An Xin glanced at her hand and smiled. This medicine is killer! It always works when I really need it to! She then turned her head slightly so she could look at Lin Feng. I’m playing with you. With the real you! Her smile brightened and goosebumps ran down her arms. This is everything I ever wanted. She took a deep, long breath and focused on her screen. The game was in its fifth minute and she was running towards the top lane on her favourite Champion. She scrunched her eyebrows and said over the team’s voice chat, “Looks like their Gragas forgot to ward. Bait him, Zhang Hao.”
Zhang Hao nodded and replied, “Let me screw up a bit here! I need 10 seconds tops! They think I suck anyway!”
An Xin giggled as she had her Lee Sin hide in the brush right below the top lane. She moved her camera up a bit and watched Zhang Hao move his Lissandra forward to last hit a minion, and by doing so drawing aggro from a few other minions. He then ran back quickly and kept running until the minions stopped attacking him. When he came back towards the minions, he had less health than Gragas and his minions were ill-positioned. An Xin shook her head and said, “That’s surprisingly convincing.”
“I’m pretty good at screwing up like this. I like to pretend it’s a gift,” Zhang Hao replied, laughing.
Team Beijing’s Gragas fell for the trap. He Body Slammed into Lissandra and followed up with Barrel Toss. But right then, An Xin’s Lee Sin appeared from the brush while Lissandra stunned Gragas with Ring of Frost! From there it was a pure 2 versus 1. Gragas never really had a chance. It was Zhang Hao in the end who picked up the kill.
Team Beijing’s Toplaner threw his arms up and cursed, “Goddammit! Goddammit!” He shook his hand and banged his fist on the desk. “Fuck! FUCK! How did I let myself fall for that? It was so obvious! Come on, idiot! Don’t be such a fucktard!”
“It’s okay, bud,” Team Beijing’s Jungler said. He forced a smile on his face and then turned his head to look at his Toplaner. “It’s fine. Just a small setback. But we’ve grown used to those, huh?” He laughed, awkward. He then continued, “I can’t really do much pre-6 either. Just, I don’t know, try to play it safe. Stay behind the tower and all that stuff. It’s not ideal, but…”
“But it’s all we can do,” Yu Ping finished through gritted teeth.
Team Beijing’s Jungler nodded and said, “What Yu Ping says.”
Su Xue clenched her fists and cheered, “BunBun with the assist in top! Her Lee is sooooooo amazing! Did you guys all see that?” She looked at the camera and through it imagined the hundred thousand plus people sitting behind their computers watching her. She smiled and continued, “When she plays Lee, it’s game over! Team Beijing doesn’t stand a chance!”
「ITS THE GODDESSLEEE」
「LIL BRO AND HIS HAREM GOING TO WIN THE WHOLE DAMN THING!!!!」
「bunbuns lee makes lee look so much better than he really is」
「TOO GOOD! TEAM SHANGHAI TOO GOOD!」
The broadcasting director had a replay of the fight in the top lane play when the sound from the live version announced that a kill happened somewhere. He cut the replay and the camera moved in a frenzy across the screen, searching for the corpse. It stopped a few moments later on the mid lane. LeBlanc’s corpse lay on the ground.
FourEyesChan stared at his screen and muttered into his microphone, “What? How! They’re not even Level 6 yet! How the hell did he get a solo kill on LeBlanc!?”
“It shouldn’t be possible!” Cherry exclaimed.
“WHAT THE FUCK! SHOW US A REPLAY!”
“How in the world did he pick up that kill!?”
“REPLAY OR RIOT!”
“REPLAY OR RIOT!”
“REPLAY OR RIOT!”
“REPLAY OR RIOT!”
“I’ve got it from good sources,” FourEyesChan started. He briefly paused for the audience to quiet down a bit and then continued, “That we’re getting a replay in t-minus 3, 2… NOW!”
Everyone watching the Winter Collegiate Cup Finals turned their attention to the replay. It showed Yasuo and LeBlanc in the mid lane. They were both low on health, but Yasuo still had his health pot. He chugged it down and a green, rejuvenating aura appeared around him.
A new wave of minions arrived in the mid lane. Yasuo dashed through a minion to arrive in front of LeBlanc and stabbed forward with his katana! A storm started brewing on the tip of his blade. But his health was still relatively low. Low enough that LeBlanc thought she could kill him. She placed a Sigil of Malice on him and tried to trigger it with Distortion!
“OH MY GOD!”
“HOW THE HELL!?”
Yasuo dashed through another minion to put enough distance from LeBlanc that the splash damage from Distortion completely missed him. By doing so, he also stopped the Sigil of Malice from triggering. LeBlanc followed up with Ethereal Chains, hurled in the direction Yasuo was moving. But Yasuo swiped his blade up, commanding the winds to form a Wind Wall. The Ethereal Chains slammed into the Wind Wall and disintegrated, after which Yasuo burst through the Wind Wall, dashed through LeBlanc and hit her with the second cast from Steel Tempest! Winds danced around the length of his blade!
The damage triggered LeBlanc’s passive. A clone of her appeared on the map. It started running away, while the real one waited for an opportunity. Yasuo didn’t fall for the trick. He didn’t chase the clone and instead hit the real one with an auto attack. LeBlanc then panic Flashed, confirming that the one Yasuo was attacking was indeed the real one.
Yasuo Flashed after LeBlanc and arrived underneath Red Team’s Outer Tower. It targeted him and charged up an energy shot. He ignored it and stabbed out with a third Steel Tempest. The winds gathered along his blade flew out onto Rift as a gust! It carved a path through the grass and knocked LeBlanc up into the air! He then auto attacked her and Ignited her. An energy shot from the Tower hit him. Because of the health from the potion he popped earlier, he survived. Barely. The Tower charged up for another shot. He hit LeBlanc with one more auto attack and then dashed away through a minion.
The unquenchable flames burned LeBlanc, searing through the last few dregs of her health. The audience watching the game went silent. They knew the outcome of the fight, but they were still enthralled and on the edge of their seats as they watched what happened. It was the final tick from Ignite that killed LeBlanc. And back in lane, Yasuo cleared his minion wave before recalling back to base.
Qiu Yijie looked around the stands. Everywhere he looked, people were up on their feet and cheering. These Beijing locals who were so negative about Team Shanghai at the start of the series had forgotten about that completely. As far as they were concerned, Team Beijing didn’t even exist anymore. There was only Team Shanghai for them. He shook his head and then said to his teammates and the players from Zhejiang University, “That’s what I meant. 5D chess. The way that he plays here, it’s…” He shrugged. There were no words to describe what he wanted to say.
Sun Ruinian nodded and added, “Yep. Such a clean kill. What’s there to say? He’s better than everyone else combined at this tournament… He doesn’t belong at this level.”
Zou Cheng pumped his fist in the air and shouted, “WIN FENG IS GOING TO THE LPL! WIN FENG TO THE LPL!”
Cherry grabbed her microphone and said, “Pfooh! We’ve had an exciting 2 minutes! But now we’ve had a bit to cool down from that. Let’s take stock of the game here. FourEyesChan, take it away!”
FourEyesChan smiled and analysed, “We’re 7 minutes into this game! Team Shanghai has taken an early lead this game. They got first blood up in top, a lane they’re winning right now, and a solo kill in mid. Which means they’re up 2 kills to zero. There’s also a bot lane in League of Legends, but the four players down there are on their own little island. I haven’t seen anything worth mentioning from them yet.”
Cherry giggled and added, “This is all about the Yasuo! And a little about the Jungle and top lane… But look at Yasuo! He’s up 10 CS already! That’s almost 2 full waves! We’re only 7 minutes in here! That’s a lot! And at this rate… LeBlanc is going to get killed again, I’m telling you!”
“Not so fast!” FourEyesChan replied. He adjusted his glasses and continued, “Look in the river. Rengar is Level 6 and coming in for a gank! Maybe he can turn the mid lane back in Team Beijing’s favour!”
Lin Feng’s Yasuo dashed through two minions to arrive in front of LeBlanc. He stabbed out at her with Steel Tempest, and the winds gathered along the length of his blade yet again. Right then, a red exclamation mark appeared above his head. A gank? Sweet! Lin Feng grinned and narrowed his eyes, breathing slowly. Calm. The game slowed before his eyes. He saw the start of the animation for Ethereal Chains and dodged it by dashing through a minion. Rengar is al—
A primal roar cut through the air! Rengar appeared from the shadows and pounced on Yasuo! He threw an empowered Bola mid-jump! It was coated in a thick layer of magic that added a root effect! The bola spun around its axis, again and again.
Lin Feng flicked his mouse and pressed the W key. His Yasuo’s blade slashed out horizontally and created a Wind Wall! The Bola flew straight into it and was stopped by the power of the winds, falling down to the ground.
“OH MY GOD!” Cherry screeched. “HE BLOCKED IT!”
FourEyesChan adjusted his glasses and said, “That’s some next level play!—”
“IT’S NOT OVER YET!” Cherry screamed. She jumped up from her seat and pointed at the screen, continuing, “Look! LOOK! THERE! LEE SIN IS COMING FOR A COUNTERGANK! IT’S THE TURNTABLES!”
Climate Change & Global Warming
Sietse Thought: My mom asked me to take care of some plants for her last month. I said it was fine and have been doing that, for the most part… See, it’s been raining a ton here in the Netherlands and I figured that if it’s raining, there really isn’t a need for me to go and water these plants outside, right? It made perfect sense in my head. They’re getting rainwater! Why would they need more water?
I’m a dumbfuck. Most of the plants were (and still are) fine. They get rainwater and grow stronger every day. But then there’s this one plant. I hadn’t even thought about it, but it’s below a tiny roof. Technically it’s outside, but unless the wind blows in a very specific direction, it stays dry. The plant looks dead 🙁 I completely forgot about the tiny roof. But there are still a few branches that look like they’ve got some life to them… So the last few days, I’ve been giving it all the water it could possibly want. I’m just scared the thing won’t survive it. I’m guessing it won’t just look good again after a few days. But, you know… seeing some positive stuff happening to that plant would be great. Anything more than looking dead. Please, stupid plant! LIVE!
Dev Thought: Just blame global warming, Sietse. It’s a universal catch-all for this stuff. You watered the plants, but they dried out because of global warming. Climate change! Methane gas!
Speaking of methane. So apparently, there’s a lot of it in the air because of unsustainable cattle farming and livestock practices. I’m not super sure of the science here. But apparently, people want to eat too much beef these days. And in order to eat beef, you need to make it from cows. So since there’s a demand for the beef, the agricultural industry responded by increasing the supply. But the cows apparently fart too much, and that’s clogging our atmosphere with too much methane.
… which brings me to my point. So we’re progressing technologically, and it is very possible that we’re going to hit the age of space exploration and advancement in the next 100 years or so. We’ll have colonies on giant space rocks, floating satellite cities in orbit or just cruising around the void of space, etc, etc. If this climate change stuff gets to the point where all of us humans will be forced off the Earth and onto colonies in space, can you imagine the explanation that children will get taught in schools? Or if we meet other intelligent life through our travels and explorations of space?
“We had to leave our home planet because the cow farts made it too hot.”