Thank you Somebody and Kaszius for the Ko-fis~
The moment Jian Rong hit the key to recall to base, he was nearly deafened—
Xiao Bai’s scalp was tingling. “Waaaahhhhh nice! Nice!!!”
Yuan Qian: “Ahhh woahhhh—”
The referee supervising the team chat in the back felt like he was listening to four ancient monkeys play a video game.
Jian Rong wasn’t fond of playing ranked in five-person parties. Whenever he outplayed before, at the most the barrage would kick up some fuss, so this was his first time hearing a barrage that came with sound.
This made him pause for a second in the middle of buying items. Then he said, “After another wave, we can go for Baron.”
“How are you so badass?!” Yuan Qian sucked in a breath of air. “This is my first fucking time seeing someone win a 1v5 in the semifinals!!!”
Moon understood what he was implying. “Has it happened before in the regular season?”
“It has, Master has also won a 1v5 in the regular season before, but he was using LeBlanc. It’s way easier to outplay on that champion that on Cassiopeia—Xiao Rong you’re way too fucking badass!!!”
Xiao Bai said, “I’m covered with goosebumps all over, if you don’t believe me tell Pine to feel my arm! Really!!!”
“Do you want me to be banned?” Pine’s voice was as collected as always.
In reality, Jian Rong’s heart was beating extremely fast. The purpose of playing games was for the excitement of it, after all.
Fighting Tiger wanted to kill him too badly, leading to many holes in that 5v1. In addition, his feel for the game was especially good today—
“Force a team fight.” Jian Rong said, “I’m unsurpassable this round.”
The instant that Jian Rong had achieved the penta kill, the major streamers’ livestream rooms, shopping plazas broadcasting the match live, gaming chat servers and so on were all flooded with screams.
Including the break room backstage.
“Good heavens—how did he do that? Is this what the reaction speed of a young person is like…” The assistant coach had already shouted for a while now, and currently his voice wasn’t much better off than that of the three commentators. Hoarsely, he said, “That wave alone is enough to give him the title of a god, right??”
Ding-ge drew in numerous deep breaths and said with a smile, “No need for the ‘right.’”
The assistant coach paced back and forth for a long time in the break room before finally calming down. Then, the first thought that popped into his head was: “Ge, did we only sign him on for one season?”
Ding-ge gave an “en.”
“…his value is gonna skyrocket immediately.” The assistant coach tugged out a tissue and wiped away the sweat on his forehead. “I bet a lot of teams want to steal him. In that case, we have to discuss renewing the contract with him soon…”
“What’s the rush, we aren’t even done with the spring season yet. Also—” Ding-ge peeled apart a tangerine and stuffed a section into his mouth, subconsciously glancing towards the sofa.
The assistant coach followed his line of sight and looked at Lu Boyuan too. “Also what?”
“…also, we have money. What, you think Fu-ge wears that gold chain around his neck for nothing?” Ding-ge swallowed the tangerine slice. “What’s more, this opportunity was given to him by our team. Have you ever seen a team that dares to promote a streamer straight into a starting position? Jian Rong isn’t the type of person to bite the hand that feeds him.”
Lu Boyuan’s tightly clenched hands relaxed only when the director begrudgingly shifted the camera away from Cassiopeia at last.
He let out a long exhale before he ducked his head and laughed.
Jian Rong was very strong; that was something he had known all along. Just by watching a few of Jian Rong’s streams, it was clear that his hand speed, reaction speed, and technique were definitively the best among the new generation of pro players.
His only shortcoming was his playstyle: it was impulsive and self-centered, reckless and headstrong. This made him appear to be incompatible with competitive gaming.
But that was also the part that Lu Boyuan liked the most.
Judging from the cheers that could be heard even through the door and the comments spamming the barrage to the point that it lagged—the competitive arena needed this kind of pro player.
Twenty-eight minutes in, TTC effortlessly destroyed Fighting Tiger’s base, winning the first round of the match.
Amidst the audience’s applause and screaming, Jian Rong was the first one to take off his headphones and walk backstage.
Right as he entered the break room, Ding-ge greeted him with, “The world’s number one Cassiopeia is indeed badass.”
“Replay!! Where’s the match replay?!” Xiao Bai rushed in and said, “I was buying items at the time and didn’t see it! Replay it so I can watch!”
“Look at it after the match!” Ding-ge tugged Jian Rong back as he started making his way towards the couch. “Let’s discuss the strategy for the next game. Jian Rong, you’re definitely going to be targeted after this, can you pick a champion that you can survive on?”
Jian Rong swept a glance at Lu Boyuan and stopped in place. “Are there options?”
The intermission was very short. Before they could even finish discussing tactics, a staff member came to rush them back onstage.
Ding-ge stood up. “Let’s go.”
Jian Rong let out an “en” and suddenly remembered something. He picked up the water bottle that he took offstage with him. “Wait a moment, let me fill up my water.”
“The water dispenser is empty.” The assistant coach quickly said, “Give it to me, I’ll run next door and fill it up, it’ll be fast…”
“No need.” Lu Boyuan, who was sitting on the sofa and listening to them discuss strategy the entire time, spoke up mildly. He picked up his own thermos and said, “Coffee. I brought it from the base, but I didn’t drink that much… you don’t mind, do you? God Jian.”
A beat later, the LPL’s newly minted God Jian walked towards the stage with his teammates, holding his captain’s thermos.
Commentator A: “Alright, our players are returning to the stage—who knows if it’s because of that Cassiopeia, but now that I’m looking at Soft again after ten minutes, it seems like he’s become a little bit more handsome.”
Commentator B: “Fighting Tiger still seems to be very relaxed. Veteran players are just in a different class, their mentalities aren’t affected by the outcome of one game. That’s pretty good.”
“Soft’s thermos is a new item from TTC’s merch line, right? The design is quite nice.” Commentator C smiled as he helped to market it. “I heard that the player’s signature is printed on it too.”
At that moment, Jian Rong just happened to pick up the bottle. The signature on the side of the thermos was revealed to the camera as Commentator C continued—
“See, the side is engraved with a… Road?”
The three commentators: “…”
Commentator C tried for innocence. “I’m not the one stirring up rumors this time!”
A few seconds later, he said, “…at the very least, I didn’t do it on purpose!!!”
The pick/ban phase started soon after. The first thing that Fighting Tiger banned was Jian Rong’s Cassiopeia.
“Respect.” Xiao Bai was delighted. “God Jian, whatcha playing this round? Actually, I feel like you can still outplay, ss—I haven’t seen your Talon on the competitive stage yet…”
Ding-ge lifted up his notebook and knocked him on the head again. “If Twisted Fate is available, choose that, otherwise take Orianna!”
In the end, Twisted Fate was banned by Fighting Tiger. TTC had first pick and immediately helped Jian Rong lock in Orianna.
As Ding-ge had predicted, Fighting Tiger realized that when playing against Jian Rong, you either had to assist each other or you had to suppress him.
But Orianna wavecleared too fast. If Da Niu left the mid lane at all, it was easy for him to be short on minions, so they could only go with the latter option.
After being ganked by the enemy jungler yet again, Jian Rong recalled to base with low health and said, “Their jungler has ganked me three times now.”
Moon: “I’ll be right there…”
“The other side is on Kassadin, you won’t be able to kill him.” Jian Rong checked the minimap and discovered that their team’s bot lane was playing very fiercely. They were suppressing the enemy under the tower once more. “Go countergank in another lane that has the advantage. Don’t come mid, they won’t be able to gank me to death anyway.”
As soon as he finished saying that, the enemy jungler arrived at the bot lane.
By now, both bot lanes had already started fighting each other, and the situation was quite unfavorable for Xiao Bai and Pine. Fortunately, they still had a fair amount of health, and their positioning was decent too. After dodging the enemy support Thresh’s hook, it looked that they would be able to escape by the skin of their teeth, but then an ice arrow suddenly shot straight at Pine—the enemy ADC Ashe’s ult was off cooldown.
Upon being struck by the ice arrow, judging from the distance it had traveled, he would be stunned for at least 1.5 seconds.
1.5 seconds in a situation where they were being triple-teamed was enough time for Pine to die twice.
The enemy jungler was to the left, so he couldn’t shift that way, and his blink skills and flash were still on cooldown. Right as it appeared that Pine’s Caitlyn was about to be finished here—
There came the sound of a flash. Xiao Bai, controlling Leona, charged over behind Pine and blocked that arrow for him!
Commentator A: “Bye helped to block it… although Leona is tanky, Bye’s current level is still very low. He’s most likely going to end up dying here.”
Commentator B: “There’s no helping it, it’s always better for the support to die rather than the ADC. If Pine was killed this wave, the bot lane would explode even more.”
Commentator C nodded. “That’s right. The other side also used up four Summoner Spells, so if Bye dies, it won’t be too much of a loss… hm??”
Before the commentator could finish his sentence, he watched as Pine, who was silently running for his life, instantly turn around the moment his flash came off cooldown. He flashed back through the line of minions blocking the way and decisively threw a net onto the enemy Ashe’s face!
Simultaneously, he retreated a bit because of the recoil and widened the distance between him and the enemies once again!
If struck by Caitlyn’s net, her next basic attack would trigger a headshot—with a bang, Pine’s headshot directly killed off the low-health Ashe!
Commentator A: “Beautiful! By exchanging a support for an ADC, TTC ends up not losing but profiting! Weren’t Pine’s mechanics way too meticulous here?!”
“That flash probably gave Fighting Tiger a scare…” Commentator B couldn’t help but laugh. “No… what’s up with TTC today? They’re all so fierce and full of outplays?”
Seeing Ashe collapse onto the ground, the already dead Xiao Bai could peacefully buy his items at last. He also didn’t forget to pitch his voice high and convey his flattery. “P-baby is so handsome! P-baby is so amazing! P-baby is a gun god! P-baby mwah mwah mwah!”
For a brief moment, Jian Rong thought that he had invited in a female accompanying gamer who was tagged with “adorable little sister” and “sleep coaxer,” and he nearly yanked off his headphones.
Pine also paused for a second because of Xiao Bai’s kissing noises. “…don’t be disgusting, buy a control ward.”
“Wuwu, I just bought a Cloth Armor, I’m broke.” Xiao Bai wavered. “Maybe I should undo it and buy the ward…”
“It’s fine.” Pine stiffly interrupted him, “I bought it, shut up and get in the lane.”
Sensing Jian Rong and Moon’s speechlessness, Yuan Qian typed in the team chat—
[TTC ་ Qian: This is Xiao Bai’s ultimate trick for getting on the Mic Check.]
[TTC ་ Bye: ^3^]
Jian Rong: “………”
[TTC ་ Soft: Lose weight and go be an actor]
[TTC ་ Bye: Who are you trying to imply is fat?]
[TTC ་ Bye: Wuwuwu QvQ, P-baby he’s mocking me!]
“Play the game.” Pine coldly cut through their ‘harmonious interaction.’ “Don’t bother me.”
Fighting Tiger played extremely carefully this round, especially Da Niu.
It would be a lie to say that they weren’t affected at all. Being 1v5’d in the semifinals, even an immortal would go into self-seclusion after that.
A period of time passed peacefully for both sides. Finally, at seventeen minutes, a team fight erupted.
Yuan Qian caught Fighting Tiger’s jungler red-handed stealing the Rift Herald. Both teams swiftly rushed to the scene—
Jian Rong gave his ball to Yuan Qian’s Sion, who immediately used his ult and charged forward like a speeding train—knocking the enemy top laner and jungler straight into the sky!
Jian Rong and Xiao Bai followed up with their own ults, with Pine furiously dealing damage from afar. A chaotic fight later, TTC won the team fight with no losses and three kills.
“No rush, don’t chase them. Let’s go for the Rift Herald and drake.” Yuan Qian said, “We’ll play it slow and steady, don’t give Fighting Tiger any chances.”
Jian Rong called back his ball and turned around to go back into the jungle.
Fighting Tiger was a team that excelled at seizing opportunities.
But TTC evidently didn’t plan on giving them a sliver of a chance this time. Even Soft didn’t pursue the champions with low health.
Everyone in Fighting Tiger held their breath and forcefully dragged the game out to forty-eight minutes. Da Niu encouraged his teammates in their voice chat, “Just wait, it’s down to a single fight now, we can overturn it as long as we hold out until they make one mistake—”
Before he could finish, a kill announcement sounded.
While their ADC was going for one of their own monsters, he was caught and bound to the spot by Xiao Bai. Then he was killed by Pine, who was following after Xiao Bai.
At a late game disadvantage and with their carry gone, Fighting Tiger’s loss was inevitable.
At forty-nine minutes and fifty-two seconds, TTC pushed Fighting Tiger’s base and won the second round of the match.
In the third game, Fighting Tiger pulled out the strategy that they were the most proficient at—half-map support flow.
Twisted Fate was banned, but that wasn’t an issue; Taliyah was also capable of providing assistance. Ashe ADC, Shen support, Gangplank top, Nocturne jungle…
In addition, Fighting Tiger didn’t target the bot lane this time. Instead, they went for the top lane, and Yuan Qian was visited so often that he couldn’t even leave the tower. Adding onto that, his teamwork with Moon wasn’t good enough, so if Moon came, it was basically a buy one get one free. This led to the enemy top laner, Gangplank, being enormously fed in the early game—
Xiao Bai was speechless. “Their ADC has played Ashe for three games now, is he not sick of it?!”
Moon sighed. “Fighting Tiger has always been the type to do whatever it takes to win.”
Because the top lane was cleared too thoroughly in the third round, at thirty-four minutes, TTC regretfully lost the game.
Currently, the score was 2:1.
In the fourth round, Yuan Qian finally snapped.
“I’ve been pressured for three games now…”
“I know.” Ding-ge patted his shoulder and asked, “Can you play Irelia?”
When he said that, everyone was startled.
Every pro player had their own signature champion.
Unexpectedly, Yuan Qian, who resisted pressure every single game nowadays and acted as a tanky engager, had become well-known because of Irelia, a champion that was unparalleled in dueling and laning but was extremely weak in terms of team fighting.
Yuan Qian was also stunned. “Pick Irelia? Then who’s going to engage…”
“I’ll do it.” Xiao Bai immediately said, “I’ll take Nautilus, Moon can choose Nocturne, we can easily engage whenever we want.”
Yuan Qian: “It’s been over a year since I’ve last played Irelia in a competitive match…”
“Weren’t you playing her a lot these past few days in ranked?” Ding-ge asked, “Are you gonna pick her? If so, then lock her in, otherwise you can continue to bear the pressure.”
Yuan Qian went briefly silent before he clenched his teeth. “I’ll do it, I’ll fucking do it! If I don’t slaughter the other side, I won’t eat for three days!!”
Jian Rong locked in Fizz this time.
Upon seeing that, Commentator A was astonished. “Fizz… mn… last time when he played with Fizz against Fighting Tiger, the results didn’t seem to be very good.”
“He probably wants to create an advantage in the early game,” Commentator B said. “After all, Da Niu got his Orianna this time around. Da Niu’s Orianna is quite strong, they’ll have to suppress him early on… Yuan Qian picked Irelia???”
Commentator C smiled. “To tell the truth, no matter what champion TTC picks or what kind of team fight they create nowadays, I don’t feel shocked at all anymore.”
This game, the intent behind both team compositions was very clear: fast-paced versus slow-paced, let’s see who’ll be laughing in the end.
The answer to that question came quickly enough.
Seven minutes in, two kill announcements sounded in the map—
[TTC ་ Qian has slain ZHhubi]
[TTC ་ Soft has slain ZHcattle]
TTC’s top and mid laners simultaneously got their solo kills!
Commentator A: “Every member of TTC has a really great feel for the game today!”
“Isn’t this their usual standard?” Commentator B paused. “Fighting Tiger’s jungler came to gank Qian-ge, but… Soft and Moon are right behind him!”
Yuan Qian also knew that he was going to be ganked soon.
Seeing that his teammates were currently hurrying towards him, he dispelled the idea of running away and continued to play pretend in his original spot.
The enemy jungler Rek’Sai broke through the ground. Yuan Qian flashed and distanced himself, forcefully buying six seconds of time under the onslaught of the other two champions’ attacks—
Fizz’s ult came out from the darkness, hitting the enemy top laner. Two seconds later, a shark emerged from the air, directly finishing him off.
If Irelia got the early game advantage, then nobody even had to think about playing anymore.
TTC rapidly adopted a 4-1 split push strategy—the mid laner, jungler, and bot lane duo grouped together to push the mid lane, while Yuan Qian carried the bot lane and destroyed the towers there by himself.
Fighting Tiger’s top laner went to defend the turret and ended up being solo killed by Yuan Qian.
Fighting Tiger’s jungler and support rushed over to assist. Yuan Qian killed off the support before he slipped into the underbrush with low health and disappeared…
Just like that, they kept grinding and grinding, all the way until the game was thirty minutes in. The inhibitor in Fighting Tiger’s mid lane was still present, but the ones in the top and bot lanes had been snatched by Yuan Qian…
At thirty-four minutes, Yuan Qian flashed and used his ult, detaining two Fighting Tiger players. Jian Rong’s Fizz jumped straight into the air and charged in. Without losing any of their own teammates, TTC wiped out Fighting Tiger, proclaiming their victory for this match—
However, they weren’t in any rush to push Fighting Tiger’s base.
Everyone still remembered how Da Niu had taunted TTC in the post-match interview—
Who said that you guys could win as long as Road wasn’t here?
Who in TTC was someone “easy to deal with”?
LoL wasn’t a single-player game, nor had TTC ever relied solely on the support of one person.
If Road was there, they would depend on him.
If Road wasn’t there, they would take on the match together, seize the victory, and wait for him to return.
In the broadcast, the spectators watched as each member of TTC ran over to the area outside Fighting Tiger’s fountain and initiated some “friendly interactions”: flashing their team icon, dancing, tossing out random skills…
The scene was too chaotic, to the extent that a certain tiny figure appeared particularly out of place in comparison—
Among countless allied minions, Jian Rong’s Fizz was pushing the enemy Nexus extremely painstakingly and diligently. Fizz’s trident prodded again and again at the Nexus; he might as well have carved the words ‘I want to win’ onto his forehead…………
[Am I seeing things? Is the person obediently pushing the base my son??!]
[WTF, little dumbass whatcha doing??? You should be flashing into Fighting Tiger’s base right now and using Zhonya’s Hourglass OK????]
[@LPL this really isn’t him! It’s a fake!! How many times do I have to say it!!!]
[Has Soft gone stupid from all his climbing in the Korean server?]
[Damn, it’s like he’s never won before?!]
[He’s become a diehard point grubber.]
Fighting Tiger’s base was finally destroyed by Jian Rong, and TTC successfully won the semifinals with a score of 3:1.
After shaking hands and exchanging bows, the moment Jian Rong went backstage, he saw Lu Boyuan leaning against the wall next to the door, waiting.
There was a cameraman at Lu Boyuan’s side as well, a staff member from their team. They were in charge of filming raw footage to be edited into a documentary later.
“Ge! We won!!!” Xiao Bai said excitedly.
Lu Boyuan nodded. “Mn, you guys played pretty well.”
Xiao Bai: “Did you see that last engage of mine? Wasn’t it super awesome? Qian-ge’s freaking treasured blade never becomes dull…”
Jian Rong couldn’t interject a single word, and the cameraman was also nearby. As a result, he had no choice but to walk sullenly next to Lu Boyuan, chewing unhappily on the gum in his mouth and pretending that it was Xiao Bai.
Xiao Bai: “And in the second game, P-baby’s flash, net toss, and headshot…”
Headshot my ass.
I’ll headshot you.
Xiao Bai: “Of course, I feel like there weren’t any problems with my Leona that round at all. With me there, they still dared to think about touching P-baby? They’re dreaming…”
Lu Boyuan listened to Xiao Bai quietly as he cast a glance at the person next to him from the corner of his eye. “Did you drink all the coffee?”
Jian Rong stared blankly for two seconds before he realized that Lu Boyuan was talking to him. “No, there’s still half of it left.”
Right as he said that, Lu Boyuan took the thermos from Jian Rong’s hand. In front of their other three teammates and the camera, he very naturally twisted open the top and took a sip from it.
After he was done, he put the lid back on and said to the dumbfounded Xiao Bai, “You can continue.”
Yan: Happy birthday to God Lu ❤ sharing some more weibo fanart for the occasion! (these past two chapters were so long and full of gaming content 囧 I hope it sorta makes sense)