The reality of this entire farce was that Team Shanghai had just played through the Collegiate Cup. They fought their way through the Quarterfinals to the Semifinals, and all the way to the Finals where they were victorious. The weakest opponents they went up against in the Collegiate Cup were teams from places like Fudan and Shenyang University. Compared to that, well, there wasn’t much that could be said about a team that barely averaged Diamond 2. This opponent was more of a distraction, an annoying mosquito that buzzed and annoyed, rather than a serious matchup. The lads of the NetCow Cafe were just too weak, and there was no way they could force Team Shanghai to their limits. Because of that, it was impossible for this scrim to be meaningful in any way for Team Shanghai. Truth be told, if Team Shanghai played the way they’d become accustomed to playing for the Collegiate Cup, this would turn into an absolute one-sided smackdown.
That was why An Xin decided it was necessary to give Team Shanghai a real handicap. It was the only way they’d get any viable experience from this scrim. The handicap she decided on was to swap their star player, Lin Feng, from Mid to Support. That one change alone would make Team Shanghai weaker by a significant degree, which made it perfect against Gang Zi’s team.
An Xin turned to Zeng Rui and asked, “You have no issues with this, right?”
“I’m fine.” Zeng Rui nodded. An Xin was asking because Zeng Rui was Team Shanghai’s Support, and she wasn’t entirely sure if he could play Mid. But Zeng Rui nodded at her again. He was certain he could play Mid well enough at the Diamond level.
Lin Feng was the only one completely unsatisfied with this change, much like every woman who dated Daoist Piousfire after he started antidepressants. He muttered, “Why do I have to play Support? That’s no fun at all…”
“HMM?” An Xin raised an eyebrow. She turned to Lin Feng and smiled at him. “Did I hear you say something?”
“N-no no! Support is fine too!”
Now that their new lineup was decided, Lin Feng and the rest of Team Shanghai sat down at their computers, and the game started. Gang Zi and his lads were assigned to the Blue Team, and Team Shanghai was the Red Team. Champion Select started, and both teams quickly put in their bans and locked in on their champions. Everything was set for the NetCow Cafe Grudge Match!
Gang Zi’s Lads (Blue) vs. Team Shanghai (Red)
Top: Rumble vs. Irelia
Jungle: Rek’Sai vs. Kha’Zix
Mid: LeBlanc vs. Orianna
Ad-Carry: Jinx vs. Kalista
Support: Morgana vs. Garen
Lin Feng locked in on Garen. Normally, this champion was played in the Top Lane. In lower ranked games, he could be played as a Support. But it was not commonly seen after Bronze. Lin Feng sullenly stared at his computer screen and muttered, “You want me to play Support? Fine. I’ll play Support. I’m really good at Support too! It doesn’t matter, I’m still going to carry.”
Zhang Hao, Zeng Rui, and the others didn’t know how to react to Lin Feng’s decision. The plan was to treat this like a real match for practice, which is why they could not understand why Lin Feng picked Support Garen, and treating the whole thing like it was a random solo queue game in Bronze or Silver. They let out a collective sigh of exasperation and shook their heads. There was no point in arguing with Lin Feng when he got like this. Besides, all of them were more than aware of how strong of a player Lin Feng was. They were all positive that even if he was playing Support Garen, there was zero chance he would feed or grief the game. In fact, it was more likely that Lin Feng would become a living nightmare for the opposing botlaners. Zhang Hao even started feeling a little sorry for the enemy team.
Sitting across from Team Shanghai, the expressions of Gang Zi and his lads darkened. Gang Zi’s eyes turned cold as he looked deeply at Lin Feng. Garen Support? Seriously… He could hardly believe that he, a Diamond 1 Ad-Carry, was being looked down on with so much contempt.
The Support player on the Lads’ team was sitting next to Gang Zi, and he was fuming. “Gang Zi, we gotta stomp on their balls in Bot lane. Are you seeing this? They’re looking down on us! I’m going to show him exactly how wrong he is!”
Gang Zi nodded, his lips curving into a cold smile. “Don’t sweat it at all, brother. We’ll show them the meaning of real pain.”
《Welcome to Summoner’s Rift!》
In the private room in the NetCow Cafe, the members of both teams started focusing their attention on the game. The only spectator, Qian Lu, was standing behind Team Shanghai’s members. His interest was in watching the team he had just hired, and he could always walk over to the other side to see how things were going from the Lads’ perspective. Qian Lu was still wearing a friendly smile on his face, but his eyes watched the game with intensity, and flickered with the shrewd calculations running through his mind. He knew that Lin Feng and the others from Team Shanghai were better players. But he refrained from telling Gang Zi and the lads about Team Shanghai’s accomplishments for multiple reasons. First, he wanted Gang Zi to stop hassling him, and this was the easiest way to do it. But he also had an idea of how skilled Gang Zi and his lads were. Even though they were pretty mediocre amateur players, they were still decent as far as internet cafe players went. Using them to test out Team Shanghai’s skills was the perfect silver lining.
Qian Lu was feeling quite pleased with himself and how beautifully his genius plan unfolded. Until Team Shanghai suddenly decided to swap their Midlaner to Support. Why is Lin Feng playing Support now? Isn’t he supposed to be their star Midlaner? What was the point of this move? If I’m being honest, I never actually watched any of their games in the Collegiate Cup. But I heard about how incredible they were, and Lin Feng was always playing Mid… There’s also this whole futzing about with Support Garen. That’s not something I’ve seen before either. I wonder… is this some special tactic of theirs that they decided to use so they could go all out against Gang Zi? Is Lin Feng actually a Support main?
In the end, Qian Lu shook his head. He would figure the truth out soon enough.
2 minutes after the game started, Lin Feng’s Garen and Tang Bingyao’s Kalista walked into the Bot lane.
“Tang Tang, shove the lane out,” Lin Feng said in voice chat while wearing a noise isolating headset. “We’ll hit Level 2 first and go in on them!”
Tang Bingyao nodded earnestly, her eyes blazing. “Mhm!”
The early game in bot was fairly standard, with both Ad-carries farming minions and the Supports helping to clear the minions or poke the opponent.
But before long, Gang Zi was starting to feel beads of sweat forming on his forehead. This Kalista… I thought she’d be a pushover because she’s so cute and small. But she’s way better than I expected her to be. She’s hyper aggressive in lane and she’s planning on getting to Level 2 first… she’s also got amazing mechanics. Her ability to dish out poke and farm at the same time is beautiful!
Gang Zi’s eyelids twitched. Alright! Playtime is over! I was going to take it easy on her, I’d feel bad if I pummel such a cute girl. But I can’t toy around with Kalista at all, not now. It feels like I’m playing against another Diamond 1 or higher Ad-carry, and my Jinx is at a disadvantage at Level 1! Hm… if not Kalista… well, her Support is a Garen.
Gang Zi glared at the opposing Garen, his eyes flickering with disdain.
Garen had just tried to rush him with Decisive Strike, but his Jinx was already in the process of backing away. His ally Morgana then rooted Garen with Dark Binding, and the two of them turned around and hacked away at a significant amount of Garen’s health.
Gang Zi smirked. This guy doesn’t even know how to play Support at all…
A Peek Into the Daily Convos of Devs and Shanks
[6:01 PM] Devshard:
[6:02 PM] Shanks:
[6:03 PM] Devshard:
[6:04 PM] Shanks:
[6:06 PM] Devshard:
[6:09 PM] Shanks:
[6:12 PM] Devshard:
[6:15 PM] Shanks: God dammit, Devs! I was eating dinner with the roommate in the kitchen. Alt-tabbed to discord to see your message, and that gif is the first thing he sees.
He can’t stop screaming wtf, and now he’s convinced you and I are in some gay shit.