Lin Feng was spot on. This really wasn’t good for Tian Tian. After Tian Tian’s Gnar got caught mid hop by Demon’s Darius, there was no more escaping. He tried to run away, but the Darius attacked his crucial artery–Crippling Strike! The Gnar started bleeding. His movement speed dropped. The Darius attacked him with another auto attack, while the Lee Sin projected a discordant wave of sound–Sonic Wave! It hit the Gnar. The Blind Monk knew where his target was and dashed towards the Gnar–Resonating Strike! He followed up with an auto attack, applying the slow from the Red Buff on the Gnar.
Between the Darius and Lee Sin, there was nothing Tian Tian could do to escape with his Gnar. Even if he flashed away, it wouldn’t matter. He was too far away from his own outer tower. They would just run him down and kill him before he could reach it. He had overextended and he would pay for it. The small yordle collapsed dead on the ground.
The European crowd in the Wembley Arena went wild! Their Legend had secured first blood! Their team was pulling ahead in the first game of Worlds! They chugged their beers, then hugged the friends and strangers around them, jumping up and down while screaming at the top of their lungs, “KING DEMON! KING DEMON! KING DEMON!”
The four large screens above the center stage at the Wembley Arena showed the player cams for KG and zoomed in on Tian Tian. His face was pale. Beads of sweat stood on his forehead and dripped down his face. He looked at his screen, biting his lips to force back the tears. But he fooled no one. Everyone could see his watery eyes.
Qinghe watched this all happen from behind the caster desk for the official Chinese stream. He shook his head, disappointed. “Ah, he misplayed that. He shouldn’t have died there.”
Stone looked at Qinghe and said, “Uh, no? What are you on about? You can’t call that a misplay. There was nothing Tian Tian could’ve done. This was a perfect play from Demon! Did you see how he flash-pulled the Gnar out of his hop? That was brilliant!”
In a private booth in the NetCow Cafe, Lin Feng and the others had also just watched the Gnar die. They’d watched God Roundy give away first blood. This wasn’t what they were hoping to see. This was a worst case scenario! They hoped to see God Roundy show Demon who the better Toplaner was. But now Darius had the bonus gold from first blood. It would be incredibly difficult for God Roundy to get back into this lane.
“NOO! WHY GOD ROUNDY?” Ouyang screamed. “Why would you give away first blood, bro? You totally had this! Why did you have to get cocky and overextend?”
Yang Fan adjusted his glasses. “Yeah, that was a misplay. I agree with Qinghe. If he had first flashed away before using Hop, he would’ve survived. He can only blame himself for this one.”
Lin Feng listened to his friends discussing the play, his eyes on the stream that still showed a close up of Fatty. This wasn’t a misplay, Fatty. There was nothing you could’ve done about it. Please don’t let it eat you up! He felt a twang in his heart as the stream forced him to look at the pain in his old friend’s face. This isn’t your fault! You can still win this lane! Trust in yourself! He knew that the Seven Kings and Four Emperors were only a title. There were many other really good players. Demon was one of them. His reflexes were some of the best in the game! There was no way Tian Tian could’ve seen this Flash-engage from the Darius coming. That was why Lin Feng felt it wasn’t his old friend’s fault that he gave away first blood. Everyone in that exact situation would’ve died. Everyone!
The stream went back to the game. It showed an exchange in mid lane. But Lin Feng cared little for this. It was a Lulu versus LeBlanc lane. One would defend and the other attack. Neither could pose much of a threat to the other, granted both sides played it correctly. He looked at the minimap in the bottom right corner of the screen. The Gnar had respawned in the fountain and was walking back to lane. You can do this Fatty! This isn’t lost! The Darius only has a small advantage. You can turn it around! He balled his fist. Show everyone what you’re made of!
At 5:40 minutes into the game, while Tian Tian was trying his best to farm his minions and catch back up to the Darius, his Jungler Rek’Sai went to gank top lane. There’d been a laneswap in this game. The bottom lane duo of both teams were playing in top lane. Tristana and Nami on KG and Jinx and Thresh on Legend. Rek’Sai roamed up the river, unnoticed.
The Rek’Sai burrowed into the ground. Her range of vision decreased but her movement speed increased. She passed over a ward as she moved into top lane. The Jinx and Thresh tried to run away when they saw the Rek’Sai, but they were too late. The Rek’Sai was already in lane. She flashed forward, closing the distance with the Jinx, and unburrowed from the ground, knocking her up!
KG’s bot duo knew Rek’Sai was coming beforehand, so they were ready to follow up. Nami threw down an Aqua Prison on the airborne Jinx. Tristana Rocket Jumped forward and started auto attacking the Jinx. Her damage was still low in the early game, but it was more than enough to get a kill in a three versus one.
Legend’s Thresh flashed away towards his outer tower. He threw his lantern back on top of his ally Jinx–Dark Passage! It gave her a shield and she could click it to be whisked away to the Thresh. The Jinx broke free from the Aqua Prison and touched the lantern. The Tristana simply didn’t deal enough damage to burst her down, so she escaped. Then the Thresh threw out his scythe and hooked the Rek’Sai–Death Sentence!
The Thresh pulled the Rek’Sai into range of Legend’s outer tower. He followed up by flaying her deeper into tower range, while the Jinx threw down three snare grenades on the ground–Flame Chompers! They exploded on the Rek’Sai, rooting her under the outer tower.
The Rek’Sai took an energy shot from the tower and lost three quarters of her health before the stun broke and she could escape. But while she was running down the top lane towards the KG’s side of the map, Legend’s Jungler, Lee Sin, came walking up the river. It was perfect timing. The Rek’Sai had no chance to escape, while the Tristana and Nami were forced to flash away and only barely made it out alive. This game was quickly going from bad to worse for KG. Legend was picking up advantages everywhere!
“NO! How is this possible? This can’t be! We were supposed to win this game! Prophet Stone cursed Legend! This is impossible!” Ouyang cried. “Did the prophet lose his power?”
Liu Yue couldn’t believe it either. “Now we’re losing at top too? What are we going to do? How are we going to win this game? Tell me! How?”
“Damn!” Ren Rou cursed. “We’re already down two kills and the game has barely started! This is terrible! If they don’t watch out, this is going to become a stomp!”
Lin Feng didn’t join the discussion with his friends. He sat a little to the back. Just far enough away that his friends wouldn’t bother him, but not so far away that he looked like he wanted to leave. He watched the stream. There was a large minion wave building up at bot lane. A lot of gold and experience for Fatty. Come on Fatty. That’s a big minion wave! When you get them, you should be back in the lane!
Unfortunately for Tian Tian, he wasn’t allowed to take these minions. He got an order from his team. They would be swapping bot and top lane. He was to immediately recall back to base and go to top lane. The minion wave was running right at him. But an order was an order. He hit the B key as blue circles appeared around his Gnar. After recalling back to the fountain, he walked up to top lane, only to find the minion wave frozen just outside of the Red team’s outer tower. It was a one versus two. He couldn’t even get near the minions, let alone last hit them.
Lin Feng watched all of this happen on the stream. He bit his lips. There were many things he wanted to say about this move by KG. But he didn’t. He kept his mouth shut.
At 7 minutes into the game, the minion wave in top lane started pushing towards KG’s tower. Tian Tian would finally be able to get a few last hits on minions again! But Legend wasn’t about to let this happen. Their Jungler and Midlaner had planned for this. The minions pushed into the tower. The Gnar started attacking the minions. His Rage built up until he transformed into Mega Gnar!
Legend’s Midlaner and Jungler knew where KG had placed wards and snuck around them towards top lane. Into KG’s jungle and into a brush just behind the outer tower. Tian Tian farmed the minions while the bot lane duo he was up against kept their distance. Then his Gnar returned to his normal size. It was the moment Legend had been waiting for. The four players towerdived the Gnar and killed him. It was a worst case scenario. Not only did Tian Tian give away another kill, it was Phoenix’s LeBlanc who picked it up!
If giving away first blood wasn’t bad enough already, now Tian Tian was also feeding the LeBlanc! The Chinese fans couldn’t believe what they were seeing! They instantly took to the stream chat to flame.
「the hell is god roundy doing!?!?!??!?!」
「Did he forget how to play or something? WTF are these plays???? Can the idiot not ward???」
「uch… I told you guys KG needed a new toplaner. One that’s actually a little good……」
「last pro game for the fatso????」
Ouyang and the others shared the sentiment of the stream chat. God Roundy looked useless on his Gnar! He was behind in levels and kept giving away kills! Lin Feng listened to this, but didn’t say a word. He knew how unfair this was. His friends were completely wrong! All the people watching the stream were also wrong! This wasn’t on Fatty one bit! This was on the whole team! He bit his lips and clenched his fists harder, his nails digging into his skin.
Legend’s bot duo recalled back to base after picking up the kill on Roundy’s Gnar. Then they went to bot lane, switching lanes with the Darius. Two minutes later, at 9 minutes into the game, a fight broke out in bot lane. The Thresh landed a hook on the Tristana. He pulled her back towards him and right into the three snare grenades the Jinx had placed on the ground. The Chompers exploded, rooting Tristana! The Jinx switched to her minigun and started attacking, while the Thresh walked up to the Tristana.
The Tristana player was smashing on his W key. His Flash was on cooldown and his only other escape ability was Rocket Jump. It felt like the root would never break! His Tristana’s health was already down by half! Then the root finally broke. Rocket Jump activated. The Tristana aimed her cannon at the ground and fired!
The Thresh player had kept his Flay for this moment. He pressed on his E key. Thresh swept his chain and knocked the Tristana down to the ground mid-jump. The Jinx followed up with a Zap! A shot with her shock pistol that slowed the Tristana. Then she continued auto attacking before firing off her Super Mega Death Rocket!
《Red team has slain an enemy!》
The Chinese fans were starting to get really anxious. Bot lane didn’t get ganked. This was a clean outplay by Legend! At the professional level, dying to the lane opponent in bot lane was the same as giving away a solo kill! It really shouldn’t happen. The Tristana really shouldn’t have been caught out like this. This game started to look worse and worse.
The three Chinese casters tried to paint a positive picture. They forced smiles on their faces as they discussed how it would be an uphill battle for KG. Their main point of conversation was that the game wasn’t lost yet. There would still be plenty of opportunities to mount a comeback. All KG had to do was play it safe and wait for their chances. The only thing they had to make sure was that they stopped giving away kills to Legend. If they didn’t, they might as well surrender.
Legend took the first dragon after getting the kill on the Tristana. KG was in no position to contest it. They were lacking wards and without Tristana they had no damage. Their entire team was built around the Tristana. They were helpless without her.
KG managed to survive the next few minutes without giving away any more kills, but they were falling further and further behind. Then, at the 14 minute mark, KG gave away another solo kill. It was Tian Tian again. He’d been hiding under his outer tower in top lane. But he wasn’t even safe there. The Darius had built up such a large advantage that he could easily towerdive. Tian Tian was forced to run away, all the way back to his inner tower. That still wasn’t enough. The Darius chased after him and came down on Tian Tian with his axe–Noxian Guillotine! Tian Tian’s Gnar had only a little bit of health remaining, which disappeared after taking several more ticks of bleed damage.
The Chinese fans understood from the start that KG wouldn’t necessarily win the game. Legend was a strong opponent. But that didn’t mean they would accept watching their team make stupid mistakes! They wouldn’t sit quietly when someone as great as God Roundy was giving away solo kills left and right!
「hes lost it. EZ GG」
「I hope they boot roundy from the team after this game!」
「They would probably have a better chance if they kick Roundy right now and play 4v5」
In the private booth in the NetCow Cafe, a dark cloud rumbled above Lin Feng’s head. He was furious! Angry and frustrated on behalf of his old teammate! These so-called fans were blaming the wrong person! This wasn’t Fatty’s fault! There was nothing he could’ve done! His team had sacrificed him! How is this not obvious to everyone? Are they stupid? And now Fatty was paying the price for it! Judging from the camera pointed at his face, he was having a panic attack and tilting!
Professional League of Legends players rarely tilted. They had been trained to stay calm and collected in high pressure situations even when things weren’t going their way. Even when things were going downright terrible! Because if they let a single setback affect them, it would affect the entire team. It meant the difference between winning and losing a game. But because they were so good at bottling up their emotions during a game, when the bottle did end up breaking, it would be disastrous.
The pressure on the professional players was immense. It sometimes felt like they had to bear the entire weight of the world on their shoulders. This was all the more obvious during the biggest event of the year. Worlds! In this event, KG had to play against a favored title contender in their first game. The pressure on their shoulders was crippling! They were probably completely lost on what to do. And what made it worse was that they’d lost grip on the game within the first 10 minutes!
Lin Feng knew Fatty better than most others. He recognized the signs of his old friend panicking. His old friend’s mental fortitude was pretty poor to begin with and he now looked to be at a complete loss. There were no teammates who came to help him and he was left alone in lane against a Darius who could kill him whenever he liked. This is bad. This is really, really bad. If things don’t change soon, KG will lose. Come on, Fatty! You can do it! Tell your teammates to give you a hand! I still believe in you!
KG stopped communicating. The players were upset and needed something or someone to blame. They went quiet on the voice chat and were busier with trying to get some last hit on minions, rather than worrying about stopping Legend from pushing into their base. Top lane was the first to fall. 19 minutes into the game, Legend broke into KG’s base and destroyed the inhibitor. Then they methodically moved to mid lane and finally bot lane. 23 minutes into the game, the third inhibitor fell. With super minions spawning in all three lanes, Legend held the overwhelming advantage. It took two more minutes to close it out. It was a stomp.
The European crowd in the Wembley Arena jumped up from their seats and screamed in joy! Their Legend had won! Europe had won the first game of Worlds! They hugged the people around them and yelled, “LEGEND! LEGEND! LEGEND!” Legend had done them proud! And they looked really strong! Maybe they could really make it all the way to the finals!
In stark contrast to the joy from the European fans, the Chinese were unable to accept this loss. They were angry. Furious! This wasn’t how this game was supposed to go! Prophet Stone had spoken! KG should’ve won this game! This was their game to lose!
「WTF!?!?!?! did they think they were just scrimming for fun or something?!?!?」
「KG IS TRASH」
「god roundy my ass, he played like a fat turd on the road!」
「uncrowned eighth? give me a break….」
「LOL kg is fucking terrible! so what that they’re all chinese?!?!?!」
Tang Bingyao read the messages in the stream chat. All of them were insults, and more than half were aimed at Tian Tian. His Gnar had started the loss. Whatever happened after that didn’t matter. The game was lost after first blood in the eyes of most fans. She then tilted her head and glanced at Lin Feng, worried. He was biting his lips and his face was pale. She whispered, “Are you okay?”
Lin Feng took a deep breath. He forced his eyes away from the screen and to the ground. Then he took another deep breath. He closed his eyes and let his heart calm down. His lips formed a smile. He forced out the familiar him, the him his friends knew and loved, and then looked up at Tang Bingyao. “Don’t worry. I’m fine. Just a little annoyed is all.” If KG’s loss were really Fatty’s fault, he would’ve been frustrated that his old friend played a shitty game. That would’ve been it. But this loss wasn’t Fatty’s fault. This loss was on KG! Their problems started with their team comp and showed through in the rest of the game! Fatty might’ve died a few times more than the others, but this loss was absolutely not his fault!