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THIEF! TANG TANG IS A THIEF!

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Master Noob was a common nickname for Master Yi. Players all across the world called him this because of the low level of skill required to play him. He had no skillshots or any complicated abilities. All he had was a sword and abilities that increased the damage of his sword. The player merely had to right click on an opponent and face-slam the Q, E and R keys. And then when their Master Noob was in danger of dying, they could just heal his health right back up with the W skill Meditate.

Despite all of this, Master Yi was almost never played in high ranked games. There was a simple explanation for this. Crowd control. It was Master Yi’s Achilles’ heel. Once he got stunned by a Leona Solar Flare or rooted by Maokai’s Twisting Advance, there was nothing he could do. The opponent would decimate his health bar and kill him before he could ever attack them.

An Xin knew all of this before she locked in Master Yi. But she also knew that she had the awareness to not put herself in a situation where Master Yi’s weaknesses could be exploited. Better even, she had Lin Feng on her side. His Morgana’s Black Shield was the best failsafe in the game for Master Yi. She made full use of it as she slew Shi Hang’s Yasuo in the mid lane for first blood, and then to pick up a double kill in the bot lane. Her Master Yi was unstoppable right now.

At 7 minutes, An Xin’s Master Yi and Zeng Rui’s Braum ran up the river towards the mid lane. Shi Hang’s Yasuo spotted them well in advance. He’d been pushing the minion wave towards Red team’s outer tower and now started retreating. An Xin smiled when she saw this. You haven’t met my Yi yet! Wait… You have! She pushed down on the R key, activating Highlander! Master Yi suddenly moved with unparalleled agility! He used the bonus movement speed to race into the mid lane and then targeted Shi Hang’s Yasuo with Alpha Strike! He teleported towards Shi Hang’s Yasuo, slaying three minions on his way!

Shi Hang gritted his teeth. Shit! I should’ve seen this coming! I can’t push this far… He shook his head and placed his pinky finger over the Q key. Then he hesitated. What’s the point…? Black Shield stops all crowd control. And she’s picked up so many kills already… His screen turned red. 20% health. Ah great, Braum’s here too! I’ll just… Shit! He pushed down on the Q key to activate the third cast from Steel Tempest. The storm brewing at the tip of his blade was unleashed onto the Rift! A tornado carved a path straight through Master Yi and Braum! But only Braum was knocked up into the air. Master Yi’s sword flashed back and forth. Two more auto attacks. Shi Hang breathed out loudly. I’m dead.

You have been slain!

“Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?”
“HOLY SHIT! She’s wrecking AyDeeCee! She’s destroying him!”
“Former pro for a reason… Losing to a Yi, lawl.”
“This shit is crazy. Crazy! They’re walking all over Zhejiang University!”
“That Yi has some skill!”

Shi Hang let his head fall forward as his screen turned grey again. Seven minutes into the game and I already died twice… What is this game? I’m a former pro for fucks sake! I shouldn’t let myself get caught to these stupid tricks! Why do I keep letting myself get tempted into pushing the minion wave? Freeze it! All I need to do is freeze it near my tower! Well… He grinned and shook his head. That was before. That Yi has so many kills now, he can probably just jump on me under my tower. And with the damn Black Shield… Ah, fuck me!

Across the stage in Team Shanghai’s soundproof booth, Lin Feng complained over the team’s voice chat, “BunBun! You already got the first kill! Why did you have to take this one too? I wanted it!”

An Xin tilted her head and looked at Lin Feng. Her lips curved up into a smile that didn’t reach her eyes. She asked, “HMM? Did you say something? Want to repeat that?”

There were six other teams next to Zhejiang University and Team Shanghai who were still competing in the East Shanghai Regionals. They had all gathered in the player seating area at the front of the venue. The strongest team here was Fudan University. They’d made it all the way to the main tournament in the previous edition of the Collegiate Cup. And they were also the loudest opposition when Zhejiang University announced that they had added Shi Hang to their roster.

Qiu Yijie was Fudan University’s team captain. The first two games between Team Shanghai and Zhejiang University went as he’d expected. But that all changed in the third game, which was a victory for Team Shanghai. And right now, only seven minutes into Game 4, Team Shanghai was pulling ahead again. He narrowed his eyes and watched the replay of the last fight on the large LCD screen. This Yi-Morgana combo is really dirty. And clever. Dirty and clever. They’re making up for each others’ weaknesses. Maybe we can apply some version of this to our own game as well…

Fudan’s Support sighed and said, “This Master Yi is unstoppable… It’s like what those cringe people say. See god, kill god. Meet devil, slay devil…”

“Hot damn!” Fudan’s Jungler exclaimed. He turned his head to look at the Support and continued, “You’re super right! Zhejiang’s practically lost this game!” He nodded at Qiu Yijie and asked, “Right? What do you think?”

Qiu Yijie looked from his Jungler up to the large LCD screen and then nodded. He replied, “Pretty much. Zhejiang really got played. That Yi-Morgana combo is nasty. The Master Yi appears right when he needs to and he always has that Black Shield on him. Zhejiang can’t do anything, not even with AyDeeCee.”

Chu Fang relaxed back in his chair and closed his eyes, smiling. Lin Feng and BunBun have way better synergy than I expected! This is so good! They got everything working together just in time! It’s all worth it now! Having him play against Shi Hang really was a great decision by me! I just wonder… He opened one eye and glanced at one of the monitors on the table in front of him. It showed the feed from the camera’s aimed at the players’ faces. I wonder how Shi Hang is going to deal with it. He’s been looking a little annoyed.

In Zhejiang University’s soundproof booth, Shi Hang sat up straight and rolled his shoulders back. That stupid Yi… He narrowed his eyes and tapped on his mouse. Maple and Eleven formed a great duo. They had some of the best synergy I’ve ever seen! But this girl, she isn’t nearly as good as Eleven was, but her synergy with Maple… Fuck it’s good! Was it always this good? There were still a few more seconds until his Yasuo would respawn on the fountain. He glanced across the stage at Team Shanghai’s soundproof booth. At An Xin. Was she always this good? She was just the coach! Don’t tell me… Was their coach also a world class player? He chuckled and shook his head. No way. That’d be ridiculous.

An Xin’s Master Yi ran up and down the river, putting pressure on all three lanes. It didn’t take long for Team Shanghai to push their way through the first line of Zhejiang University’s defense. Outer towers started to fall and the game moved towards the middle stage. Both teams teamed up and began looking for opportunities to start a winning team fight!

At 16 minutes, the second Dragon spawned. Both teams gathered around it and started placing down wards, taking down enemy wards and firing skillshots at each other! But Team Shanghai had pulled far ahead in this fourth game. An Xin’s Master Yi in particular was incredibly fed. She glanced at Lin Feng and said over the team’s voice chat, “I’m just going in.”

“Me too!” Lin Feng replied. He cast Black Shield on An Xin’s Master Yi and then ran straight towards Zhejiang University’s front line. They were standing in front of the Dragon pit. I just have to… Lin Feng grinned. Skillshots were flying at his Morgana when she suddenly disappeared with a mottled flash of light. She reappeared in the center of Zhejiang University’s team. SOUL SHACKLES! Morgana unleashed the full force of her Celestial power as she unbinded her wings and hovered above the ground! Chains of dark pain shot out from her and latched onto the Zhejiang University Champions around her!

And then we’ve got Zhonya’s Hourglass! Lin Feng grinned as he activated the item. Golden grains of sand fell from the sky and stuck to Morgana, putting her in stasis. The soul shackles had slowed all five Champions from Zhejiang University!

“IT’S A 5-MAN ULTIMATE!” Silent Reed cried out into her microphone. She clutched the microphone tightly and shouted, “FIVE MAN ULTIMATE!”

“WIN FENG! WIN FENG!”

“WOOT WOOT! WIN FEEEEEENG!”

There were two ways to break Soul Shackles. The first was to kill Morgana, which was currently impossible. The second method was to break free from them by running far enough away. But the five Champions from Zhejiang University only had 3 seconds to get away before the slow turned into a stun. They focused completely on breaking the soul shackles by running away, and in doing so they also ran away from each other. The gap between the front and backline grew bigger. An Xin’s Master Yi used this to her full advantage. She targeted Kog’Maw with Alpha Strike and teleported towards him

The team fight erupted into chaos! Zeng Rui’s Braum activated Glacial Fissure! He grabbed his shield with both hands and raised it high above his head. Then he slammed it down onto the ground! A fissure broke open in the ground straight ahead! A freezing power broke free from underneath the earth’s crust and knocked all enemy Champions above it up into the air! All the while, Tang Bingyao’s Lucian had activated his ultimate skill–The Culling! He raised both weapons and aimed in the general direction of Zhejiang University’s team, after which he started squeezing the triggers again and again and again!

An Xin’s Master Yi slashed at Sun Ruinian’s Kog’Maw with an empowered auto attack! It drained nearly 20% of his health bar! The Highlander skill granted Master Yi bonus attack speed! Before Sun Ruinian’s Kog’Maw could react, a second auto attack brought him down to nearly half health! And then the secondary effect from Morgana’s Soul Shackles activated! Sun Ruinian’s Kog’Maw was stunned, powerless as An Xin’s Master Yi cut away the last of his health bar!

You have been slain!

“FUCK!” Sun Ruinian exclaimed as he threw his hands up in the air. His screen had turned a dull grey. He looked at the rest of the fight. Jarvan IV and Fiora got away from the Soul Shackles at least… Shit! That Morgana ultimate! She got all five of us and stunned three! We screwed this up so hard!

Back in the game, An Xin’s Master Yi turned his attention to Zhejiang’s Fiora. He auto attacked her with frightening speed, each next hit taking a large cut out of her health bar! A string of damage values floated up above Fiora’s head.

Double kill!

An Xin’s Master Yi had taken a couple of hits from Zhejiang’s Fiora while killing her. Zhejiang’s Jarvan IV now flag-tossed at her to finish the job! But she countered with Meditate! Master Yi started floating above the ground as a green aura blazed to life around him! His health recovered quickly while he took only a fraction of the damage he normally would!

Zhang Hao’s Darius finally arrived at the fight. He used Apprehend! Darius swept up Jarvan IV with his axe’s hook and pulled him back! He followed up with a Crippling Strike, cutting through Jarvan IV’s crucial artery! And he finally struck out with Decimate, winding up his axe and slashing out in a circle around him!

An Xin watched Jarvan IV’s health drop until there was only a little remaining. Time to pull a Lin Feng! She smiled and pressed on the Q key–Alpha Strike! Her Master Yi teleported to Jarvan IV, cutting through Yasuo and Alistar who were in her path, and slashed him open!

Triple kill!

Zhejiang University’s Alistar finally broke free from the Soul Shackles stun! He targeted Zhang Hao’s Darius with the Headbutt into Pulverize combo! He dashed at Darius and hit him with his horns! Then, before Zhang Hao’s Darius was knocked back, Alistar slammed his fists down on the ground and knocked Darius up into the air!

Shi Hang’s Yasuo blinked towards Zhang Hao’s Darius and suspended him in mid air–Last Breath! He then unleashed a flurry of strikes, each shearing away at Darius’ health bar, before raising his katana high above his head! The winds howled as he gathered all his power at the tip of his blade! And then he hacked down!

Zhang Hao’s Darius slammed into the ground and his health dropped to below 20%! The unquenchable flames from Ignite clung to his skin and blazed! Yasuo’s sharp sword cut through him again and Alistar slammed a fist down on his head!

You have been slain!

Zhang Hao stared at his screen and held his breath. Come on, guys! Finish it off! We got this! Come on, come on, come on! He tapped his fingers on the desk and leaned a bit closer to his monitor, ignoring the dull grey colours on his screen. We got this! Kill the stupid cow and that Yasuo! WE GOT THIS!

An Xin’s Master Yi, Lin Feng’s Morgana and Tang Bingyao’s Lucian all attacked the Alistar. They tore through his high health bar, and even his ultimate skill that reduced the damage he took wasn’t enough to stop the combined force of these three Champions! It was eventually An Xin’s Master Yi who claimed the kill with a final auto attack.

Quadra kill!

“PENTA! PENTA! GIVE US A PENTA!”
“GO YI! GOOOOOOOOO!”
“OMG! OMG! OMG! THIS IS IT! A PENTA!”
“THE HIGH SCHOOL KIDS GETTIN’ A PENTA!”
“WOOOOOOOO!”
“SIIIIIIIIIIIIIICK!”

An Xin’s Master Yi targeted Shi Hang’s Yasuo with Alpha Strike! He teleported and cut into Yasuo’s health bar and followed up with an auto attack! It did far more damage than Tang Bingyao expected it to. She’d planned to help An Xin take Yasuo down and then back away to let An Xin pick up the penta kill. But Master Yi’s combo was enough to bring Yasuo to an inch of his life. And that was right when a Piercing Light fired from Lucian’s guns.

Aced!

The audience stopped cheering. Their mouths fell open and they just stared at the large LCD screen. All of them had been hyped to witness the pentakill, something rarely seen in League of Legends. But right at the last moment when it looked all but secured, Tang Bingyao stole the pentakill away from right underneath An Xin’s nose!

Ouyang slapped his palm against his forehead and mumbled, “Why, Tang Tang…? Why would you do that? You stole BunBun’s penta!”

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Fake Sietse, Shanks, and Devshard

Sietse Thought: Since this chapter was about the filthy thief Tang Bingyao stealing our fair maiden An Xin’s pentakill, let’s play a game of ‘What would you do?’ The rules are simple really. What would you do when someone steals, or tries to steal something from you? Either IRL or in some game.

The year before Corona, I was out with my mom in a small town in France. There was no one around while we were in the city center, which was incredibly odd. We never did find out why. But at one point, a dude started trailing us. I noticed him twice behind us until he suddenly picked up in speed when we neared a corner. So like any wise individual I paused my step to let my mom walk in front of me. She had her purse strapped to her shoulder. So when she reached in front of me, I pushed to the left and forced the guy to swerve around us. Was he trying to steal my mom’s purse? No clue. But I like to think I stopped a robbery!

Now I was thinking, what would Shanks and Devs have done in this scenario? At the time of writing, Devs is at work in the hospital while Shanks is probably sleeping due to his whacky ass sleeping schedule. So I’ll write a first version for them, and then they can correct me later.

Fake Devshard: I’m from India. Any half decent robber knows I don’t have any money to spare. But alright, let’s pretend some dumbfuck is stupid enough to assume my mom is carrying some big purse with tons of cash hidden inside. Now, I’ve had a little experience with foiling a terrorist attack before, and I like to think I could bring the experiences from that highly intense moment into action here.

I will pull a pen from my pocket. I’m a Doctor, so I obviously carry a pen on my person at all times. And I will hold the pen in a reverse grip and then raise my arm. Then I’ll glance over my shoulder a couple of times to gauge the distance between myself and the robber-to-be. The goal here is to make the move before he does. Assert dominance! So right before I see him start his spiel, I jump around and raise my makeshift weapon at him. “Engarde mothafucka!”

And then I clap his ass!

Fake Shanks: … 

Interruption by Sietse: I was going to write something about how Shanks would offer the robber-to-be his mother’s purse and ask him if he could get him anything else while he was at it. But then I realised I was giving Shanks too much credit. The most likely scenario here is that he starts sweating and then just straight up passes out. His mom will lean over to see what’s going on, and the robber will run by and snatch her purse.

Yeah, the more I think about it, the more likely this development sounds.

Real Shanks: How do I always get roasted in these scenarios, even when I’m not there? I don’t understand it First off. Sietse is still giving me too much credit. He thinks I’d have the situational awareness to realize a pickpocket is coming my way? My god, I’m one of the most oblivious and gullible people in the world. 

But in the scenario that I did somehow know the person walking toward us was a pickpocket, I’d probably try to do something stupd and engage him the moment I see him go for my mom’s purse.  Then either one of two things are going to happen. a) The pickpocket runs away, or b) I get my ass stabbed and collapse on the street, bleeding to death. And the pickpocket gets away with the purse anyway

Originally, I was going to go on a rant about how Sietse shouldn’t be so judgemental, and that people react in unexpected ways in these kinds of situations. But then my reading comprehension kicked in, and I realized that this was something that actually happened to him. So, I think the best way to illustrate my point is to put the cart before the horse and show you guys what my hypothetical fake Sietse would do in that situation.

Fake Sietse: I love my family. I love my friends also, So, even if they’re ridiculously stupid and drive me crazy all the time, I wouldn’t let them get openly robbed in broad daylight if I could help it. Except for Shanks, I’d probably let him get robbed first, then help afterwards cause I think it’s fun—

Real Shanks: … Okay. Thought experiment over. I thought I was going to prove a point here, but even the Fake Sietse in my mind isn’t willing to cooperate with me.

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