つ CN•HOOK2 take my energy ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ

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“Did you all see that? CN•HOOK2 anticipated that the Lee Sin would come back to mid for another kill and waited for it! Then he played it perfectly to get a turn around kill!” Lightless screamed into his microphone. He slapped his thigh and said, “What a beautiful outplay on Lee Sin!”

The hundreds of thousands of people in Lightless’ stream chat also erupted with excitement, flooding the chat with walls of text.

In the gaming house of an NLB team in Korea, Clue’s eyelids twitched as he watched Zed dance through the gank and a 2v1 to kill the Lee Sin on his team. Goddammit! I don’t know who this CN•HOOK2 is or where he came from, but this guy is way more difficult to deal with than I thought he’d be. I can’t be reckless anymore or treat this as a casual game. I gotta give it all I’ve got or I’m going to turn into a doormat for him to walk all over! 

Can I still turn this around? I was careless at the start… careless enough to completely lose the early game. Now that Zed has two kills… can I still come back? Or have I lost the midlane completely? 

15 minutes from the start of the game, Lin Feng’s Zed had a KDA of 4/1/1. 

Lin Feng’s forehead was unfurrowed, his breathing was slow and regular, and his expression was completely calm. He played with perfect precision and machine-like efficiency. His hands never stopped moving, and the sound of his mouse clicks and keyboard taps created an entrancing rhythm.

By the 20 minute-mark, his Zed was 6/1/2. And at 27 minutes, Lin Feng and the Blue Team secured the victory. 

Everyone following CN•HOOK2’s climb on the forums cheered and celebrated when they refreshed the Korean Challenger ladder page to see the end result of the game. The people following on Lightless’ stream were also ecstatic! More importantly, the number of concurrent viewers on Lightless’ stream had climbed to more than 1 million viewers! His chat was impossible to keep up with as messages flooded in at a breakneck pace from so many people. 

At present, CN•HOOK2 had won four out of the five games that he played and League fans all over China were losing their minds.

However, this ranked climb was still far from over for Lin Feng. He continued onto his 6th game of the night, and this time he was playing Jayce. A midlane Champion who was known as the Defender of Tomorrow. Jayce’s weapon was the Mercury Hammer, forged from Hextech. And it could switch between the Mercury Hammer form and the Mercury Cannon form. 

By the time his 6th game hit the 10 minute mark, Lin Feng had already solo-killed the opposing Orianna twice.

At 18 minutes, Lin Feng completely decimated the opponent’s ranks in a teamfight around the Dragon Pit. And when the game timer hit 32 minutes, Lin Feng had won another game! He was on another win streak with two consecutive victories!

In the hotel room, Lin Feng took another sip of his water and closed his eyes for 10 seconds. That brief respite was all he needed. After taking a deep breath, he dove right back into the battlegrounds of Summoner’s Rift for a 7th game. 

A 7th game where he was, once again, victorious! Lin Feng had reestablished his win streak with a hat trick!

At this moment, let alone the casual League players watching CN•HOOK2’s climb, even the pro players watching Lightless’ stream were completely blown away by his incredible gameplay and perseverance! 

“PFOO!” Lightless exclaimed. He shook his head, incredulous, and laughed loudly. “See?” he asked towards the camera aimed at his face. “See? I knew it was going to be hard and it looked like CN•HOOK2 was gonna get sniped Korean style. But he’s way too good to let that happen!” He paused to read his stream’s chat before continuing, “That’s back to Rank 8 for our Chinese Secret Agent! He’s even closing in on 7th!”

did you ever get this close???
you tried to climb to top 10 too right?!?
tell us how hard it is!!!!
do you think its hermes??
Do you know who it is?
What odds do you give him?

Lightless looked at his chat and smiled. What odds would I give One? A solid 1. If anyone’s going to do it, it’s him. But that doesn’t make it any easier… He grimaced and closed his eyes, thinking back to a time where he tried to achieve the same goal. I failed. I was never good enough. But then again, I’m not one. He opened his eyes and said to his viewers, “We can’t celebrate too early. This is the time that the Korean professional players log on to play a game. If he gets matched up against someone like Rake… Well, rip I guess. But it might not even take professional players. Like some of you said, I tried to do the same a year ago. I got together with a friend of mine and we duo queued, which by the way is far easier than climbing solo. But when we got deep into the top 100, everyone started going against us. Literally everyone. The pressure combined with everyone being against you? That was too much for me. I went on a big ass losing streak. I just hope CN•HOOK2 won’t fall for the same trap.”

CN•HOOK2 won his 8th game and reached Rank 7. He was doing what everyone else dared only dream. They spammed different forumboards and the various streams that were talking about Lin Feng’s games. But there was only one stream that was showing the live gameplay. That was Lightless’ stream. Everyone in China with access to the internet tuned in and many of them flooded his chat with their excitement.

Omg, he actually won again!
Fucking hell! Nobody can stop hook2! Hahaha!
Is he gonna climb all the way to rank!? It’s gonna happene!
God! It’s a new god of league
Hook2 is my idol!

Lightless read through his chat, but he couldn’t share the same excitement with his viewers. All they’re seeing is another win. Three wins, a loss and then a four game win streak. That sounds impossible at this level. But it’s also 9 full games. That takes a lot out of you. This last game especially. It was like his teammates were playing against him too. The amount of mental resilience that asked of him… He can’t keep this up. It just isn’t possible. Maybe he should take a short break… Just then it’s going to be so much harder to hit the Top 5… If that’s even his goal. Probably is. Right. Streaming. He smiled at his camera and cheered, “Yeay for CN•HOOK2!”

“Ah, come on!” Lin Feng yelled at his laptop screen, throwing his arms up in the air. “What the fuck was that!?” He groaned as he was forced to accept the loss. It only took my teammates 18 minutes to screw up so hard that… He breathed in, letting the air fill his lungs. No excuses. I could’ve played that better. I should’ve carried harder. He breathed out and tried to let every hint of irritation escape from his body with it.

Lin Feng gritted his teeth and shouted, “Fuck!” He shook his head and then said to his screen, “How did this Kha’Zix give their Lee Sin 3 kills in 7 minutes? How does that even work!? And this ad-carry? What is wrong with them!? How do you only have half the CS of your lane opponent? This is Challenger, not Challenged League!”

Lin Feng slammed his hand down on his desk in frustration. Frustration aimed at himself and not at his teammates. He knew solo queue was all about the individuals. And he knew there were going to be good games and bad games. And downright terrible games. There were always going to be games that he simply couldn’t win or games where he had to try so hard that the question became if it was worth the effort it would take to win. But those were the simple truths of solo queue. “I’m better than this,” he mumbled to himself, clicking through the menus and finding he’d dropped back to Rank 8. “I’m better than this, dammit! But I’ve only got a bit more to go and I still need so many points to get to Rank 5!”

The people following Lin Feng’s ascent of the Korean Challenger were far more upset than Lin Feng was. New posts appeared on the different forumboards and Lightless’ stream was lighting up with the most obscene curses, all of which were directed at Lin Feng’s teammates. Lightless’ moderators were working overtime, trying to distinguish the good from the bad messages.

fuck! Were hook2’s teammates brain dead or something?
I’ve never seen someone feed so badly in Challenger!
how did that kha’zix and kog’maw even get out of bronze! Can you even buy boosted accounts in Challenger!?!
dox them someone goo doxx tehm.
they had to be doing it on purpose! There’s no way!

Lightless raised his hands and said, “Guys, guys, cool it. Please.” He then focused on his screen again, because CN•HOOK2 was in queue again. Dammit, One! This isn’t like you! Everyone else is too busy with your teammates, but I’m here to watch you. Do you really not see how tired you are? You’re slipping up! This is a game you would’ve won three hours ago! But… I get it. The time crunch. You’ve only got two hours to go. He grimaced and said to his viewers, “Looks like he’s going into his next game. Let’s give him some positive vibes and energy!”

つ CN•HOOK2 take my energy ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ
つ CN•HOOK2 take my energy ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ
つ CN•HOOK2 take my energy ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ
つ CN•HOOK2 take my energy ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ
つ CN•HOOK2 take my energy ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ
つ CN•HOOK2 take my energy ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ
つ CN•HOOK2 take my energy ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ
つ CN•HOOK2 take my energy ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ
つ CN•HOOK2 take my energy ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ
つ CN•HOOK2 take my energy ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ
つ CN•HOOK2 take my energy ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ
つ CN•HOOK2 take my energy ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ

The game lasted just short of 30 minutes. Lightless shook his head the entire time. He’s not tilted, or not playing like he is anyway. But he isn’t playing at the level we saw earlier tonight. He’s making silly mistakes and his plays are slower. And of course he is! He’s been playing these high intensity games all day! It’d be strange if he wasn’t exhausted! It’s just… Fuck! I want to see you win, man! Refind yourself, for all of us. Please!

two losses in a row?????
come on! Where are the win streaks from ebfore! Don’t tell me he’s tilted from that loss earlier?
crap, if he’s actually tilted, it’ll be hard to keep climbing!
nooooooo y u do tis to meeeee?!?!??!??!!??
:C I just wanna see him win….
Hes climbing the ladder like I do the stairs… I dont get up my stairs QQ

Lin Feng rubbed his eyes and repressed a yawn. I should’ve won that last game. It’s… He sighed and shook his head. I’m not even frustrated. I’m just… I’m tired. He blinked a couple of times, finding it progressively more difficult to open his eyes again. Maybe I should just take a nap… What time is i— “No nap! No nap!” he exclaimed, his eyes growing round and wide. “Shit! Where did the time go!? I’ve only got a bit longer to go! It’s almost over and I’m losing! ShitShitShit! Drink and play!” He reached for his glass of water and took a sip from it, then scrunched his eyebrows and looked at the glass. Oh… Empty.

“Here, drink this.”

The voice sounded like that of an angel to Lin Feng. It caused tingles in his neck as his exhaustion disappeared. He looked up at An Xin who was offering him a glass of water and smiling at him. He smiled weakly back at her.

An Xin shook her head and pushed the glass into Lin Feng’s hands. She said, “Working hard like usual, eh? Oh, wow wow! Don’t drink that all in one go! You’ll have to go to the toilet in the middle of your next game. We wouldn’t want that, now would we?” She smiled brighter and winked at him. “You got this, Lin Feng.”

Just some behind-the-scenes updates

Dev Thought: Guys. Alright. We’ve been hitting it a little fast-and-loose with the release rate and timings. But this entire section is proving to be such a giant pain in the ass. The biggest obstacle that I’ve been running into every single day is that the concept of time seems very fluid here. 

So Korea is an hour ahead of China. That means that 12AM in Korea is 11PM in China. Lin Feng is in China, and he started playing at 7PM-ish. That gives him roughly 4 hours to play a bunch of games and climb as high as possible, right? And we know from 2 chapters ago that every game takes him around 30 minutes. So in a SUPER IDEAL WORLD where there are no queue times at the Challenger tier, Lin Feng can play a total of 8 games. That’s easy and quick mafs. 

At some point in the middle of all of this, the author completely forget what he set up for this whole thing. Or there was a typo somewhere that he didn’t notice. But Lin Feng’s playing a boatload of games and continuing to climb, fall, climb, until server reset. Now let’s say that suspension-of-disbelief applies and Lin Feng’s queue pops every time he hits the “PLAY” button because this is magic-novel-funtime rules. And no one bothers to do a queue dodge because their main champion got banned or it looked like an unfavorable team comp. Even then, there’s just not enough time for Lin Feng to play all the games that he’s supposed to play. 

So after some deep math and detail hunting on the internet, I believe I’ve discovered the solution. 

1.) Season reset on the Korean server is NOT at 12AM as previously discussed. It’s at 3AM because that’s the historical time. Everyone gets booted out of the client at 3AM. So I gotta go back and do some fixing on the old chapters to make that fall in line better. 

2.) Now its impossible to know the exact ELO calculation for LP gains because this is way too far in the past. But if we sorta guesstimate a bit, the intense number of games that Lin Feng plays on this journey aren’t actually necessary and they’re just word padding. Like if you’ll notice above, Lin Feng’s 7th game is legit just “Lin Feng started up his 7th game… AND THEN HE WON HIS 7TH GAME OH MY GAWD HOW COULD THIS BE I SLIPPED OFF MY CHAIR BECAUSE MY SHORTS ARE SO WET~!!!” 

So we can kill some of those to bring the number of games more in-line with something realistic. I realize that I’m not giving you guys exact details over why this is necessary, but I don’t want to spoil what’s going to happen too much. So I’m trying tip-toe around it while still giving you enough information on what’s been going on behind-the-scenes in terms of production. 

It’s been a real, real, real joy. I hate it when there’s exact time-bound things like this in a novel. It’s fun for you guys to read. But it sucks so hard to work on.

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