Win lane, lose game?

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Goalie gritted his teeth in frustration. How do I say this in Chinese? Why can’t these three idiots learn some Korean? That’d make this so much easier. He glanced at his teammates bar Seo and briefly closed his eyes, remembering the characters he’d practiced over the last six months. He then breathed out and said over the team’s voice chat, “Not give up us. Top bad. Focus. Focus!”

Team Guangzhou accepted they were behind. The overbearing arrogance disappeared from their game as they took a more defensive approach. This was especially evident in the top lane, where Irelia stopped trying to contest Zhang Hao’s Lissandra for every CS and instead stuck close to her outer tower.

At 15 minutes, Zhang Hao was forced to push all the way to Blue team’s outer tower to get last hits on Blue minions; his Red minions killed them otherwise. He glanced down at his minimap. There were wards in the river and the Jungle, covering his flanks. But he still didn’t feel comfortable, a chill running up and down his spine. He lightly pressed on the E key, ready to escape across a Glacial Path.

Team Guangzhou’s Irelia let a couple of Red caster minions attack her, just enough for her health to drop below Lissandra’s. She then cast Bladesurge on one of the caster minions, killing it. That reset the skill. She Targeted Lissandra and cast Bladesurge again, followed by Equilibrium Strike! She hacked her blade down on Lissandra and stunned her!

Goalie’s LeBlanc appeared on Zhang Hao’s minimap. He ran past the brush in which the Red ward was and into the lane. Distortion! LeBlanc jumped and then she mimicked Distortion for a second jump! She arrived next to Lissandra before the stun could break and cast Ethereal Chains! They sprung into life around her and fired at Lissandra, twisting around her and immobilizing her!

Zhang Hao’s eyes widened in shock. He pressed on the E key and mumbled, “Glacial Path! E! E! E!” Each next word was filled with more hurry and a bit louder. He clicked frantically and tried to Flash away. But he couldn’t move. He could only watch on, helplessly, as Irelia and LeBlanc combined their highest damage skills to empty out his health bar.

You have been slain.

Zephyr leaned over the caster desk, clutching onto his microphone, and shouted, “Beautiful! Absolutely beautiful! This hasn’t been Team Guangzhou’s game, at all. But it’s these few moments that show they do have the skill! What a beautiful kill!”

“Wooooooo!” Su Xue exclaimed, pumping her fist into the air. She glanced at Team Shanghai’s soundproof booth and saw Zhang Hao deflating a bit but not much else of a response to his death. They’ve still got it all in their control. It’s just one death, and it’s on HaoBro! She smiled and analysed, “Team Guangzhou correctly identified Lissandra as a threat they had to shut down. Zhang Hao was getting really far ahead and if he was allowed to keep going like that, he would’ve taken over the game singlehandedly! Now he has to be a little bit more careful again! But the kill went to Goalie, which doesn’t help the Irelia much.”

“WaitWaitWait!” Zephyr suddenly shouted. He pointed at the monitor and continued, “Everyone, shut up! Stop cheering! LOOK! They’re fighting in bot!”

When Goalie appeared in the top lane, Lin Feng started moving towards the bot lane. And by the time the voice announcer informed everyone about Zhang Hao’s death, Lin Feng arrived at the river entrance to the bot lane. He said over the team’s voice chat, “Engage!”

Tang Bingyao nodded and replied, “Mhm!” She then pressed the W key, which was imitated by Corki. He revved up, flying higher and faster, and dropped bombs down behind him! This was Valkyrie, a gap closer skill. His helicopter slowed down in front of Draven, followed by Corki pushing another button on his dashboard. This one activated the Gatling Gun on the underside of his aircraft. Bullets pierced Draven and decimated his health bar!

Team Guangzhou’s Thresh ran through the minions to get a clear line of sight on Tang Bingyao’s Corki. But before he could get that, Zeng Rui’s Braum jumped in front of Corki with Stand Behind Me and raised his shield defensively in front of him. Hunkering down behind it, Corki combined auto attacks with his Gatling Gun while also hurling a Phosphorus Bomb at Draven.

Lin Feng’s Talon ran into the bot lane and then blinked behind Draven with Cutthroat. He put his free hand around Draven’s chest, then placed his dagger to Draven’s throat and put pressure on it as he drew it across. He followed up with an auto attack, digging his dagger into Draven’s back, and then with Rake! He threw several daggers that sliced through Draven and then tugged on the strings connected to them, pulling them back.

Seo tried to escape. To get away from the Corki and Talon. But Zeng Rui’s Braum had hit him with Winter’s Bite, which applied the first stack of Concussive Blows. Corki’s auto attacks added two more stacks and Talon added the fourth and final stack. Seo’s Draven was stunned. He glanced at his Thresh Support, who was backing away, and snarled. Fucking dogs!

You have been slain.


“And that’s how you do it!” Su Xue shoutcasted. She turned her head to look at Zephyr and continued, “That was some burst damage from Corki and Talon, don’t you think?”

Zephyr laughed and replied, “Holy damn yeah! That was great! And Corki’s got her fifth kill! She’s unstoppable!”






Lin Feng looked at his cooldowns. He hadn’t yet used his ultimate skill or Flash or Ignite. He looked at his minimap, considered his options briefly, then said over the team’s voice chat, “BunBun, with me!” He then walked up into the river, feigning a retreat to the mid lane, then curved back and snuck into Blue team’s bot side Jungle.

An Xin saw Lin Feng’s Talon move on her minimap and smiled. She’d practiced this exact tactic repetitively with Lin Feng, and to great success. She replied over the team’s voice chat, “Coming!”

Zephyr scratched his eyebrow and muttered, “This… This… Oh shit!”

“Oh shit indeed!” Su Xue replied, laughing. She pointed at the monitor and continued, “This is a tactic those two really love to use! I’ve seen them play it so many times I can’t even remember how many times! But it’s a lot! So, what they do is like this. See that brush there, the one next to the Krug Camp? Yes! The one separating the bot lane from the Jungle, exactly! So what they do is they sit in there and wait for the ad-carry to come back. And then they kill him again! It really tilts people!”

The audience listened to Su Xue’s explanation and watched Lin Feng and An Xin move into position. There were a couple of people in the player seating area who nodded along, namely those from Zhejiang University. They’d experienced this tactic firsthand. They talked with each other about it, the people around them picking up on it and sharing that with those around them. The information spread out like a wave and before Seo had even respawned, everyone was talking about how he was going to die again when he walked back to lane.

“Oh my god! Those kids are so dirty! That’s such a nasty tactic!”

“I can’t help but feel bad for Team Guangzhou… Even if those Koreans are dicks!”

“NOT! That’s what you meant to add at the end right? That you don’t feel bad for those dicks!”

“Hahaha! Can’t wait to see him die again! Did you see that video of what he did to that girl from Team Shanghai?”

“Right! That was him! Oh shit, I hope so badly that he’s gonna get camped so hard that he won’t get off the fountain anymore!”

“Make them surrender at 20! WOOOOOOOOO!”

Seo stared venomously at his grey screen. More specifically, at his outer tower. It was at full health only a couple of seconds ago. But right now, three players from Team Shanghai were destroying it. They’d forced his Thresh Support to retreat to their inner tower too. He felt the anger and humiliation evolve into a form of rage he’d never felt before. His mind was a swirling mist of darkness, the only interruption being her face. He saw the blood staining the left side of her face as she held onto her pinky, and he wanted to punch her! He wanted to make her hurt so badly! It’s all her fault! It’s all because of her! She was an arrogant bitch when I was so nice to her and asked her out! And then the next day she falls on the ground and blames me! IT WASN’T MY FAULT! IT WASN’T! I DIDN’T DO ANYTHING!

A turret has been destroyed!

The voice announcer echoed in Seo’s ears. His eyes turned red and his hand was shaking. That. Fucking. BITCH! I’m gonna kill her! I’M GONNA KILL HER! The death timer ran out. His Draven spawned on the fountain. He moved his camera towards the bot lane and clicked. He panned his camera a bit further to where Tang Bingyao’s Corki was farming minions. Zeng Rui’s Braum hovered around, disappearing in the Jungle every couple of seconds. He’s just warding probably. Doing Support things. I’ll kill her! When he moves away, I’ll kill her! I’LL KILL HER! 

Seo’s Draven left the base and ran past his inner tower. There was a Jungle entrance to his left, and then another one right after that. That second one was a brush. It nagged at his mind. There was something about that tall grass. He squinted his eyes and looked at it, until Tang Bingyao’s Corki appeared on his screen. The brief moment of clarity was gone. Hatred was all that was left. He threw down a ward in the brush as was habit and then clicked on Tang Bingyao’s Corki. I’ma force her to back, then farm up a bit and then I’ma stomp her! I’ma stomp her and kill her and make her– His eyes went wide in shock. WHAT THE FUCK ARE THEY DOING THERE!?

Lin Feng grinned, beating imaginary drums, and shouted, “GoGoGooo!”

Seo still had Flash available, never having been able to use it in the previous fight. He slammed down on his keyboard. A veil of light wrapped around his Draven and carried him back towards his inner tower.

An Xin waited briefly, just long enough to see where Seo’s Draven flashed to. Then she activated Body Slam and Flash! Gragas recklessly charged forward with immense momentum as a mottled flash of light wrapped around him. It carried him and his momentum a short distance, dropping him down right in front of Seo’s Draven. His big frame then slammed into Draven and knocked him up! Gragas followed up with his ultimate skill! He threw an Explosive Cask behind Draven. The force unleashed by the explosion sent Draven flying straight towards Lin Feng’s Talon!

Lin Feng laughed and commended, “Nice one, BunBun! Thanks for giving me the kill!” His fingers were already gliding across his keyboard, perfectly linking together his skills to deal as much damage as quickly as possible. From Cutthroat into Rake into Noxian Diplomacy and finally Shadow Assault! Daggers cut into Draven and sliced through his back and his chest! They drained his health bar until there was nothing left of it!

You have slain an enemy!

Seo stared at the different shades of dull grey on his screen. Dead. Again. Corki stood on top of his body farming minions, almost as if teasing him. His hand started trembling so violently that he kept knocking against the table, but he didn’t feel or hear it. His mind was overcome with rage. There were no more coherent thoughts. Only hatred. Hatred for the girl who’d turned him down. Hatred for the girl who’d pushed him away. Hatred for the guy who claimed no one would remember him after this series. “I’ll fucking kill all of you!” he growled.

Su Xue fell back in her chair and laughed, incredulous. She pointed at the screen and wanted to ask something, only to realize Lin Feng wasn’t there sitting next to her. Right, I’m not streaming. I’m casting! She reached to the caster desk and grabbed the microphone. She moved it to her lips and shouted, “WOOOOOOO! Just like I predicted! The dirty play by Team Shanghai worked perfectly! They’ve got another kill on Draven!”

Zephyr sat in his chair, stunned. It wasn’t until he heard Su Xue talk that he remembered he was also casting. Going into this series, he’d been informed that Team Guangzhou was the better team. That this was going to be the Team Guangzhou show and that it was up to him to hype that up. But this wasn’t the Team Guangzhou show. This was the Team Shanghai show! He shook his head, incredulous, and said, “Draven has spent so much time on the fountain that even if Corki wasn’t like a million kills ahead, he’d still be levels ahead of Draven! This is crazy! Team Shanghai is manhandling Team Guangzhou!”


“When a movable object meets an unstoppable force!”

“How does that feel? Knowing you can’t buy yourself a win!”

“They’re soooo camping that Seo for what he did. Did you guys see that video!?”


Team Guangzhou’s Nexus was still in one piece. Technically, they were still in the game. But it was becoming increasingly obvious that they’d lost. Team Shanghai had such a commanding lead that they could force objectives. Dragons were theirs and they also took down the mid and top outer towers. Team Guangzhou didn’t even try to contest. None of them had the health to tank an unstoppable Corki!

“Team Shanghai is ahead and now that we’re getting to teamfights, we can see that Team Shanghai’s team composition is also far better,” Zephyr analysed from the casters desk. “They’ve got Braum and Gragas in the frontline. And Lissandra is basically a third frontline unit with how tanky she is right now. Then consider Talon and Corki’s damage and it’s hard to see Team Guangzhou achieving anything.”

Su Xue leaned towards her microphone and continued, “Team Guangzhou put all their eggs in the ‘win the lane, win the game’ tactic. But they lost their lanes. Take Draven. He’s useless at this point! And then there’s Goalie’s LeBlanc. What she needs to do at this stage of the game is find ways to pick off Corki or Talon! And she can probably nuke them down if she gets on top of them. But how is she going to get on top of them? Team Shanghai has Braum and Gragas who can both knock her away, and then there’s also Lissandra who can lock LeBlanc down in a Frozen Tomb!”

Zephyr nodded and took over, “You’ve hit the nail on its head, EveningSnowfall! This game is as good as over! The Nexus might still be standing, but Team Guangzhou isn’t going to magically turn this around. They needed to win this in the early game. Even if they drag this game out, their team composition is so much worse for teamfights that it really doesn’t even need to be mentioned.”

The game passed the 20 minute mark. Team Shanghai methodically took down towers and secured the Dragon for a third time. Zeng Rui left nothing to chance. He made everyone buy wards, told them where to place those wards, and called when and where to engage enemy Champions. They took a couple of small fights, picking up a couple of kills. But Team Guangzhou rarely fought back, instead choosing to retreat all the way back to their Nexus towers.

At 27 minutes, all three inhibitor towers and inhibitors were destroyed. Super minions were marching into Team Guangzhou’s base. Zeng Rui watched that, then glanced at the health bars of his teammates. They weren’t topped off. He briefly hesitated before saying, “We’re going to take the Baron, recall back to base and then push to finish.”

“Can’t we just finish it here?” Lin Feng asked, confused. “We’ve been dragging it for so long already…”

An Xin looked at Lin Feng who said directly to her left and then past him at Zeng Rui. She smiled and said, “It’s good to take it slow and push for a certain win.” She briefly paused, waiting for Lin Feng’s shoulders to droop, and then continued, “But let’s end this one. There’s nothing they can do.”

Lin Feng looked at An Xin, surprised. He then grinned and shouted, “Let’s do this!”

Zeng Rui pursed his lips but relented. He said over the team’s voice chat, “Alright. We’ll wait for the next wave of super minions and then finish this game.” He leaned forward and looked across the line of computers at Zhang Hao and said, “You ult LeBlanc. Lin Feng and Tang Tang will just deal damage. I’ll have my ultie ready …” he nodded at An Xin, “… and if anything goes wrong, you ult them all away and we escape.”

An Xin winked and replied, “Will do.”

“The wave is coming! Let’s finish this!” Lin Feng exclaimed, excited.

Zhang Hao’s Lissandra carved a Glacial Path and blinked towards the icy claw when it was on top of Goalie’s LeBlanc. He locked her up within the Frozen Tomb. Lin Feng followed right behind him, blinking behind Seo’s Draven and then activating Shadow Assault! Talon threw blades out in a circle around him, slicing through all five Champions from Team Guangzhou! Tang Bingyao’s Corki stayed at a distance and fired a Missile Barrage!

Health bars dropped fast and Team Shanghai scored an ace before the super minions did any damage. They then turned their attention towards the Nexus towers and finally the Nexus itself. Cracks spread on the Nexus as steel and magic slammed into it. The crystal broke and the energy within exploded up into the sky, where it morphed into a Victory emblem for Team Shanghai.


“TEAM SHANGHAI TAKES THE LEAD!” Su Xue cried out into her microphone. “They’re up 1-0 against the favourites from Guangzhou!”

“WOOOOOOO!” Zephyr screamed. “WHAT A GAME! WHAT. A. GAME!”





“Those kids are so good, DAYUM!”

“Korean imports are worth only this little!”


The players from Team Beijing sat in the player seating area, stunned. The cheers from the audience slammed against their backs, forcing them up on their feet. Their hands moved as if on their own volition, clapping and applauding Team Shanghai.

Sun Lei was the substitute Midlaner for Team Beijing. He rubbed his eyes and muttered, “D-did that really just happen? Why didn’t Goalie carry? Is he sick or something?”

Team Beijing’s ad-carry stared at the large LCD screen above the stage and mumbled, “What about Seo… What was he doing…?”

“But Seo is just a Korean Challenger, Goalie is a Top 10 Korean Challenger!” Team Beijing’s Support exclaimed. He shook his head and continued, “He got a lead at the very start. I’ve never seen him fail to push that advantage into a win! How did he not win this game…?”

“Team comp,” Yu Ping replied. He looked around at his teammates and explained, “Like the caster girl said. Team Shanghai countered Team Guangzhou’s team comp. That’s all there is to it.” He then turned his head to look at Team Shanghai’s soundproof booth and added, “But it does look like I underestimated their Midlaner. He did better than I expected.”


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