It all Rests on his Shoulders

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Goalie stared at his screen, unblinking. He watched the flames from Ignite burning away at his health. Riven swept at his Fizz with her blade, the second cast from Broken Wings. The next one would knock him up. Her reforged blade’s damage was too high and after another auto attack, his screen started flashing red. He gritted his teeth and glanced down at his skill bar. There were four big icons, three for his main skills and the fourth for his ultimate. They were all greyed out with a timer counting down until he could use them again. 

I can’t outplay him. I’ve got nothing… I… I need help. I need help dammit! Goalie looked at Fiora who’d cast her ultimate skill–Grand Challenge–on Lin Feng’s Riven. This skill revealed the four vitals on Riven. Fiora needed to hit all four of them to summon a healing field. If she can get the healing field up, then Riven can attack me all she wants. She won’t kill me! He licked his lips and said in broken Chinese, “Fiora! Ult vital! Attack healing field!”

Team Guangzhou’s Toplaner glanced at Goalie who sat to his left. He’d grown used to the broken Chinese over the previous couple of months. More than that, they’d built a type of understanding. He’d learned how to best support Goalie to bring the best out of him. Right now, that meant supporting him in getting a kill on Riven. And the best way to do that was by giving Goalie some health so that he could survive long enough to get that kill. He replied over the team’s voice chat, “I’m trying. I am! But the way this Riven moves? I don’t know, I just can’t get it…”

Zephyr leaned over the caster desk, pushing the microphone to his lips. He shoutcasted, “Riven is so quick on her feet! So nimble! Look at how she’s just toying with the Fiora! This is amazing! How is she doing this?”

“Fiora can’t get more than 2 vitals! She won’t get her healing field up in time!” Su Xue exclaimed, clenching her fists until the knuckles were white. Come on, Lin Feng! Show them!

“Damn right!” Zephyr continued. “Team Guangzhou is really trying to shut this Riven down here, but it’s looking like it’s too late. And now– WATCH THAT!”

Lin Feng grinned. He’d forced Fiora to walk to his right to try and stab at the third vital, while Fizz was to his left. He then activated Valor! His Riven dashed through Fizz, after which she turned around and raised her blade over her shoulder. Green, runic energy gathered on the blade and gained its sharp property. Wind Slash! Riven swept out with her blade and fired the energy wave at Fizz and Fiora! She followed up with the third cast from Broken Wings, grabbing the hilt of her weapon with both hands and raising it above her head. She then leaped at Fizz and hacked down on him!

Killing Spree!

Team Guangzhou’s Toplaner ground his teeth. Goalie was yelling into his ears in a combination of broken Chinese and Korean, but the message came across. He was pissed. Very, very pissed. Team Guangzhou’s Toplaner closed his eyes for a brief moment. I can run but Goalie will get even worse then. He wants to get a 1 for 1 trade and if I get those four vitals and the healing field… His eyes flashed open and he clicked on Riven, then pressed down on the Q key–Lunge!

“He’s still going in! He’s still going in!” Zephyr exclaimed. “Doesn’t he see the Sejuani? SHE’S RIGHT THERE!”

Team Guangzhou’s Fiora Lunged at Riven and then ran after him, past the middle of the lane and towards Blue Team’s outer tower. He forgot about his minimap, or the cooldowns on his skills. All he could hear was Goalie yelling at him and all he could see was Riven taunting him by merely being alive. He only noticed An Xin’s Sejuani when she barreled into him with Arctic Assault and knocked him up. He then got hit by her Glacial Prison. A snowstorm slammed into him and froze him stiff! Stunned.

“Sweet!” Lin Feng exclaimed, laughing. “I can’t believe he kept coming!” He had his Riven stop running away and turned around to face Team Guangzhou’s Fiora again. Then he auto attacked her. His Riven’s blade hacked, cut and stabbed Fiora, whittling down her health until it ran empty.

Double Kill!



“That outplay was fucking sick! Like holy hot diggity damn! Can you believe that?”

“I need to see those two from Team Guangzhou raging! They gotta be raging right about now, right!?”


“The way that Riven linked together her skills. How she animation cancelled and knew just how to position herself to keep the Fiora from proccing her ultimate… Like, just, how? How did she do that? How is that kid that good? He could be in the LPL! Heck, he can probably make it to Worlds!”

Yu Ping sat in the player seating area together with his teammates and coaches from Team Beijing. He glanced at them, listened to them gulping in awe, and sunk far away into his chair. He wished to be invisible, to get far away from anyone who knew him. Because he knew they would ask him what he thought about this play by Riven, and he knew they were going to ask him if he could do the same. He shook his head and mumbled, “I couldn’t… What that Riven just did…” He looked back at the large LCD screen and then down at Team Shanghai’s soundproof booth. What that Riven just did was insane. There’s no one that good… Except for him.

At 13 minutes, Team Guangzhou’s Jungler and Support decided that they had to help mid. Goalie was starting to lose really badly. To the point where it looked like the game might be lost because Riven could start pushing towers. So the two snuck through Blue team’s Jungle, evading Team Shanghai’s wards and arrived in the mid lane.

Team Guangzhou’s Lee Sin placed a ward down behind Riven and hopped towards it with Safeguard! He followed up with his ultimate skill–Dragon’s Rage! He lifted his foot high above the ground and then borrowed the strength of a Dragon as he struck Lin Feng’s Riven with a roundhouse kick! There was so much force behind the kick that Riven was sent flying backwards!

Goalie smiled, barely. He knew where Riven was going to land and he knew Riven didn’t have her ultimate back up yet. He cast Chum the Waters. A small fish flew towards where Lin Feng’s Riven was going to land. And hit Riven as she landed. A portal began opening beneath Riven, the shadow of Megalodon appearing in the deep beneath.

“Ah crap!” Lin Feng exclaimed. He shook his head, his fingers gliding over his keyboard. He activated Blade of the Exile! Runic, green energy reforged his blade and boosted his stats! He followed up with Broken Wings, sweeping his blade out towards Lee Sin! He continued with the second cast from Broken Wings and then the third before finishing the combo with a Wind Slash!

You have slain an enemy!

“HE GOT THE KILL! HE GOT THE KILL!” Zephyr screamed into his microphone. He shook his head, incredulous, and added, “He got the kill!”

The portal to the deep beneath Lin Feng’s Riven opened wide enough for Megalodon to jump out! The enormous shark knocked Riven up into the air and took a large bite out of her health bar! Right then, Leona raised her sword to the sky and called down a Solar Flare! The smouldering heat slammed down on Riven and stunned her! Leona followed up with the Exhaust, its debilitating red aura washing over Riven, and left the rest to Goalie.

Goalie’s Fizz dashed at Lin Feng’s Riven with Urchin Strike, stabbing him with the trident. He followed up with Seastone Trident to empower his auto attacks and Ignite. Unquenchable flames started burning on Riven’s skin, while the auto attacks with the trident dealt a ton of damage.

The stun from Solar Flare was about to wear off, so Team Guangzhou’s Leona cast Shield of Daybreak! She slammed her shield into Riven and stunned her again! All the while, Goalie’s Fizz continued attacking Lin Feng’s Riven, cycling through his skills until he killed Riven.

Shut Down!

“Aaah, that’s no fun,” Lin Feng complained. He looked at his dull grey screen and shook his head. He then shrugged and added, “Whatever, I got a kill. It’s fine.”

Across the stage in Team Guangzhou’s soundproof booth there was an odd atmosphere. The Jungler and Support cheered for the kill, but Goalie didn’t join them. He just stared at his monitor, at the dead Riven. I got the bonus gold for the shutdown. But what’s the point? What’s that going to do for me? We won that fight because we had three Champions throw all our skills and Summoner Spells at him, and he still got a kill! I’ve got a bit more gold now, but so what? So what…? He felt a cold chill run up and down his spine, tickling his nerves. He didn’t even have Flash or Ignite up. Next fight he will have those again as well! Then what? He’ll dodge my ultimate or Leona’s ultimate and then we’re fucked. Fucked. FUCK!

The second Dragon of the game spawned and at 14 minutes Team Shanghai moved to take it. The players from Team Guangzhou started gathering to try and contest. The Support Leona was placing wards to get vision and Seo was searching for angles to pick someone off. But then Goalie’s voice sounded over the team’s voice chat, “Let them. No fight.”

“What? Why?” Seo asked, narrowing his eyes. “I’m stronger now!”

“Riven, Flash and Ignite,” Goalie explained in his broken Chinese.

The three Chinese players from Team Guangzhou had learned early on not to challenge Goalie on his calls. So when he told them to let Dragon go, they focused back on what they were doing before. But Seo wasn’t quite there. He was proud of his rank as a Korean Challenger. He was proud of his skill! And though he recognized Goalie was a better player, he didn’t believe the difference was all that big. He gnashed his teeth and looked at the Dragon pit. Leona had warded deep enough so that he could see Tang Bingyao’s Kalista hurling spears at something in the fog of war. They’re taking the Dragon and we’re… We’re…

Seo glanced at Goalie and saw the twitching eyelid, the slightly raised nose and the narrowed eyes. He also doesn’t like it. But he knows we can’t win it. Maybe… He hit the Tab key and looked at Team Shanghai. At the 5/1/0 Riven. FUCK! I didn’t realise mid was going this bad! How the… I need a Quicksilver Sash! The active skill on it lets me cleanse stuns. The Riven will one-shot me without it. I need five more minutes. That’s all I need! Five minutes! Then I’ll get my QSS and I’ll wreck that stupid fucking Riven and tear that ugly ass grin off his beggar face!

The Blue Team has slain the Dragon

“Dragon to Team Shanghai!” Su Xue cheered. She smiled and analysed, “That’s two Dragons now for Team Shanghai. And they’ve also got the mega fed Riven! I don’t see how Team Guangzhou is going to fight themselves back into this game…”

Zephyr turned his head to look at Su Xue and analysed, “That’s not entirely impossible. Riven is clearly fed. Team Guangzhou needs to find a way to get someone on their team just as fed. Now this obviously isn’t going to happen by ganking mid. We’ve seen what happens when they try that. And I don’t believe it’s smart to gank top either. Dr. Mundo is just so tanky. It’s going to take so much time and resources to kill him. I don’t see how that’d be worth it. But the bot lane…” He briefly paused for dramatic effect and then concluded, “There are possibilities in bot. And a fed Vayne? Ain’t no one stopping a fed Vayne. Not even Riven.”

“I guess,” Su Xue replied. “I just don’t see bot lane suddenly losing so hard after staying even for the better part of the previous game and this one.”

Zhang Hao was farming minions in the top lane with his Dr. Mundo. He felt in his element. Mundo was a Champion with a lot of health and regeneration. More specifically, his low cooldown ultimate allowed him to regain all his health in a matter of seconds. The first couple of levels were a challenge, because he didn’t have the items or skills available to survive. But at this stage of the game, nearly 16 minutes in, it would take more than just Fiora to kill him. So he pushed his lane, killed minions, and drew attention to him and away from the other lanes. I can just run and the others can scale faster! I’m playing grea– He suddenly spotted Fiora, who he thought was recalling back to base, teleporting. He shouted over the team’s voice chat, “Careful! Fiora is teleporting somewhere!”

A red pillar of light fell down on the bot lane behind Tang Bingyao’s Kalista. Zeng Rui’s eyes went wide in shock. They were pushing into Red team’s outer tower. He knew it was dangerous, but he thought he’d cleared the wards behind them and he had vision on the river. When did they get that ward there? How did I miss that!? I can’t miss– He gritted his teeth and slammed on his keyboard, casting Black Shield on Tang Bingyao’s Kalista. He then ordered over the team’s voice chat, “Back! Retreat!”

Black Shield would protect Tang Bingyao’s Kalista from crowd control skills for five seconds. The only way to break it was with magic damage. But with Fizz in the mid lane, Team Guangzhou didn’t have that magic damage. Tang Bingyao nodded and replied, “Mhm! Okay!” She then moved her mouse hand, grimacing at the pain from her pinky, and had her Kalista run back towards the Blue team’s outer tower.

Team Guangzhou knew there was no point in casting crowd control skills on Tang Bingyao’s Kalista right now. But the bottom lane was long and Zeng Rui had cast Black Shield early. It would take more than five seconds to get away. So Leona ran after Kalista and counted down the seconds, quietly mumbling them. Five… Four… Three… Two… One… He pressed the E key–Zenith Blade! A solar projection of Leona’s sword pierced Tang Bingyao’s Kalista! It solidified and pulled Leona in, who then slammed her shield against Kalista and stunned her with Shield of Daybreak!

Zeng Rui panned his camera around the bot lane. Lee Sin appeared on a ward in the river, running down. Behind them, Fiora almost finished her teleportation and Zhang Hao couldn’t stop her. What can we do? BunBun is too far away and Lin Feng is busy in mid… He said through gritted teeth, “Ult me Tang Tang!”

Tang Bingyao nodded. She repeatedly pressed down on the R key to cast Fate’s Call. When the stun from Shield of Daybreak was about to wear off, Leona raised her sword to the sky and called down a Solar Flare! Come on, faster! Don’t let it be perfect! She kept pressing the R key but now also added in the D key to Flash away. Then, right when the solar flare slammed into the ground, a veil of light wrapped around her while Zeng Rui’s Morgana turned to spirit form and entered her body.

The Flash carried Tang Bingyao’s Kalista away from the stun. Leona and Vayne were a fair bit behind her now, with Lee Sin near them. There was only Irelia who could kill her now. She tightened the grip on her mouse, ignoring the pain flaring in her pinky. “Knock Irelia up!” she said to Zeng Rui.

Zeng Rui aimed at Team Guangzhou’s Irelia. This was the second part of Kalista’s ultimate. He could fire himself, like a human cannonball. And whoever he connected with, they’d get knocked up! That should give Tang Tang enough time to get away. The others are far enough awa– His stomach dropped. Seo’s Vayne had a movement speed bonus when moving towards enemy Champions. And she also still had Flash. She’s dead. Tang Tang is dead. He moved his mouse away from Irelia and more towards his outer tower and activated the second part of Fate’s Call.

Seo’s Vayne found the angle on Tang Bingyao’s Kalista. He took the large crossbow from his back and squeezed the trigger, Condemning Kalista to the wall behind her. GOT YOU NOW, BITCH! STUPID, STUPID, CUNT! He breathed faster, adrenaline pumping through his veins. He had her now. He knew it. Her health dropped from his silver bolts. Every third, a small explosion hit her with true damage. Seo smiled, grinned. Laughed. “See who’ll remember your face now, you whining ass bitch!”

You have slain an enemy!

“Sorry, Tang Tang,” Zeng Rui said over the team’s voice chat. “I saw Vayne get the angle and knew there was nothing I could do.”

Tang Bingyao nodded and replied, “Mhm. It’s fine.” She then put her hands beneath the desk and carefully rubbed her painful pinky. This isn’t good. I’m now dying because of this… Maybe– No! I’m not giving up! Am. Not.

Lin Feng grinned and asked, “He wasted his Flash, right? I’ll put him back in his place! Right after we take their inner tower!”

“We’re pushing for the inner?” An Xin asked, watching the minimap. Team Guangzhou was pushing to take the bot outer tower after killing Tang Bingyao’s Kalista. And she was in the mid lane with Lin Feng, pushing the wave and moments away from destroying the outer tower.

A turret has been destroyed!

“Help!” Goalie shouted over Team Guangzhou’s voice chat. “They keep push!”

Seo glanced at his Midlaner and replied in Korean, “Just hold it for a bit longer. We’ve almost got bot. Almost…”

A turret has been destroyed!

Lin Feng’s Riven was incredibly fed. Her high attack damage meant that she could take a tower down incredibly quickly. The Blue minions marched at the mid inner tower and started attacking it. Goalie’s Fizz was hovering in the distance, but didn’t dare to get too close. Between Riven and Sejuani there were so many stuns that he’d just die if he got too close.

Goalie glanced at his minimap again. He wanted to scream at his teammates. The mid lane inner tower was so much more important than the bot lane outer tower. One gave the opponent control over the Jungle and the other was an out of the way tower no one really cared about. He gritted his teeth and mouthed, “Idiots!” He watched his teammates running towards the mid lane, but knew they were far too late. “Idiots. All of them.”

A turret has been destroyed!

“Good call by Team Shanghai!” Su Xue said. She leaned closer to her microphone and continued, “They knew bot was lost, so rather than protecting it they took something far more valuable in mid!”

Zephyr nodded and explained, “My co-caster here is completely right. The mid lane inner tower is just so much more valuable than the outer tower in bot. And it’s not like Team Guangzhou could keep pushing bot either, because then Team Shanghai would’ve just taken the inhibitor tower and inhibitor.” He briefly paused and then continued, “On a positive note for Team Guangzhou, at least Vayne is scaling now. He’s got that kill he needed. Now what he really needs is to get a few more. Buy that QSS and outplay the Riven. It’s a steep task, I know, but it’s the only way for Team Guangzhou to win this one.”

Seo looked around the map and took stock of the game. They were 17 minutes in and only the Riven was really fed. He also understood that he was the only one who could realistically stop the Riven, especially with the tower in mid destroyed. Goalie’s gonna be pissed. But sucks to be him. He got his towers destroyed! Bot is still going great! I’m doing great! I can push these minions and then I’ll finally have enough money to buy a Quicksilver Sash! Watch that Riven try to stop me then! He clicked on the minions, his Vayne’s high attack speed allowing him to tear through them. When all minions of the latest wave were dead, he retreated to the brush between his inner and outer tower–just to be safe–and started recalling back to base. He opened the shop and typed out ‘Quicksilver Sash’ in the search bar.

“SEO! SEO!” Team Guangzhou’s Jungler shouted over the team’s voice chat.

“SEO! RIVEN!” Goalie yelled.

Seo scrunched his eyebrows and closed the shop window, annoyed by the many ‘retreat’ pings booming in his ears and flashing on his minimap. What are those guys– OH SHIT! His eyes grew wide and round. Riven was running straight at him! He glanced down at the recall timer. Three more seconds to finish the cast. Not enough! He looked at his inner tower and then searched where his teammates were. No one was nearby. It was just him and Riven. Fuck… Fuck! FUCK FUCK FUCK! He narrowed his eyes, his stomach clenching so much that it hurt. FUCK! WHERE THE FUCK DID THAT NOFACE, UGLY BEGGAR GUY COME FROM!?


Sietse Thought: You would think that your friends know you. Or at least have some vague inkling about who you are. I thought Shanks and Devs were my friends. I shared so many moments with them. I spent so much time with them over the last couple of years. Then I read the Translator Thoughts from yesterday and the day before and it became painfully obvious they haven’t the faintest clue about my interests or what I’m up to these days. That shit hurts man. Somehow Devs is confused about why I’m not available 24/7 to entertain him, like that’s my job, and Shanks seems to think I search through the Google Play store all day searching for a game to play. So I figured I’d give them both a response in this translator thought.

To Devs:

Devs, bud, I ain’t your slave. Nor do I want to be. I’ve been attending university for nearly 3 years now and put that off a long time this third year to have more time for Rise. But at some point I had to focus back on that. And I also had to start making money because of the bills piling up. So now I’m taking on little projects here and there to bridge that gap. On top of that, and this is probably the real shocker for you, I’ve got a social life. I’ve got friends that I wanna hang out with out there in the real world. And last but definitely not least, I love rock climbing. So when I get a chance to do that, you bet your ass I’m jumping on it.

There. Mystery explained.

P.S. I know Rise is important to you. It’s also important to me. I love this project. It’s why I’ve spent so much time on it and am still spending so much time on it–more than anyone else probably. But there are also other things I love doing and things I’m not willing to cut back on.

To Shanks:

Now onto Shanks. Mate, come on. I like to play video games? When was the last time you saw me genuinely enjoy playing a video game? You think money constraints are why I haven’t bought a new computer? No. I haven’t bought a new computer because mine is fine for editing Rise or writing articles for my study, which is all I really care about on the computer.

When I was younger I did love playing video games. I played them far too much. Oldies like Silkroad Online, Voyage Century Online and later on Rift. I’ve played my fair share of League of Legends and was quite good at one point. Yeah. I enjoyed them, and raged a lot when I lost. Lol. But somewhere along the way I lost that spark, the drive to be good at these games. And then you find yourself running along, not really trying, not really caring, until you finally realize there are other things you enjoy doing so much more than playing the game that you wonder why you’re even playing.

These days I love to sit in the sun and enjoy a cold beer. Just sitting, not doing anything. I love reading books. Right now I’m working my way through Rhythm of War, pacing myself so I’m not MIA for the next week. I love going on a trip to Belgium to rock climb in the Ardennen. Or if I’ve got the time a couple of days in France or maybe even Italy.

They’re phases, Shanks. I’m sure at some point I’ll enjoy playing video games again. We can play whatever the big thing is at that point. Until then I’ll satiate my gacha addiction by playing Summoners War. So as to your statement yesterday: No, I’m not searching the Google Play store for something to play. I log onto Summoners War once a day to get some summons and then I move on and do something else. Like reading a book, working on Rise, studying for my exam next Wednesday, etc.

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