FourEyesChan leaned back in his chair and put the microphone stand on his chest. He said, “I don’t think anyone saw this coming. Barely an hour in and Team Shanghai is up 2-0 against Team Beijing.”
“You know what that means!” Cherry cheered, giggling.
FourEyesChan nodded and replied, “That means it’s Championship Point for Team Shanghai! One more game and they’re the new Collegiate Cup Champions!”
Cherry looked out over the stadium at the fans sitting in their seats waiting for the third game and asked, “You enjoy analysis and predictions for these games, right? What are you expecting to see in Game 3?”
“I do!” FourEyesChan replied. He adjusted his glasses and analysed, “Team Shanghai is on the Blue Team next game, so let’s start with them. We’ve seen in the previous two games that this team is centered completely around their Midlaner. Their Bot and Toplaners do try and make something happen, but there is such a big qualitative difference between them and their Midlaner that as the game progresses, they find themselves relying more and more on their Midlaner. The Jungler is clearly aware of this fact and helps her Midlaner pull ahead when really needed, like she did with Eve during Game 1.
“Usually, Team Beijing would have an advantage here. It’s clear what Team Shanghai’s strong point is and that gives you the idea that you know how to beat them, right?” FourEyesChan briefly paused, waiting for Cherry to nod in agreement, and then continued, “Right. But that isn’t the case here in my opinion. The reason for that is that Team Shanghai’s Midlaner is so much better than everyone on Team Beijing combined. Even if they try to stop him, this Lin Feng will just 1 versus 5 them. Which brings me to the conclusion of my analysis. Team Beijing is fucked. Team Shanghai, and mostly Lin Feng, is too good. They’re going to walk away with Game 3.”
Cherry smiled and said, “As insightful as ever! Thanks FourEyesChan! And it looks like you’ve talked right through the break! I can see both teams getting ready in the lobby. We’ll be getting into Champion Select in a couple of seconds!”
Down in the stands, Qiu Yijie shook his head. He finally looked at his friends from Zhejiang University and said, “Those shoutcasters are right for once. With Lin Feng…”
Zou Cheng laughed and shouted, “HE’S THE VERY BEST!”
Lin Feng yawned loudly and said, “Boy, I could really use a nap!”
“We’re in Game 3, Lin Feng,” Zeng Rui replied with a frown.
Lin Feng waved Zeng Rui’s worries away and said, “Don’t worry! I’m on it! Carry time!” He then leaned back in his chair and watched his team enter Champion Select. We start with a couple of bans. Who wanted Zeng Rui to ban again? Ah, doesn’t matter. Right! He was going after the Ahri! Something about it being a strong Champion from Yu Ping. And Fizz… Huh? Why are they banning Varus, Eve, Twisted Fate…? Like I don’t know how to play any other Champions! Idiots.
Team Shanghai got the first pick. They went with Lee Sin for An Xin. The next two picks were for Team Beijing. They went with Rengar the Jungle Cat and Janna the Floating Support. Team Shanghai was up again. They decided on Kalista and Leona for their second and third picks.
Lin Feng yawned again. He slapped himself in the face a few times and mumbled, “Wake up! Just one more game to win this whole thing.” He blinked a few times while Team Beijing chose their third and fourth Champions. The third one was Gragas, which didn’t get any response from Lin Feng. But when he saw the LeBlanc fourth pick, he sat up straight and squared his shoulder. That’s more like it! He’s come out to play! He grinned and clenched his fist and said, “Since he wants to play, let’s play!”
Zhang Hao and An Xin turned their heads left and Tang Bingyao and Zeng Rui turned their heads right. They all stared at Lin Feng, surprised. The previous two games were for the most part hard carries by Lin Feng. They were under the impression he was already trying. Zeng Rui opened his mouth and wanted to remind Lin Feng to stick to the strategy, but then closed it again. We don’t need strategy if he’s going to play even better…
“The time has come for me to stop holding back!” Lin Feng announced, pumping his fist up into the air. He looked around at his teammates and continued, “I shall no longer limit myself with weak early game Champions! I’ll give this man the face he deserves! I’m going to go all out on one of my favourite Champions!” He then focused on his screen and shouted with a big grin, “Yasuo the Unforgiven! I CHOOSE YOUUU!”
“Wowowow! That ain’t no weak laner! That’s Yasuo!”
“He’s just going to change his playstyle? Why? He was wrecking Team Beijing with his Varus and Twisted Fate. I get that they were banned, but couldn’t he have gone something like Viktor?"
“Were you watching the same games I was? Did you see his microplay? Did you not hear when everyone was calling him the god of microplay? Those are mechanics! HEAVENLY MECHANICS!”
“He does look heavenly…”
“And Yasuo is one of the more mechanic-heavy Champions. If he can show the level of play he did on Twisted Fate on Yasuo? Oh boy, this gonna be good!”
“LeBlanc is also all about mechanics! This is going to be the ultimate mechanics matchup!”
“THIS IS GONNA BE A FEAST FOR OUR EYES! A FEAST I TELL YOU!”
“MY EYES WILL BE FULL AFTER THIS GAME!”
“LIKE A GOOD MEAL! YUMMIE YUMMIE!”
In Team Beijing’s soundproof booth, Yu Ping grimaced. He shook his head and mumbled, “Of-fucking-course. Now he goes with his normal Champions! WELP! At least I get to play against him going all out one more time…”
“Don’t be so down!” Team Beijing’s Jungler said over the team’s voice chat. He looked at Yu Ping and continued, “Maybe we…”
Yu Ping looked at his Jungler and smiled. He shrugged and replied, “We both know what’s going to happen. Remember what he did with Twisted Fate? He just needs to do that again and we’re out. We’ve lost, pretty much. Let’s just accept that. But we’re not going out without a fight! He’s going to have to earn it!” He gripped his mouse tightly and looked at his screen. He took a deep, long breath and then let all his frustration and anger escape through his lips. “You know?” he asked. He then looked around at his teammates and continued, “It doesn’t really matter who he is. He’s better than all of us combined. The pressure is off for us. Let’s go in and show him hell!”
The other players from Team Beijing looked at their captain and hesitated. They understood just as well as he did that they needed more than a miracle to turn this series around and win it. So rather than worrying about complicated strategies and other such things, they focused on what they did have control over. To have fun. To play a game of League of Legends as best as they could and enjoy it. They clenched their fists and shouted, “SHOW HIM HELL!”
Yu Ping narrowed his eyes and focused on Yasuo’s portrait. Show me how good you really are.
《Welcome to Summoner’s Rift!》
The players from Zhejiang University and Fudan University sat on the edge of their seats. Zou Cheng couldn’t tear his eyes from the large LCD screen above the stage as he asked, “How long do you think Yu Ping can hold Lin Feng off?”
Qiu Yijie glanced at Zou Cheng and replied, “7 minutes?”
“No way,” Sun Ruinian said. “5 minutes tops.”
Fudan University’s Jungler shook his head and asked, “How are you guys this sure? Yeah he won the first two games. But is he really that good that you don’t even think there’s a possibility of Yu Ping winning this lane?”
“Lol!” Zou Cheng replied, laughing. He still wouldn’t move his eyes from the large LCD screen as he explained, “You don’t get it. You haven’t played against him. It doesn’t look too impressive most of the time, though it did look hella impressive on the Twisted Fate. But really, it don’t look all that special most of the time. That is, until you play against him. Then you suddenly find yourself with your back against the wall and a gun in your mouth! There’s nothing you can do and everything you try to do just backfires! The way that he plays? Fuck me! I’ve never played against anyone else who could put out that much pressure!”
Qiu Yijie pointed at the large LCD screen and said, “There. Just watch.”
Lin Feng’s Yasuo had reached Level 3. He’d unlocked his three main abilities and used them to up the aggression. He dashed through a minion and then another to arrive in front of Yu Ping’s LeBlanc! Steel Tempest! He thrust his Katana and pierced LeBlanc!
LeBlanc retaliated by casting Distortion and jumping away from Yasuo! She followed up with Sigil of Malice and Ethereal Chains! The mark from Sigil of Malice appeared above Yasuo’s head. It needed another skill from LeBlanc to explode. The chains shot at Yasuo, looking to do just that. But Lin Feng was faster. He pressed the W key, and his Yasuo’s katana slashed out horizontally with such speed that it created a Wind Wall! The Ethereal Chains smashed into it and missed.
Qiu Yijie chuckled and said, “Saw that? How he came out ahead in that fight? Looked pretty standard, right? Trust me, that wasn’t standard. He’s thinking 10 moves ahead and playing 5D chess. This was just a preparation for what’s to come. Maybe forcing Yu Ping to drink a health pot is going to matter in a bit. We’ll see. I don’t get it myself yet, but you’ll see. And it’ll be crazy.”
Sietse Thought: Do you guys remember how all the way back in like October we had the Rise Calendar idea? With us dressing up in sexy League cosplay outfits? I was thinking that’d be perfect with the OnlyMans we’ve got going on. Maybe a new direction we could take it in. We’ve got Devs for April and Shanks for May. Me for October. So then all we’d have to do is find willing participants for the other months. And knowing you guys, there are plenty of people interested in having some fun! OnlyMans is going places!
Shit. The more I think about it, the more hilarious it becomes to me. So we’ve got pictures, but you also need little story segments. We’re a group of writers/editors/whatever it is you wanna call us, so it needs to have that bit. Which could become a strange BL type of erotica next to each picture…
Oh! What if once every month we do it on the website or discord and then at the end of the year we compile it into the calendar version! Make it look nice and sparkly! Just imagine the possibilities!
Dev Thought: Sietse! They don’t know about OnlyMans on here! That was mostly just a Discord Server thing… Oh well.
Alright bois. So OnlyMans was a bit of a joke that I came up with for the chapter release notifications on the Discord Server. Cause it’s boring to just get a notification going “Chapter up!” Well, you guys might not care all that much. But it was boring to me. So I write random things on the chapter notification pings. OnlyMans was one of those things. This is what I wrote:
“I've been thinking a lot about sexism and equality and prejudices and all that. And I realized that we have quite a bit of work to do. Especially on the internet. There is a disproportionate amount of attention and money flowing towards women. And to rectify that, I propose ONLYMANS!The concept is simple. You guys each pay me $15 a month. I will scour through the internet and find pictures of the hottest, handsomest men. Some of them will be doing hardcore things. Others will just smolder at you. Some of them might even do KPOP dances for you. Who knows? But we need to Make Men Great Again! And if you don't subscribe, then you're a sexist AND a racist. Cause I'll definitely have men of color up there.”
Real talk here, it was meant to be a one-off joke. A parody of OnlyFans but with an insane woke twist. And then people got into it, so I was forced to follow through with random pictures of actors and cosplay people. There was also this super buff anthropomorphized White Tiger illustration that I found on some Furry’s DeviantArt page. And then a bunch of super buff dudes doing Pokemon cosplays. It got weird. I found some dark corners on the internet. I decided that the joke had gone on long enough, and my psyche was sufficiently disturbed enough from parts of the internet I’d ordinarily never look at, that we could end the bit.
BUT THEN! A bunch of dudes on the Rise Server got super into it and started DMing me pics of themselves. Apparently, they wanted to be OnlyMans content creators. That was pretty fun and we all liked that part. Made for a super nice community building moment. Very wholesome. But it’s started turning to the degen side as the OnlyMans content creators on the Rise Server started competing with each other to take the most cringe/degen/sexy/over-the-top pictures. So now it’s disturbing me again. Hopefully, we’ll strike a balance between funny and stick a pencil in your eyes to unsee what you’ve seen. Anyways, that’s the history of OnlyMans. A one-off joke that turned into a perpetual part of the Rise Community.
And now Sietse wants to do an OnlyMans calendar. In cosplay. Which I’m not totally against, because it gives us another use for the Pony Suit that we’re buying for Shanks. But I don’t really want to cosplay. I’m okay with torturing Shanks for these things, but I don’t really want to do it myself. Does that make me a bad friend?
Oh! Right! Link to the Rise Discord Server: https://discord.gg/RiseTheWebnovel