The announcer’s voice boomed out from the stadium speakers. The bass thrummed on the ground. The 9,000 fans felt the vibrations come up their feet and into their voices as they were screaming their lungs out. Colourful beams lit up the dome and flashed around. The Zenith Paris was on fire! Then the hall went dark. A sudden change. A sudden silence. A single beam of light lit up and shone down on Tian Tian. The large LCD screens started a replay. The Fiora dashing through Assassins’ team with her Bluesteel rapier, reaping lives. It was the perfect play. It was a...
“P–P–P–PEEENTAAKILLLL! GOD ROUNDY GETS THE PPEENNNTTTAAAAAA!” Lolo cried out! She jumped off her seat on the commentator desk and grabbed her hair with both hands. Her expression said more than a thousand words. Utter joy and disbelief.
Stone was drumming on the desk, laughing. That same expression of joy and disbelief. “God Roundy! What a hero! He gets the first penta at Worlds this year! What a brilliant play! Holy… Damn. The timing. The teleport, focus… Perfection.” He forced his head away from the replay and looked into the camera. “For all you people sitting at home, wondering what perfection looks like? This was it. This was perfection. God Roundy is perfection! It was all planned and executed to perfection! PERFECTION! Did you all see that Flash? That’s only possible if he knew the Zenith Blade was coming for him. He was prepared to hit that D! It was fucking perfect! God Roundy, if you watch this back later. I LOVE YOU! That was just… perfect.”
Qinghe didn’t jump up from his seat, nor did he join in the laughter. Not on first sight, anyways. But his attempt at hiding the big smile on his face fooled exactly zero people. Anyone could read the joy in his expression. He turned to the camera and said, “Don’t forget the rest of KG! It was the quick turn around and follow up by their Mid and Support that helped God Roundy to get the Penta! But let’s talk a little about the rest of the game now. Assassins’ plan failed. God Roundy got back into the game. KG now has a solid lead. They might’ve lost two players in this fight, but that’s nothing compared to the penta and first Dragon. KG really has to screw up from here to not win this game.”
The pentakill killed the deadlock the game was in. Tian Tian was catapulted ahead of everyone else, grabbing both the gold and experience lead. His KDA went up to 5/0/0 and he’d become Unstoppable in the span of a single teamfight. It was a double whammy for Assassins. All their effort, resources and strategizing were out the window. Their gameplan of shutting Tian Tian down had failed, miserably. It’d completely blown up in their faces! There was no one on their team who could stop him now. Even sending two members after him wouldn’t change that. He was too far ahead. Two members sent his way was the same as giving away two more kills. This situation was a nightmare for them.
The crowd was cheering KG! The casters celebrated the phenomenal performance! The millions of KG fans all across the globe could finally relax back in their chairs. KG was doing it. They were winning! Even the critical Lin Feng joined the bandwagon. He smiled and said to Su Xue’s stream, “KG should win this game. They’re doing it! Actually, let me make it a little more clear. If KG doesn’t win this game. If they let Assassins get back into it and win, then they might as well swim back home to Shanghai!” It was a running joke in China. A punishment for a team that didn’t just underperform, but a team that played so badly that they should feel too ashamed to ever show their faces again!
KG wasn’t planning to swim home, or take the plane. They were going to stay in France and make it to the next round! Their first step was this game. There was a small change to their gameplan. Tian Tian was now the main carry. The resources in the game were shoved his way and the rest of the team played around him. He was so strong that with the help of his team, there was nothing Assassins could do. It didn’t matter how good Read XIII’s Lee Sin was. It didn’t matter how well they played. The gold gap was too big. Tian Tian was too far ahead. And he only played better. Towers fell and Assassins were pushed back into their base.
Read XIII slammed down on his keyboard. He gripped his mouse and almost squashed it in half. “Fuck fuck fuck! The hell did that fatass eat? He’s never been this good! What the fuck. He’s playing out of his fucking mind!” He knew Tian Tian was good. They went way back. But there was a clear distinction between being good and being great. This game, Tian Tian was great. Maybe even better. So good that Read XIII, as a King, could do nothing to stop him. Read XIII was powerless to turn this game around.
The crowd jumped back to their feet! A win by KG! Though the excitement wasn’t all there. That was already expended on the pentakill. The rest of the game was a foregone conclusion. KG played the methodical game and made sure to not give Assassins any chances of mounting a comeback. It was to be expected, but still not the most exciting bit to watch. A 31 minute win by KG. KG was up two to one in the series. They were on gamepoint! One more win and they were through to the semifinals of Worlds!
Prophet Stone was all smiles, proud of how KG had played the game out. But that didn’t mean he’d lost his caution. He looked into the camera and warned, “Ahem! Don’t celebrate too early, guys. This series is not over yet. Assassins is still a King team. You can’t count them out. KG has to focus and make sure they don’t slip up in the next gam–”
The stern expression, the grave words, Lolo couldn’t take it anymore. She started giggling, hiding her mouth with her hand, then said, “Don’t think we don’t see what you’re trying to do, Prophet Stone. Trying to work that Prophet magic, huh? Hehe!”
Stone’s Caster’s Curse was a popular meme in the League of Legends circle. Stone knew it. Lolo knew it. Everyone knew it. The fans laughed and started flooding the chat of the live broadcast.
「about god dam time he puts his power to good use!」
「The prophet’s about to cast his curse! Everybody duck! 」
「STONE HAS SAID THE WORDS!!!! THE CURSE HAS BEEN CAST!」
「yo yo stone! i got me here a wife that wants to watch some stupid dating show…. curse her away plzzzz」
「HAHAHAH kick their assessssss in!!!」
「the prophet prophesies the prophecy. kg for the w1nnn」
Qinghe scrolled through the chat messages and laughed. He looked at Stone and said, “Seems like the fans at home are at ease. You’ve struck Assassins with your Caster’s Curse! We’ll be watching them crumble apart next game. I believe!”
Stone looked at the camera and rolled his eyes, slowly. “Guys, hey… I’m being serious here, okay? They’re a King team. We really can’t underestimate them. KG has to play another perfect game to beat them!” Then he smirked. He liked the meme. And the fans did too. This little spiel boosted everyone’s spirits and didn’t hurt anyone. That was the most he could do. The rest was up to KG. They had to play the game. They had to face Assassins. And they had to win! As for him, like all other KG fans, he hoped that KG would do that and make it through to the semifinals.
The fourth game in the series started. This was it. Either Assassins would claw their way back into it and force a deciding fifth game, or KG would win and move on to the semifinals. This game could decide the final semi finalist of Season 5 Worlds! The Champion Select went without much surprise. Assassins stuck to Lee Sin and formed an early game team composition around it. On the other side, KG went with a team composition that didn’t start shining until later in the game. If they survived the early game, they’d carry the late game to a win.
Assassins came out swinging from the first minute of the game, as was to be expected from their team composition. They invaded KG’s Jungle, ganked lanes, and did everything they could to get the advantage needed to secure a win. But KG fought back. They weren’t giving anything away. Their Jungler knew what fights he could take, and more importantly, which he couldn’t take. The lanes were playing defensively, but they weren’t losing. And Tian Tian got revenge on his Gnar. Unlike the game in the group stage where his Gnar got toyed around with, this game he became a real presence.
The early advantage did go to Assassins. It was to be expected. There really was no question about it. The real question was if the advantage was big enough. If they had pulled open a far enough lead where they could play the game out before it ever got to the late game. The answer was a resounding no. They hadn’t. Their advantage was small, almost negligible. And with every next minute, KG became stronger and stronger. Assassins knew that they had to do something extreme if they still wanted to win this game. They turned their attention to Baron Nashor. If they could kill this giant wurm and win a teamfight off the back of it, then, just maybe, they’d be able to push down mid lane and finish the game.
There were wards everywhere. Assassins were desperate. They weren’t thorough enough. There were wards they missed and they didn’t have full intel on where the players from KG were. But they still committed. It was the only option in their eyes. They attacked Baron Nashor, their health bars steadily dropping. Around the back, Tian Tian’s Gnar appeared. He was on the backside of the Baron Pit. A wall separated him from the players from Assassins. They stuck to the Baron. That was the call. Then Tian Tian flashed over the wall and into the Baron Pit. His Gnar’s rage hit the maximum and the little yordle evolved into Mega Gnar! Then the large monster stood up on his hind legs and dug his claws into the ground behind him. He swept forward, throwing everything around him against the wall of the Baron Pit and stunning the four players that were hit by it–GNAR!
The crowd in the Zenith Paris went silent. This was the game. The other players from KG followed up behind the Gnar. They took out the stunned players from Assassins, then finished off Baron Nashor. The Baron buff didn’t just boost player stats, it also boosted the stats of the minions near a Champion. With the help of the empowered minions, they pushed down mid lane. They destroyed the towers and inhibitors. The players from Assassins only started respawning when KG was already attacking the nexus. They threw themselves forward, but were sent back to the fountain.
KG 3 - 1 Assassins
The final hope of the LPL, the all Chinese team KG, had done it! They’d made it out of groups and now had won their quarter finals series against Assassins! They were moving on to the semifinals! An LPL team had qualified for the semifinals! It took a minute for realization to set in, for the fans, for the casters, and even for the players from KG. They just sat there, staring at the victory screen, until the cheers and chants from the crowd shook them away.
“WE FUCKING DID IT!”
“WHAT AN ULT ROUNDY!”
“We really did!”
Qinghe sat behind the caster desk, shaking his head. Then he started smiling before bursting out laughing. “KG takes the win and the series! They fought hard for it, but they did it! They’re semi finalists!”
“Let’s all take a moment to congratulate KG! This is a massive milestone for us! For the first time since Season 1, an LPL team had made it to the semis!” Stone said, smiling. “They’ve really done it, guys. It’s a little hard to believe, trust me, I know. But they’ve done it! They’ve really done it!”
Read XIII was mad, annoyed, frustrated. His eyes warned everyone who tried to approach him to turn around and walk away. He’d have them for breakfast if they tried to cheer him up right now. Screw the fans. Screw his teammates. Screw everything! He stepped down the stage, ignoring everyone around him and walked backstage. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. They were the only words going through his mind, together with replays of the games. Every small mistake he’d made, amplified a thousand times. Replayed in slow motion. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. After walking through the backstage area, he found a bathroom and kicked the door open. He walked in and slammed his fists down on one of the sinks. Then he stopped. There was someone else in the bathroom stall. He turned towards that person. The culprit of his current mood. Tian Tian.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Dev Thought: Alright. So let’s talk about Apple and the iPhone for a minute here. I make a lot of jokes about this. Ranging from “Only poor people get Android” to “You hate us cause you ain’t us”. Some of the jokes are good. A lot of them are bad because they’re low effort. But I’m going to be serious for this one.
Now I’ve had Android phones in the past. I jumped on that shit real fast. I used to be one of those people online that talked about how an iPhone was a gloried iPod with calling features. And for a long time, that’s all it was. Then something changed. The iPhone itself started to become a very real platform, and one that went on to transform the phone from a communication tool to an indispensable part of our daily lives. When it comes down to it, every single app that we use on a daily basis for pleasure, work, or shits-and-giggles works better on iPhone. Because the App Store maintains such high standards and curation. That’s something Android never had and never will have.
Then we look at it from an economic perspective. iPhones last a long time. You don’t need to upgrade to the newest iPhone every year. Or every two years. Or every three years. Apple supports and maintains every iteration and model of the iPhone for YEARS after people should’ve upgraded them. Free security updates, software updates, functionality updates. Every iPhone remains viable for 4-5 years after the model release year. Which is why they still have high resale value. That isn’t true for Android phones. Most of them are cheaply made, poorly optimized in-terms of software, and come with next to no support for software or upgrades. Companies will support their “flagship” Android smartphone for maybe a year. Two if you’re lucky. And then it just dies out. And then on top of that, you have carriers sitting in between the manufacturer of the phone and the users.
There’s also a lot of talk about “I WANT FREEDOM!” But what is freedom? I mean, what is it that we really do on our phones? Check Reddit? Talk on Discord? Read? Browse the internet? Play 3-5 gacha games? Occasionally reply to an email or two? That’s it. Most of us don’t do much on our phones. The “freedom” that everyone keeps going on about with Android? What do you use it for? And I’m saying this as someone who literally spent years on the XDA Developers Forum swapping out ROMs and trying to get the perfect Android build. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter. Most of the time, I ended up going back to the stock Android build and chilling out. Because the launchers don’t make a difference. Or the customizations. Or anything else, really. A phone, at the end of the day, is a metal brick with glass and an operating system that runs apps. That allows us to get food delivered or send messages to people. That’s it. When it comes down to real-world long-term usability, there isn’t much of a difference between Android and iOS. Except for which one works better, and that’s iOS.
Then there’s the whole “specs” argument. Or the “muh Android phone has 248929847298372 cores and 23092480294802948GB of RAM!” That’s cool, bro. But as it stands right now, literally every phone out there, including the cheapo budget android phones, is more powerful than the first computer I had growing up. Why do we need phones this powerful for Reddit? And even when Android phones are more powerful, they’re not as long-lasting or usable. There are people still running around with the iPhone 5, and they’re more than happy with the phone because it's still usable. EVEN APPLE CONSIDERS THAT PHONE TO BE OBSOLETE NOW!
That’s what it comes down to. Apple iPhones are the best value for money out there today. They have a high resale value, they’re usable forever, you get constant software and iOS updates, and they do everything that you really need them to do. Is there a higher upfront cost, sure. But the value proposition comes out positive in the end.
Mind you, at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter. Most of you suck at talking to people, so a phone is really useless to you regardless of iOS or Android. That’s not a joke. I mean, I can’t get you guys to comment on a chapter and talk into the void of the internet. Who are you guys calling and messaging? We’re out here talking which mobile phone platform is better like it really makes a difference. It doesn’t. Just use what you like. But a phone is a communication tool. And you need friends to communicate with. And is there a better place to make friends than the Rise Community? Yes. Because we’re a god awful community. But I’m hoping we can be better. Please. Prove me right.