Chapter 98 - 20-Minute Goal | Views: 7,812

“God Roundy is pushing down top lane. He’s already on the inhibitor tower! The rest of KG is defending mid. Flash can’t push through them. Riven will have to go top and defend.”
“WAAAAA! GOD ROUNDY KILLS RIVEN AGAIN! THIS IS THE INHIBITOR! THIS IS THE INHIBITOR!”
“Watch out, Roundy! Flash is collapsing on you! Devastating Charge out! You can do it! Run away on your horse!”
“Hahaha! Look at that wild goose chase God Roundy is leading them on! LOOK AT MID LANE! LOOK! THE INNER TOWER IS DOWN!”
“Is this the second inhibitor for KG? IT IS! KG HAS TAKEN DOWN THE SECOND INHIBITOR!”
“This is the game, right? This must be the game! KG is going to win!”
“THEY’RE STILL PUSHING! Why is Flash not recalling back to base? They need to defend!”
“OH MY GOD! GOD ROUNDY! GOD ROUNDY! He’s stopping them from recalling! He’s stopping them from recalling!”
“THE NEXUS TOWERS ARE DOWN! WAAAAAAAAAAAA! THIS IS GAME! KG WIN THE GAME!”
“KG HAVE BEATEN FLASH! GOD ROUNDY CARRIED KG TO A WIN!”

The crowd at the Wembley Arena went wild. Fans jumped out of their seats and the cheering erupted out of the arena. It was so loud that even the people out in the parking lots could feel the vibrations from the cheering through the ground. KG was declared the winner of the second match of the day. KG had just defeated Flash! 

KG was a team from the LPL and not from the European LCS. There should be a strong rivalry between the two regions! But the European fans didn’t care for any of this right now. This match was a neutral fan’s wet dream! They clapped until their hands were numb and screamed until their voices gave out. God Roundy’s KG had won them over!

God Roundy had told a story of redemption today. A story of never giving up and always striving for the best. Everyone in the crowd knew what’d happened last week. Many of them were in the Wembley Arena and saw it happen! KG had played like a nervous trainwreck. They’d looked like the weakest team at Worlds. But that had all changed in this first game of week two. This looked like a new KG. A KG with God Roundy on the roster, instead of Roundy Round. God Roundy carried, even on a Champion like Hecarim who was more of a tank than a carry. He won a lane matchup he shouldn’t have won and led his team to an easy victory. But more than all of that, he had hit a brilliant five man ultimate. Just thinking of that one play gave everyone goosebumps.

There was a small number of Chinese fans in the crowd at the Wembley Arena. They were far too few to make their voices heard when the Europeans started cheering, and after last week’s performances of the Chinese teams, they didn’t mind that no one paid attention to them. But right now they stood on their chairs and held up the fluorescent sign boards they’d prepared. If they couldn’t make their voice heard, they could at least show God Roundy and KG that they did have fans cheering for them in the audience!

There was a group of three girls who held up a large, fluorescent sign board. It read: “WE LOVE YOU GOD ROUNDY!” Then there were several other groups spread out across the arena that held similar signs but with different texts.
“KG! KG! KG!”
GO GOD ROUNDY! GO KG!”
“KG IS THE BEST!”
“KG NEW WORLD CHAMPIONS!”

The people in the VIP viewing area also stood up and applauded KG. Among them were the players from Legend. When the Chinese fans saw Phoenix clapping for KG, they froze. They stopped cheering and instead fell back on their chairs. In their excitement, they’d forgotten about KG’s situation for a moment. KG needed three wins to make it out of the group stage. One win was in the bag. They should also be able to claim a second victory against the wildcard team. But then there was a third team they’d have to play against and beat. Europe’s first seed team. Legend. Their Midlaner was Phoenix, one of the Four Emperors. The same Phoenix who stood, clapping for KG, unfazed. Though he was a little far away, from what they could see of him, he didn’t worry one bit after seeing KG’s stellar performance. They did worry now. If this performance from KG couldn’t get a reaction from Phoenix, then it wasn’t enough to worry him.

Phoenix. The best player in Europe. One of the four best players in the world. He had a strong team around him. They were a real contender for the World Title. It was always going to be an uphill battle for KG to beat them. But the Chinese fans had hoped, expected even, that after this last game, Legend would worry ever so slightly. God Roundy should’ve rocked the boat that was Legend with his godly Hecarim! They looked at Phoenix again. He’d sat back down, reclining back in his chair and laughing with the person next to him. This looked nothing like a worried person. This looked everything like a confident man.

The initial excitement calmed down. The Chinese fans at home stopped spamming the stream chat and Stone concluded his post-game analysis in which he’d lacked the superlatives for God Roundy. They then continued with an early pre-game analysis. The next game for KG was versus Legend. Qinghe turned to the camera and said in earnest, “The next match will be it for KG. Do or die. If they want to move on to the next round, they have to win this game.”

“I don’t know.” Stone sighed, loudly, and shook his head. “If they’d played like this last week, they wouldn’t be in this situation. Man, they have to beat Legend. That’s going to be so difficult.”

Lolo forced a smile, worried. “This game was the God Roundy show. He played phenomenally. I wish he could’ve played like that last week. Then KG would already be through to the next round…”

Lolo said what everyone watching the stream thought. If only God Roundy had shown up in week one, Worlds would’ve looked completely different for the LPL teams. They, as the fans, would’ve had something to celebrate. But now their patience was being tested and all they could do was worry for KG. It would take something really special for them to move on to the next round.

Qinghe took a deep breath and said, “There’s no point in talking about what could’ve been. Let’s just be happy for now that God Roundy and KG seem to have found their form. And don’t forget, guys, they’re still in it. They haven’t lost yet!” He smiled, “All they have to do is beat Legend, and they’ll advance directly into the quarterfinals. But even if they lose, there’s still hope. As long as they beat the wildcard team and Legend beats Flash, then KG and Flash will have the same score. They would have to play a tiebreaker to decide who’ll make it to the next round.”

The viewers agreed with Qinghe. Legend was probably too strong for KG. God Roundy had shown everyone how good his Hecarim was, but that was just one Champion in one game. It was hardly representative for how strong KG was. Either way. If KG won, that was great, obviously. But they also had to prepare for what’d happen if they lost. Flash would most likely also lose against Legend. That meant that, assuming KG beat the wildcard team, they would play a tiebreaker. This was exactly where the minds of the players from KG were at. They felt their time was better spent preparing for the tiebreaker rather than on the Legend game. The only exception was Tian Tian.

Tian Tian had separated from his teammates and sat alone. He didn’t share their sentiment. Why do they worry so much about an Emperor? It didn’t matter who he had to play, he wanted to win! If it was before he’d spoken to Lin Feng, he’d still be sitting in his bathroom stall, or maybe even be on his way back home already. However, that one call had woken up something deep inside of him. Something that’d always been there, but something he’d forgotten. Or maybe suppressed. He was terrified to face off against Legend. That hadn’t changed. He hadn’t changed as a person. But Lin Feng had reminded him that the only dreams worth pursuing were those that seemed impossible. He wanted to make the impossible possible! He wanted to beat Legend and carry his team to the next round!

This desire to beat Legend and show Phoenix that he could beat a team with an Emperor on it wouldn’t go away. Tian Tian only felt it become stronger and stronger. He clenched his fists, eager for the next game. Then his mind went woozy. His lips started quivering and he started playing with his fingers, everything he did back in his bathroom stall. I can’t do it! I-can’t do it! I ca—N-no! T-that’s not right. I have to win! I… I can’t do it! I have to win! I promised I would win… I’m going to win! Win! Win! Win! Win! He shook off every last fiber in his body that tried to resist, that tried to pull him back to that dark place he’d stepped out from. Then he took a deep breath and looked up at the ceiling. “W-wait for me, Lin Feng! I-i’ll win!”

In the Netcow Cafe in downtown Shanghai, the players from High School 13 were amping themselves up for their last game in the qualification round of the Shanghai 16 School Tournament. They’d already qualified for the main tournament after winning the last game against High School 7, but that didn’t mean they wouldn’t give it their all in this game! Their next game was against their strongest opponent yet. Tonji Affiliated High! This was the perfect game to see where they stood.

Ouyang had gone off to spy on Tonji Affiliated High’s team. He hid behind a row of computers and tried to listen in on them. Then he got a good look at their expressions before running through the internet cafe back to his own team. “H-hey, bros! Come here!” he exclaimed, exhausted. “I just went to sneak a peek at them…” He pointed over his shoulder towards Tonji Affiliated High’s team. “...they don’t seem worried. Like, not one bit. My bro, Lin Feng. You know I love you man. And I don’t wanna be the party pooper here. But, bro, do you really think we can beat those guys?”

Ouyang’s words struck a nerve with High School 13’s team, but some things had to be said. They were all feeling the same in the back of their minds. That’s why Ren Rou didn’t get upset with Ouyang. Tonji Affiliated High was a far better team than High School 7. They’d made it all the way to the semifinals in the Shanghai 16 School Tournament last year. From team synergy to individual talent, they were just really, really good. Their weakest player was their Toplaner at Diamond 4. The others were Diamond 1 or Master. And even if their Toplaner was only Diamond 4, that didn’t mean much. Team skills were the most important when it came to team competitions.

Ren Rou grabbed a little notebook she kept and opened it to a page that read Tonji Affiliated High at the top. She read her notes and then said, “His laning phase is pretty mediocre compared to the others on his team. But his Teleport game is on point and the longer a game goes on, the better he gets. He’s a really good team fighter.”

Over on the other side of the internet cafe, Tonji Affiliated High was also paying attention to High School 13. They’d spotted Ouyang and had watched him run back to his group. “That’s High School 13?” one of them asked.

“Seems like it. They beat High School 7 apparently.”

“Tsk tsk. Those guys at High School 7 are terrible this year. Can’t believe they lost to the never lucky crew from High School 13.”

“Ah, whatever guys. Let’s just make this a quick game. I wanna go out and get a bite to eat.”

“Sure, sounds good. We’ll have them surrendering in 20 minutes. Maybe we should try and end it before 20 minutes? Just to embarrass them a little…”

Tonji Affiliated High had the status to be a little arrogant. They’d proven last year how good they were, and this year they were at least as good. Maybe even better. However, they weren’t the only ones making bold claims. Lin Feng had a knack for that too. He looked at his team and said, “Tang Tang, go your Draven. I’m also switching to top.” He paused for a moment, then added, “Let’s finish this game in 20 minutes!”

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littleshanks's Thoughts

The three of us have a bad habit of making silly bets with god awful consequences when we’re working on chapters. This one time Devshard and I were arguing about whether or not the readers would get a reference I inserted into a chapter, and he was convinced that my reference was stupid and there was no way anyone would get it. The consequence for losing that bet was him taking a picture of himself wearing a Virgin Killer Sweater (we’re linking the most safe-for-work Amazon listing for this sweater. But exercise caution/common sense if you’re clicking on it from work or school) and sharing it with us. Guess what? The readers got the reference, and he lost the bet. But do I have my picture? Nope. What an age we live in where men don’t keep their word.

Dev Thought: Okay! Listen. The bet was that SHANKS WOULD BUY THE VIRGIN KILLER SWEATER AND TAKE PICTURES OF HIMSELF IN IT IF NO ONE GOT THAT STUPID FOOTBALL MEME! I never said that I would do the same if someone got it. And for the record, I’m still not convinced that I lost that bet. Shanks swears that he didn’t leak the meme to someone who then commented on it, but I don’t believe him. It took 3 days for someone to mention the meme in the comments! I am a man of my word, and I never lie. If there was an official bet with established stakes and I lost, I would honor my loss!

Sietse Thought: You know how you can read one side of a story and totally rally behind that person? Well, I’m here for another side of the Virgin Killer Sweater story. The one where Shanks was begging Devs for a picture, and when he couldn’t get one, turned to me. He dared me to some games of Chess and said that if I lost, I had to wear the Virgin Killer Sweater and send him pictures of it. Honestly? I think Shanks has a kink for dudes wearing sexy outfits. But back to the story. Now, I won that game of Chess, and the next one. But did Shanks accept his loss and wear the outfit? No way. He kept insisting I was the one who should put it on and send him a picture. Not gonna lie, it was kind of creepy.