Chapter 397 - The Tilting Man


A game of League of Legends wasn’t over until one Nexus exploded. It was a simple fact that led to discussions that were still going strong five years after the game’s release. One side of the argument said that there was always a way back; no game was truly lost until the Nexus exploded. They continued to explain that the biggest reason why it often felt like a game was over before the Nexus exploded was because people gave up. But the ‘loss’ in someone’s mind wasn’t the same as the ‘loss’ on the board, and the one on the board wasn’t absolute until the Nexus exploded.

The other side of the argument explained that there was a point in the game where the game was still going on, but where there was no way in which the losing side could win unless the winning side made several large mistakes. These mistakes, this side argued, had to be of such magnitude and specificity that they only came to pass in less than 1 percent of all games in which the opportunities presented themselves. This percentage went down the higher the rank of the players on the board. So while the game wasn’t truly over, it was over in every other sense of the word.

This same argument broke out on the stands in the Chaoyang Sports Center. A group of people from Beijing refused to see that Team Beijing was losing. They pointed out possibilities they believed were there and argued that if Team Beijing exploited those opportunities, they could still win the game. Everyone else agreed there was a way for Team Beijing to win this first game of the Winter Collegiate Cup Finals against Team Shanghai, and that was by casting a curse on Team Shanghai that forced them to make a large number of mistakes.

Team Beijing hadn’t hired a witch and there was no cultivator who exited his closed door cultivation for them. They were forced to rely on their own ability. And their own ability simply wasn’t enough in this game. 

To the surprise of absolutely nobody, Team Shanghai didn’t screw up. They played like they had all tournament. Calm and precise. They abused the long range from Varus to besiege the tower. When his arrows that never missed their mark culled the ranks from Team Beijing, Tang Bingyao’s Jinx moved in range of the tower and started firing with her minigun. She shredded through the protection of the tower and destroyed it in seconds.

FourEyesChan adjusted his glasses and said into his microphone, “My god. This is one of the most one sided games I’ve ever had to cast. Team Shanghai could send their Toplaner, Jungler and Support to the loo! Between Varus’ long ranged arrows that absolutely always smash their mark and Jinx just tearing through the towers… I don’t know what to say or how to cast this game. There’s really nothing to say, other than that congratulations are in order for Team Shanghai. They’ve dismantled Team Beijing. Well and truly dismantled them.”

“Mm-mhm!” Cherry mumbled, nodding. She looked at her microphone, trying to think of something to say but not coming up with anything. She finally leaned forward and said, “Let’s hope Team Beijing can put up a better fight next game. But for this one… We’ve got just a couple more seconds to go I think. They’ve already got two inhibitors.”

“And they just aren’t stopping!” FourEyesChan said. “They just keep going and going and with the blue buff Varus never has to stop and because Team Beijing isn’t getting any gold they can’t buy the items they need to stop him either. It’s hopeless. It’s over.”

“Good game to Team Shanghai…”
“Great game for a Team Shanghai fan. Not so great for quite literally everybody else…”
“GIVE THE NEUTRAL FAN A BETTER SHOW PLEASE!”

VICTORY! 

Team Beijing’s Jungler turned to his teammates and said through gritted teeth, “I know you told us to stay calm, Yu Ping. I know this. And I wanted to… I was going to! But come on! You saw that game! We were all there, huddling behind our stupid ass towers! You know why it ended up like this? Let me tell you why. It’s because Riot didn’t fucking nerf Varus! Everyone knew he was op as all fucks! Why didn’t they nerf him? Just explain this to me. Why didn’t they nerf him?”

Yu Ping closed his eyes and replied, “Please…”

“I know, I know!” Team Beijing’s Jungler exclaimed. “You’re right. You are, Yu Ping. We could’ve banned Varus. We probably should’ve! It’s on us. I just feel frustrated about it, you know? It’s such an obvious overpowered Champion. And that's why they won the game.”

Zhang Hongyi ground his teeth and growled, “Zeng Rui got so fucking lucky. We had him in bot and then the stupid Varus and his stupid arrows…”

“Don’t. Stop this,” Yu Ping said. He looked around at his teammates and continued, “Listen, guys. Yeah we lost. Yeah Varus was strong and destroyed us. We failed to shut him down early and paid for it. But it wasn’t just the Varus. Stop tunneling on him. This was a team effort by Team Shanghai—”

“Yeah right,” Team Beijing’s ad-carry mumbled.

Yu Ping glared at his teammates and said in a louder, more commanding voice, “If it wasn’t for the Evelynn camping mid, Varus would’ve never gotten strong like he did. If it wasn’t for Braum, the Jinx would’ve never gotten as strong as she did. If it wasn’t for Braum and Rumble layering their ultimates perfectly, we would’ve never lost the fight at the Dragon pit that badly. If it wasn’t for the Jinx getting kills and being far better than the B+ grade people say she is, we would’ve never lost as badly as we did.” He briefly paused and looked at his teammates for a bit. He then continued, “See how it wasn’t just Varus? See how it was a team effort in which each individual player contributed a vital part to Team Shanghai’s victory in that game? Yes, you’re right. By the end of it, it was just Varus harassing us and Jinx shredding towers. But to get to that point, it took a full team effort. Stop tunneling on the outcome and start analysing how they got there. If we want to win this series, we need to get over this Varus and improve together. As a team.”

The players from Team Beijing stared at Yu Ping. The anger and frustration they felt towards Lin Feng’s Varus slowly dissipated. One by one, they started nodding. And when they were all nodding, faster and faster, Zhang Hongyi was the first to open his mouth and say what they were all thinking, “You’re right, Yu Ping. You always are. That’s why you’re the best. Yes. We’ll stop tunneling. It was a team effort. Even…” He took a deep, long breath and said through gritted teeth, “Even Zeng Rui contributed to that victory.”

“Good,” Yu Ping said. He then focused his attention on his screen and added, “Then let’s get ready for the next game.” And time to make that asshole on his Varus pay! How dare that jerk underestimate me—ME!—by picking some weak early game Champion!

FourEyesChan grabbed the microphone from its stand on the caster desk and brought it to his mouth. He said, “Both teams have had a couple of minutes to unwind from the… the lack of action in game 1 if I’m being honest here. Let’s hope we get to see some more fireworks in game 2!”

“And we’re in Champion Select!” Cherry exclaimed. “Team Beijing is the Blue Team in this second game of the Finals, which means they’ve got the first ban… EVELYNN! THEY BANNED EVELYNN!”

FourEyesChan adjusted his glasses and analysed, “Smart ban. She helped Varus get through the early game. Which makes me wonder if Varus is going to be their next ban.”

“First up is Team Shanghai though! And they’re banning… Leona!” Cherry said into her microphone.

“AND VARUS! IT’S THE VARUS BAN!” FourEyesChan yelled into his microphone.

“They really did it! They banned Varus!”
“SCAREDY CATS! MEOW, MEOW!”
“CHICKENS! POCK, POCK, POCK!”

In Team Beijing’s soundproof booth, Yu Ping looked at his screen through narrowed eyes. They got the first choice of Champion and they went with Nidalee for their Jungler. Next up was Team Shanghai with two picks, then them again and then Team Shanghai again. It was in this round that Team Shanghai picked their Midlaner. Twisted Fate. He fucking did it again. This motherfucker. This little piece of shit! Yu Ping glanced across the stage at Team Shanghai’s soundproof booth. Are you really trying to say I’m so bad that you can’t even be arsed to take a decent early game Champion? You think I’m such a bad player that you can get by playing another weak early game Champion? Well. FUCK YOU! FUCK. YOU! He gritted his teeth in frustration and locked in Ahri. I’ll FUCKING SHOW YOU!

Zhang Hongyi glanced at Yu Ping and asked, “Wasn’t he supposed to play something more aggressive? Like Riven or Fizz?”

“He. Was,” Yu Ping replied, grinding his teeth.

Team Beijing’s Jungler interjected, “Huh? Nocturne? Their last pick is Nocturne?”

Winter Collegiate Cup Finals, Game 2

Team Beijing (BLUE) vs. Team Shanghai (RED)

Dr. Mundo vs. Irelia
Nidalee vs. Nocturne
Ahri vs. Twisted Fate
Ezreal vs. Sivir
Janna vs. Thresh

“Here we have it! The lineup for the second game!” FourEyesChan said into his microphone.

Cherry nodded and added, “And this is the first time we’re seeing Nocturne I think! With Twisted Fate and Nocturne, Team Shanghai’s got two global ultimate skills! Just imagine what they can all do with that!”

FourEyesChan grimaced and replied, “A whole lotta things. None of which are promising of an enjoyable game for anyone but Team Shanghai. We can only hope that Yu Ping learned his lesson mid and shuts the Twisted Fate down early.”

“Yep!” Cherry agreed. “If Twisted Fate and Nocturne are allowed to get going… Well, that’d be game, wouldn’t it?”

“It would,” FourEyesChan mumbled.

Sun Ruinian from Zhejiang University sat in the stands, listening to the discussion between the casters. He shook his head and said, “Yu Ping didn’t learn his lesson. If he had, he wouldn’t have picked Ahri.”

Zou Cheng grinned and chimed in, “He looks like a tilting man!”

Qiu Yijie from Fudan University glanced at Zou Cheng and replied, “Can’t blame Yu Ping. It’s hard not to tilt against Lin Feng. The way he plays... We both know how it feels to feel so goddamn powerless. Like it doesn’t matter what you do, he’ll stomp you anyway. But yeah… Yu Ping looks like a tilting man.”


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littleshanks's Thoughts

Sietse Thought: I’M LIVING ON BORROWED TIME! I got my second dose of the corona vaccine today and I’m fully prepared for the pain and agony that’s supposed to follow the second Pfizer dose. But right now, several hours after getting it administered, I’m feeling better than I did after the first doze (from which I only suffered a slight bruising around the injection site). Right now I don’t even have any bruising. 

I’ve seen people get really, really sick from the first dose and I’ve heard everyone tell me how much worse the second one is. I’ve been shitting my pants all week for this thing. Shanks has been telling me I’m going to be out of commission for the next week! But so far, so good. I’m not feeling any discomfort. I’m feeling great! Which has me wondering how the rest of you are getting through this vaccine process. Did you guys get sick? Are you perhaps feeling the side effects right now? Or is this whole “the side effects are terrible” storyline just something people use so they can call in sick to work?

Let me know how you guys are experiencing it. I’m curious to hear!

Shanks Thought:  So, you know the last moments of lucidity people have before passing on? That’s what you’re experiencing right now, Sietse! You might be feeling great, amazing, better than ever before. But then… BOOM! The second COVID jab is gonna hit you like a goddamn truck! At least that’s what happened to all the friends and family I know that got it, especially since you’re a very fit and healthy young adult. So, I’m kind of sadistically looking forward to you suffering for the next few days, just so I can say I told you so. 

Anyway, the first shot in the UK was surprisingly easy. I’m in England right now, but my GP is in Scotland. So, I actually couldn’t get a jab here unless I travelled all the way back to Scotland. Fortunately, they’re doing walk-in clinics here every weekend, no appointments required. That means all I had to do was walk into one of those places, line-up, and wait for my shot. The whole process only took five minutes. After the shot, I had to wait in a room for 30 minutes to make sure I didn’t have any adverse allergic reactions. Then, I had a sore arm for about three days. 

That said, I want to talk about all the anti-vax people still out there. When I was heading to get my first jab, I saw a little group of anti-vax protesters standing outside, waving their signs. It’s nuts. I thought the people meme-ing were joking, but one of the women protesting genuinely thought we were getting 5G chips getting put in us so the government could track us. Like what kind of mental hoops do you have to jump through to end up there in your thought process?

Sietse Continued: Ha! Sucker! Your body suffered for days while mine didn’t! I shall party until the pain hits! And if it never hits, I shall have to resign to never stopping to party. No more Rise chapters, no more life, just party. PARTTEEEEHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

On another note, people who honestly believe this is some strange way to track us when we’ve got our phones on us 24/7 are so incredibly stupid that I often find myself wondering how they manage to remember to keep breathing. Now that I’m thinking about it, are these also the people who shit next to the toilet? Like, are they so incredibly stupid they can’t figure out how a toilet works? It sounds likely to be honest…

Dev Thought: Lawl. For the vast majority of the anti-vaxxers, it’s less about secret Government tracking technology and more about the safety/potential side effects of the vaccine. It’s just people concern trolling IRL. Stems from a fundamental misunderstanding of what vaccines are and how they work. Base fact that underpins all of this is how the human immune system works. When a pathogen gets into your body, your immune system tries a couple of different ways to fight it off until it figures out a way to actually fight it off. Then the immune system makes a memory cell that saves how this specific pathogen was eradicated from the body just in case it ever comes back. That’s why we tend to get sick a lot as children, and then don’t get sick as often as adults. 

What we do with the vaccines is essentially a dumbed down version of this exact process, just without the getting sick part. Immunologists and molecular biologists and virologists work to create either a severely weakened version of the pathogen in question that your body fights off with no issues or they just take the virus and create a cocktail of different viral components that trick your body into thinking it's fighting an actual virus.  Either way, your immune system develops the memory of how to fight off the pathogen/virus, and when you actually get infected you don’t get sick. That’s it. There’s no other magic here. We manufacture developmentally challenged versions of pathogens/viruses and let our immune system feel ultra chad by beating the crap out of something that can’t fight back. 

Actually, I think that’s where the confusion comes in. People hear they’re being injected by retarded versions of a virus, and they start believing that the retard juice might infect them and turn them autistic. This is not possible. There is no injectable retard serum known to mankind at this moment. Just like there is no super soldier formula known to mankind. It simply is not possible for you to turn autistic from a vaccine, nor is there any possibility that you will become Captain America/The White Wolf. 

Also, as physicians, we are strongly discouraged from informing adult patients that a vaccine cannot give them autism/mental retardation because you cannot give someone something they already have. Personally speaking though? Get the vaccine if you want it. Don’t get it if you don’t want it. This is your life, you’re free to make whatever decision you want with it. Obviously, that comes with consequences. Don’t be a dick and try to protest other people getting the vaccine.