Lin Feng took a deep breath. The buzz in the internet cafe disappeared. High School 7’s Midlaner sitting across from him disappeared. His teammates sitting around him and talking in the voice chat disappeared. All that remained was Zed. The Master of Shadows. His eighth grader syndrome reared its head. “A shadow hidden in the darkness, a traitor to Kinkou doctrine of balance.
“Turning to the darkness and mastering the forbidden techniques, he is the leader of the Order of Shadow, the ruler of the unseen. The cold, ruthless gaze beneath his mask strikes fear into the hearts of all those who see him.
“Embrace the shadow… or die in darkness!”
Minion for minion. The Zed and Yasuo stayed on even footing. Both looked for openings, but neither were giving anything away. This lasted until the sixth minute of the game. Then it all changed. The Zed reached Level 6. Level 6 was an important level, because a Champion could then learn their ultimate skill. For Zed, this was Death Mark. He’d disappear into the shadows, after which three of his shadows would dash onto the target and mark them. This mark would trigger three seconds later and deal a portion of the damage Zed dealt while the mark was active.
Lin Feng changed his playstyle. He pushed the Yasuo away from the minions and deep underneath Red team’s outer tower. The Yasuo tried to walk back into lane to last hit a minion, but there was Zed. The Zed was stalking around the minion wave, using it as bait. High School 7’s Midlaner felt the pressure. He knew he couldn’t get close to the minions. He’d just get abused if he did. But the minions were also right there, almost begging to be last hit. It took him all his restraint to stay back. He was almost Level 6. When he had his ultimate, he could be a little more aggressive again.
Damnit! What is this? The Yasuo could only watch Blue team’s minions die in the middle of the lane. He couldn’t get to them. I need to do something… He looked down at his experience bar. It was almost full. A few more minions, that was all. Then he could learn Last Breath. This skill let him blink to an airborne Champion, keeping them in the air before slamming them down to the ground. If he hit the Zed with it, he could at least get his footing in the lane back. One more minion should do it.
High School 7’s Midlaner hit Level 6. He learned his ultimate skill and pushed forward into lane. But the Zed was waiting for him. Yasuo’s ultimate wasn’t enough of a deterrent. Or not at all, it felt like. He got two minions before he ran back to his tower, having lost a good bit of health. “Dammit… Who the heck is this guy?” he cursed under his breath. Then he looked at his minimap. The Jarvan IV was at the Wraith Camp, right next to mid lane. I need a gank! Then I’ll win.
The Jarvan IV moved to mid lane, sweeping the area for wards. He didn’t find any, not even in the river brush right above the lane. The Zed was still pushing over the halfway line. The Jarvan IV had played so many games together with his Midlaner that they didn’t need to talk. They both knew the plan. He pinged on the Zed and jumped in with a flag-toss combo. If he could hit it and knock the Zed up, they would get the kill. Yasuo’s Last Breath would take care of that.
The Yasuo ran forward, dashing through the minions–Sweeping Blade!–while charging up Steel Tempest. If this Zed dodged Jarvan IV’s knock up, he would be ready to use his whirlwind. It didn’t matter that his health was low, or that Jarvan IV’s health was low. This Zed would be dead before he knew what hit him! Time to say goodnight! He grinned.
Lin Feng knew the Jarvan IV was coming. High School 7’s Jungler had missed a ward. It was placed just a little further up river, but close enough to reveal him as he walked into the brush above mid lane. Hehe. Let’s do this. Lin Feng smiled. The Yasuo suddenly got a little more aggressive. It wasn’t a lot, but enough to warn Lin Feng something was up. He knew what would happen next. His finger hovered over his R key. Death Mark would make Zed untargetable while dashing to the target. That also meant he couldn’t be knocked up. Hehe, watch this.
High School 7’s Midlaner timed his whirlwind from Steel Tempest perfectly with Jarvan IV’s flag-toss combo. The Zed would be toast! Got you! And then the Zed was gone. His eyes went wide. It felt as if time came to a stop as he mumbled, “Crap.” Both knock up skills had missed. Three blood red shadows jumped on him and put a mark above his head.
The Zed appeared behind the Yasuo. His claw blades swept in a circle, cutting through the Yasuo–Shadow Slash! He followed up with Razor Shuriken. Then the Yasuo finally reacted. He dashed to a nearby minion, and then another. But Lin Feng wasn’t about to let him get away. His Shadow dashed forward and he directly switched positions with it–Living Shadow! He was on top of the Yasuo again and hit him with an auto attack. That should do it. Lin Feng pressed on his R key again, and his Zed switched positions with the Shadow he’d placed when activating his ultimate skill.
The Jarvan IV ran after the Yasuo and Zed, but couldn’t keep up. By the time he caught up, Zed had disappeared and the red mark above the Yasuo was about to explode. There was nothing he could do about it. His Midlaner would die. He turned around to chase the Zed, but he was too late for that too. The Zed was already halfway to his own outer tower. Then the sound of the red mark exploding rang out beside him. This gank was a complete and utter failure.
《You have slain an enemy!》
Lin Feng breathed out. He’d held his breath during the fight, and only now relaxed. The kill was his. His KDA went up to 2/0/0. The sound of the crowd around him entered his ears again. He could hear them gasp, while his teammates were cheering. He grinned and pumped his fist in the air, “Let’s go!” Then he looked back at the screen, a little nervous. Fatty’s game should’ve started. I hope he’s doing ok.
In the Wembley Arena, KG and Flash were in the middle of Champion Select. Below the stage, the players from Fate had found their places in the VIP viewing area. They’d just won their game and were now going to unwind by watching the next game at Worlds. Moon leaned back in his chair and looked at the picks, especially those in top lane. Flash had chosen Riven. She was a really strong laner who had a lot of potential to outplay her lane opponent and get solo kills in the early game. On KG’s side, God Roundy picked Hecarim. What is he thinking…?
Hecarim was a decent pick in the current meta. This spectral fusion of man and beast could single-handedly win teamfights with his ultimate skill. But he was a relatively weak laner, and he needed a little extra to get rolling. When taking KG’s recent form in consideration, this pick seemed downright suicidal. What are they doing? Did they give up already? But why… This is Worl–
“Excuse me, passing through! Excuse me!”
Moon needed an extra second. The man trying to walk by was speaking in English, and he wasn’t great at the language. “Sorry, sorry,” he mumbled. He moved his legs to let the man through and looked up at him. Late twenties to early thirties. Casual expression. Nor did he spare Moon a glance. This last part was strange. Most people would take a minute to greet him or even ask for an autograph. He was an Emperor, after all. But it didn’t bother Moon that this man didn’t stop to say a word or two. He didn’t even really notice it, because that man looked really familiar for some reason. He looked at the man and mumbled, “Where do I know him from?"
“Wait!” His eyes went wide. He knew who that was! This was a legend of the scene! He looked towards the man, who’d found a seat and reclined back, his feet up on the balustrade in front of him. It really is you! Before making the switch to League of Legends, Moon had played a different esport. That was where he knew this man from. This man was one of the biggest names in that esport. A true legend! A real OG!
Moon kept looking at the man, fighting back the urge to go up to him and ask for an autograph. Then he scrunched his nose. Why is he here? He retired from the scene years ago… Has he ever even played League? Before he could think more of it, the crowd in the Wembley Arena started cheering and singing. The game had started. It was KG versus Flash!
《Welcome to Summoner’s Rift!》
Flash was on the Red team. They decided to start the game with an odd set-up. Their bottom lane duo went up to top lane. They took the Golem Camp on the way there for some early experience, and then started pushing out the lane from the first moment that the minions arrived in lane. Down in bottom lane, KG mirrored this tactic. They also first took Golem Camp before pushing out the lane.
As for the Toplaners of both teams, they didn’t go to a lane. They wouldn’t get any last hits on the minions in lane against the bottom lane duos, and the constant pressure they would be under could easily have them slip up and give away an early First Blood. So they went into the jungle and helped their Jungler clear their camps faster.
KG’s bot lane duo was a Kennen ad-carry and Thresh support. After pushing out the first two waves into Flash’s outer tower, they recalled back to base. They wanted a standard laning match-up, so they rushed up to top lane. Their Jungler had started on the Blue camp in the top half of the Jungle and had made his way down to the bottom half of the jungle together with Tian Tian’s Hecarim. When the Kennen and Thresh recalled, Tian Tian split from his Jungler and had his Hecarim charge down the jungle towards bot lane. The minions were fighting in the middle of the lane when he arrived. He quickly pushed them back into Red team’s outer tower.
Flash didn’t push for another laneswap. They were confident that Chris’ Riven would beat the Hecarim in lane. That was an advantage they had to abuse. So they left their bottom lane duo up in top lane, while Chris recalled back to base to buy a few potions. Then he teleported to the outer tower in bot lane.
The Chinese fans watching streams, and the odd few in the Wembley Arena, let out a shared breath of relief. They’d been worrying all week that KG would give away an early advantage to Flash and lose from there. But right now, the game was still even. And KG had even made a good play! Instead of recalling back to base and buying an extra health potion, Roundy Round had rushed to bot lane and pushed out the wave. If he hadn’t done this, Flash’s Chris would’ve arrived in time in lane to freeze the minion wave halfway down the lane and force Roundy Round to sit under his outer tower and miss gold and experience. That would’ve lost KG the game then and there. This was a great play by God Roundy!
The Riven arrived at the outer tower in bot lane. Chris versus Roundy Round. The real fight between the two Toplaners was finally beginning! Chris looked at the Hecarim trying to get some last hits in. Hehe! Just you wait, fatso. I’ma make you wish you were never born!
The second round of games in the first qualification round of the Shanghai 16 School Tournament was in full swing. After Lin Feng’s second kill on High School 7’s Midlaner, his team started to pull ahead. Liu Yue began to show that the weeks of training weren’t for nothing. He finally started putting pressure on the lanes, even helping Rumble pick up a kill on Gragas in the top lane.
Tang Bingyao and Wei Dong also found an opening in bot lane. Jinx pushed out a little too far and they jumped on her. The Kalista dashed forward, throwing a spear with every jump. Tang Bingyao chased after the Jinx until the Jinx flashed away to tower safety, then shifted targets to the Leona. Caught out in the middle of the lane, the Leona was also forced to flash away, while the Jinx used her Heal to keep them both alive. High School 7’s bot lane survived this fight, but they paid a high price. They were forced back to base and lost a full wave and a half of minions.
Top lane came back after giving away an early kill, bot lane seized a small advantage, and the Jungler was applying pressure all over the map. Lin Feng’s teammates seemed to have shaken off their nerves. They weren’t worrying about making misplays, but rather focusing on making plays! Lin Feng smiled. He was proud of his teammates. They’d finally fought back their fears and were really performing now! Fatty, do you see me? I’m trying my best here! I hope you are too!
It was quiet in the Wembley Arena. The crowd had forgotten about their phones. All eyes were on the giant LCD screens above the stage, which showed the battle of the Toplaners down in bot lane. Unlike everyone had expected, this game wasn’t a stomp. Chris was playing hyper-aggressively on his Riven, pushing out the minions and harassing the Hecarim. But Tian Tian wasn’t taking the abuse lying down. He fought back, blow for blow, and was even coming out on top! His Hecarim that should be losing to a Riven in lane was actually pulling ahead!
No one had any expectations for KG going in this game. Not the fans in the crowd. Not the fans at home. Not even the coaches of KG. But what they were seeing right now was a strong team that was going toe-to-toe with Flash! Most impressive of all was Roundy. The fans felt that spark of excitement again as they watched him play. Maybe he would live up to his reputation today! Hopefully, he would show the world why his fans called him the Uncrowned Eighth!
The cameras in the arena got no good shot of Tian Tian’s face, it was hidden behind his monitor. But they got a great shot of Chris’. His casual expression from before the game was gone. In its place was anger and frustration. He squinted his eyes and leaned closer to the monitor. His Riven and the Hecarim both had about a third of their health remaining. The lane was pretty much dead even. Fucking fatso… I don’t care how good you are. Let me show you how good a real professional Toplaner is!
Tian Tian looked like he was going even with Chris. Hecarim and Riven were both at the same health and the lane was stuck in the middle. But appearances were deceptive. Chris made sure to leave KG’s minions alive for a little longer. The wave pushed slightly to his side, but not so far that it got near his tower. A second minion wave arrived in lane while the first was still mostly alive. Hehe. Finally. He started killing Blue minions again, timing it so that the next blue minion wave would stop his minion wave outside the reach of the outer tower.
Hehehe. He’s got no clue what’s coming for him. Chris killed this minion wave fast. There was a short window here until the next minion wave would arrive. The Blue minions quickly died to the large Red minion wave and Riven. The Hecarim was forced underneath his tower. Hehe. Now. Gotcha, idiot. The minion wave reached under KG’s outer tower. He had to act fast. If he got the kill on the Hecarim, he would win the game right there and then. As he saw it, this was a win-win situation for him! Force Hecarim back to base or kill him. Either way, he’d get the experience and gold lead. He chuckled and then dashed towards the Hecarim–Valor!
The Riven lashed out with her large sword–Broken Wings!–and linked that up with an auto attack. She was in range of the outer tower. An energy shot charged up and shot at her. It did far more damage than Chris expected. So much so that he started to worry. Fuck. Too much damage. He’d gotten greedy. The tower would kill him before he could kill the Hecarim. But he’d already gotten so far. He didn’t want to turn back now. Screw it. One combo and I’m out. He pressed down on the W key–Ki Burst!
Tian Tian had shaken off his worries and was playing with confidence. When the Riven dashed at him, he spotted the mistake right away. His finger moved over the D key. The only thing Riven could do was try and stun him with her Ki Burst. That was her only possible play here! Or she could walk away, but that just wasn’t Chris’ style. So he let her hit him with the first charge of her Broken Wings and waited for the animation of Ki Burst. It came a moment later. The green Ki bursted out around the Riven and he pressed down on his D key. His Hecarim flashed past the Riven, dodging the stun. He followed up by activating Devastating Charge and charged into the Riven, knocking her backwards.
FUCK! Chris cursed. He never expected Roundy to flash, or that he’d make a play like that at all. This was nothing like the Roundy from last week! He smashed down on his F key and flashed away, but not before taking another energy shot from the tower. His health was already down to 10%!
Tian Tian knew what was in front of him. First Blood. He wouldn’t let this chance go to waste. When Riven flashed, he was ready for it. He charged after the Riven and hit her with an auto attack. Then he cleaved the Riven with his polearm–Rampage!–and finished her off with one last auto attack.
The Wembley Arena that was predominantly European erupted into cheers! What a phenomenal outplay! This was a true solo kill at the World stage! They almost never got to see this! They forgot that it wasn’t a European team who’d got the kill as they jumped up and down and screamed as loudly as they could, “GOD ROUNDY! GOD ROUNDY!”
The online platforms, where most Chinese fans were following the game from, went even wilder. This was exactly what they’d been dreaming of! A comeback from KG! The turn around in week two of Worlds! And God Roundy!
「AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!1!!!! OMG DID YOU SEE THATTTTT」
「GOD ROUNDY!!!! DAMN THAT WAS SOOOOO GOOD!!!」
「Lez fucking goooooooo we got thizz boys ez win gg」
「FUCK THE HATERS!!! GOD ROUNDY IS THE BEST」
「I’m not Chinese, but that was such an impressive play! Roundy Round is really deserving of the title God Roundy. I think he should be one of the Seven Kings. He really deserves it. What do you guys think?」
「LOL ^ Who's that idiot? ALSO GOD ROUNDYY WOOOO!!!!!!! WAAAA!!!!!!」
On the caster desk of the Chinese official broadcast of Worlds, Qinghe lost control over his emotions. His eyes were wet and he had to wipe the tears away. He couldn’t find the words, much like Lolo who was just staring at the screen, shocked. Only Stone didn’t forget how to talk. He shouted his voice hoarse, “OH MY GOD THAT WAS BEAUTIFUL! THAT WAS GOD ROUNDY! EVERYONE! THAT WAS GOD ROUNDY! HE’S COME TO PLAY AND GETS FIRST BLOOD!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Sietse Thought: I didn’t even realize this last night (it was almost 3 am for me when I finally released), but Shanks moved my thought to the top! Top spot is mine! I’ll fight anyone who tries to take it! Not really, but in a friendly way. So first things first. We need a belt. The ‘Top Thought Belt’. Then we need to think on how to “fight” for it. One way would be to have you guys choose your favourite thought of the week or month. Or our message in the comment section below the chapters that you enjoyed most. Maybe we played a game of League (or any other game) with you that was particularly funny. And then with all those things in mind, the community chooses who gets the belt each week or month or however long I will claim the belt as my own. I’ll give a small spoiler by the way. I really just want the belt! So screw whatever any of you vote! Unless it’s for me, then you guys are awesome! Also, I’m never letting the belt go! It’s mine! My precious!
Shanks Thought: I think Sietse has been watching a little too much WWE. This is why you can’t let him have any power. You let him be top once, and now he wants to be top forever. Well, tough luck, bud. Cause I sure as hell won’t be the eternal bottom. If we are actually going to compete with this Top Thought Belt, though, I think it could be through a game of Among Us or something. Also, think carefully guys. Who are you going to want spoilers from? The guy who can actually read the Chinese or the guy who edits what I write? I think the choice is obvious here. In other news, Devs will be back in the thoughts soon. So, it won’t just be me and Sietse anymore.