Lin Feng chuckled. A new Ashe, huh? So I should be worried? He smiled. The idea wasn’t wrong, per se. The reworked Ashe should have an advantage over Vayne during early game. Her attack range was longer and the cooldown on her skill Volley was reduced, so she could theoretically poke and burst his Vayne down. Changes and champion buffs don’t really matter unless you know how to take advantage of them. And we’ll see if this Ashe really can do that. But there’s no way I’m throwing in the towel because of a little rework. Besides, they were down in bot lane. Lin Feng had a support champion at his side, and that support could negate every advantage from this new Ashe. He had a Blitzcrank! A robot with a flying hand that could hook and pull enemy champions. That hook made it impossible for the Ashe to position herself in the most advantageous way. And when combined with his Vayne’s Condemn, it was downright deadly.
This Vayne-Blitzcrank combo move was put on display three minutes into the game. There was a single minion defending the Ashe from a Blitzcrank Rocket Grab. Lin Feng waited, patiently, for the perfect moment. He targeted the Ashe with an auto attack, when the minion’s health dropped to single digits. NOW! He had his Vayne last hit the minion and created the opening Nightsong needed to hook and pull the Ashe. The second the Ashe was pulled forward, Vayne shot another bolt at the Ashe and then tumbled forward to cleanly dodge an Aqua Prison from the Nami. Lin Feng followed up with Condemn. Vayne pulled the heavy crossbow on her back out. A giant bolt flew out and pierced the Ashe through her chest and sent her flying backwards towards a nearby wall, pinning her to it.
Nightsong put his Blitzcrank into Overdrive to gain some extra movement speed and rushed towards the pinned and stunned Ashe. The timer on the stun was ticking down, and the Ashe would soon be free to escape. Blitzcrank continued charging forward and reached the Ashe literally the instant she broke free from the stun. Nightsong’s Blitzcrank went in with a Power Fist that connected with the Ashe just as she flashed away. The Flash had worked, but the Power Fist had also connected. The Ashe reappeared a small distance away and was instantly knocked up!
Good enough! Lin Feng wasn’t even a little upset that the Ashe managed to flash away. His Vayne’s passive increased her movement speed whenever she was chasing after an enemy champion, so the flash didn’t make that much of a difference. Vayne ran down the Ashe, nailing her with auto attacks every second and a half. Narrowing the distance between them while still taking out as much of the Ashe’s health as possible. She shot a third silver bolt at the Ashe, and the three silver rings encircling the Ashe exploded, dealing extra true damage. Then Vayne took aim again.
The Ashe was feeling both the pressure and the pain. She had to keep running, keep trying to retreat to the safety of her outer tower. But her health was dropping dangerously low! She didn’t know if she would make it. But her support Nami healed her precisely when she needed it with Ebb and Flow. Ashe also used the Summoner Spell Heal to get some extra health. Hopefully, this would give her enough health to get to the tower. But the Vayne was still right behind her, cutting away at the health she’d just gotten back. Thankfully, Nami was there to stop that by throwing an Exhaust at the Vayne. This lowered both Vayne’s movement speed and damage. That was all the opening that the Ashe needed. Exhaust had slowed the Vayne down and dropped the damage just enough for her to get under her tower. She was safe. If the Vayne tried to follow her under the tower, she still had enough health to avenge her death with her own hands.
For the people watching the stream, the engage and fight at bot lane was riveting! Not one message was sent on chat the whole time, they were too absorbed in the action to type. Until the Ashe slid underneath the safety of her tower by the skin of her teeth and Lin Feng’s Vayne backed away.
「You could’ve flashed there…」
「Yeah, wtf… you couldve gotten the kill if you flashed!!!!」
「You should have known that the Ashe was going to Flash and flanked!」
「you let all of nightsongs hard work go to waste! noob」
Lin Feng shook his head. “Nope. Guys, it wouldn’t have worked. I don’t have enough damage right now. I couldn’t kill her even if I did the towerdive. Plus, tower shots early game really hurt on this patch. I might’ve given them a kill if I did that.” He knew exactly how much damage he could dish out right now, and it wasn’t enough to towerdive and kill the Ashe.
Lin Feng’s explanation was solid, his reasoning was well thought out, and made complete sense to most of the viewers. But in the history of streaming, when had the backseat gamers ever accepted a reasonably well-thought out explanation behind a gameplay decision without trying to convince the person who was actually playing that they were wrong? Never. This stream was no exception to that rule.
「Keep making up excuses!」
「that was clearly a kill…..」
「Nightsong would’ve definitely gotten that kill if he was ADC!」
The trend of messages in chat from these guys made what they were trying to do blatantly obvious to everyone else watching. They weren’t trying to backseat, they were just trolls. They wanted to turn the tide of chat against Lin Feng. That would tilt him. Then he’d start playing poorly and they could laugh as he embarrassed himself in front of two professional players. But Su Xue’s faithful followers wouldn’t just sit there and let this happen.
「shut the fuck up you morons! Look at these armchair challengers here. Lol」
「KYS, please. Then we wouldn’t have to listen to you.」
「youre all new here right? I could tell the moment you opened your ugly ass mouths」
「Don’t talk when you don’t even know how good he is.」
「Oh, that’s right! Bronzies over here know when to go in best, right?」
「if ur mommy knew how dumb u were shed kill herself」
「if you dont like what you see, piss off! There is a red X in the top right of your screen. Go on and click it.」
The sheer venom and outrage from the other viewers cowed the trolls into silence. They tried to pivot, explain to the chat that they were only trying to have a bit of fun. Some harmless banter. But no one was in the mood to listen or make them feel better. Every message and response was quickly shut down. Any comment they tried to make that was less than sugary-sweet nice was met with an army ready to stomp them down.
It was beyond confusing for any viewer who showed up to troll. The whole thing just made no sense. The streamer was a guy! They could see it! And yet, there was an army of white knights defending him! So they tried to pivot again, explaining that they didn’t understand why so many people were defending a guy streamer. They were indignant and convinced that they had done nothing wrong, but no one was listening to them.
Su Xue’s faithful followers and long-time viewers saw this from a completely different perspective. They’d seen these kinds of messages before, met these kinds of people before. They weren’t going to make the same mistake twice. If they gave these trolls an inch, chat would end up overrun again. They had seen it happen when LovelyRose’s troll army had attacked Su Xue’s stream. They were more accommodating back then, more forgiving. That was the mistake, one they weren’t going to repeat. So they pushed back hard against any and all trolls!
Lin Feng noticed something was going on in chat. Oh? They don’t think I’m good? Well. Alright. I’ll just have to show them how good I am! He didn’t even notice that people were trying to tilt him. He genuinely believed that the trolls were upset that the Ashe kill didn’t happen, and they were starting to doubt him because of that. Which wasn’t really a problem. The game was only a few minutes old. He still had plenty of time to change their minds. Which is why he confusingly told the viewers, “Calm down guys, it’s fine. Just sit back and enjoy. I’ll kill her when she gets back to lane!”
Lin Feng’s word was his bond, and he’d always follow through on a promise. He told the viewers that he was going to kill the Ashe when she got back to lane, and that’s exactly what he planned to do. Well, he was planning to do that even before he promised them. His plan went into motion the instant the Ashe recalled back to Red Base. First, he let the Red team’s minion wave push out a little. Hanging around just beyond the range of Red team’s outer tower wasn’t ideal. It limited maneuverability and positioning too much. So he shepherded the minion wave to the middle of the lane. This was the perfect spot. Between the lack of towers and the opening to the river, this was where the best possible positioning and plays could happen. That’s where Lin Feng decided to freeze the minion wave. With absolute precision and perfect control, he made sure that the Blue minions never dealt more damage than the Red minions.
At 3:40 minutes into the game, the Ashe arrived back in bot lane. She walked out from the safety of her tower and into the middle of the lane to start farming minions. She last hit one minion, and then another. Then she decided to move forward a little bit to get to one of the Blue caster minions who tended to hang back.
Lin Feng smiled. Here we go! Vayne tumbled forward and shot an empowered silver bolt at the Ashe. A single silver ring appeared around her. Then Lin Feng took his fingers off every key except D. He pushed down on it slightly, not enough to register a button press and activate the skill. But almost. He had his Vayne shoot another bolt at the Ashe.
Ashe turned around and started running when the first bolt hit. She knew it was risky to get that caster minion. But the gold was worth it, she didn’t want to fall behind this Vayne. That’s when Ashe noticed that the Vayne was chasing her. That first attack wasn’t just a poke. She needed to get away before she was forced out of lane again! She turned around and shot out a cone of ice arrows–Volley! Nine arrows that would cover her back and slow the Vayne when they hit. She turned back towards her outer tower and continued retreating.
GOTCHA! Lin Feng’s smile grew wider. His finger pressed down the D key a nanosecond before the ice arrows pierced Vayne. Flash! Vayne flashed through the arrows and ended up right behind Ashe. Then she took the heavy crossbow from her back and fired out a giant silver bolt. Condemn! It pierced Ashe through the ribs and lifted her off the ground, carrying her until it collided with a wall and pinned Ashe there.
The viewers watching the stream were blown away! Lin Feng was phenomenal! They sent messages about how they wished they could play Vayne like Lin Feng. They talked about how it would go if they tried to do what he just pulled off, and collectively agreed that it wouldn’t have gone well. They would’ve never flashed through Ashe’s Volley. Once they got hit by that, the Nami would’ve come in with an Aqua Prison. And then the Ashe would have rained arrows on them until they died.
Nightsong and Lin Feng weren’t talking to each other in voice chat. Nor were they using pings to indicate what they intended to do. Neither of them needed to type out a single thing in the in-game chat. They just understood each other perfectly. So when Nightsong saw Vayne engage the Ashe, he shifted his Blitzcrank into Overdrive and charged towards the pinned Ashe. Nightsong knew exactly what Lin Feng wanted done without words or pings. The stun from Condemn lasted for 1.5 seconds. Even with Overdrive, Nightsong didn’t know if he could get his Blitzcrank close enough. The Ashe broke free of the stun while he was still a few steps away. He was close enough, barely though. Blitzcrank’s hand blasted off his arm and flew forward until it grabbed the Ashe, dealing damage and dragging her back to him. Then he knocked her up into the air with Power Fist!
The Ashe knew that she was just too far away from her tower. Her skills were all on cooldown, as were her Summoner Spells. There was nothing she could do. She still tried to run away from the Vayne and Blitzcrank, but she knew how hopeless it was. A moment later, her screen turned grey.
Literally seconds after first blood was announced came another announcement. A second kill for Blue team. This one happened in mid lane, where Hermes was playing Veigar against a Kassadin. He’d been harassing the Kassadin for the first few minutes of the game. And then the jungler, Elise, decided to come to mid lane for the gank. That’s when Hermes had gone in and gotten the kill.
The viewers of the stream cheered and spammed and rioted in chat. Both of their idols, the two professional players in this game, had gotten a kill! At nearly the same time! They got onto the scoreboard together! Hermes in the midlane with his Veigar, and Nightsong’s Blitzcrank in the bot lane!
「Star Emperor is a god! 66666666666666666!」
「Best Veigar ever!」
「Nightsong’s Blitzcrank is also pretty amazing!」
“Hey! I was the one that got first blood, you know!” Lin Feng protested.
「oh, you did okay i gues…」
「its good you didnt bring nightsong down」
“What? Really? Is this actually happening right now? I’m really good, too! You guys…” For the first time since he’d accidentally stumbled into streaming, Lin Feng understood what Su Xue went through all the time. These viewers, his viewers, had demoted him to a side character in his own stream! He even started sympathizing a little with Su Xue.
Six minutes into the game, Lin Feng and Nightsong had claimed dominion over the bot lane. Red team’s Ashe and Nami could only cower impotently underneath their tower and watch minions die off in the distance halfway down the lane. Lin Feng had once again frozen the minion wave in the same spot as before. The Ashe’s creep score was falling further and further behind every minute.
Lin Feng looked at his minimap. Nightsong had warded all around bot lane, so he had fantastic vision. He noticed Jarvan IV, the enemy jungler, trying to sneak up on them and gank them from behind. He had his Vayne walk back towards Blue team’s outer tower. The Jarvan IV tried to ambush her with a flag-toss combo, but she easily dodged it with a Tumble. That’s when Nightsong decided it was time to show everyone why he was a professional player. He had positioned his Blitzcrank under the tower and waited. Once the Jarvan IV fell for Vayne’s bait, Blitzcrank used his rocket arm to grab Jarvan IV and pull him underneath the tower. Then Blitzcrank used Power Fist to knock Jarvan IV up into the air!
Lin Feng knew it was his turn when the Jarvan IV was knocked up. His Vayne was perfectly positioned. The Jarvan IV was stuck underneath the tower, a powerful structure he could be pinned to with Condemn. Vayne took the heavy crossbow from her back and fired a large silver bolt at the Jarvan IV, pinning him to the tower and stunning him. Between the damage from the tower shots and Vayne’s bolts, it was an easy kill.
While this was going on in bot lane, Hermes’ Veigar hit Level 6 in mid lane. This opened a brief window of opportunity where he had the advantage over the Kassadin. Hermes wasted no time and engaged. There was no suspense. The Kassadin was already at low health, he should have gone back to base when he saw Veigar at Level 5 but decided not to. It was a mistake that would prove deadly. Veigar’s ultimate did more damage the lower an enemy champion’s health was. The combination of circumstances had decided Kassadin’s destiny. Hermes had his Veigar blast the Kassadin to the afterlife with his ultimate–Primordial Burst!
Just like what had happened with first blood and the second kill in the game, bot lane and mid lane got a kill simultaneously again. There was so little time between the kills that the voice announcer only called out the first of the two.
《An enemy has been slain!》
“Oh wow! He’s really good!” Lin Feng didn’t say that out of surprise though. There was no reason for him to be surprised. Hermes was a member of the top LPL team in China, Hand of God. He was the best mid laner in all of China! And he was one of the Seven Kings! It would’ve been surprising if he wasn’t winning his lane in a random solo queue game. That statement was Lin Feng’s way of expressing pure and genuine admiration. Both Nightsong and Hermes, and how they were doing in this game, managed to ignite the fire of competition in Lin Feng’s soul. A fire that he hadn’t felt burn in a long time!
“We’re going to show them how awesome I am!”
Lin Feng got a chance to showcase just how awesome he was 8 minutes into the game. The Ashe had once again overextended herself. Lin Feng activated Vayne’s ultimate–Final Hour. Darkness enveloped Vayne, and she disappeared. She raced towards the Ashe under the invisible cloak of darkness, the demon hunting crossbow held ready in her hands. When she got close enough, she attacked! A silver bolt struck Ashe.
Ashe was already wary. She’d been cautious since the first time she died, and that caution had doubled with her death. She’d been hanging back near her tower, and only stepped forward a little in the moments that she felt absolutely safe. And she always had one eye on the Vayne. Which is how she noticed immediately when the Vayne disappeared into the shadows. Death was coming for her. But she was ready for it this time. She waited for half a second, and then fired her ultimate, Enchanted Crystal Arrow, at point blank range. There was no way it could miss the Vayne, invisible or not. The Frejlordian cell in the arrow would freeze anything it hit. Like the invisible Vayne.
Too easy. Lin Feng knew Ashe’s ultimate was coming. He knew that was her only option, the only way she could stop him. He could dodge it though. Or just avoid it. His eyes were trained on the Ashe. He stared without blinking, searching for signs of the animation that would signal that Ashe was about to fire her ultimate. There! He spotted it before the arrow had even left her bow and twitched down on D. Vayne flashed through Ashe’s Enchanted Crystal Arrow, rendering it completely impotent. More importantly, Vayne wasn’t stunned.
The mechanical skill and balls of steel required to do what Lin Feng had done didn’t just blow the minds of the people watching the stream. Nope. Lin Feng had made waves on an international level. All the way over in London where Nightsong was sitting in his hotel room with a laptop. Nightsong watched as Vayne activated her ultimate and started to engage. Then he saw the Ashe fire her ultimate right at the Vayne he was supposed to be supporting. Just as he was getting ready to go in and save his ad-carry, he saw Vayne flash through the ultimate and gasped. “Holy shit! Wow… That. That was impressive.”