Chapter 3 - My God! You Make it Look so Easy!

Lin Feng had an odd habit while playing League of Legends. It started way back when he first started playing the game. The champions in the game, all of them were unique. All of them came with different attack animations and voice lines, and all of them were cool. This entranced the young Lin Feng and set his heart racing. While playing the game, he’d get so immersed that he would imagine himself as the champion he was playing. He memorized all of their lines and would shout them out along with the champion and occasionally get so far into it that he’d mimic their attack animations or poses while playing. This was a habit that only grew more refined the longer he played the game.  

Whenever he’d play with his friends, this odd quirk of his was a source of endless amusement and shame for them. They used to joke about how he was hopelessly afflicted with eighth-grader syndrome, a truly terminal case. Lin Feng didn’t care about the jokes. Or the well-meaning advice from his friends to let go of his eight-grader syndrome before high school. He just really enjoyed the roleplay. Besides, he was way better at League than any of his friends. So what did they know? There was even a time where a bunch of bullies, wannabes who thought they were hotshots, thought his quirkiness made him a good target. He crushed all of them while roleplaying the champions he used. That shut them up real quick. But all of that was a long, long time ago. 

Lin Feng never grew out of this habit. Even after all these years, he still remembered the lines perfectly. So, when he activated Vayne’s ultimate and tumbled forward, his mouth already started moving. The rehearsed lines flowed from his lips as he started narrating the scene.

“A frigid wind blows through the dark. The Night Hunter’s silhouette disappears from sight as the air permeates with an icy killing intent. Vayne’s voice booms out from the darkness…. Time for reckoning!”

“Man! So cool!” Lin Feng let out a deep sigh of satisfaction.

The people watching the stream, watching Lin Feng do all this, did not feel the same way he did. They were mostly just confused. The ones that managed to type out their thoughts in chat echoed what everyone else was thinking, what was this li’l bro doing? Was this some kind of stroke? Did the stress of the game and being on livestream get to him? There were even a few people watching who had recently jumped onto the mental health bandwagon sweeping through the internet, and they expressed concern about Lin Feng’s sanity. As mental health enthusiasts, they decided it was best to lecture the rest of the chat on the effects of toxicity based on a few articles they had read.    

But once the initial shock of Lin Feng’s quirky behavior had passed, most of the viewers decided to ignore whatever it was that he was doing and focus instead on his gameplay. The way he was playing was far more astonishing than what he was doing. He wasn’t just playing well, and it wasn’t just that his playstyle was impressive. Lin Feng was doing something far more breath-taking. He was playing perfectly without making a single mistake on anything! Decision-making, timing, everything was a perfectly choreographed and well-rehearsed dance.  

Lin Feng had activated Vayne’s ultimate–Final Hour! This gave Vayne increased attack damage, reduced the cooldown on the skill Tumble and made her invisible when using it, and most importantly it granted bonus speed. More specifically, it augmented the movement speed bonus that Vayne gained from her passive skill Night Hunter. Vayne rapidly closed in on the Caitlyn, and shot out a silver bolt with her demon hunting crossbow. Then she moved forward a little and shot out another silver bolt. This was Vayne’s auto attack, and Lin Feng timed it perfectly to cancel the animation and maximize the number of attacks that he made. 

The Caitlyn was slow to react. She just wasn’t expecting a Vayne with 0 kills and 3 deaths from her would attack so aggressively. But the sheer amount of damage being dealt by Vayne and how quickly her health dropped definitely woke her up.

Taking the Caitlyn by surprise and her slow reaction time allowed Lin Feng to land a third auto attack. This one was different. The third consecutive auto attack was the required condition to activate Vayne’s skill—Silver Bolts. The three silver rings around Caitlyn exploded and dealt bonus true damage!

Lin Feng smoothly switched between auto attacking and moving forward, displaying his mastery of the pro gamer art–Animation Cancel! By the time the Caitlyn started reacting to his attack, Tumble had already come off cooldown. His finger hovered over the Q key, waiting for the precise moment that Caitlyn would fire her 90 Caliber Net to slow him down and escape. And that was exactly what she did, just as he’d predicted.

“Tumble!” Lin Feng shouted. The Vayne rolled forward diagonally, dodging the net and then closing the gap again. Another silver bolt pierced the Caitlyn and she found herself positioned awkwardly with her back to a wall. This was what Lin Feng was trying to do. He’d outplayed Caitlyn without her even realizing it was happening. This was the moment Lin Feng had been waiting for. “Condemn!”

Vayne pulled out the giant crossbow from her back and squeezed the trigger. A large bolt flew out and pierced through Caitlyn’s chest, propelling her back and pinning her to the wall. Stunned! She couldn’t move for the next 1.5s. She couldn’t escape. She couldn’t do anything but suffer as Vayne’s silver bolts took away the last bit of her health.

The game announcer’s voice rang out across Summoner’s Rift.

You have slain an enemy!

The perfect play that Lin Feng had just pulled off, that wasn’t the most impressive thing that he’d accomplished in the last few minutes. No, he’d done something far more majestic and monumental. Lin Feng’s gameplay forced chat speechless. It was actually a double kill! He’d killed both Caitlyn and the chat. The people watching the stream literally could not believe what their own eyes had seen moments ago. They struggled to figure out how it was even possible to do what Lin Feng had just done. It wasn’t supposed to be possible! When Su Xue was playing Vayne, she fed three kills to that Caitlyn. Even if the Caitlyn wasn’t at full health, she should have still been more than capable of putting up a fight. But that’s not what happened. Lin Feng had executed her without getting hit once.

Lin Feng reclined back into his seat with a satisfied smile. “Look at that! Didn’t I tell you guys? It’s easy for a Vayne to 1v1 a Caitlyn!”

The people watching the stream finally managed to process what just happened, and chat slowly stirred back to life.

Li'l bro, that play was awesome! You get full points from me!

fcking impressive man!

You only won because Caitlyn was too careless. She panicked like a noob and got herself Condemned into the wall

Yeah, you only killed her coz she panicked」 

Lin Feng chuckled. There were still people watching who doubted him. Since that was the case, he’d have to do something about that. He looked right at the webcam and smiled, “Fine. Just keep watching! I’ll show you more of my skills!”

It took the Caitlyn 50 seconds to revive and walk all the way to the blue team’s outer tower in bot lane. But she didn’t come alone this time, her support Thresh was by her side. The Caitlyn had figured out by now that something had changed and was a little bit more wary of Lin Feng’s Vayne. The Thresh, on the other hand, he hadn’t caught on yet. He still thought that the Vayne was a terrible player because of Su Xue’s performance at the start. As far as he knew, this was still the same player who’d constantly made bad plays and given away three kills. So he decided to push forward and bully Vayne out of the lane.    

Unfortunately for the Thresh, reality did not go the way he predicted it would. Lin Feng wasn’t even slightly bothered by Thresh’s attempts to pressure him out of lane. Instead of backing up like the Thresh thought he would, Lin Feng started attacking. He landed one auto attack, the Thresh still pushed forward and ate a second auto attack. 

The Thresh player grew increasingly frustrated that his attempt to pressure Vayne out of lane was failing. In an effort to finally make Lin Feng back off, the Thresh decided to be more aggressive. He threw out a chain and sickle using his third skill–Flay. The idea was to pull Vayne towards him and also deal a little damage. But Lin Feng was far too canny for a barely thought out play like that to work. Vayne dodged the chain with Tumble and landed a third auto attack. That was the condition. A third silver ring appeared around Thresh for a moment before all three exploded, dealing bonus true damage. Vayne’s skill Silver Bolts. 

Being outplayed by a trash player who refused to be bullied out of lane was too much for the Thresh to handle, and he tilted. He threw out a hook with Death Sentence without any real planning or positioning, which made it completely useless against Lin Feng’s nimble Vayne. She side-stepped past the hook, dodging it. 

Lin Feng never considered Thresh a threat. Even when he still had both of his crowd control skills, all Lin Feng had to do was dodge them. But without them, this Thresh was nothing more than a punching bag. Or a training dummy. Lin Feng fired another silver bolt at him, perfectly cancelling the final part of the animation before shooting again, over and over, gliding forward and peppering The Chain Warden with auto attacks. 

The Thresh started to panic. It had finally started to dawn on him that the Vayne he was facing right now was  completely different from the one at the start of the game. All of his attack skills were on cooldown, and the Vayne consistently managed to outplay and outposition him. He had no choice but to flee, retreat and live to fight again when circumstances were more in his favor. He shielded himself using the skill Dark Passage and started to run.

Lin Feng pursued the Thresh, the thrill of the hunt pounding in his veins. Damage started to pile on the Thresh, and the scent of virtual blood pushed Lin Feng into more of a frenzy. He was completely immersed in this fight. The intensity in his eyes radiated through the messy bangs that covered them. He felt it. He knew. “I can get this kill!”

The viewers of the stream couldn’t believe what they were hearing. Or seeing. It was already more than impressive that Lin Feng managed to stand up to the Thresh. He’d gone a step beyond that to get a few free hits too. Then he dodged all of the skillshots from Thresh and sent him running. Still, between that and actually killing the Thresh was a long road. But no matter how unrealistic it seemed, no matter how little they believed that Lin Feng could actually succeed in getting the kill, they still felt their hearts beating faster. Their eyes locked onto their monitors, unblinking. Hope crept up and overtook them…

And then poured down on them like a cold shower. In a last ditch attempt to escape death, Thresh threw down his Box. Five spectral walls rose up around him, a thin layer of protection that would slow any champion that walked into it. It worked. Without a second thought, Lin Feng gave up. He stopped pursuing the Thresh.

?????

Didn’t you just say that was a kill?

What??」 

Lin Feng scratched his head, “I forgot Flash was still on cooldown… No problem. Thresh doesn’t have his ult anymore. Next time! We’ll kill him for sure!”

The viewers felt cheated. The streamer had broken his promise! Their excitement hit an all-time low, lower even than when Su Xue went on another one of her loss streaks. They couldn’t believe they’d fallen for Lin Feng’s words. But before they could voice their grievances, Vayne’s ultimate skill came off cooldown. Lin Feng’s finger was already hovering over the R key and pressed down.

“The die is cast!” Lin Feng mirrored Vayne’s voice actor as her figure disappeared into the shadows. With a perfect Tumble, Lin Feng dodged Thresh’s hook. Afterwards, he fired out a silver bolt at Caitlyn, and then immediately pressed down on the E key, pinning her to a nearby wall with Condemn and stunning her for 1.5 seconds.

Janna finally found the courage to step out from under tower safety and lend Lin Feng a hand. She wound up a Howling Gale and made the tornado fly straight towards Caitlyn, knocking her up into the air before she could even break free from the stun. All the while, Lin Feng unloaded silver bolts on the Caitlyn. He perfectly cancelled the last part of the animation with lightning quick movements of his mouse, making for an almost uninterrupted stream of attacks. The Caitlyn didn’t stand a chance as her body fell to the ground. Dead.

Thresh had stuck around after almost dying to Lin Feng earlier but was now coming to regret that decision. His health was low and his ultimate was still on cooldown. Even with his crowd control skills, there was still nothing he could do. Once the Caitlyn had been killed, there was no purpose to him remaining there. But before he could run away, a burrow popped up on his screen. Rek’Sai. The jungler from the blue team who had come down for a gank at just the right time, knocking the Thresh airborne and allowing Lin Feng’s Vayne to pick up another kill.

Double kill!》 

The viewers of the stream couldn’t believe what they were seeing. The excitement that had just left their bodies was instantly back. This wasn’t just a simple kill, or double kill. This was a play at a level that was rarely seen at any level in League of Legends. It was reminiscent of the truly great ones. The kind of play even players at the highest level wouldn’t necessarily pull off consistently. Something they hoped to see at Worlds a month later. But definitely not something they could’ve ever expected on a small time stream in Gold.

Some viewers started scouring the internet for clips of the best ad-carry-streamers. They wanted to compare it with the show of skill Lin Feng had just given them. And it didn’t take them long. Videos from Monochrome and Hand of God, two greats on the HuyaTV platform, were easily available. They placed the videos next to each other, and played them side by side searching for differences. To their horror and delight, they couldn’t find any. Be it game mechanics, reaction speed or anything else, Lin Feng stood on level with these greats. At the very least, he was just as good as them!

With the double kill, Lin Feng’s kill-death-assist ratio was now 3/3/2. At this moment, Su Xue returned from the washroom. As she walked over to Lin Feng’s side, she sat down and asked in a tone filled with undisguised ridicule, “So, Mr. Challenger, how is that comeback coming along?”

“Not quite there yet.” Lin Feng shook his head. “But Su Xue, you didn’t give me 10 minutes like I asked.”

The mocking smile on Su Xue’s face froze. She angrily retorted, “You’re speaking as if you could actually make a comeback if I gave you 10 minutes! Just where are you getting that confidence fr—” 

As her eyes happened to glance over her kills, deaths, and assists tally in the top right corner of the screen, her jaw dropped. “The hell! How did that happen?” She clearly recalled her KDA was 0/3/2 when she left. How did it suddenly become 3/3/2? Barely two minutes had passed! Her Vayne had picked up three kills in that short a time!?

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littleshanks's Thoughts

I remember personally cringing when I read the chuuni aspects in the raws of this chapter, but I think the editors did a good job toning it down and actually making it sound cool.

Dev Thoughts: This is one of those things where I can’t help but ponder about the double standards in society, life, the universe. Lin Feng being chuuni is super cringe, objectively so. But once he’s good at the game, that cringe thing turns into this charming endearing quirk. The answer I’ve come to is that this double standard is the Universe’s way of telling us to gitgud. Any of you have thoughts on this?