“Nice play, bro.”
Every person watching the stream read those words. This was Daybreak Hermes! The Star Emperor! One of the Seven Kings! And he’d just complimented Lin Feng! Literally every single person watching fantasized of a moment like this happening to them. A game where they’d be playing with legends, and then do so well that a professional acknowledges their skill. For Lin Feng, that fantasy was now his reality. After a pause, once their hearts started beating again, chat went nuclear!
「OMMMG SNEPAI NOTICED US」
「Siiiiiick! Star emperor just said nice bro to us! IM STARSTRUUUUCK!」
「my life is complete i can die with no regrets. to the sleeping xue xue, i leave my most beloved gundam figurine collection….」
Lin Feng read the chat and smiled. “I know right? My Vayne is totally awesome!” he said while laughing. For the first time since the start of the game, not one message was sent that made fun of him. Every single viewer simultaneously decided that he had earned the right to gloat. When Daybreak Hermes, a professional player and one of the best in the world, told Lin Feng he was fantastic, who were they to disagree? Lin Feng had earned the right to enjoy this moment.
「nightsong is still better though.. got a ways to go」
「keep at it bro, one day you might become a pro tooo!」
「It’s okay! I’d still say he’s around as 70% as good as Nightsong!」
「we can call him the mini nightsong! cuz he’s like half as good!」
The validity of these statistical assessments that the viewers were making was dubious at best. Lin Feng did spend a minute thinking about what they were saying though. The gap between him and Nightsong was not as huge as they believed it to be, that he was certain of. But there wasn’t much of a point in telling them that. Their minds were already made up. Nightsong was one of the best ad-carry players in all of China, unquestionably in the top three. They would never accept that he could possibly be Nightsong’s equal. In their eyes, he could never match up to Nightsong.
But they are right about one thing. I’m great at being an ad-carry, but not as good as Nightsong. Nightsong was the better ad-carry, and he would never pretend otherwise. When it came down to mechanics and reflexes, he was just as good as Nightsong, maybe even better. But he just didn’t have the depth of ad-carry gameplay that Nightsong had. Lin Feng wasn’t a master at every single role in the game. He was a midlaner. Besides, he was still shaking some of the rust off. Nightsong had been playing every single day for the last couple of years, during the time he walked away from the game. Lots of things in the game changed while I was gone. New patches, new champions, and little tweaks to the flow of the game. Nightsong knows every little tiny nook of those things, and I don’t. It would take time to learn all these things. What he needed right now was practice. He was a god in low ELO games where no one knew a damn thing about the game, sure. But the way he was right now, there was no way he could stomp all over the best players in the LPL. But I ain’t done yet! I’m not going to give up, I’m going to climb all the way back to the top! All these people watching the stream, they’re going to watch me rise! The competitive drive and fire that burned in Lin Feng wasn’t dying out. It was burning brighter than it had before! If he had the choice, he’d be where the Kassadin was right now. Going toe-to-toe with Hermes. It would’ve been a glorious way to find out where he was at, testing himself against the best midlaner in all of China. God damn, that’d be fun. Going up against one of the 7 Kings. If I went all out, I wonder where I’d be compared to the top professional players in the world today?
After Ashe came back to life in Red team’s fountain, she ran back towards the bot lane. The second she got there, she started farming minions. The Vayne had gone back to base after taking down the Dragon, so this was her only chance to get some gold and experience from minions. Catch back up a little before the Vayne came down with more items and a stronger build. She pushed the wave out as fast as possible with the help of Nami. The plan was simple. Get as much gold and experience as possible while pushing the wave all the way to Blue team’s outer tower. The tower would kill most of the red team’s minions, and every single one that the tower took was lost gold and experience for the Vayne. That would also help decrease the canyon between them.
The Ashe and Nami managed to get the minion wave all the way to Blue team’s outer tower, and even gotten a few hits in on the tower. That’s when they spotted Lin Feng’s Vayne running towards them. Neither Nami nor Ashe considered engaging. Both of them turned tail and ran. They knew what would happen if they tried. The Vayne was fed, and if they let her get too close she could kill both of them by herself!
Lin Feng arrived back in lane. His mind still wasn’t back on the game. He started farming his minions, accurately last hitting them under his tower. It would be a waste if he didn’t pick gold that had come to him so freely. Then he started pushing the minion wave out towards the middle of the lane.
At 11 minutes into the game, Lin Feng had pushed the minion wave back to the middle of the lane. His focus shifted to the Ashe. She was hiding behind her minions but would occasionally step forward to last hit a minion. She would probably try to escape the moment he landed an auto attack on her. He waited for her to do just this and then tumbled forward to poke at her a bit.
Ashe didn’t turn around when she saw the Vayne tumbling towards her. She didn’t try to escape. This was the moment she’d been waiting for! The moment that the Vayne would use the only movement ability in her kit. She raised her bow up and pulled back on it as the Enchanted Crystal Arrow coalesced. Then she let go. The arrow whistled through the air and pierced the Vayne, freezing her where she stood.
Lin Feng saw the Enchanted Crystal Arrow coming, but there was nothing he could do. Flash was still on cooldown and he’d just used Tumble to engage. He tried to dodge by side-stepping the arrow, but it wasn’t enough. His Vayne and the Ashe were too close together for that. The Enchanted Crystal Arrow plowed into his Vayne and stunned her.
Nami was ready with an Aqua Prison the second the Enchanted Crystal Arrow hit. Vayne was trapped in a bubble before the stun ended. The Jarvan IV came running down from the river and went right into his flag toss combo without skipping a beat. Vayne was knocked up in the air, and riddled with frozen arrows from the Ashe’s auto attacks. Then the Jarvan IV leapt up into the air and grabbed the knocked up Vayne. He threw her down with so much force that it created a crater at the impact site, his ultimate–Cataclysm! The damage piled on. Vayne’s fate was sealed, there was no way to escape.
《You have been slain.》
Lin Feng’s screen went grey for the first time in this game. For the first time in the stream, actually. The message from Hermes had distracted him too much. He’d been lost in his thoughts and not focused on the game. The viewers immediately started dogpiling on him.
「smh, shouldn’t have q’ed in.」
「hahaha dumbass thats what you get for trying to show off」
「get rekt m8!!!!!!1!」
Lin Feng scratched the back of his head. He was embarrassed at the sloppy play. “Haha. Yeah. My bad, my bad. I shouldn’t have done that. But it’s fine. No worries my homies. I still got this.” He was so distracted thinking about where his skills were compared to Hermes and the other professionals that he’d forgotten for a minute that he was playing against Diamond 1 and Master players. All of them had gotten to this point because they didn’t give up and lose hope like players in the lower ELOs did. When the cards were stacked against them, they waited and watched for an opportunity to turn things around. Which is what just happened to him.
But beyond embarrassing himself, there was no major harm that came from his death. The Dragon hadn’t respawned yet. The only thing that he’d given up was the gold bounty on his Vayne for being on a Rampage. His carelessness hadn’t screwed his team over. But something still changed. The look in Lin Feng’s eyes was just a bit different. His breathing slowed down. He said more to himself than to the stream, “Time to get serious!”
The Dragon respawned every five minutes. The Blue team had killed it for the first time 8 minutes into the game. It was now 13 minutes into the game, and the Dragon would respawn any second. The Red team was still resentful over how they’d lost the first Dragon. That 3vs3 in bot lane had screwed them over, and they weren’t going to let that happen again. They had a plan. All of them arrived at the Dragon Pit early, before it had even spawned. And they started warding everything they could, maximizing their vision. They weren’t going to get ambushed or surprised this time. This Dragon was going to be the start of their turnaround!
The Blue team had no intention of letting the Red team get the second Dragon. They noticed what the Red team was up to, and started planning a counter-play. The Jungler and Support put down wards where they could to give the rest of the team some vision. But they were careful not to overextend themselves to the point where the entire Red team would pile on top of them and kill them. Unfortunately, Nightsong underestimated how extensive the Red team’s warding went and pushed his luck a little bit too much. He’d put his Blitzcrank into Overdrive and charged through the Red team’s jungle to slap a ward down near their Blue buff.
A volley of ice arrows flew out of the brush near Blue buff and pierced Blitzcrank. Ashe had been lying in wait, and her revenge was best served with her ice cold arrows. Blitzcrank started running towards the river. But before he took two steps, the Jarvan IV charged in towards him from the river entrance! Blitzcrank’s escape route was blocked. Jarvan IV dashed in with his flag-toss combo, which knocked Blitzcrank up into the air. Then jumped up into the air to catch the knocked up Blitzcrank and threw him back down to the earth with so much force that it created a crater, a cage of dirt–Cataclysm!
Blitzcrank was hemorrhaging health. The attacks from Ashe and Jarvan IV had taken out more than half of his health. That’s when Kassadin decided he wanted to join in on the fun. With the damage of the Void Walker on top of the other two, there was nothing that Nightsong could do. Flashing away would be a waste of the summoner spell. Backed into a corner like this, there was only one thing left to do. Nightsong was going to get some good hits in before he died. So he started fighting the Kassadin with his fists until his health dropped to zero. Thus, the noble Blitzcrank did die, his gears spinning to the beat of battle until his final moments.
Right when the Red team finished turning Blitzcrank into scrap metal, the Dragon spawned. They quickly grouped up and moved to the Dragon Pit. Jarvan IV engaged first and quickly pulled the Dragon out of the pit. If all five of them squeezed into the pit to fight the Dragon, they’d leave themselves open to both Rumble’s ultimate and Veigar’s cage.
《An ally has been slain.》
Back in the hotel room in London, Nightsong shook his head. He looked at Hermes and said, “I messed that up, what am I doing with my life? I know a sausage when I see one, and that was a bad sausage. I’m sorry, man.”
Hermes looked at his friend and laughed, “As long as you get all of this outta your system before Worlds, I’m chillin!” He stopped and smiled, “Chillin like a villain!” Then he laughed and looked back at the game for a second before continuing, “We’re still in this, even without your Blitzcrank. Or that super special ward that you wanted to put down. Rumble has his ult, I got my cage. We’re good. If the Elise and Vayne decide to pop-off, we’ll be even better.”
Between Hermes’ Veigar and Rumble, the Blue team had two champions with powerful AoE damage and crowd control skills. There was also the Vayne who could dish out a lot of consistent damage and Elise couldn’t be underestimated either. All four of them together were more capable of taking the entire Red team out. They would avenge the noble Blitzcrank!
The Blue team waited up the river from the Dragon pit. They were letting the Red team whittle down the Dragon’s health. Just to throw off suspicion, they threw out a few skill shots every now and then. But they never went in. Until the Dragon’s health got down to around 20%. That was their cue. Veigar quickly went in towards the Dragon Pit and threw an Event Horizon down on top of the Red team. The edges of space curled up and formed a cage.
Rumble was right behind Veigar and followed up. With the Red team locked inside Veigar’s cage, he had the perfect target for his ultimate–The Equalizer! He fired off a group of rockets, creating a wall of flames over them that damaged and slowed them.
While all of this was happening, the Dragon continued to slash at the Jarvan IV! All five champions on the Red team were taking too much damage. They started to back away, slowly. None of them committed to the retreat. They didn’t want to give up the Dragon, so they hesitated. The Dragon was almost dead. If they pulled out too far, the Dragon would flee back to its pit and heal to full health. They would have to push the Blue team back and then start all over again. If they just managed to get a few more hits in, they’d take it down!
Suddenly, the shadow of a spider loomed over the Dragon. The Blue team’s Jungler, Elise in spider form! She lunged onto the Dragon and gave it a Venomous Bite, while also hitting it with a Smite. That was it. The Dragon died!
《Your team has slain the dragon!》
Lin Feng’s eyes lit up. “Oh! Nice steal!” he exclaimed.
The Blue and Red team stood across the river from each other, one side wallowing in despair while the other sipped on joy. It was still. Calm. Tranquil. Then suddenly and all at once, the stillness was shattered! Attacks and skills flew back and forth, a full blown team fight had broken out! The Jarvan IV went in on the Veigar with his flag-toss combo, while the Ashe fired her Enchanted Crystal Arrow in Elise’s direction. The Arrow found its mark and froze the Elise. Both the Ashe and Nami focused their attacks on Elise after that.
The Jarvan IV’s flag-toss combo missed. Veigar flashed right over it, and straight into the heart of the Red team. The proximity to the entire Red team was ideal for him to throw his signature Veigar Combo down. He coelesed a ball of Dark Matter in the sky and brought it down on them. Then he followed up with a small and big bolt of dark energy–Baleful Strike and Primordial Burst! The Ashe took the brunt of Veigar’s attacks. She was blown up before the Dark Matter hit the ground.
The Nami tried to neutralize Veigar and possibly save Ashe. She threw out a bubble to trap the Veigar–Aqua Prison! It landed, but only after Veigar had already killed Ashe. Aqua Prison couldn’t save Ashe, but it could avenge her. Jarvan IV and Kassadin ran up to the trapped Veigar and eviscerated him!
On the fringes of the fight, Irelia locked onto the Vayne. She dashed forward with Bladesurge and was planning to stun the Vayne with a follow-up Equilibrium Strike, But her plan went the exact same way it did the last time she tried it. Lin Feng pressed the R key to activate Vayne’s ultimate, and then tumbled away from the Irelia’s Bladesurge. Then Vayne vanished into the darkness where Irelia’s Equilibrium Strike could not reach. When she reappeared a moment later, she let loose a stream of silver bolts. This was followed up with the active skill gained from the item Blade of the Ruined King, which slowed the Irelia.
The Irelia tried to close the gap. But her skills that could do so were on cooldown, and the slow from the Blade of the Ruined King meant that the Vayne was always faster. Her health quickly dropped. Between the damage from Rumble’s ultimate and Vayne’s silver bolts, she was going to die! Three silver rings appeared around her and exploded. Her screen went grey.
Lin Feng picked up his fourth kill for this game, and his score was now 4/1/1. But the fight hadn’t ended yet! He started zoning in on the Nami along with Elise who had just broken free from Ashe’s stun. With their damage combined, Nami went down to zero from hero.
The viewers were going wild in the chat! Lin Feng was quickly turning this team fight around! But their cheers stopped mid-sentence. The Elise was only one or two attacks away from dying and she was in the middle of the enemy team. They watched the Jarvan IV turn around to the Elise. He skewered her with Dragon Strike and finished her off with an auto attack.
Lin Feng wasn’t about to let Elise’s death go unavenged. He shifted his focus to the nearly dead Jarvan IV. Vayne shot three silver bolts at him in quick succession before the Jarvan IV could even reach her. The third silver ring appeared around the Jarvan IV and exploded. The true damage was enough to kill him.
The excitement in chat that had crashed and burned when the Elise died, it returned with added interest when the announcer’s voice rang out again across Summoner’s Rift, her tone more animated than when she announced the double kill, for the triple kill.
「TRIPPLLLLEEEE KILLL!!!!!! FCCK YEAH!」
「damn! That was a crazy ass 4v5!」
「OMG HAVE MY CHILD」
「uhhh… guys? Kassadin is still alive right?」
「WATCH OUT!!!!!! KASSADIN IS BEHIND YOU!!!!」
Lin Feng had picked up a triple kill, but the battle still raged on. The Red team still had a living champion. A violet silhouette appeared in a nearby brush. Kassadin was an assassin. After killing the Veigar, he’d retreated to let his skills come back off cooldown while searching for an opportunity to jump back in the fray. That moment was now! Vayne’s health was low enough that two attacks would be enough.
The Kassadin blinked right on top of the Vayne with Riftwalk. He activated his Nether Blade mid-blink, ready to kill Vayne before she could react.
Lin Feng was focused. Ready. He knew Kassadin was still alive. He wasn’t stupid. His finger trembled slightly on top of the D. There was only one way to outplay the Kassadin with the little health his Vayne had left. Lin Feng was going to use his Vayne as the bait in his trap! When Riftwalk activated, a dark violet portal appeared a moment before Kassadin did. Lin Feng kept his eyes trained on the screen for that splotch of purple. The instant he spotted it, he pushed down on the D.
Vayne flashed away from Kassadin, completely avoiding his Nether Blade. Then she raised the heavy crossbow on her back. A giant bolt flew out and sent the Kassadin colliding in a wall, stunning him. Condemn!
Over in London, Nightsong sat up straight in his chair and stared at his screen. Amazed at the play. “Girrunafuck! This Vayne’s mechanics could fingerbang a cat!”