“NO TILTING!” Yu Ping shouted over the team’s voice chat. He looked to his left at Zhang Hongyi and the ad-carry, then turned his head to the other side and looked at his Jungler and Toplaner. They were all staring at their screens with scowls of frustration. He continued, “It’s just TF and Nocturne. Nothing to worry about. We’ve got 8 minutes to make them absolutely worthless!”
Zhang Hongyi replied through gritted teeth, “And worthless we will make them! Show that ass in mid how good you are!”
Yu Ping nodded and said, “I will. I will show him exactly how wrong he is in underestimating me!” He briefly paused to look around at his teammates before adding, “But I can’t do this alone. All of us need to shut them down.”
Team Beijing’s Jungler took a deep breath and agreed, “Yes. And we will. I’ll make sure the Nocturne is useless! Screw his nightmares!”
“And I’ll kick their Toplaner’s ass!” Team Beijing’s Toplaner chimed in. He clenched his fist and continued, “Let me show everyone how bad that guy really is!”
Yu Ping smiled and said, “We got this!”
“WE GOT THIS!” the other players from Team Beijing shouted.
An Xin asked over the team’s voice chat, “Will you be alright in mid? You know they’re gonna camp you.”
Lin Feng grinned and replied, “Of course I’ll be fine! I’m me!” He scratched the back of his head briefly before adding, “But yeah, I know. Ahri again and this time I don’t have Cleanse…”
Twisted Fate was a Champion who was relatively weak during the early game phase. His strength came from his ultimate skill, which gave him vision of all opponents and allowed him to teleport anywhere in a large area around himself. The most obvious way to correct this weak early game from Twisted Fate was to play with a strong Jungler who would gank and put pressure on the mid lane. But Nocturne wasn’t a strong Jungler like that. Nocturne needed to hit Level 6 before he became a threat. This gave Team Beijing a window of 6 to 8 minutes to shut Lin Feng’s Twisted Fate down and keep him out of the game.
This information wasn’t some grand secret privy to only the most elite players. Everyone knew it, from the Bronze players in the stands to Yu Ping on Team Beijing’s side of the stage. The first 8 minutes of the game were going to decide who was most likely to win the game.
But the first few minutes of the game came and went without first blood happening. Lin Feng’s Twisted Fate sidestepped the Charms from Ahri and dodged the spears Nidalee hurled at him. He was practically playing a 1 versus 2 in the mid lane, and he still refused to fall behind. Lin Feng was so good at dodging the pokes, traps, and plays from Team Beijing that it felt like nothing was really happening at all.
Yu Ping’s jaw pulsed as he furiously clicked on his mouse. Twisted Fate was on the other side of the lane, hovering near his outer tower. At least you’re not on Varus. Your poke on Twisted Fate sucks in comparison! He smiled a smile that didn’t reach his eyes. He then glanced at the scoreboard. They were five minutes into the game already. His smile fell flat and he narrowed his eyes a bit more. Your poke sucks and I’m ahead by 7 CS! But that’s not nearly enough to shut you down! At this rate… “Nidalee,” he said over the team’s voice chat.
“Yeah, boss?” Team Beijing’s Jungler asked.
Yu Ping continued, “I’m going to hit Level 6 on the next wave. Come mid again. Actually, go around. Come from behind his tower.”
Team Beijing’s Jungler nodded and said, “On it.”
At 6 minutes, Yu Ping’s Ahri hit Level 6. He learned Ahri’s ultimate skill, Spirit Dash, and activated it. Ahri dashed at Lin Feng’s Twisted Fate and blew a kiss at him! The power of love manifested into the form of a heart and flew towards Twisted Fate. Ahri winked at him, teasing.
Lin Feng expected the Level 6 engage. He was more than ready for it. He Flashed away from the Charm, dodging it, and activated Pick a Card. A blue card appeared above Twisted Fate’s head, followed by a red card. Ahri followed up with a second dash from Spirit Rush and cast ignite on him. Right then, the gold card appeared above Twisted Fate’s head. Lin Feng pressed the W key again and hurled the Gold Card at Ahri. It hit her before she could cast her Orb of Deception or Fox-Fires and stunned her.
“NOW!” Yu Ping hollered over the team’s voice chat.
Team Beijing’s Nidalee had snuck into Team Shanghai’s bot side Jungle. She moved through the brushes until she appeared in the mid lane, between the inner and outer tower. She followed up with Javelin Toss! A large Javelin flew through the air, gaining in power the further it flew, and hit Lin Feng’s Twisted Fate at max range! Nearly half of Twisted Fate’s health disappeared! She then cast Aspect of the Cougar! The amazonian Champion transformed into a cougar and pounced at Twisted Fate!
FourEyesChan leaned over the caster desk and shouted, “SHE’S GOT IT! THEY GOT TF! TAKEDOWN! TAKEDOWN! NIDALEE HAS FATALLY WOUNDED TWISTED FATE! HE’S GOT TO DIE NOW!”
“Kill her!” Team Beijing’s Jungler shouted over the team’s voice chat.
Yu Ping grinned and replied, “Of course.” He cast Spirit Rush for the third time and dashed underneath Team Shanghai’s outer tower. He followed up with Orb of Deception and Fox-Fires! The powerful magic hit Twisted Fate and killed him.
“EAT THAT, SUCKER!” Yu Ping shouted over the team’s voice chat, cheering. He nodded at his Jungler and added, “HECK YEAH! We got him!”
Zhang Hongyi smiled and said, “Nice work! Keep it up!”
Across the stage in Team Shanghai’s soundproof booth, Lin Feng groaned and complained, “How was I supposed to survive that? They dove me! If only I had Cleanse…” He shook his head for a bit, annoyed. He then turned his head to look at An Xin and asked, “How much longer? When are we online?”
An Xin smiled and replied, “Not much longer now. And stop yapping, you got through the first 6 minutes without giving away a kill. They’re screwed.”
“But they killed me…” Lin Feng started. He then took a deep, long breath and added, “Yeah, yeah.”
Yu Ping pushed out the lane after killing Lin Feng’s Twisted Fate and then recalled back to base to spend his gold. When he came back to lane 7 minutes into the game, he continued where he left off by pushing the lane towards Red team’s outer tower. Because the more pressure he put on Lin Feng’s Twisted Fate, the more last hits he would miss and the smaller the impact of his ultimate skill was. I’ll just keep pushing a bit more. Nocturne can come soon, but I’ve got the area warded and I’ve got Charm and Flash. I can get out. I only need to worry about keeping Twisted Fate locke— Huh? Wait. Where? He narrowed his eyes and searched for the Nocturne, which was the only explanation he could come up with as to why Lin Feng’s Twisted Fate had activated Pick a Card.
Zhang Hongyi happened to notice the hesitation from Yu Ping and said over the team’s voice chat, “Just back.”
Yu Ping replied through gritted teeth, “What if it’s just a trick to get me to back?”
“THERE! THERE!” Team Beijing’s Jungler shouted, pinging on the minimap. “SHE’S THERE!”
An Xin’s Nocturne had reached Level 6 and learned the ultimate skill Paranoia. It was a skill that caused paranoia by turning day into night and reducing the vision of all enemy Champions to a small area around them. She then activated it. Darkness fell over Summoner’s Rift. But it was the second part of the skill that made the darkness so much more terrifying. An Xin’s Nocturne could fly at opponents within a large area around her. She smiled and focused on Yu Ping.
“Where is she?” Zhang Hongyi asked.
“Not top,” Team Beijing’s Toplaner replied.
“Mid. I know it,” Yu Ping said through gritted teeth. “Goddamn mid.” He had his Ahri run away, casting Orb of Deception for a small boost to her movement speed. It was enough to get away from Twisted Fate’s Gold Card. The shadow of Nocturne appeared on top of him. KNEW IT! She flew at him and struck at him with her shadow claws! He countered with Flash, travelling a short distance towards his outer tower! He then turned around, waited for An Xin to follow him with Flash, and cast Charm! Try and kill me now, bitch!
A pink heart flew at Nocturne. It was a physical apparition of love! An Xin’s fingers glided across her keyboard. She first cast Shroud of Darkness! A protective layer appeared around her and nullified the effect of Charm! You’re ugly! She continued with Unspeakable Horrors! Nocturne snuck its way into Ahri’s mind and uncovered her greatest fears! He then started playing them on repeat, forcing her to watch them until she was overcome with so much fear that she lost control over her body!
Lin Feng activated Twisted Fate’s ultimate skill. Destiny revealed where all the players from Team Beijing were, and Gate allowed him to teleport a large distance. He used the second part of his ultimate to teleport right behind the feared Ahri, a Gold Card still hovering above his head. When he stepped through the Gate, he grabbed the Gold Card and threw it at Ahri! The card hit her just as the fear from Unspeakable Horrors wore off and stunned her. He followed up with Wild Cards and an auto attack. A large number of playing cards flew through the air, their sharp edges cutting through Ahri and decimating her health bar!
《You have slain an enemy!》
FourEyesChan leaned over the caster desk and screamed, “WOOOOOOOO! THAT’S IT! RIGHT THERE! THAT’S IT!”
Cherry giggled and shouted, “It’s the Twisted-Turne combo! They’re online! Team Shanghai is online! GG!”
“Oh damn! What the…”
“I thought for sure Ahri would get out… She had Charm and Flash!”
“Nocturne was really fast with the spell shield there. That was kinda very impressive.”
“WOOOOO TEAM SHANGHAI!”
“The tilting man is probably tilting hard right now!”
“They really tried to stop TF in the first 5 minutes of the game. But like… That kill was the only thing that really happened…”
“They should’ve tried harder I think. Aside from that kill, TF was never in any real danger…”
Qiu Yijie from Fudan University recoiled in pain, grimacing. He watched the screen and listened to the conversations around him and shook his head. “I know this pain,” he muttered. He then looked at Zou Cheng and continued, “He’s tilted. We both know it. The pressure Lin Feng can put even when behind… And then that happens. All your hard work… Just gone. Gone.”
“That was so, so disgustingly AWESOME!” Zou Cheng replied. He grinned, shaking his head, and added, “Fuck he’s good! How did he do that? 6 minutes of pure defense! And then he just gets the kill…”
Sun Ruinian looked at the two Midlaners and analysed, “We didn’t focus on mid until just now, because there weren’t any fireworks. But we really should’ve been watching. Look at how even he is with Ahri. He was playing a 1 versus 2 lane! Yet he played it so perfectly that it looked boring. He made it look boring. 1 versus 2 with a weak early gamer versus strong early game Champions…”
Qiu Yijie nodded and replied, “Yeah. I’ve given up on trying to understand how he does that. It’s…” He breathed in deeply and then let it all out through his mouth before continuing, “It’s insane. What’s even crazier is that I’m comparing him to Hermes and I can’t help but think he’s better…”
“I know right!” Zou Cheng exclaimed, grinning.
The audience was cheering and the casters were similarly losing their voices. There was only one place in the stadium that was quiet, and that was Team Beijing’s soundproof booth. Yu Ping’s teammates were staring at their screens, trying very hard not to look at him. But they could still feel his anger and frustration. It was so thick in their soundproof booth that it turned tangible.
Yu Ping looked at his screen, at the different shades of black and white, and ground his teeth. Every notion of embarrassment morphed into anger, which cast a bigger and denser cloud in his mind. He squished his mouse between his fingers, ignoring the squeaking and groaning sounds coming from it. SHIT! FUCK FUCK, FUCK! I knew Nocturne was Level 6! I KNEW IT! I GODDAMN KNEW IT! Why did I think I could escape? How did I convince myself that I could escape? HOW STUPID AM I? I SHOULD’VE WAITED FOR MY ULTIMATE! Why? WHY? Why did I let this happen? Now we’re fucked! FUCKED! He closed his eyes and focused on his breathing. In, out, in— “FUCK! FUCK FUCK, FUCK!” he screamed.
Across the stage in Team Shanghai’s soundproof booth, Lin Feng patted himself on the back and said over the team’s voice chat, “Got ‘em first try! Easy like I said!” He had his Twisted Fate recall to base to spend his gold and get back on even ground with Ahri. When he walked back into the lane, he continued, “This is what I like to call the IReallySuck-strategy! I act like a weak puppy and look at them cutely and give them this false sense of security. And then… BAM! We win. Oh, BunBun, come gank mid again soon!”
“You absolute donkey!” An Xin replied. She glared at Lin Feng and continued, “Your IReallySuck-strategy is a flawed strategy! What strategy gets you killed to win!?”
“Mine!” Lin Feng replied, grinning. He then scratched the back of his head and added, “Yeah, shouldn’t have gotten killed earlier… That was a woopsie moment.”
At 9 minutes, Team Beijing’s Nidalee snuck through the Jungle like a cougar. She bypassed Team Shanghai’s wards and appeared behind Zhang Hao’s Irelia who was pushing the lane. But Zhang Hao didn’t notice it. He was focused on landing poke on Dr. Mundo. Until a spear hit him and his health bar dropped by a large amount. He flicked his mouse and spotted Nidalee. His eyes grew round and wide and he muttered, “Fuck.”
《You have been slain!》
Zhang Hao looked at his grey screen and grimaced. He said over the team’s voice chat, “Sorry, guys. I didn’t see her. She just… I thought with the Mundo and… It shouldn’t have happened, my bad. Sorry.”
Zeng Rui replied, “You underestimated Nidalee and Mundo combined. Mundo’s got the slow and Nidalee, when she hits her spear, does a lot of damage. You need to be ready for that. Pay more attention to your wards and when you see her approach, just back. You don’t need to outplay them, you just need to play a steady game.”
“Understood! Thanks,” Zhang Hao replied, nodding.
Lin Feng grinned and interjected, “HaoBro! Why the long face? Cheer up and keep pushing top! BunBun and I will come top in a bit and help you get a kill!”
At 10 minutes, Twisted Fate and Nocturne both had their cooldowns available. Zhang Hao was pushing the top lane with his Irelia and forcing Dr. Mundo to hide underneath his tower. He said over the team’s voice chat, “Ready!”
“Paranoia!” An Xin shouted.
“Destiny!” Lin Feng continued.
Darkness fell over Summoner’s Rift! Nocturne flew across the map at Dr. Mundo and struck him with his shadow blades! Following behind him was Lin Feng’s Twisted Fate, a Gold Card in his hand. Zhang Hao’s Irelia dashed in as well! The three of them unleashed every skill they had! They dealt so much damage that it didn’t matter that Dr. Mundo had a massive health pool, or that his ultimate helped him regain health, or that the outer tower was attacking them. They tore through his health bar within seconds and it was Lin Feng’s Twisted Fate who landed the killing blow.
《You have slain an enemy!》
“Oops!” Lin Feng said over the team’s voice chat. He scratched the back of his head, grinning and apologised, “Sorry, didn’t mean to take the kill.”
“Of course you didn’t,” An Xin replied, her voice filled with sarcasm.
Zhang Hao laughed and said, “It’s okay! Don’t worry about it! Thanks for helping me!”
Across the stage in Team Beijing’s soundproof booth, the Toplaner smashed his fist on the desk and cursed, “What the fuck am I supposed to do there!? I was underneath my tower! They jumped on me anyway! That stupid Nocturne-TF combo is broken! Just like the Varus! Those assholes are just playing broken Champions!”
Yu Ping took a deep, long breath. He closed his eyes and repeated to himself to stay calm, to stay cool, to stay collected. He then opened his eyes and said, “It’s easy, guys. All we need to do is roam ourselves. If we keep talking and know what’s going on, the rest can respond by roaming and making plays. We can counter this Nocturne-TF ridiculousness!”