The two shoutcasters for the Team Shanghai versus Shenyang University match sat on a raised platform next to the stage. They had a great view into the soundproof booths of both teams, but they were really only staring at Team Shanghai. More specifically, they were looking at Tang Bingyao and An Xin.
“Can’t believe it. Just can’t,” said the male caster into his microphone. “I’ve seen the East China Regionals highlights. I’ve watched the main event in Guangzhou. I know Team Shanghai has girls on their team. And I know they’re a good team. But… They’ve got girls on their team, yo.”
The female caster giggled and said, “Maybe if I’d tried a bit harder at becoming better at League, I’d be sitting there now!”
“Got that right, PufPuf,” the male caster replied, laughing. He then focused on the large LCD screen above the stage and continued, “But let’s focus on the game. Both teams banned some Champions… Looks like Shenyang is trying to ban all of Team Shanghai’s Midlaner’s Champions… Both teams picked pretty normal Champs… Really nothing special.”
PufPuf scratched her eyebrow and said, “Team Shanghai’s Midlaner playing a control mage is pretty off. We usually see him on an assassin. And then their Jungler got Lee again. She seems to really like her Lee. What do you think, TheBrawnster?”
TheBrawnster snorted and replied, “Half the time the opponent loves it when she picks Lee too.” He briefly paused, grinning as the audience responded to his quip with loud laughter. Everyone has seen the highlights of her failures. It’s a hit on Baidu! He then continued, “I don’t get it though. Why does she keep insisting on picking Lee? What’s so special about him? What’s he bringing that she can’t get from another Champ, preferably one she’s actually good at!?”
“Wish I knew. Wish I knew…” PufPuf replied with a sigh. “But it’s crazy they got this far while that Lee just keeps failing.”
“Well, worst case…” TheBrawnster started. He then paused, waiting for the response from the audience before adding, “Worst case we get to see a really hot girl failing spectacularly at a Champion. That ain’t too bad, am I right? I am, yeah!”
A second wave of laughter rolled through the audience. Most of the people in the stadium were Beijing natives, and they were proud of that fact. It wasn’t to the extent of arrogance, but they did feel a certain superiority over the rest of China. And when someone tried to challenge them on that, they would argue that Shanghai might be the so-called esports capital of the world and that Guangzhou might be massive in the esports world, but that the Chinese Esports Association still chose to locate its headquarters in Beijing. Because Beijing was the best. But Team Shanghai couldn’t hear this argument, and so the audience couldn’t explain this to them. That left them with only one other course of action and that was to make fun of Team Shanghai.
“We’ve got two teams in the quarters! What do they have?”
“Fudan, Zhejiang and them so that’s…”
“Fudan and Zhejiang don’t count. They suck and will be out this round 100%!”
“They’re just like the other Shanghai teams, all just relying on luck! They ain’t got no skill!”
“Lel! How can ye be good with two grils on the team? SCRUUUUBS!”
“Time to watch some tits jiggle!”“JIGGLE THEM TITS FOR US!”
“We ain’t gonna get a good game with two shitty teams, so give us some entertainment!”
Collegiate Cup Quarterfinals
Team Shanghai (Blue) vs. Shenyang University (Red)
Top: Maokai vs. Darius
Jungle: Lee Sin vs. Gragas
Mid: Orianna vs. Ziggs
Ad-Carry: Tristana vs. Jinx
Support: Thresh vs. Janna
《Welcome to Summoner’s Rift!》
The first game in this best of five series started. The casters were hyping everyone up and the audience was responding to them with loud cheers and screams. But the game didn’t get off to a hot, fiery start. There were no big early invades or flashy engagements. Both teams played it safe. They placed defensive wards along the river to protect themselves from an invade and then waited behind the protection of their defensive structures.
Minions spawned and marched down the lanes. They clashed against their counterparts halfway towards the opponent’s base. And the Champions from Team Shanghai and Shenyang University walked up to get the last hits on the minions. There was a silence that felt oppressing. Like the calm before a storm. The audience stared at the minimap, waited for the Junglers to make their first move.
That first move happened in the 4th minute of the game. Shenyang University’s Gragas had cleared his Blue Buff Camp, followed by the Red Buff Camp and now snuck into the brush right below the top lane. He waited for a couple of seconds, allowing Zhang Hao’s Maokai to push forward a bit more, and then he Body Slammed into the lane!
Zhang Hao’s Maokai looked completely out of position. Shenyang University’s Darius pulled Maokai towards him with Apprehend and together with Gragas started attacking him. But An Xin’s Lee Sin arrived for a countergank. She dashed in with a Sonic Wave into Resonating Strike and then slammed her fist down on the ground to Cripple Darius and Gragas!
“Oh shit! Look at that!” TheBrawnster shouted into his microphone. “Lee with the counter! They’re getting Darius low fas— Flash! Darius had to Flash away!”
“And it’s not over!” PufPuf shrieked. She pulled her microphone a bit closer and continued, “Gragas is still on Maokai! Look at that healthbar! It’s dropping, dropping, dro— FLASH! ANOTHER FLASH! This time it’s Maokai! It’s a Flash for a Flash!”
“Pfooh!” TheBrawnster said. He shook his head and added, “What a fight! What a treat! More of that, please! No kills but plenty of action!”
The action stayed with that one gank to the disappointment of the audience. Lin Feng’s Orianna in the mid lane had a battle for the highest creep score with Shenyang’s Ziggs, neither side showing much interest in each other. And down in bot lane there was a back and forth with no real winner. Tristana and Thresh were weaker in the early game, but held the defensive edge which was enough to keep the lane even.
“YAWN! Action please! ACTION!”
“Why did I get up for this? 5 minutes in and still no kills! Fucking shit players!”
“We need a Beijing team to show them how a real team plays!”
“U-Tech’s game earlier was far more exciting! Why can’t we have another series like that?”
“So sleepy… Someone get me some coffee. A cold venti.”
The players from Team Beijing sat in the player seating area right below the stage, watching the game. They weren’t trying to convince whoever would listen of their superiority; they were watching the game with their full attention. This to the great relief of their manager. He looked at them rather than at the game and smiled. It took me some time, but fortunately they see it now. Team Shanghai is a real opponent. We need to prepare for the eventuality that we have to play against them. And then we can show that we’re superior!
Zhang Hongyi glared at the large LCD screen. His hatred for Zeng Rui tried to consume him, but he didn’t let it get that far. Instead, he used it to fuel himself. He forced it to help him focus as he watched every minute movement and prepared himself for the possibility of playing against Team Shanghai. Fucking Zeng Rui and his stupid ass team! I’ll kick you all down to where you belong! Screw you especially, Zeng “Stupid” Rui!
Next to hatred sat the competitive spirit. Yu Ping breathed slowly and watched the game through narrowed eyes. From time to time he glanced down at Team Shanghai’s soundproof booth, observing Lin Feng. His stomach leaped. He picked Flash and Ignite. You only pick Flash and Ignite when you want to make the plays. He’s going to make the plays on… Orianna. She’s a control mage. How is he going to force a play?
Lin Feng briefly closed his eyes and took a long, deep breath. When he opened his eyes again, they were focused. The game was 6 minutes in and he was one minion from hitting Level 6. He glanced at the creep score and saw he was 10 ahead. More importantly, he’d also used Orianna’s Ball to deal a bit of damage to Ziggs whenever possible. He’s down to half, we’re both hitting 6 in the next few minions and he isn’t backing… They’re gonna be ganking. Just Gragas. The others are in their lanes. I can take that! He grinned as he placed his index finger over the D key and lightly pushed down, patient.
TheBrawnster grabbed his microphone and said, “Ziggs is in real danger now! Ori is hitting— Has hit Level 6! She just needs to ult him and then throw the Ignite down and it’s a solo kill! Just think of how embarrassing that’d be!”
“WaitWaitWait!” PufPuf shrieked, pointing at the minimap. “Look! Gragas is coming! Ziggs is just staying there to bait Ori! They’re gonna gank and kill her! Shenyang University with the perfect bait!”
Shenyang University’s Gragas snuck into the brush right above the mid lane. He ran to the side closest to the Blue Team’s outer tower and then pinged on Lin Feng’s Orianna. Ziggs ran forward and he did too. He ran out from the brush, covering a short distance before activating Body Slam! Gragas threw himself forward! A mottled flash of light fell over him and carried him and his momentum towards Lin Feng’s Orianna!
“E-FLASH! E-FLASH!” TheBrawnster shouted.
Lin Feng breathed out, grinning. He watched it play out precisely as he’d expected. The gank came. Ziggs ran forward, away from Red Team’s tower, and threw a Hexplosive minefield at him while Gragas tried to immobilize him with a Body Slam. And now we Flash. He pressed down on his keyboard. A veil of light fell over his Orianna and whisked her away right when she would’ve been hit by the combination of spells. The briefest moment of silence followed. Tension. Waiting to see where she was going. Then she was dropped back on the map. Right on top of Ziggs.
The casters, streamviewers and people in the audience couldn’t believe their eyes. They were all waiting to see where Lin Feng was going to escape too. But he wasn’t retreating; he was pressing forward. Ever onwards. Most people didn’t know how to react, but Su Xue did. All the way back in Shanghai, she was streaming the game and casting it for her viewers. She clenched her fist and made Lin Feng’s trademark victory pose before shouting, “HOLY SHIT! HE’S PULLING A WIN FENG! HE’S PULLING A WIN FENG!”