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The Invasion of Ionia - Part 2

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The invasion of Korean players onto the Ionia server was technically Lin Feng’s fault. But the more accurate statement was CN•HOOK2’s fault. Because there were very few people who knew that Lin Feng was, in fact, CN•HOOK2. 

The reason for this invasion started two days ago, when Lin Feng used the CN•HOOK2 to climb up the Korean Challenger Ladder. He eventually managed to climb into the Top 5 after a final game victory over Orion, one of the top Korean pro players. As far as China was concerned, CN•HOOK2’s climb was a huge source of pride. But on the flip side, it was a mark of shame and humiliation for the Korean players. Many of whom could not let such an insult go unanswered, especially not when Chinese players proudly boasted about how things were finally turning around and that there was now someone who could break Korean domination in League of Legends.  

The Korean League of Legends players had a completely different perspective on CN•HOOK2’s climb. As they saw it, the entire climb was dishonest and CN•HOOK2 deserved none of the accolades he’d been receiving from the League community. From their point of view, CN•HOOK2 only managed to get into the Top 5 through a combination of luck and cheap tricks. It all boiled down to when the climb started, which was hours before the ranked ladder reset. By that time, the Season 5 ranked rewards had already been given out and most players on the Korean server were not paying attention to the rankings anymore. Most of the top Challengers didn’t even log on that night, because there was simply no point in doing so. And that meant that CN•HOOK2 never faced the true Challengers of the Korean server on his climb into the Top 5. 

There was also the matter of CN•HOOK2’s victory over Orion to consider. There was no doubt that Orion was a truly skilled player and one of the best currently active in the Korea region. But the fact that someone completely unknown came into the server from China and beat him in a game, that was something that many Korean players could not believe happened without some mitigating circumstances at play. And what they believed was that Orion was only beaten because he was careless and not taking the fight against CN•HOOK2 seriously. Orion’s lack of focus and a bit of luck managed to put CN•HOOK2 in a position where he won that game. Therefore, no one on the Korean server considered it to be a legitimate victory. Because, as far as they were concerned, it was completely based on luck! On any other day, they saw no possibility of CN•HOOK2 getting into the Top 5 on their server. Nor did they think he could win against Orion, a King, in a rematch. 

But all that justification and analysis could not change the fact that the Korean players had to see CN•HOOK2’s name on their Challenger leaderboard. Just sitting there in 4th place. It infuriated and incensed them just looking at it, and every time it got mentioned was further salt in the wound. Something had to be done, their anger needed an outlet. So they decided to band together and avenge this insult to their honor! 

The plan started out simple. Many of the top Korean players had accounts on the Chinese server, just like many of the top Chinese players had accounts on the Korean server. Initially, they wanted to go in and find CN•HOOK2, show him what it really meant to fight against Korean Challengers. So they jumped into the Ionia server, ready to hunt down CN•HOOK2. Unfortunately, very few of them had accounts on the Chinese server that were in Master or Challenger. They spent more time playing on their Korean accounts than their alt accounts on Ionia. That was where the plan started to go a little sideways. But more than enough of the Korean players who invaded the Ionia server had accounts that they’d gotten to Platinum and Diamond. So they decided they would vent their fury on any and all Chinese players they could find!

All of this led up to the moment where Lin Feng bumped into so many oddly named players who were significantly better than what their rank suggested while he was playing on Su Xue’s account today. There were more than a few viewers who started investigating the disturbance long before Lin Feng even brought it up, and they’d pieced together the chain of events from various sources. The chat collectively explained the situation to Lin Feng and he said, “Ooooh! So that’s what’s going on here?” Then he looked at his screen pensively for a couple of seconds before breaking out into a beaming smile. He exclaimed, “Well, this sounds like a lot of fun!” 

Lin Feng wasn’t just playing up the situation for the viewers on the stream. He genuinely did not care that it was happening at all, and he wasn’t even slightly bothered by it. Hah! I was playing and winning against Korean Challengers just the other night. I spent the whole night doing that. Now that I’m rested and ready to go… this is nothing! Actually… this is a pretty good surprise now that I think about it. I can get in more practice against Korean players while I’ve got a good ping! If fate is going to throw a bunch of Koreans right at me, then I’m going to make the most of it! Time to show them that I’m really good, too!

“Alright, let’s do this!” Lin Feng declared to the stream as he cracked his knuckles. Before long, he found a game and entered Champion Select. He was on the Red Team, and waiting to select his Champion. He glanced at the two teams and noticed the name of the player on the Blue Team who locked in on Yasuo. It was KR•COFF.  Before Lin Feng could say anything about this, the viewers flooded the chat with their own analysis. 

Another Korean player!
No shit! Even an idiot can tell with the KR In his name!
he’s playing Yasuo! Hook2 used Yasuo against Orion the other day!
lil bro! Kick his ass! Teach him a lesson!

Lin Feng’s eyes lit up as he read the chat, and the smile on his face grew wider. Now this is what I call luck! I can’t believe we bumped into one so fast. The viewers are right. I’m 90% sure that this… COFF picked Yasuo in an attempt to bait out CN•HOOK2. Or make a point about his Yasuo. Who knows? But I cannot believe I found the exact kind of player I was looking for in the first game! This is going to be so good…

Without any hesitation, Lin Feng locked in his Champion for the Mid Lane. Alistar, the Minotaur! 

The viewers in Su Xue’s chat were dumbstruck. 

Alistar!?
Ali into yasuo!?! What!?
lil bro, are you trolling!?

Lin Feng brushed the concerns off with a smile. “It’s fine! I’m really good at Alistar too!” 

In the dorms of an ordinary university in Seoul, Korea, a young man was shocked when he saw the opposing team’s Midlaner lock in Alistar. 

“What!? No way, Mid Alistar, really!?”Coff muttered. Then his lips curved into a mocking smile. “I heard China’s best players were all on the Ionia server, but I guess you can still find a few noobs here too, huh? Only an idiot would pick Alistar against Yasuo. Like what can you even do!?” 

Coff’s rank in the Korean server wasn’t high. He had ended Season 5 at Platinum 3. But on the Ionia server, things were very different. He’d already managed to climb as high as Platinum 1. And at the rate he was going, he didn’t think it would take him very long to get into Diamond. If he won this game, he’d be in the Promotion Series to go up to Diamond.  

“This guy has to be trolling. Welp, thanks for the free win!” Coff said as Champion Select ended, and the two teams entered the loading screen.

Coff had no idea what he was walking into, nor did he realize how painfully his eyes would be opened.

“Watch me stomp him!” Lin Feng declared in the loading screen. Then the game started. 

Despite Lin Feng’s unshakeable confidence, the first few minutes of the game did not appear to be going well for his Alistar. There were too many things acting against him. Alistar was a melee champion, but one who didn’t exert a lot of lane pressure in the Mid Lane. Compounding this issue was the fact that Alistar had no significant early game options to poke or duel against a highly mobile champion like Yasuo. The final impediment Lin Feng had to deal with was that Alistar had a very low attack speed during the early game. This made it very difficult to last hit minions and get gold from them.

The biggest obstacle that made all the viewers worry though, was that there was no way Alistar could outduel Yasuo at Level 1. Lin Feng had no option except to play cautiously and let Coff’s Yasuo zone him out of the lane. And that’s exactly what KR•COFF was doing with his Yasuo. He’d decided on an extremely aggressive and oppressive play style, constantly poking at Alistar with Steel Tempest every single chance he could get. 

Before long, the constant barrage of Steel Tempest managed to whittle away half of Alistar’s health. Lin Feng remained unfazed. He had his Alistar drink a health potion while he glanced at his CS. The second minion wave was about to enter the lane, and he’d only gotten 4 CS from the first wave of the game. 

Lin Feng grimaced and muttered, “Tch! Not enough CS…”

Right as Lin Feng looked back at the center of his screen, KR•COFF’s Yasuo hit Level 2 and learned Sweeping Blade. With that skill, Yasuo’s aggression increased exponentially. He used Sweeping Blade to dash through red minions to get in range of Alistar, and poked with Steel Tempest constantly. 

Coff’s lips curved into a smile. “What a shitter! Just a few more pokes, and he’ll be dead if he doesn’t recall back to base!”

At the same time, Lin Feng declared to the viewers on his stream. “It’s fine! That Yasuo will be dead soon. Just watch.”

6
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The Curious Choices of Shanks

Dev Thought: I’ve got a doozy of a story for you guys tonight. See, Shanks has always made truly questionable decisions. Years ago, when I was still more naive to the mysterious ways of Shanks, I used to question them. I tried to understand the thought-process that went into some of his insane choices. The deeper I delved into that quagmire, the more confused I ended up. Turns out asking questions about why Shanks does the things he does only leads to more questions, and those subsequent questions are ones that people should not ask or attempt to answer. That way, madness lies.

So for the last 6 months or so, Shanks has been super hard into Lost Ark. He’s been talking about this Pay-2-Win MMO/ARPG game every time some update about it comes out. I listened and checked out the game because I’ve been looking for a new MMO to play for a long time now, and I like ARPGs. But I took one look at Lost Ark and decided that it was not the game I was looking for at all. The whole thing looks like a mobile game that they just happened to release only on PC for reasons no one can explain. Also, I’m not really into spending my life playing a micro transaction game on desktop. I noped out before the whole thing started because I knew how it would end. Shanks would play the game for a couple of weeks because 3-5 other people he knows also play it. Then he would quickly realize that the only he can stay competitive is to either grind for 14+ hours a day or spend money on micro transactions. A week later, he’d stop playing. It’s a very standard pattern with him, and one that I wasn’t about to invest hours of my life into.

Anyways, Lost Ark released and Shanks started playing. Oh! There’s something you guys need to know here. Shanks has one of those fancy “gaming laptops”. The ones that have desktop class graphics cards and processors in them, but they run ridiculously hot because of it with almost no real battery life. So Shanks started playing Lost Ark and noticed that his laptop started running hot. That’s when Shanks decided to do something about this “problem”. Instead of getting some kind of cooling mat or a solution to increase airflow through his laptop for $20 on Amazon like normal people, Shanks decided to take his laptop apart so he could “refresh the thermal paste”. Let me warn you again, don’t ask why. That way, madness lies.

So he started this surgical procedure by taking his laptop apart, unscrewing the entire heatsink assembly, and yanking the fan of the processor. Then he reapplied the thermal paste, and put it all back together. But in the process of this, there was a complication! Somewhere along the way, Shanks fried the cable that goes from the motherboard to his laptop display. So now he’s got no screen unless he plugs the HDMI cable from the TV into his laptop.  It currently remains undetermined if his laptop runs cooler as a result of this new thermal paste. But it does run cooler since he can’t do anything on it without taking up the entire TV in the middle of his shared living room. He’s taken it to a repair shop, where they told him that they didn’t have the part in stock that is needed to fix his laptop. So now we’re waiting 2 weeks to 1 month for this part to arrive and for the repair shop to fix his laptop.

And that, ladies and gentleman, is Shanks is a nutshell. He is and always will be the Architect of his own unhappiness.

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