Luo Tianming was rendered speechless once the Tristana player pointed out his mistakes. All his rage turned impotent. Only 9 minutes into the game, and his Orianna was at a pitiful 0/2/0. He didn’t even have an assist! There was nothing he could say. No defense of his play. He wanted to blame someone else. His teammates, the LeBlanc, literally just anyone else. But those would all be hollow lies. The only one he could blame was himself.
Lin Feng’s LeBlanc completely dominated mid lane. She pushed every minion wave relentlessly forward, and Luo Tianming could only hunker down underneath his tower. If he went back to base, he’d lose out on gold and experience. And it would put his tower’s health into jeopardy. Then he decided to try roaming, going up to top or down to bot lane. That didn’t work out well for him either. Not to mention that every time he tried this, all of the enemy champions seemed to be aware of his incoming gank the second he left mid lane.
Lin Feng was to blame for all of this. Besides making life hell for Luo Tianming in lane, he also spent gold on vision wards and sight wards. They were placed all around mid lane, and everywhere else his teammates failed to ward. On top of that, whenever Orianna left the lane for even a few seconds, he would ping both bot and top lane that an enemy was missing. A flashing red exclamation point that served as a warning to be careful and retreat to tower safety.
Lin Feng kept the pings going for the entire time that the Orianna wasn’t in mid lane. It was an annoying thing to do. Lin Feng knew it was annoying. But this was honestly the best way to make sure that Silver-ranked players were aware of the incoming threat and constantly wary. One or two pings could be missed. Or just ignored. But a constant and steady stream of pings was enough to force even the worst League players to follow common sense and get to safety. Even the ones that decided to be stubborn.
In the end, it was only Luo Tianming who lost out. His time spent away from mid lane was wasted. He had quite literally nothing to show for it. Not only did he fail to find any opportunities to gank, but he also lost out on all the gold and experience from the minion waves in mid lane. The gap between his Orianna and the LeBlanc only continued to widen in every facet of the game.
The first dragon went to the blue team. Luo Tianming could only watch it happen after retreating to a safe distance. The LeBlanc was still extremely dangerous. She could turn around at any moment and burst him down. He gritted his teeth, his pent up rage overwhelming him. He wanted to murder someone! Then the target of his hatred turned to himself. Inconsolable and indignant, this was the perfect way to describe his current mental state.
11 minutes into the game. Luo Tianming pushed the minion wave in mid lane. He wanted to snag some extra gold and experience, so he went to the Wraith Camp and started attacking the jungle monsters there. Little did he know that the LeBlanc was already there, invisible in the brush nearby, waiting for the right moment to ambush him. Luo Tianming scrolled across the map to check on the other lanes and keep an eye on the flow of the game while his Orianna attacked the wraiths. Then his screen turned grey with no warning.
Dead. Again. Luo Tianming had to look at that grey screen again and count down the seconds until his revival. He now had three deaths and still nothing to show for it. Metaphorical dark clouds gathered around his head and thunder and lightning came crashing down on him. His dream of making the esports club main team was crushed. He started muttering, “This can’t be possible. This can’t be. It wasn’t supposed to go like this…”
Luo Tianming wanted nothing more than for all of this to be a bad dream. A very, very bad dream. But it wasn’t. This was real life, and it was harsh. His Orianna kept dying over and over again. Soon, she would be worth no more than a cannon minion, while the LeBlanc was just a few kills away from becoming Legendary.
Every time the game announcer announced LeBlanc’s next kill, it would be accompanied by gasps of shock from the crowd of first years. Lin Feng’s LeBlanc was putting on a really good show for them!
LeBlanc snowballed so hard that a three-spell combo with her ultimate could kill just about anyone on the enemy team. Especially a squishy ad-carry like Tristana. Even a two-skill combo from the LeBlanc was enough to surgically cleave away half of Tristana’s health. But the Tristana refused to give up. She tried her best to turn the tide for her team. After all, the LeBlanc was only one champion in a team of five and League of Legends was a team game! She played well, she really did. And she continued doing well, but that just wasn’t enough. She couldn’t compete against the LeBlanc. This enemy was too fed and constantly popped out of nowhere to burst her down. It didn’t matter how careful she was, she would always end up being picked off right before a teamfight started. So as far as this game was concerned, there never were any teamfights. This game never entered the teamfight phase. There was no way to win based on teamwork.
When the game announcer’s voice rang out across the rift to announce Lin Feng’s Legendary status, the red team unanimously voted to surrender. The game lasted a little more than 20 minutes. In these 20 minutes, the blue team secured a one-sided victory. Lin Feng had made sure that not just his LeBlanc got fed, but that his entire team did. After helping the Darius in top lane, the player had pushed Rumble all the way back to his fountain, taking down three towers and an inhibitor in the process. All the while, Lin Feng himself was pushing hard in mid lane. He’d taken down three towers and was attacking the inhibitor when the surrender vote went through.
The red team never stood a chance to mount a comeback. The game was too far gone. After they surrendered, the chaotic energy in their nexus twisted and warped before exploding. The second game was over. The blue team had achieved victory.
Luo Tianming slumped back into his seat with a dazed look on his face. His eyes were locked on his stats in the post-game lobby. 0 kills. 5 deaths. 3 assists. He simply couldn’t believe this just happened.
Ouyang was ready. There was no possible universe in which he’d miss this opportunity to rub salt all over Luo Tianming’s bleeding ego. He walked over to Luo Tianming and looked him right in the eyes while asking, “Ho? What’s this? No, this can’t be possible, right? Surely my eyes are telling me a lie. Didn’t you tell my Rou Rou not to worry? That you would carry? Show us all how good you are? What was the bullshit you were saying again?” Ouyang flashed a bright smile, “That you would hardcarry your team? Right? Actually. I understand now. I get it! I’m a dumbfuck! I completely misunderstood what you meant. That was my bad, I sincerely apologize. See, I was stupid and thought you meant that you’d be carrying your team to a win. I should have understood that you were saying that you were planning to HARDCARRY them to a loss. I’m so, so, so sorry about that misunderstanding. I should apologize to your teammates too. If I wasn’t so stupid, I would never have made them play with a loser like you. They might have actually had a shot at winning that game if you weren’t there. But you were right. You are a hard carrying loser.”
“Who the hell is your Rou Rou?” Ren Rou interrupted, shooting Ouyang a glare. Then she turned her attention to Luo Tianming. “We gave you your second chance. You failed again. You have no more complaints, correct?” Her impression of Luo Tianming was already pretty low in the first place. So she’d quite enjoyed watching him being put in his place.
Luo Tianming’s face alternated between various shades of red. He didn’t look up at Ren Rou or Ouyang. Rather, his eyes were still staring at his screen. He simply couldn’t believe it. It felt like his entire world came crumbling down around him. Finally, he pushed his chair back, knocking into several people behind him. But he didn’t care. He pushed harder, then got to his feet and forced himself through the crowd. The shouts of the angered first years didn’t even reach his ears.
“Hey hey! You’re gonna leave just like that? WAIT! WAIT! What if there’s another team that wants to be hard carried to victory? They might need you!” Ouyang reached out his hand.
“Enough!” Ren Rou smacked Ouyang’s hand down. “It’s over. Let’s move on to the next game.”
The third tryout game for the esports club started. The 10 new players entered the game and were ready to show off their skills. But no one in the crowd was really looking. Instead, they kept shifting their gazes towards Lin Feng. His Legendary LeBlanc had stolen their hearts! She dealt an insane amount of damage, while also making all sorts of godly plays! It wasn’t an exaggeration to say that she could jump into the heart of the enemy team, kill any one of their champions, and jump back out unscathed! They couldn’t help but feel a sense of reverence towards this upperclassman of theirs!
Ouyang, Yang Fan, and Ren Rou promptly wrapped up their business and ran up to Lin Feng. They were completely amped up from his game! They crowded around him and bombarded him with questions.
“Bro, your LeBlanc was hella cool! Like damn! Even the Changbai Waterfall can’t rain down that much water on that guy! You gotta teach me how to play like that! You got any tips?” Ouyang exclaimed animatedly.
Ren Rou rolled her eyes and pushed Ouyang’s head aside. “Yeah, that’ll work out great Ouyang. But even if he gave you tips, you still wouldn’t be good.” She turned to Lin Feng, “Lin Feng, I never knew you were such a good mid! Why didn’t you tell us?”
Lin Feng scratched his head. “I did. Multiple times. But you guys wouldn’t believe me…”
Tang Bingyao came over and nodded in agreement.
Yang Fan adjusted his glasses with a wry smile. “You have to cut us some slack. How do you expect anyone to believe you’re a Challenger at face value?”
“So, you really are a Challenger? Damn! Really?” Ouyang gasped.
“Err, not exactly. But back when I played I pretty much had the same rank.”
“Mhm, I played a lot in season 1. Back then they used the elo-system,”  Lin Feng explained.
Ouyang sucked in a cold breath of air. “Holy crap! You already played back in season 1?”
Yang Fan stared at Lin Feng in shock. Not because Lin Feng played League of Legends in season 1, but because of the rank he reached back then. “So you really got to Challenger back then?”
Ren Rou’s eyes lit up. “If that’s true, then we actually have a chance of winning the 16-school tournament!”
The tryouts for the esports club ended close to dinnertime. Lin Feng grabbed his bag and rushed home. When he opened the front door, the smell of dinner welcomed him. Su Xue was already putting the steaming dishes on the table. He sat down with her and started wolfing down the food, telling her about his day between bites.
“So what you’re saying is that you finally got to show off your skills, right?” Su Xue said.
Lin Feng was gobbling up the food like a whirlwind, not even emptying his mouth before replying, “Hyup! Hyup!”
Su Xue chuckled, “How does it feel? They underestimated you for so long, I’m sure it felt great to see their faces, right?”
“Eh, it’s okay. But Ouyang and the other guy said we’ll have to keep it a secret. They want to keep me as a trump card for the upcoming tournament,” Lin Feng said after swallowing his food.
Su Xue nodded, “Makes sense.” Then she paused for a moment before adding, “Though I suppose that with your skills it doesn’t really matter. You’re so good, winning first place in that little inter-school tournament should be easy.”
Lin Feng shifted his focus to a delicious piece of pork cutlet. He put some into his bowl before replying, “Oh, that’s not guaranteed. I heard the other schools taking part are really strong. Our team is a bit unbalanced, so it’ll be difficult.”
Su Xue shrugged, “Just try your best. I believe in you.”
“It’s still a while away though. The tournament starts in like the third week of October.”
“That far away? Group stages for Worlds should be almost done by then!” Su Xue exclaimed. Thinking of Worlds, she suddenly recalled an exciting piece of news. “Oh right! They just finished the group stage draw and announced the groups!”
Lin Feng stopped shovelling food into his mouth, his spoon pausing halfway to his lips. He raised his head with an excited look and said, “They announced the groups? Show me!”
1. It is basically the same as the current ranked system. You won/lost x amount of points each game depending on whether you won or lost the match. But rather than giving certain point-ranges a rank, back then you just saw your points.
Dev Thought: Alright. So remember when we did that whole 50 comments for an extra release thing? Literally yesterday. A couple of people messaged and asked why we did that, why not just build up a stockpile for advance chapters, etc. So this entire box is to explain what it is we’re trying to do here and why we keep asking for comments/why I keep asking for the love. Or ‘Why Is Devshard So Needy?’
a. There are two broad reasons that this falls under: Sentimental and practical. Let’s do sentimental first.
b. Sentimental Stuff: So we’re hyped right now because we just launched this novel. It's exciting to start a new project. But this thing is 3000+ chapters long, and that’s one hell of a journey. Somewhere along the way, this is going to become mechanical. That’s where you guys come in. When you comment, when you talk to us, we get to know you. We’re not just putting out chapters for some faceless blob represented by numbers on an analytics screen. We’re putting out chapters for people that we see over and over in the comments section. We get excited when we work on a scene that we know Malos is going to lose his mind over. Or talk about something that we know that one of you is going to point out isn’t as mechanically amazing as the novel portrays it to be. That’s what keeps the translation fun. Shanks especially likes the comments where people talk about how the novel made them get back into league. Now if y’all don’t engage with us, that excitement is going to die out. Right now, there are jokes and scenes and lines that we’re so excited for you guys to read. When no one says anything about them, it starts to feel like it isn’t worth doing them anymore. Especially when we’re 600 chapters in and we’ve been doing this for months. That’s why we’re trying so hard to build a community. All of us want to know the people we’re putting the work in for. We actually read through every comment that comes in, every review, every message. Everything!
c. Practical Stuff: Alright. So you guys understand by now that this is a business too, right? There are a lot of things that need to be paid for so we can get these chapters to you. Server costs, licensing costs, all that good stuff. You’ve also heard that ad revenue isn’t doing so hot for us these days. Well, not just us, across the internet. But it's been especially bad for us. Lots of you guys talk about the cancer ads. There’s a very common sense reason for that. No advertiser is going to give WuxiaWorld money because they don’t think they’ll see a return. They don’t think that people who read through chapters without being motivated enough to comment will be motivated to click on their ad or look up the product being displayed. That makes perfect sense, right? The other problem is the “they think we boost our numbers with bots!” issue. Again, common sense based. A lot of you go through chapters and comment “thank you!” We know you guys are real people. Those comments mean something to us. Even here on Rise. If Pheonix or Unknown001 or FelisS11 stopped saying “thank you!” on every release, we’d actually notice that shit. We’d wonder what happened to you guys, if you were okay or if we did something wrong and made you stop reading. But the problem is that we know that, they don’t. To an outsider looking in, someone that comments “thank you” on 20 chapters across 10 novels every single day looks like a bot. You guys can see where they’re coming from too, right? That’s where our problem lies. If we have 1000 people that read a chapter of Rise a day, and 10 of them comment, no advertiser is going to want to touch us.
d. So let’s get to the point of this absurdly long Ted Talk. Commenting and engaging with us on chapters is a win-win situation here. It keeps us engaged and lets us write chapters for real people that we know instead of numbers. It lets you guys feel more connected to us and each other. It helps the site overall. None of us are saying we’ll turn this whole thing around in a day. Or a month. But we’d like to build a foundation and a community while Rise is still new. And hopefully, over time, this turns into something that lets us engage far more with you guys, lets you guys have way more fun experience in addition to reading the chapters, and most importantly, gets rid of the cancer ads.
e. I’m Devshard, and thank you for coming to my Ted Talk. All I’m asking is for you guys to comment. We’ll do as much as we can to facilitate that. If you guys think we can do more, let us know. If we’re doing too much and it starts to get creepy, definitely let us know. Let’s have fun together on the journey that is Rise!