The guys yelling in chat are right! These games are boring. It’s boring to play and dull as hell to watch. I need to get out of Platinum, obviously. But I don’t know… Diamond games also feel kinda boring. And they keep saying they want high ELO games… Lin Feng sat there thinking about what to do to make the stream more exciting for the viewers and himself. But he did not realize that his thoughts were on a completely different track from the viewers. There was an easily identifiable point of divergence too, the word ‘challenge’. To the every-day League of Legends player, high Platinum and Diamond ranked games were challenging and exciting. Most of them would never climb that high on the ranked ladder, so watching someone who was that good on stream was an experience. Lin Feng, on the other hand, was not your every-day run-of-the-mill League of Legends player. In his mind, an ‘interesting high ELO game’ was at the Challenger tier. He didn’t consider anything below Challenger as high ELO, and he wanted to test his skills against current professional players in a genuinely challenging game.
Man! Just thinking about playing a game against a pro player gets me all amped up! But… hm. How do I get there? I don’t have a Challenger account I can use right now… maybe I should make my own account and climb up? No, no. The guys on stream aren’t going to stick around and watch me climb on a fresh. That’s just going to be hours of boring gameplay. Hm… While Lin Feng thought about how to solve the problem of playing Challenger ranked games without a Challenger ranked account, the viewers on the stream started getting more and more excited. They thought Lin Feng would finally switch over to his own account. He was definitely Diamond. Maybe even Diamond 1 if they were lucky! Chat exploded with a bunch of people speculating how high his account was ranked and others arguing or agreeing to it.
Lin Feng turned and looked straight at the webcam. “Hey! Listen… this is kind of awkward. But. Any of you guys have a Challenger-ranked account I can borrow for a bit? Please?”
Chat died. The people watching the stream sat there staring at Lin Feng on their screens, trying to figure out what this guy was thinking. It took all of them a collective minute to process his request. The chat in a stream with 1,500 viewers was completely silent for a full minute. And then one viewer broke the silence.
「LOL!!!1 challenger account? why the fuk would we be here if we got a challenger account?」
「im here for the sick plays!!!! if i could play like that myself, why would i need to sit here and watch???? i would stream myself!!」
That’s all it took to revive the chat. Hundreds of messages in a similar vein followed after that. Lin Feng read through the walls of text in the stream chat, hoping there would be at least one person out there who could help him out. But it started to look less and less likely. Not one of the 1,500 viewers had a Challenger account. Or even one close to it. Lin Feng started to worry. It just did not look like he’d have an account that was higher ELO than Su Xue’s, the one he was already playing on. The excitement he felt moments ago was quickly being replaced by disappointment. Then he remembered! Water Wraith! I almost forgot about that guy! He was Diamond 1… I think. He opened Su Xue’s viewer group chat on QQ and sent a message to Water Wraith.
EveningSnowfall:「Yo Wraith! It’s Lin Feng. Gimme your account! I needa play on it for a bit. Please?」
Water Wraith was one of Su Xue’s faithful viewers who’d been around long before her popularity had surged. He was also the highest-ranked out of all her viewers at Diamond 1. The most important thing was that he was a nice guy, and he knew Lin Feng. Water Wraith’s account was the best that Lin Feng had a realistic shot at getting his hands on right now. Lin Feng sent the message and waited. Hoping that Water Wraith was around and that he would see the message.
Luckily for both Lin Feng and the people watching Su Xue’s stream, Water Wraith just so happened to be looking at his QQ messages right then. He saw the message from Evening Snowfall and opened it. When Water Wraith read what Lin Feng wanted, he immediately sent over his account information and password. There was no hesitation. He liked both Lin Feng and Su Xue and trusted them. If he could help Lin Feng, he’d do it. Then he paused for a second and started typing out a second message. He paused again halfway through typing and thought about the message. Then he sighed, finished typing out the message and sent it.
Water Wraith:「hey lil bro. ive been stuck at like 20lp for the longest time. plz help me climb. thanks!!!」
Evening Snowfall:「No problem man! I’ll get you some wins!! Trust me!」
Lin Feng used the login information Water Wraith had sent him and logged into the Diamond 1 account. Then he queued up for a ranked game. It was a moment of tense anticipation for both him and the people watching the stream. Diamond 1 was definitely up there on the ranked ladder, and that meant that a lot of well-known and famous players could potentially show up. There was also the chance that something even more special could happen. Every now and then, the professional players would jump onto their alt accounts to play in what they considered to be a low ELO. Either to experiment a little without getting a loss streak on their main accounts or to play a more relaxed and casual game. To the Challenger ranked professional players, Diamond 1 was low ELO and everything below that didn’t even exist. If Lady Luck was on their side, Lin Feng could get to play against a professional player and the people watching the stream would be in for the game of a lifetime.
The queue popped. Lin Feng entered champion select. He was fifth pick and on the Blue team. This meant that the other four players on his team could choose their champions and roles before him. It wasn’t an ideal situation, being at the mercy of four other people. If they didn’t want to be accommodating, there was a chance that you could end up with a champion or role you just didn’t know how to play well. This was more of a problem in low ELO than it was at Diamond 1, where everyone understood that having a teammate play something they weren’t good at would end up costing them the game. When the player who had second pick called out mid, Lin Feng sighed. He could play other roles besides mid just as well, but he didn’t want to end up playing support. He needed to do something. Lin Feng quickly typed out a message to his team.
Water Wraith:「anything but support plz!」
Lin Feng didn’t hate support or anything like that. He’d been playing support a lot recently with Tang Bingyao and enjoyed playing the role. It was just that carrying as a support in Diamond 1 was significantly more difficult than it was in Gold or Platinum. Teamwork and tactics were way more important in Diamond. At this level, his performance in the game as a support just didn’t matter as much. If his ad-carry was having a bad game, his team would lose. Especially once they got into mid and late game. A single screw up from the ad-carry could flush every little advantage they built up until then away.
The guy at third pick locked in on Jarvan IV. With his pick, Jungle, Top, and Mid were taken. Lin Feng hovered his mouse over an ad-carry champion while he waited for third and fourth pick on Red team to lock in. The second they did, Lin Feng smashed down on his mouse and locked in on Jinx before the player at fourth pick on his team had a chance to decide.
ColdCoffeeEnema:「the hell dude! why the fuck would you do that? im no fucking good at support………..」
Water Wraith:「Don’t worry! I’ll carry you. I’m really good at ADC!」
The chat exploded the second they heard Lin Feng say what had become his catch phrase. He’d just pulled a dick move. One that everyone, regardless of ELO, knew was poor game etiquette. It was a rude thing to do to another player, and then he used his catchphrase as an excuse.
「pfft, is there anything you’re not good at? pro role stealer」
「So crafty! HAHA I LOVE IT! show that dude who’s boss!!!1!!」
「haha there he goes again, I’m really good at!」
《Welcome to Summoner’s Rift!》
The bottom lane matchup was Jinx and Thresh on the Blue team versus Ezreal and Janna on the Red team.
Lin Feng decided to go with the skill Switcheroo at the start of the game. This allowed Jinx to switch between her minigun and her rocket launcher. The minigun had a faster attack speed and dealt single target damage while the rocket launcher was slower but had a longer attack range with area-of-effect and splash damage. The other drawback with the rocket launcher was that it required mana to use.
When the first minion wave arrived in lane, Lin Feng used Jinx’s rocket launcher to kill them as fast as possible. He was going for full wave clears. He also used positioning to his advantage with the rocket launcher. Red team’s Ezreal was his opponent in lane. Every single time Ezreal stood too close behind or near one of Red team’s minions, Lin Feng would target that minion so he could use the splash damage from the rocket launcher to get some poke in.
Red team’s Ezreal wasn’t a terrible player who would stand there and take the poke, though. He figured out what was happening, and tried to counter. Ezreal searched for an opening between the Blue team’s minions that the Jinx was using as a shield so he could use the skill Mystic Shot. This was a skillshot with a long attack range. Ezreal could shoot out a damaging bolt of energy that would explode when it hit the first minion, monster or enemy champion in its path.
Mystic Shot was a powerful skill, but its primary drawback was that it was a skillshot that moved in a straight line. Lin Feng predicted the line that Mystic Shot would travel down, and his Jinx easily juked around it. Then he had his Jinx move forward a little bit to launch a rocket at the Ezreal. He cancelled the last part of the animation and pulled his Jinx back a little to make sure that she remained outside the Ezreal’s attack range. This three-step dance, this waltz was one Lin Feng did over and over again with the Ezreal.
Red team’s Ezreal was starting to feel the pressure. He tried over and over to get some poke in back, but Lin Feng’s Jinx continued to waltz around him while carving his health down. The pressure was starting to build on the Ezreal player. His champion had lost a giant chunk of health and he had nothing to show for it! At the level they were playing at, it was obvious that the Ezreal player knew that Jinx had a range advantage over his Ezreal with her rocket launcher. But he had no idea how to counter a Jinx who pushed that advantage to the extent that Lin Feng was currently doing. Backed into a corner, all he could do was try and push his minion wave out as fast as possible before recalling back to base.
Lin Feng, on the other hand, continued to dance around the Ezreal. As the game continued on and he fell deeper into the dance, more and more immersed in the flow of the game, his Jinx’s aggression and pressure mounted. An unending barrage of rockets rained down. He whittled both the Ezreal and Janna down to the point where they absolutely had to recall back to base. Then the game changed. One of his rockets landed on a minion with low health, killing it immediately. There was another minion that was also at low health next to it, and the splash damage from the rocket killed that one also. Jinx and Thresh both hit Level 2.
Lin Feng immediately started pinging on the nearly dead Ezreal. They had to go in now! If they waited any longer, the Ezreal and Janna would recall back to base and their chance for a kill would vanish!
The Thresh understood and knew what needed to be done. He flashed towards the Ezreal while simultaneously using Flay and Ignite in quick succession. The Thresh’s chains swept out and pulled the Ezreal towards him while also slowing him, and Ignite set the Ezreal ablaze. Then the Thresh used Death Sentence to throw out his scythe and hook the Ezreal, stunning him and pulling him in even closer.
Lin Feng’s Jinx followed up immediately after without losing a millisecond. She launched another rocket and then threw three Flame Chompers down on top of the Thresh. The combo crowd control play synergized perfectly! The moment the Ezreal broke free of the stun from Death Sentence, he was rooted again by three exploding grenades.
The people watching the stream were awestruck by the precision of the play! It was seamless! They were starting to understand that Lin Feng was just as spectacular playing in Diamond as he was playing in Platinum, and that blew their minds even more.
「awesome engage and follow up!」
「HOLY DAMMMNNN!!!!! that’s first blood for suurreeee!!!」
Right after that perfect engage play, Lin Feng continued to shred the Ezreal’s health. Every attack that landed made it seem more and more likely that the Ezreal would be giving First Blood away. To Lin Feng.
Red team’s Janna tried to save Ezreal with a Howling Gale that she threw at Jinx. The intended outcome was that it would knock the Jinx up, which should hopefully give the Ezreal enough time to escape. The Ezreal saw the animation for the skill and understood what to do. Before the tornado from Howling Gale even touched the Jinx, he flashed towards his tower. As long as he could get under the safety of its turret, he would live. He didn’t think the Jinx would tower dive. He also used the summoner spell Heal to build a little bit more of a buffer between him and death. But the Ignite that the Thresh hit him with was still active, which greatly reduced the healing.
Lin Feng saw animation for Janna’s Howling Gale start up. He saw the tornado forming, and watched the Ezreal flash away. But none of it bothered him. He was calm, serene, and detached. He was in control here, and all he had to do was wait for the perfect moment. His finger hovered over the D key, waiting. The tornado howled towards him, and he still waited. Still calm. Just as the tornado from Howling Gale was about to touch his Jinx and knock her up, he hit D. His Jinx flashed through the tornado and now stood safely on the other side. And the Ezreal was also in attack range. What a happy coincidence, Lin Feng thought before firing another rocket at the Ezreal.
Meanwhile, the Ezreal had run to the point where he was only a single step away from safety. One more step and he’d be under the protection of the tower. One more step and the Jinx would have to give up. The Ignite had ended and the Ezreal no longer had to deal with continuing burn damage thankfully. He had less than 10 health remaining. He was going to escape death! Then a final rocket spiraled towards him.
The chat on Su Xue’s stream exploded! They were cheering, raving, congratulating Lin Feng, and spamming. It was an epic play and an edge-of-their-seats kill!
「OMG THAT WAS SO SICK!!!1!1!!」
The sound of a minigun rang out across bottom lane. “Everybody get excited!” Jinx’s shrill laugh cut through the smoke and gunpowder. Jinx had gotten First Blood, and this triggered the activation of her passive skill–Get Excited! Whenever an important objective, like an enemy champion, tower, or dragon, was taken down within three seconds of her damaging it, she would gain an enormous burst of movement speed and a slight increase to her attack speed for six seconds.