Everyone in the room paused for a second, waiting to see what would happen next. They saw no reason to stop the next game in the tryouts. Unless there was something important that was about to be brought to light…
“Just… wait… for… a… bit!”
The person yelling had to push through the crowd to get to the front. No one wanted to give up their spot by moving after they’d seen Tang Bingyao’s spectacular Draven plays. They didn’t want to risk missing out on more amazing plays or the chance to watch another fantastic player.
“Wait a moment!”
The person yelling and forcing his way through the crowd all the way to where Ouyang was standing, it was Luo Tianming! He had vanished after being disgraced in his game, and no one had noticed because all of the attention was on Tang Bingyao. Luo Tianming had slunk off into the shadows, but decided now was the moment to make a truly dramatic reappearance.
Ouyang turned to Luo Tianming. What does this fucker want now? The interruption annoyed him. The unnecessary drama annoyed him. More than that though, Luo Tianming irritated the shit out of him. It didn’t start out that way, his first impression of this first year was pretty good. This guy was a real Diamond 3 player! That was impressive. All of that changed after the last game. This asshole spent so much time showing off before the game started, flexing his rank on everyone. But he spent more time at the fountain respawning than actually playing once the game started! The esports club team only needed one ad-carry, and Tang Bingyao locked in on that position with her kickass Draven in the previous game.
It wasn’t just the showing off and poor gameplay that made Ouyang want to gag every time he saw Luo Tianming. Fucker also keeps hitting on every single girl here! He even tried walking over to Ren Rou, smiling like his shit don’t stink. What a jackass! Yes, it was true. Luo Tianming hadn’t just been trying to impress Tang Bingyao. He’d also been trying to approach Ren Rou. This especially was unforgivable to Ouyang. You walk around thinking you’re good looking? Well, I have news for you. Those looks don’t mean anything here! You should be looking at how you got your ass handed to you by Tang Tang instead of looking at yourself in the mirror. Also, you’re not that good looking! Ouyang wanted nothing more than for Luo Tianming to vanish and never be seen again. And yet, he was here! Yelling and interrupting the tryouts.
“What do you want now?”
“I want another chance! Let me play again!” Luo Tianming demanded.
Ouyang stared at him, unblinking.
“Look. Listen. I just got unlucky last game, okay? I wasn’t even playing seriously! Just give me one more chance. Please?” Luo Tianming begged.
“Unlucky? Didn’t play seriously?” Ouyang snorted. “Aren’t you embarrassed to be saying shit like that? Don’t you have any shame? Do you really believe those flimsy excuses are why you lost the game? You want to tell me that it had nothing to do with Tang Bingyao just being way better than you?”
Everyone had seen what happened last game. Tang Bingyao had completely outclassed Luo Tianming in every facet of the game. The crowd could see how deeply each death cut into Luo Tianming’s ego. His reactions spoke volumes. That frustration and anger wasn’t something a person who wasn’t playing seriously would feel. Luo Tianming clearly had trouble accepting reality.
Luo Tianming’s face flushed red, but he kept pushing. “I deserve a second chance! My support was bad last game. It was his fault that we lost! Now that I think of it, the Jungler wasn’t great either. Zero map awareness!”
Luo Tianming paused, gathering his thoughts again. He could see this line of protest wasn’t working and he needed to pivot to something else, “I know! How about I play a solo lane like mid this time? Then I can show you how good I really am!” A peculiar glint appeared in Luo Tianming’s eyes as he turned to Lin Feng. “You’re going to play mid, right?” He then turned back to Ouyang and flashed a bright smile. “He’s a Challenger! I saw it myself on the sign-up sheet. When I beat him, that should qualify me for the club’s mid position, right?”
When Luo Tianming mentioned playing Mid and Lin Feng, the whole thing became blindingly clear to Ouyang. It was too obvious to miss. The only reason Luo Tianming wanted to join the esports club was for the prestige of being on an official team. Initially, he figured that he was a shoe-in for a spot as a Diamond 3 ad-carry main. But in a twist that he did not expect or predict, there was someone else who was just as good as he was. Maybe even a little better. Luo Tianming would never admit it out loud, but he knew that Tang Bingyao had beaten him fair and square. If he tried to push for a rematch against her for the ad-carry spot, it probably wouldn’t happen. And even if it did, he didn’t know if he could actually win. So instead of trying to get a rematch for the ad-carry position, he chose to try for his second best position. The mid lane.
Most of the time, Luo Tianming played ad-carry. But he also spent enough time developing his skills as a mid laner. He wasn’t as good at it as he was at ad-carry, but he could play at the level of a Diamond 5 mid laner. And, more importantly, he would be up against Lin Feng. The “Challenger” who didn’t even know his own summoner name! He’d noticed that Lin Feng was on good terms with several members of the board of the esports club. This made him the perfect target. All Luo Tianming had to do was make his request loud enough so that everyone in the classroom could hear him. That would put Ren Rou, Ouyang, and the other members of the board in position without a leg to stand on. They couldn’t take Lin Feng’s side in this, because why would they need to protect a Challenger from someone who was clearly not as good at the game? If they refused to let him play, he could complain that the club board was being unfair and trying to force their friend into a spot he did not deserve.
Luo Tianming’s cunning play had worked, the dart had landed where it was meant to. Once the topic shifted to Lin Feng, Ouyang frowned. “That was a typo. We were going to correct it later.”
“It wasn’t a typo…” Lin Feng muttered.
Ouyang shot Lin Feng a glare. “Goddamn! Can you please shut up for once?”
Luo Tianming immediately latched onto this opportunity. “See! He even says so himself. Tell me, what’s the harm in letting me play against him?”
This had blown up and gone beyond reasonable proportions. It got to the point where even Yang Fan felt that he needed to get involved. He was responsible for the technical aspects of the tryouts and providing technical support. He was the man behind the scenes keeping the whole show running, keeping the train running on the tracks. And right now, it was off the rails. He had plenty of other things to take care, a never-ending list of things that required his attention. But the commotion was loud enough that he could no longer ignore it. He walked over and adjusted his glasses, annoyed. “So what? That still isn’t an excuse to let you play twice. That wouldn’t be fair to everyone else.”
Luo Tianming confidently smiled. “Of course, of course, you’re right. I agree. Everything should be fair. It’s just that when I looked at the sign-up sheet earlier, I saw that only three students were Diamond or higher. Since I’m a Diamond 3 and I didn’t get to show off my skills in the first match, I think it’s only fair I get another chance.”
Luo Tianming did bring up a valid point. Plenty of low rank players were looking to join the esports club, but only a few high rank players had signed up. So, the several board members of the esports club, including Ouyang, Yang Fan, and Ren Rou exchanged glances. “Alright, give us a minute. We’re going to put tryouts on hold while we have an emergency meeting.” Ren Rou said, finally caving. Then she and the other members of the club board walked out.
Meanwhile, Lin Feng and Tang Bingyao stood at the side like none of this had anything to do with them. Tang Bingyao tossed a glance at Luo Tianming, then turned to Lin Feng and said, “That guy is really annoying.” It was strange to hear her say these words. She was usually more reserved but Luo Tianming had really rubbed her the wrong way.
“Eh? Really? I don’t think he’s that bad…” Lin Feng scratched his head.
Tang Bingyao shot Lin Feng a doubtful gaze. “You’re not mad?”
“Of course not. Why would I be mad?” Lin Feng shook his head. He then paused and smiled, his eyes lighting up. “The stronger the opponent, the more I’ll get to test my skills and show off as I beat them! What could be better than that?”
Tang Bingyao’s jaw dropped. She was speechless. She’d finally understood. The only thing on Lin Feng’s mind was to find a better sandbag to beat down! Once she figured out what Lin Feng was thinking, a spark of sympathy bloomed in her heart for Luo Tianming. It was in his best interest if the club board rejected his request to play against Lin Feng. He had no idea what was coming for him.
Ren Rou led the several board members of the esports club back into the classroom where Lin Feng and the others were waiting for them. Luo Tianming immediately looked over, hopeful. Ren Rou nodded at him and said, “Fine, we’ll give you your second chance.”
Luo Tianming flashed what he believed to be a dashing smile. “Thanks! I just knew a pretty club president like yourself would come to a fair decision!”
Ren Rou shot Luo Tianming a cold glare. “Don’t thank me just yet. If you don’t win, you’re done here. You’re never going to be allowed anywhere near the esports club.”
Luo Tianming barely even heard the warning at the end. His face lit up with joy. He gave Ren Rou a wink and said, “Don’t worry, prez! I’ll show you how good I really am. Just watch me!”
While Ren Rou talked to Luo Tianming, Yang Fan and Ouyang walked over to Lin Feng with worried looks on their faces. “Hey bro, you sure you’ll be ok? That guy is Diamond 3…” Ouyang asked.
“Hehe! Don’t worry! He’s going to get rekt! Just watch the fun!” Lin Feng laughed.
Ouyang patted Lin Feng on the shoulder. “I’m liking the confidence, bro. Just play it safe, though. Wait for the jungler to come in for the gank. You’ll be fine. Oh! Go for a farm and scale champion. Someone like Ziggs. Even a Diamond 3 can’t do shit back!”
Lin Feng scratched his head. “Uh, I have my own plan.” He’d already decided what champion he was going to play. Since he was going to go all out, he’d play his best champion! Her skills and his playstyle made for a perfect match to pick off enemies and carry!
After the slight delay caused by Luo Tianming, both teams found their seats behind their monitors and joined the blind pick lobby. Everyone locked in their champion of choice and picked their Summoner Spells. Then, the lobby timer hit zero and the client opened up. Finally, with the loading screen open, everyone could see the lineup for both teams.
On the blue team, led by the self-proclaimed Challenger Lin Feng playing LeBlanc in mid lane, Darius in the top lane, Rek’Sai prowling through the jungle, and the deadly combo of Kalista and Braum in bottom lane!
On the red team, led by Diamond 3 Luo Tianming playing Orianna in the mid lane, Rumble would be up in top lane, Jarvan IV shredding through the jungle with his lance, and last but not least down in bottom lane were Tristana and Leona ready to show true teamplay!
Luo Tianming had picked Orianna, an overall balanced champion in every stage of the game. Her auto attacks were empowered with magic damage, making it relatively easy compared to other common mid lane champions to farm minions. But the bulk of her damage, and all of her crowd control, came from her ball—aptly called the Ball.
This was the complete opposite of the champion Lin Feng chose. When Luo Tianming noticed the champion icon above Lin Feng’s summoner’s name, his lips curved into a sneer. LeBlanc? You idiot… You wanna show off with her? You think it’s that easy? You think I’ll give you some kills so you can snowball? Ha! Idiot. I’ll make sure you won’t get your early game lead. LeBlanc is useless once she gets behind in early game. You’re not going to be able to use LeBlanc to pop off and blow people up mid game! I’ll show everyone how useless you are! The scene of his grand victory already played through his mind. He wouldn’t just settle for beating Lin Feng. No, he would completely crush him! I’ll make them all see how good I really am! Hehe. He was filled with anticipation.
If only Luo Tianming knew what happened the last time Lin Feng played LeBlanc. If only he’d known that Lin Feng had completely destroyed a Diamond 1 mid-main while playing LeBlanc.
Somewhere off in the distance, Aqua Wraith felt a chill down his spine the minute that Lin Feng locked in on LeBlanc. Aqua Wraith was still one of Su Xue’s most loyal viewers. But he was confused as to why he suddenly felt like someone had walked over his grave.
《Welcome to Summoner’s Rift!》
Two minutes into the game and the first minion wave from both teams had arrived at the middle of all the lanes and clashed. Over in mid lane, Luo Tianming discovered that Lin Feng was much better than he expected in their first exchange of pokes. Every time he tried to attack the LeBlanc with Orianna’s Ball using the skill Command: Attack, she easily sidestepped it. What made laning even more difficult for Luo Tianming was that Lin Feng played his LeBlanc hyper-aggressively. At Level 1 he’d learned the skill Distortion, which he used to jump onto Orianna and deal splash damage. Lin Feng did this every single time the skill went off cooldown. After a single minute of this intense laning phase against Lin Feng, Luo Tianming wiped the sweat from his forehead. Wasn’t this guy supposed to be all talk?
Lin Feng’s playstyle with LeBlanc only got more aggressive after reaching level 2. He used the level to learn the skill Sigil of Malice. This skill allowed LeBlanc to mark enemy champions, minions and jungle monsters. If LeBlanc managed to hit a marked target with another one of her spells, the mark was consumed and dealt additional damage. He kept marking the Orianna with a Sigil of Malice and jumping on her with Distortion, piling the damage on. If Luo Tianming didn’t watch out, he’d soon find all of his health whittled away.
Dammit! Isn’t he supposed to be bad at the game? I thought he only knew how to brag! Why is he so good! Luo Tianming cursed. This was starting to look like it would be a difficult game. Another one… But just then, a chance presented itself. A ping from his jungler, Jarvan IV, in the mid lane. He was coming for a gank! Luo Tianming’s eyes lit up. There’s my chance!