An Xin clicked around the mid lane, constantly glancing at the minimap, mumbling the presumed location of Team Guangzhou’s Lee Sin to herself. He started Red I think… I would, anyway. So I just need to hover near the top side of the lane, as far from the Red Buff Camp as possible. He won’t gank me then. Perfect! She smiled and targeted a melee minion. Her Morgana conjured some dark magic and flung it at the minion, killing it. This is more like it. People always underestimate Midlaners who play Morgana. ‘Oh, Morgana is a Support, she isn’t a Midlaner!’ She shook her head and giggled. Morgana is one of the best Midlane champions, if you know how to play her!
“That girl!” Zephyr exclaimed from the caster desk. He shook his head and continued, “She’s playing solid… Rock solid! NOW WAVE YOUR HEADS IN THE AIR LIKE YOU JUST DON’T CARE IF YOU GOT THAT REFERENCE!”
Su Xue turned her head to look at Zephyr and shook her head. Really? Really…? She then giggled and replied, “Didn’t I tell you? She’s amazing! Look at that first minion wave! She got all six minions and Goalie missed one! She’s already seized the advantage!”
Zephyr nodded and said into his microphone, “The creep score advantage is cool, but what I’m really finding— Look! There she does it again! It’s like she knows exactly where Lee Sin is! Did you see how at the start of the lane she was hovering towards the top because Team Guangzhou’s Red Buff Camp is on the bot side? She knew Lee Sin started there! And now that Lee Sin is moving towards his Blue Buff Camp on the top side of the Jungle, she’s positioning herself in the right half of her lane, the side that’s closer to bot lane!”
“Oh shit! That caster-dude is right! She’s really playing on the right side of her lane now!”
“She’s so cool! I wanna play like her and be good at Jungle and mid!”
“Team Shanghai is the coolest team with the coolest players!”
“And here I thought Team Guangzhou was gonna win this series… Boy, was I wrong!”
Su Xue clenched her fists in excitement and shouted, “Woooo! BunBu—Morgana! I knew she could hold her own against Goalie! She’s even winning!”
“Eh, winning?” Zephyr asked, scrunching his eyebrows. He turned his head to look at Su Xue and said into his microphone, “She’s got a nice start to the game, we can all see that. But winning? It’s a little too early to say that. We’re only 2 minutes into the game. Let’s wait and see what happens!”
“Mm-mhm! Mm-mhm!” Su Xue replied, nodding. She then added, “She’ll win. Just keep watching. We’ll see her win!”
Team Guangzhou’s Jungler said over the team’s voice chat, “Want me to gank mid, Goalie?”
Goalie glared at the Morgana on his screen. He watched every tiny movement she made and grinded his teeth. This stupid, stupid… He forced himself to take a deep breath. She does know how to play mid. And she knows exactly where and when a Jungler can gank from. With the way she’s positioning herself, ganking would be a colossal waste of time. He pinged Lee Sin, who was running towards the river brush directly above the mid lane, to retreat. A sharp sound beeped in their headphones and a yellow ping flashed on the minimap. He said over the team’s voice chat, “Ganking now-Waste of time. Later.”
“Rodger-dodger,” Team Guangzhou’s Jungler replied. He then looked around his map. His pathing through the Jungle had included a gank. One that was now off the table. This messed up all of his original timing and planning. Just very slightly. But it was enough to snowball into something bigger if he wasn’t careful. Get into it! Come on! He shook his head and focused on his Jungle camps. Wolves and then Wraiths? Yeah, that’ll work.
Goalie felt his stomach contract. He closed his eyes for a brief moment and then opened them again to stare at Morgana. Something’s off. It’s like… have I played against her before? No. No, that can’t be. He gritted his teeth and breathed in deeply. Keep it together, Goalie. All I need to do is farm to Level 6 and then start making a real impact on the game. I’ll carry it from there! He nodded at himself and breathed the pent up breath and frustration out.
Zeng Rui wasn’t feeling too comfortable in the Jungle. He understood the basics and he followed them to a tee. But there was something that felt wrong about what he was doing. Like he didn’t belong in the Jungle. Come on, ZengZeng— His eyes grew wide and round and he glanced at Lin Feng. Zeng Rui! Rui! He focused on the minimap, trying to push that mishap out of his mind, and noticed that Goalie was pushing against An Xin’s Morgana. He asked over the team’s voice chat, “Do you want a gank mid?”
“No need, I’m good!” An Xin replied, smiling. She glanced at her minimap and advised, “Lee was near mid from the top side. He’ll be ganking top soon. Go counter that.”
Zeng Rui nodded. If I can help Rumble pick up an early kill, that’ll really help the team. BunBun is right, I should go top. He glanced at the bot lane and asked, “Bot is good, right?”
“Yep!” Lin Feng replied. He grinned and added, “We’re all good! Tang Tang and I are about to stomp our lane!” He then turned to look at Tang Bingyao and asked, “Right? Right!?”
Tang Bingyao nodded, distracted. Lin Feng talked a lot and she usually just let him talk while focusing on the game herself. Right now her focus was on protecting Lin Feng’s Kalista with her Braum. He’s jumping around so fluently on his Kalista. I need to keep running around just to stay near him and then I also need to push away the Botlaners from Team Guangzhou… That stupid Seo… Wait, what did Lin Feng ask again? Something, something, right? She nodded and mumbled, “Mhm!” She then focused back on the bot lane, barely registering Zeng Rui’s acknowledgement.
Kalista and Braum were generally considered weaker than Tristana and Thresh at every stage of the game. But this was only because Kalista required such a high level of skill that there were very few players who truly excelled at her. Lin Feng was one of the few who possessed the mechanical skills to bring out Kalista’s true potential. This potential came largely down to her passive skill—Martial Pose. When attacking with an auto attack or the skill Pierce, Kalista lunged a short distance. Lin Feng expertly used this to hop in and out of range to attack Thresh and Tristana without allowing them to fight back.
Tang Bingyao squinted her eyes and held her breath every time Lin Feng’s Kalista jumped forward. She had her Braum follow, ready to jump in. Ready to provide what assistance she could. The Botlaners from Team Guangzhou were far too focused on Lin Feng, giving her some room. She found a gap between the minions and cast Winter’s Bite! Her Braum propelled a jet of ice that struck Thresh and slowed him!
“Nice engage, Tang Tang!” Lin Feng exclaimed. He had his Kalista lunge forward by last hitting a minion. The experience from the kill brought him to Level 2 and he learned Rend, which allowed him to pull out the spears his Kalista had lodged in enemy champions for further damage. He then hurled a spear at Seo’s Tristana and lunged to the side, narrowly dodging Thresh’s Death Sentence. “Woo, close!” Lin Feng said, laughing. He then hurled an empowered spear at Thresh with Pierce and used the lunge from Martial Pose to get in range and follow up with an auto attack.
Two spears were lodged in Thresh’s body and he had two stacks of Concussive Blow on him. Two more would stun him. Team Guangzhou’s Support gritted his teeth and clicked back towards his Blue outer tower. A third spear struck him as he turned around, and a fourth stunned him when he tried to run away. “Seo!” he shouted over the team’s voice chat.
Seo narrowed his eyes. But rather than focus his attacks on Kalista, he auto attacked a caster minion. That fucking beggar! Who does he think he is? The bot lane is my territory! PISS OFF! He ground his teeth in anger and humiliation. He knew very well that trading auto attacks with Kalista wasn’t going to do any good. His Tristana had to hit Level 2 to level the playing field first. So he fired another two auto attacks on the caster minion to kill it. I’ll get you! Just you wait! I’ma get you, you fucking fugly stupid beggar! I’m going to send your homeless ass back to the cardboard box you call a house!
Lin Feng knew he couldn’t kill the Thresh. Both of Team Guangzhou’s Botlaners still had all their Summoner Spells available. So rather than pushing further, he lunged back after the stun from Concussive Blow took effect. When his Kalista was out of Tristana’s range, Lin Feng activated Rend. His Kalista clenched her fist in a sudden burst, pulling on her telekinetic link with her spears! They wrenched out of the minions,, they wrenched out of Seo’s Tristana and, most importantly, they wrenched themselves out of Thresh.
Team Guangzhou’s Thresh lost a little more than half his health in that exchange. He was forced to use his health potion, putting him at a distinct disadvantage compared to Tang Bingyao’s Braum. He grimaced and said over the team’s voice chat, “Sorry. Sorry.”
“SORRY?” Seo screamed over voice chat. He abruptly turned his head to look at his Support and shouted in Korean, “Can’t you even hit a damn Q? How stupid are you? Trash! No! You’re more useless than trash! You’re a fucking useless waste of trash!” He sighed loudly. Furiously.
Team Guangzhou’s Support didn’t speak Korean. He didn’t know what Seo said, but he did hear the anger in his ad-carry’s voice and understood the frustration. He felt a similar frustration. This series against Team Shanghai wasn’t going anything like they’d imagined it would. We’re losing. Losing! And then I miss a simple Death Sentence! I need to start hitting them or we’re done for! Goalie and Seo are our star players, but that doesn’t mean I can sit still and be useless! I need to Support them! I will! He nodded at himself and tightened his grip on his mouse. I will!
Seo didn’t pay his Support any further attention. He just stared–glared–at Tang Bingyao’s Braum and then back at Lin Feng’s Kalista. How am I not winning these trades? I’m Tristana and he’s Kalista. I’m supposed to be winning this lane! I… I… He breathed in long and deep and briefly closed his eyes. How is he better than her? How is he getting auto attacks in when I can’t? How is he doing this? It shouldn’t be possible. I can’t be… He nodded, faster and faster. He then opened his eyes and stared straight at Lin Feng’s Kalista. You camped the shit out of me when you were playing mid. Now you want to fuck with me by playing ad-carry? Piss. The fuck. Off! You think I’ma let you toy with me? FUCK OFF! FUCK! OFF!
Team Guangzhou’s Lee Sin ganked the top lane at 4 minutes. He dashed at Zhang Hao’s Rumble with Resonating Strike and worked together with his Irelia to whittle his health down. Zeng Rui’s Jarvan IV ran into the lane a couple of seconds later. He dashed at Lee Sin and Irelia with his flag-toss combo and knocked them both up. He shouted over the team’s voice chat, “Lee! Lee!”
Zhang Hao’s hand was trembling from the nerves. He was playing at a stage he’d never played at against an opponent who was supposed to be stronger, yet his team was at matchpoint. He used his Flamespitter and intended to push past Irelia towards Lee Sin. But then his screen flashed red. His health had dropped below 20%. Shit! I’m going to die! What do I… He bit on his lips and hesitated, his Rumble’s Flamespritter spraying fire on Irelia and auto attacking her.
Shit! I’m gonna die! I’m gonna die! I’m dead! Zhang Hao’s heart was slamming against his ribcage. All he saw was his health falling down. I don’t want to give them first blood! I can’t! I need to get away! He glanced back at his Red outer tower, shaking his head in panic. Flash! FLASH! A veil of light wrapped around his Rumble and carried him a short distance towards his outer tower. But Irelia followed right behind him. She then attacked him with her blade, and again.
Team Guangzhou’s Lee Sin had lost most of his health and mimicked Zhang Hao’s flash. Zeng Rui in turn mimicked the flash from Team Guangzhou’s Irelia and then continued attacking Lee Sin. Lee Sin had more health remaining than Zhang Hao’s Rumble did when he flashed, but the distance to his outer tower was larger for Lee Sin than it’d been for Zhang Hao. This gave Zeng Rui’s Jarvan IV all the time he needed to strike his opponent down.
《You have slain an enemy!》
When the voice announcer boomed in his ears, Zeng Rui glanced at Zhang Hao and said over the team’s voice chat, “Why didn’t you focus on Lee Sin with me?”
“Sorry, sorry,” Zhang Hao replied, grimacing. “I panicked. My screen started turning red and I thought that if I Flashed away, I could survive and then you could get the kill. I don’t know. I’m sorry.”
The fight in bot lane raged back and forth. Both sides made small missteps, forcing them to use their health potions. It was around the 5th minute of the game that both sides had nothing left. Their health bars were running low and reason dictated that they had to recall back to base and restock on health potions and recover their health bars. But neither side did that. They kept pushing, kept searching for openings to abuse, kept trying for the kill.
Lin Feng narrowed his eyes and mumbled, “Interesting. He isn’t half bad. Nothing like Silent mind you. Nor Shi Hang from four years ago… But still, he isn’t half bad.” He chuckled and added, “Doesn’t mean I won’t stomp him all the same though!” Hmm… I do have to pay some attention here. Our wards have run out… Our wards have run out. He said over the team’s voice chat, “Lee is ganking bot. Look out, Tang Tang.”
“Mhm!” Tang Bingyao replied. She then briefly hesitated before asking, “Want me to go back to base and grab some wards?”
“Nah, we gucci,” Lin Feng answered, laughing. “Lee Sin’ll be here before the wards run out. Besides, if they think they can take this fight, let them think that! It’ll make it that much more fun when we stomp all over them!”
Across the stage in Team Guangzhou’s soundproof booth, Seo was grinning. Laughing. He glared at Lin Feng’s Kalista and mumbled under his breath, “Yeah, you’re better than that fugly bitch. Way better… You’re beating me in CS! But that won’t mean much once you die to this gank. And you’re too stupidly arrogant to even notice it!”
“Push, push!” Team Guangzhou’s Jungler said over the team’s voice chat as he had his Lee Sin run up the bot lane, making sure to stay far enough back so that the Red minions from Team Shanghai couldn’t spot him.
“GoGoGo!” Seo shouted over the team’s voice chat.
Team Guangzhou’s Support nodded. He had his Thresh run forward all the way towards Team Shanghai’s side of the lane and then threw his Lantern behind him with Dark Passage! He waited a brief moment, just long enough for Lee Sin to click on it, and then flashed. A veil of light fell over his Thresh and carried him a short distance forward, right on top of Lin Feng’s Kalista. Flay! He whipped his chain and scythe back and knocked up and slowed Kalista! He followed up with Death Sentence.
Lin Feng chuckled when he saw Thresh’s Flash and grinned when he saw Lee Sin flying in right after. He hit an auto attack on Thresh and lunged to the side, dodging the Death Sentence. There was a short cooldown for his passive. Team Guangzhou’s Lee Sin used this to mark him with Sonic Wave. But that was exactly what Lin Feng wanted. There’s no way he can resist. And… here… we… go! He slammed down on his D key–Flash! A mottled flash of light wrapped around Lin Feng’s Kalista and carried her towards her outer tower. Team Guangzhou’s Lee Sin had activated Resonating Strike and was now flying after her, unable to control his movements.
“Tang Tang!” Lin Feng shouted over the team’s voice chat.
“Mhm!” Tang Bingyao replied. When Lee Sin landed inside the range from the outer tower, she had her Braum hit him with Winter’s Bite! Freezing ice was propelled from his shield and applied a slow and the first stack for Concussive Blow!
“Oh my god! That’s so beautiful!” Su Xue exclaimed. She leaned towards her microphone and continued, “She dodges the hook and then tricks Lee Sin into tower range! Oh my god!”
“Holy shit…” Zephyr mumbled. “That’s… That’s… Wow!”
Lin Feng’s Kalista threw a spear at Lee Sin before he even landed, lunging further underneath her tower. She followed up with another one, applying the third stack for Concussive Blow. What followed was a brief moment in which Lee Sin could Flash, in which he could escape. But he’d used his Flash in the top lane. He couldn’t escape. And then the third spear struck him and applied the fourth and final stack of Concussive Blow. He was stunned underneath the enemy outer tower.
Red team’s outer tower charged up and then fired an energy shot at Team Guangzhou’s Lee Sin! Outside the tower’s range, Tristana and Thresh were trying to run interference, to draw away attention from Lee Sin and allow him to escape. But the outer tower, as well as Lin Feng and Tang Bingyao, ignored them. They all focused their full attention on Lee Sin. Until his health dropped to the last few percentages. That was when Lin Feng mumbled, “Rend!” His Kalista clenched her fist to pull on the telekinetic strings attached to her spears. The spears were ripped out from Lee Sin, the subsequent damage killing him!
《You have slain an enemy!》
RISE CREW AND CLOWNS
Sietse Thought: I got my injection of 5g today! I’m now part of the cool club! Which I clearly don’t belong in, because let’s face it, I’m a dumbfuck. So I obviously had to do something stupid, like getting scared by a little girl! You have all these normal looking kids, right? The ones that look totally harmless. The ones you don’t even really see. But every now and then there’s that one kid who for some godforsaken reason feels like their forehead is too heavy or something. So they lean forward, just a tad. But it’s enough for their eyebrows to push down on their eyes. They counter that by pushing their eyes open. And then, to complete this absolutely horrifying look, they smile.
You know that clown from It? The way that thing laughs and how it sends chills down your spine? These little monsters are so much scarier. There’s just something about that smile, like they know a train is about to appear from the forest to your right and barrel into you. I don’t like clowns and I’m bad with scary movies. I spook easily. But those little monsters, they’re something else entirely. They’re downright terrifying. They’re the true demonspan. And honestly, we should banish them to the shadow realm. Get rid of those scary ass smiles!
Dev Thought: I am also horrified by clowns. So much so that I’ve legit blacked out from fear on two occasions. Once was when my Dad took us to a circus for the first time. We had great seats. The clowns ran into the audience, and I screamed, started crying, fell into the fetal position and fainted. My family hasn’t been to a Circus since then.
When I was like 14 or 15, I thought I’d grown up enough to get over this crippling fear of clowns. So when the town I lived in had a Summer Carnival, I went with my friends. There was a Clown there making balloon animals and stuff for the small children. Some of my friends wanted to go and get balloon animals, and then watch his show. We started walking towards the Clown. My heartbeat jacked up and I started sweating. But I was determined to face my fears and triumph over them!
This next part of the story, I have no memory. This is pieced together from different accounts told to me by my friends and other onlookers. Supposedly, the Clown walked up to me and squeezed his nose. My friends heard him explaining to the paramedics that arrived that I looked very uncomfortable and scared, and he wanted to show me that everything was okay. Except when he squeezed his nose, I had some kind of psychotic breakdown. I screamed and started crying. And then I vomited cotton candy and deep-fried snickers bars all over the Clown before crying some more, running off to behind one of the food tents and passing out. Oh, and I also urinated in my pants as I ran. And in the process of doing this, I deeply traumatized many small children, the Clown, and a few of the parents at the Carnival. Who called 911, which led to the cops and paramedics showing up.
I woke up in the ambulance. And then my parents showed up at the hospital. I was physically alright. And there is nothing modern medicine can really do about my crippling fear of Clowns. And so we went home.
One of my greatest fears is that one day, there will be a Circus near the hospital I’m working at. And there’ll be some kind of an accident where a bunch of Clowns are injured. And they’re all going to show up at the ER I’m working at, and I’m going to lose my mind.
Shanks Thought: I actually find Clowns attractive, specifically girls in clown make-up. I don’t know why, but it’s hot. Also, she’s a clown! So imagine all the kinky stuff you can do with her in bed. You walk in the door after a long day of work. The lights are dimmed, and you can hear romantic music faintly playing upstairs. So you go up and check, and you’re greeted by your hot clown girlfriend in lingerie.
Okay, nevermind. Let’s drop that train of thought. I clearly don’t know how to write softcore porn, and I clearly don’t have the personal experience to actually imagine the scene in my head. The only point I’m trying to make here is that Clowns are hot, specifically Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. Like sweet Jesus is she smoking, and she’s my type too! Man… I really wish I could get with Margot Robbie. Apparently, that creeps Sietse and Devshard out, so more for me!