vayne’s passive skill kicked in. She was moving towards an enemy Champion and received bonus movement speed for that! It only took a few steps before she fired an empowered silver bolt at Janna!

Zeng Rui’s Leona was right behind Tang Bingyao’s Vayne. When the Howling Gale came at him, he couldn’t dodge it since Leona didn’t have a movement skill. So he flashed through it! His Leona reappeared on the other side and then projected a solar image of her sword that pierced through Janna–Zenith Blade! She dashed at Janna and followed up with Shield of Daybreak! She slammed her shield into Janna and stunned her!

“I’m smelling a kill!” Lin Feng shouted over the team’s voice chat. No one had noticed that he’d slipped into Red team’s Jungle through the other entrance. There was only the wall around the Blue Buff Camp separating him from Zhejiang University’s Janna. “DISTORTION!”  His LeBlanc jumped over the wall and landed right in front of Janna! An eruption of magical energy swept out around her!

“Oh shit! Oh shit! OH SHIT!”
“Team Shanghai bringing this game home!”
“What a dumb mistake by Janna! Really…”
“If Janna didn’t get caught there… That’s game. GG!”
“G-fucking-g! Boring as fuck ending! Man, I really wanted to see Rengar do some more cool shit!”
“We barely even saw the LeBlanc! Come on! Drag it out Team Shanghai! Don’t finish it here!”

Most people in the audience were cheering for Team Shanghai or upset that the game looked decided by this pick. But there was one group who were still full of hope. They were the esports club members from Zhejiang University. Zuo Cheng stood in front of them. He pointed at the large LCD screen and shouted, “SEE CAP THERE? HE’LL TURN THIS RIGHT AROUND! GOOOOOOO CAP!”

“GOOOOOOO CAP!”
“AYDEECEE TAKE MY ENERGY!”
“WE’RE GONNA WIN THIS! 3,000-ELO ORI ULTIE INCOMING!”
“Zhejiang for the wiiiiin!”
“MAKE THEM EAT YOUR BALL, CAP!”

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Shanks gives Bedroom Eyes to a man in a kilt!

Shanks Thought: I’m running again! Not because I want to get healthy or anything! I mean I do! But the main motivator here is that I’m moving back to my sister’s place over the break, and I know for a fact that she’s going to kick my ass if I go back looking this fat. So, I’m trying to do what I can before then.

Anyway, since I started running again, I was tired of running the same lap over and over again around the campus. So I decided to shake things up a little and run around the neighbourhood. I don’t know why I didn’t do this earlier,but I’ve discovered some cool new things about the area I live in. Shops I didn’t know existed before, restaurants I might want to check out once the pandemic is over, etc.

Oh, and I also discovered that one place in town where all the crazy shit happens. Honestly, I thought that was only a North American thing. But I guess every country has their own flavour of it. And let me tell you, the Scottish flavour is wild. LIKE IT IS STILL CLEARLY SCOTTISH, but a weird alternate reality take of something I’d see back in Toronto.

Let me give you an example. One time I was running past the spot, and I saw a dude walking across the street in full blown drag. Not gonna lie, it caught me off guard. You see drag queens often enough in Toronto. But I did not expect to see one in Scotland. I don’t know why, cause drag queens aren’t a uniquely North American thing. Still, that normally wouldn’t be enough to phase me too much. EXCEPT FOR THE FACT THAT HE WAS IN A KILT!

The visual impact was too much for me, and my brain fried. A load of questions raced through my mind. Wait!? Isn’t a kilt for dudes!? Does that still count as drag? What!? I’m so confused… And I guess the surprise showed on my face, because then he turned to look at me and we locked eyes.  

Words can hardly describe the rollercoaster of emotions I felt at that moment. I was petrified that I was caught rudely staring, and then the horror at the realization that I was probably gawking. So I quickly turned my head away and continued running, pretending like nothing happened and praying to god he didn’t call me out. Thankfully, he didn’t.

I haven’t seen him again in the last few times I’ve run past the spot. But I probably will eventually. I just hope I didn’t offend him. Oh, and on the off chance that he might be reading this… I’M REALLY SORRY! I wasn’t gawking because you were in drag! I was gawking because you were wearing a kilt in drag!

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