Chapter 31 - Still Not Beyond Saving

Lin Feng’s thought process was clear cut. He’d convinced Tang Bingyao to try Kalista because he knew her playstyle suited the champion. Kalista was a champion that required good mechanics, and Tang Bingyao’s greatest strength were her high-level reflexes and control with the mouse. They were a match made in heaven. But it took more than a few days to play a new champion at the level of a Diamond. That was why he had played support until now. In fact, the greatest contributing factor to their recent win streak was that his support was just that good. So, now that Tang Bingyao was comfortable playing Kalista, he knew it was the right time to change his role. It was fine for an ad-carry to rely on their support, but never to an excess. After all, if your support was bad or had an off-day, it would be up to you to carry.

Lin Feng explained all of this to Tang Bingyao, then added with a pleased smile, “Man, I’m really good at coaching too!”

Lin Feng’s coaching duties didn’t only extend to Tang Bingyao. Around dinner time, he bid her farewell and rushed back home.

“I’m home!” Lin Feng announced as he swung the door open. Then, he rubbed his empty stomach and added, “I’m hungry!”

“Alright alright! I got it! Give me a minute!” a voice shouted back. Before long, Su Xue came rushing out of her room with a slight look of guilt. “Ahem, err, just sit back. I got so busy with my stream that I forgot to make dinner. Don’t worry. I’ll whip up something quick!”

Lin Feng nodded, then curiously asked, “How did streaming go today?”

Su Xue’s face lit up with a bright smile. “I had way more viewers today! I peaked at a little over 200! And my CSing went super good! When I was playing ranked, I almost always got over 70 CS by 10 minutes!”

Maintaining an average of 70 CS at 10 minutes in Gold was commendable. So, Lin Feng gave her two thumbs up and exclaimed in admiration, “Nice! That’s proof the training from last night worked!”

“Yeah, I know right! I feel like my CSing today has gotten a lot better after last night!” Su Xue nodded vigorously. She was quite pleased with the results of Lin Feng’s coaching. “Can you give me some more tips after dinner? I’ve ended the stream for today anyway, so we’ve got all night!”

“You’re not streaming tonight? You can stream and practice at the same time, you know?” Lin Feng remarked in surprise.

“No, no, it’s fine. If my viewers see me practice, they’ll just make fun of me!” Su Xue waved her hands. Then, her lips curled into a mischievous smile. “I want to practice in secret and shock them with how good I am! Haha, you know, some of my old viewers were so surprised by my CSing today, they thought you were secretly playing for me off to the side!” 

Su Xue was in a great mood today. She had immediately noticed the improvements in her CSing when she was playing ranked matches, and she couldn’t help but feel pleased with herself after seeing the reactions of her loyal viewers. Plus, her new viewers seemed pretty entertained watching her stream too. They didn’t even make fun of her for being Gold!

Su Xue was thoroughly pumped up, still riding the high of today’s success. At this pace, she might really reach Diamond in a month! And when she did, she would realize her aspirations of becoming a top female streamer!

After dinner, Su Xue quickly cleaned the table, impatient to start her training with Lin Feng.

Looking at the overly enthusiastic Su Xue, Lin Feng carefully reminded, “Er... I still have some homework to do tonight.”

“Oh, alright.” Su Xue paused for a moment, but then smiled and urged, “Go! Get to it! When you’re done, come to my room! I’ll practice my CSing in the meantime!”

Lin Feng watched Su Xue skedaddle back to her room in a daze. He scratched his head and muttered, “She sure is excited today… But that’s not a bad thing!” He smiled. After all, seeing someone striving hard to achieve their dream was always gratifying!

Two hours later, Lin Feng finished his homework and walked over to Su Xue’s room. He poked his head around the door. “Hey, I’m do—”

Su Xue swung her head around and excitedly called, “Quick, hurry! Come look at my CS!”

Lin Feng walked over and looked at the screen. Su Xue played Jinx and was facing off against an AI Lux in bot lane. She currently had 94 CS at 11 minutes. This meant she barely missed any minions. Even though the opponent was only a bot, compared to yesterday’s performance, it was clear her farming had improved by leaps and bounds.

“Oh, nice!” Lin Feng praised. “It’s time for the next phase of your training!”

“Next phase?” Su Xue asked in a daze.

“Yep! It’s time for some real combat training!”

Playing against an AI and playing against another player were two different things. If you wanted to improve at the game, practicing against bots could only get you so far. Lin Feng brought over a chair and sat down next to Su Xue. He would be overseeing her games and giving advice in real time.

When Su Xue loaded into her first game, she was still full of confidence. However, how she hoped it would go and how it actually went vastly differed.

“Hey, you missed a CS there.

“You should’ve been more aggressive there. Caitlyn needs to pressure more with her range advantage.

“That Q was off-aim!

“Minimap, minimap, minimap! You need to pay more attention to the minimap!

“Ah, dead… you reacted too slow there! You should’ve flashed the moment the Leona flashed toward you, and you would’ve escaped!”

….

Lin Feng repeatedly shook his head and sighed as he nitpicked at Su Xue’s gameplay.

Beads of sweat formed on Su Xue’s forehead. She thought she was playing pretty well when she was streaming earlier. But the moment Lin Feng sat down beside her, he pointed out every flaw. It almost felt like there was nothing she did good! Finally, she couldn’t take it anymore and protested, “Hey, hey! Do you have to nitpick?”

“If you want to improve, you have to be strict! Those flaws I pointed out, no Master would make them!” Lin Feng said self-righteously.

“Master? Didn't you say you were only going to coach me up to Diamond?”

“Huh? Did I?” Lin Feng remarked in surprise.

Su Xue glared daggers at Lin Feng.

Lin Feng was completely unfazed. He quickly found another excuse. “A soldier that doesn’t aim to become a general isn’t a good soldier! Shoot for the moon! Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars! If you want to quickly become a Diamond player, you’ll have to aim for even higher!” 

“R-really…? Hey, don’t try to pull one over on me just because I wasn’t good in school!” Su Xue said, half-convinced.

“Of course! Just believe in me!” Lin Feng confidently declared.

As a result, the training continued with Lin Feng pointing out the mistakes in Su Xue’s gameplay as beads of sweat fell from her head.

“You have too little awareness in teamfights.

“Your positioning is terrible.

...

Lin Feng shook his head. “Hmm, it seems like one month isn’t enough. Let’s extend the deadline to two months.”

“Huh?! Two months?” Su Xue blurted. 

“With your talent, it might even take longer,” Lin Feng evaluated with a solemn face.

“No! Didn’t you say one month? Come on. I don’t believe I’m that hopeless!”

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littleshanks's Thoughts

It kind of strikes me as odd, but do people actually sweat when they’re focusing really hard on a game? I don’t think it’s ever happened to me.