Giving away first blood wasn’t great. Anything but. However, that didn’t mean the game was over. KG still had everything in their own two hands. The three casters for the Official Chinese Broadcast knew that as well. They looked around the map, away from the LeBlanc in mid lane, and soon found something else to latch onto. Something was brewing up in top lane. KG’s Jungler was roaming up the river and into the tri-brush directly below SSK’s outer tower. God Roundy let the lane push his way ever so slightly, making sure the Gnar wasn’t any the wiser. Then the Jarvan IV dashed out from the tri-brush and flanked the Gnar. But the Gnar came prepared. He Hopped onto the Jarvan IV and then further towards his outer tower, then flashed the last bit to safety.
“Nice!” Lolo cheered, waving her arms up and down. “God Roundy can now push the lane! The Gnar has to recall back to base and will lose a ton of experience! This is great for KG!”
Stone nodded and smiled. “Mhm, this should give Roundy some time to build up an advantage. But that reaction speed by the Gnar was out of this world. The Jarvan jumped onto him from the fog of war, and he still found the time and accuracy to Hop onto him and then towards his own tower. That’s some real skill there. If he’d missed, he’d have given away a kill to KG.”
“But they got the Flash out. That’s the important thing here,” Qinghe chimed in. He turned back to the screen and watched the Gnar recall back to base, then added, “Plus, if that Gnar teleports back to lane, then that’s two Summoner Spells gone. He can’t go anywhere, while God Roundy can go anywhere on the map and help his team win an important fight. This is looking great for KG!”
The three casters tried their best to spin the story back in KG’s favour. They had to! But that wasn’t how they felt in their heart of hearts. This game wasn’t in KG’s favour. Things weren’t going great. Quite frankly, the game was quickly slipping away from KG’s grasp. In all of League of Legends, there was nothing more terrifying than the best player in the world on his best Champion. But KG had allowed for that to happen. It didn’t even take Rake five minutes to punish them for that mistake. His LeBlanc was something else. She looked like a different Champion entirely when he played her. In his hands, she was a dark cloud looming over the Rift. An absolute nightmare. No KG player who stepped out of the fountain was safe from her. This was Rake’s LeBlanc.
The casters and the fans at home could all see Rake pulling quickly ahead of his lane opponent. And since they could see it, so could Tian Tian. He panned his camera to mid lane every couple of seconds, just to make sure the game wasn’t lost yet. His nerves were making his hand shake, and he missed a last hit because of it. T-this won’t work… LeBlanc got first blood… He knew Rake. They’d played against each other before, all the way back in Season 1. Tian Tian gulped, his eyes wide with fear. He took his hand off the keyboard and placed it on his other hand, trying to stop it from trembling and shaking. N-no. It’s just one kill… He bit down on his teeth and breathed through his mouth. W-we can still do this! I can still do this! I just have to win harder! I-i will carry!
To win or lose a game of League of Legends. Sometimes it took upwards of an hour, or even longer, to find out who would win the game. Other times, it was decided before the 10-minute mark. There were team compositions and specific Champions that allowed for very quick games. Two such examples were Riven and LeBlanc. If either of them got rolling, while the other went down, they could solo carry the game. They could push a lane all the way down to the Nexus, or teamfight 1v5. It really didn’t matter. Once they got going, they could win the game single-handedly. This game between KG and SSK looked to be heading in that very direction, with the game-deciding fight happening at 6:30 minutes.
It happened at bot lane and started off with a gank by SSK. Rake had teamed up with his Jungler and roamed bot. SSK’s Support and ad-carry were informed over voice chat and eased down on pushing out the lane. The next wave of Blue minions was frozen right outside their own outer tower’s range, and KG’s Jinx was extended far out in the lane. This was an opportunity to get a few last hits where she didn’t have to fight over a kill with her tower. It was a whole lot easier to land the killing blow, especially in the early game, when the tower wasn’t firing off powerful energy shots at the minions. But the Jinx shouldn’t have been tunnel-visioning on the minions. She should’ve noticed that her lane opponents had eased off on the pressure.
SSK’s Support played Alistar. He was a minotaur with strong crowd control skills. One of these skills was Pulverize. He could smash down on the ground so hard that the stone and dirt directly around him would explode outwards, knocking Champions and minions up into the air. There were different ways to get in range to use this skill. He went with Flash. With a mottled burst of light, he disappeared from his spot and then reappeared right on top of the Jinx. He raised his muscular arms and then smashed his fists down into the ground–Pulverise! The Jinx was knocked up into the air!
The timing was perfect. The Jinx was up in the air and couldn’t do anything for a short duration. SSK’s ad-carry, who played Lucian, dashed forward and fired light bullets from his gun. Then he blasted the Jinx with a purifying light–Piercing Light! The Jinx then started falling back to the ground. Another second and she could Flash away towards safety. That was when everyone could see a Tunnel being dug out from the fog of war. A wild Rek’Sai appeared directly underneath the Jinx and knocked her back up into the air by Unburrowing! Rake appeared next, Distorting towards the Jinx and hitting her with the splash damage. Then he Mimic’d Distortion and hit her again, dealing substantially more damage this time. It was so much damage that it directly killed the Jinx.
《You have slain an enemy!》
The players from KG were yelling and screaming into their microphones, trying to do something. Because if they did nothing, they’d be giving SSK a double kill. It was a 4vs1 right now, so a towerdive would be simple.
“Lulu! TP! Come down now! COME!”
“I don’t have TP! Fuck! It’s on cooldown! It’s on cooldown!”
“Thresh! Wait! Stay near your tower! I’m TPing in! We can do this!”
The casters of the Official Chinese Broadcast were just as desperate as KG. They wanted to see their team win! But this fight looked lost, until a pillar of light descended on one of the Blue minions in bot lane. It was like a beacon of hope! That was how Stone saw it, anyways. He cried out, “Riven is teleporting! Gnar’s TP is still on cooldown and God Roundy is Level 6! He can win this fight! KG can still turn this around!”
Tian Tian arrived in bot lane. He pressed down on the R key–Blade of the Exile. A green light wrapped around his Riven’s blade. It was reforged, perfect once more. Then she dashed forward and thrusted her sword up into the air–Ki Burst! A wave of green energy washed over the Lucian, stunning him. His already low base health took a beating. Then the Riven lashed out with the first of three strikes. The second followed after an auto attack, and then almost directly after came the third. The Riven jumped up in the sky and hacked down on the Lucian, knocking him Airborne–Broken Wings! Another auto attack would kill the Lucian, but the Alistar came charging over from the side, Headbutting her away. The Lucian fell back to the ground and Flashed away.
“N-no! You won’t get away!” Tian Tian yelped. He pressed down on the D key and then directly on the R key again–Wind Slash! His Riven had charged up the runic energy contained within her sword and unleashed it all with one final slash. It flew after the Lucian, chased him down, and washed over him. It dealt the damage and killed him.
《You have slain an enemy!》
“It’s the comeback! It’s the comeback!” Lolo cried out, throwing her arms up into the air. And she wasn’t the only one cheering and happy to see God Roundy make the play. Everyone watching the stream shared her sentiment and they started flooding the chat.
「EMPEROR GOD ROUNDY!!!!!!」
「god roundy is the besstt!!11!1 omgomgomgomg」
「GOD ROUNDY HAVE MY BABY!」
「KG IS GONNAAA WIINNN!!!!」
「Down with the Koreans!!! WOOOO GOD ROUNDY!!!!」
「EZ GAME GG GOD ROUNDY MVP!!!!」
Back in the game, KG’s Thresh turned around. God Roundy was here. He had to help his teammate turn this fight around. The Rek’Sai was closest to the tower, so he wound up his chain and sickle and hooked her, then dragged her under the tower–Death Sentence! He followed up with Flay, dragging her even further under the tower. There were no minions, so the outer tower targeted the Rek’Sai and fired off an energy shot at her. All the while, Tian Tian tried to have his Riven move towards the Rek’Sai and Thresh, but was stopped by an Exhaust from the Alistar. A debilitating energy wrapped around her and debuffed all of her stats, including her movement speed!
SSK’s Jungler knew he could be hooked by the Thresh. In fact, he was even counting on it. So when it happened, he didn’t panic and try to Flash away. Instead, he let it happen. He let his Rek’Sai get dragged underneath the outer tower and closer towards the Thresh. Then, when he was almost on top of the Thresh, he pressed down on the E-key–Furious Bite! His Rek’Sai bared her teeth and sank them down into the Thresh, dealing double and True damage. All the while, Rake had been last hitting minions, patiently waiting for an opening. There it was. The Rek’Sai was taking energy shots from the tower and the Thresh’s health was dropping. So he had his LeBlanc step into tower range and pressed down on the Q and then the E key. His LeBlanc raised her staff and fired an orb of malefic energy, followed directly by two illusory chains that flew towards the Thresh and wrapped around him. Then she cast another auto attack.
However, SSK had to pay a price for giving Rake the two kills. The Rek’Sai had tanked too many energy shots from KG’s outer tower, which dealt increasingly more damage with every hit. Before she could even start Tunneling away, she died. That made it two for two. This fight that started out so terribly for KG was even again, and it was now all up to Tian Tian to make the impossible happen. He could keep the dream alive!
“Kill the LeBlanc! If he kills the LeBlanc, KG wins! KG can win this!” Qinghe shouted from behind the caster desk. “Come on God Roundy! Do it! Do it! You can do it!” There was no calmness in his voice, or any semblance of professionalism. He looked like a fan on the edge of his seat, cheering for his team to win! Cheering for his favourite player to make the plays! It was exactly how the people at home felt, all ten million of them!
Su Xue was one of the fans sitting at home, cheering for her God Roundy! But she couldn’t sit on the edge of her seat. This moment was too tense! She jumped up and leaned closer to the screen, screaming, “Come on! God Roundy! Do it! Kill the LeBlanc! Kill that stupid bitch!”
Lin Feng sat next to Su Xue. He pushed her aside when she moved in front of the screen, his eyes locked on the Riven. Fatty… He was watching the map. The Jarvan IV wouldn’t arrive in time. It was a 1v2 for Fatty. But he had the cooldowns on his side. The LeBlanc had just used hers and Fatty’s were coming off cooldown again. That meant he held the advantage, for a short few seconds. That’s your chance. Do it! Win!
Two gaming booths stood across the stage from each other. One belonged to KG, the other to SSK. One Toplaner was chewing on his lips and his hands were trembling, while a Midlaner sat still, unmoving except for the quick and accurate movements of his hands. Tian Tian was giving it his all, playing to the best of his ability, while Rake knew how much effort he had to put in to win this. And that was how much energy he poured into this fight. Nothing more and nothing less. He put in exactly enough to win this fight.
Tian Tian gritted his teeth. He knew his cooldowns and he’d seen the LeBlanc just use her skills. He had his Riven lash out, striking the LeBlanc with the first attack from Broken Wings. He followed up with an auto attack and then the second slash from Broken Wings. The LeBlanc auto attacked him, constantly repositioning. But her skills were on cooldown and her health was falling quickly. Tian Tian pressed on the Q key for the third time–Broken Wings! His Riven leaped up into the air, bringing her sword over her head, and then hacked down towards the ground. The blade would smash right into the LeBlanc, knocking her Airborne. Except that it didn’t, because the LeBlanc wasn’t there anymore.
Through the entire fight so far, Rake still hadn’t used his Flash. Until now. His LeBlanc disappeared in a flash of mottled light as the Riven came crashing down on her. She walked up the lane a little, creating an angle between the minions through which she could hit him with her skillshot. LeBlanc only had one real skillshot. Ethereal Chains. She fired them off and they struck the Riven, coiling around her.
Everyone went silent in the arena, until all that could be heard were the ingame sounds blaring from the speakers. Everyone hosting streams, shoutcasting or analyzing the game, went quiet. They sealed their lips and moved to the edge of their seats, watching, waiting. Across the world, from Korea to China and all the way to Europe and North America. Every single League of Legends fan stopped what they were doing and focused on the stream. The second part of Ethereal Chains took a second to activate. It would snare the Riven. Rake had to snare Roundy Round if he wanted to win this fight, and Roundy Round had to get out of range to cancel the snare if he wanted to win. There were only two possible outcomes. A shutdown bounty for Roundy Round or a game winning Rampage for Rake.
Tian Tian desperately tried to get away, to break the link before it could root his Riven in place. But Rake had positioned himself too perfectly. There was nowhere he could run. His Riven got rooted. Red minions started attacking him. A Sigil of Malice struck him. Then another auto attack. He clicked and he pushed the buttons on his keyboard. But he was rooted. His Riven didn’t move until she collapsed dead on the ground. She’d died. He’d lost. The announcer’s voice rang through his headphones.
《You have been slain!》
Shit. Tian Tian let go of his mouse and keyboard. He fell back in his and rubbed his forehead. T-this is really, really bad. He took a long inhalation, pushing out his stomach, then let it all out. Shit. I-it’s over.
Tian Tian had done great in this fight. He helped his bot lane turn a completely lost fight around into a two for three situation. In any other situation, this would’ve been a good result. Not great, but definitely not the end. However, it wasn’t so much that they gave the kills away, but who they gave them away to. SSK hadn’t cared about sacrificing their Rek’Sai, because it meant another kill for Rake. Nor did it matter that the Lucian died. The only important part of this fight was that the LeBlanc picked up a triple kill. She was 4/0/0 barely seven minutes into the game. She was on a Rampage and about to become unstoppable.
Sitting behind the caster desk, deflated, Stone voiced the feelings of the millions of KG fans watching from home. “Shit. This sucks.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
I’m in a reminiscing mood so I’m going to talk about the webnovel community around six years—before Qidian or Xianxiaworld (if you do remember them) entered the scene. The community was pretty tight-knit in those days, with a ton of translator-reader interaction, kind of like what we’re doing now.
I was a reader back then just like you guys, and I was really into Chaotic Sword God and Battle Through The Heavens. Because of that, I found myself mostly lurking around on GravityTales. I’d leave a “Thanks” in a chapter every once in a while. But I had no real interest in interacting with anyone beyond that. And it would have stayed that way if I didn’t catch up to the latest chapter. But as every reader knows, you always reach that point sooner rather than later. Then you’re faced with a few options. You can look for another webnovel to read. You can drop it for a while and let chapters pile up so you can binge again. Or you can follow along with the ongoing releases and get that small hit regularly.
I chose the third option. I was too addicted to go with any other choice. But, I also wasn’t satisfied with only reading a chapter anymore. So I started hanging out more in the comments. I’d get into discussions with other readers about what might happen next. Sometimes, I would ask the translators random questions, and more often than not they would answer. Eventually, I’d gotten to know the translators pretty well. Deceptioning and GoodGuyPerson. It was to the point that they instantly recognized me as “that guy from the comments” when GravityTales embedded a TLK chat to their sidebar and I joined it. That turned into me meeting other GravityTales translators and readers. And before I knew it, I was in a really awesome tight-knit community. Readers and translators alike, we’d do games of League or Civ IV together, host karaoke nights, or just have a fun time goofing off with each other in some random chat. Honestly, I’ve got a ton of fond memories from those days!
That was a community from another time, and probably a lower realm. Since then I have ascended to Godhood and became SilverShanks! Now I get to sit in the driver’s seat and create something spectacular with all of you. I get to share a moment in time and space together with all of you. And that is something special, something I hold very dearly. I'm hoping we can take this community one, or two, maybe a hundred thousand million gazillion steps further and create something Legen... wait for it... DARY!
Sietse Thought: Don’t be fooled guys. Shanks is showing you all he was a good commenter, not to get you to comment but for something else entirely. What he really wants is a pat on the back. He needs that daily message that tells him how awesome he is and how the world is a better place with him around. Now, I’m not saying that isn’t true. Thanks to him we have Rise, so it is a better place! But Shanks. This community isn’t here to boost your confidence. There are plenty of YouTube channels with people telling you sweet nothings specifically for people to feel better about themselves. This community is to banter around, to hold deep and meaningful conversations about the novel and other things, and maybe to play some murder mystery together. In fact, if you guys would like to see that last point become reality, just be really hyped in the comments and I’ll write one for the second chapter that we’re releasing later tonight!