Thanks to Somebody for the Ko-fi!
Though the broadcast had started, the match coverage hadn’t officially begun yet. The videos played in the beginning were meant to heat up the audience and test the stream.
As a result, a situation would frequently occur where several videos were repeated over and over.
[Stop playing ads, replay the trash talk video, Dad wants to hear it again.]
[My girlfriend sent me a text saying her parents aren’t home tonight. I told her to either sleep early or find some other crap to do, don’t bother me while I’m looping the trash talk segment. Bros~ am I doing it right?]
[The viewer count for the commercial segment is way higher than it’s been in the past… I suggest that today’s advertisers all pay Soft.]
[It’s here it’s here! The fourth replay is here, bros~!]
“They’re still replaying it!” In the break room, the assistant coach was deeply concerned. “This director must be a PUD fan, right? They want to replay it more times so they can add fuel to the fire over at the LPL? What if in a bit the competition ban notice comes in while the team is competing…”
The pro players recorded this segment alone. At the time, everyone was busy backstage doing the players’ makeup or preparing for the match. On top of that, time was tight, so the footage was taken away to be edited as soon as they were done recording it. Apart from the staff members in charge of filming and the respective lane opponent, nobody knew what was said in the trash talk segment.
Just like the water friends spamming question marks in the barrage, this was also their first time hearing Jian Rong say all that.
Ding-ge sat on the sofa, as steady as a mountain.
He had weathered through too many storms. Something like “team member flaming someone” was already ranked at the very bottom of his worries in his mind.
“It’s fine.” Ding-ge stuffed a chunk of watermelon into his mouth. “This has all been inspected beforehand. If he really couldn’t say it, the person in charge wouldn’t have dared to release this clip.”
Rish’s comments from last night had been cursed to the point that it got on the hot search. Anyone who even slightly followed the esports circle would’ve seen it.
Naturally, the LPL’s management had also seen it.
Previously, HT’s ridicule towards the LPL had always occurred outside of the domestic web, so they had no way of controlling it. But now that group of dumbasses had already started bullying them right in their own territory; as if the LPL’s management could endure it?
Did HT really think the LPL didn’t have a temper?
If this had taken place a few years ago, pro players from both leagues would’ve most likely passionately laned against each other 800 times by now.
However, things were different now. The LPL had already become commercialized, and nobody wanted to destroy their own reputation or damage their team’s market value. They especially didn’t want to be penalized because of something like this.
Ding-ge sighed and thought, The last part of that trash talk segment was worded so well. If only this brave soul wasn’t our mid laner, that would’ve been even better.
“You’re allowed to say that in the trash talk segment?” Xiao Bai was stunned. “I’ve learned something new…”
Before he could finish his sentence, Ding-ge flicked him on the forehead. “A person in his twenties is still in his rebellious phase? You just like learning from bad students?”
The “bad student” didn’t even bother looking up when he heard Ding-ge’s criticism of him. He kept his mouth closed as he chewed on the piece of gum that Lu Boyuan had just handed him.
Upon hearing that trash talk segment, Lu Boyuan wasn’t actually particularly surprised either.
Once the trash talk finished replaying for the fourth time, the broadcast finally switched over to the commentators.
Lu Boyuan turned his head and asked, “Didn’t you manage to restrain yourself last night?”
Jian Rong blew a bubble before he punctured it with his teeth and sucked it back into his mouth. He said somewhat tonelessly, “After I slept on it, I got angrier the more that I thought about it.”
At that moment, in other people’s eyes, Jian Rong was precisely just a belligerent teenager who had an irritable temper and shouldn’t be messed with.
Lu Boyuan resisted the urge to furiously ruffle his hair and slipped his hands into his pockets.
A staff member dropped by and notified them that they were going on stage in ten minutes.
As usual, Lu Boyuan took out his phone. He was about to turn it off when a call suddenly came in.
He glanced at the caller ID and hesitated briefly before he still ended up answering it. “Mom.”
Jian Rong jolted and couldn’t help but look at him.
Mama Lu said gently, “Boyuan, did you eat dinner yet?”
Papa Lu’s voice sounded in the background—“He’s just dating, that’s all, what’s the fuss about? Why do we have to worry about something that’s barely even begun to take shape yet? If he can bring his partner home, let’s talk about it then!”
Mama Lu looked back and asked, “Can you quietly go and play your chess?”
Lu Boyuan understood what was going on now, and he lowered his gaze slightly to meet Jian Rong’s as a hint of a smile appeared on his lips. “Mom, I’m about to compete. We can talk about this later.”
“I know. I just opened the match broadcast website, but I thought you were free since you weren’t on stage yet.” Mama Lu responded, “Go ahead then. Actually, it isn’t really too urgent, it’s just your Auntie Gu’s daughter said that there were rumors all over the internet about how you have a partner now…”
Lu Boyuan said, “I do have one.”
After hanging up, Lu Boyuan asked, amused, “Eavesdropping?”
Jian Rong was currently glaring at Xiao Bai, who was squawking and shouting nearby, creating unnecessary noise. Upon hearing that, he turned his head back around and said unhappily, “It’s too loud, I didn’t hear anything.”
Ding-ge confirmed that everyone was in good physical condition before he beckoned to them, indicating for them to go on stage.
The stadium for the finals was bigger than all the previous stadiums. When Jian Rong walked on stage, he was nearly blinded by the lights.
In this kind of situation, apart from his teammates’ backs and the equipment on the stage, he couldn’t see anything else.
But the audience’s cheers were very distinct. Both teams’ fans were extremely harmonious tonight, and they had arranged it so that they each took turns shouting.
Amidst the uniform and organized exchange of “good luck PUD” and “TTC must win,” a piercing female voice rose above the others from the front row—
“Dumbass good luck! Go to Korea and bury Rish!!!”
Right as the entire stadium was roaring with laughter, an astonishing scene occurred.
On the stadium’s big screen TV and the broadcast, the little bluenette had just sat down with his water bottle and was in the middle of adjusting his peripherals as usual. He hadn’t put on his headphones yet, and he suddenly lifted his hand before he did a thumbs-up towards the camera directed at him.
Although he didn’t say a single word, nor did he even glance at the camera, everyone seemed to hear his reply based off of this gesture alone.
His teammates next to him also witnessed this move.
Upon hearing the wave-like screams, Ding-ge couldn’t help but sigh—some people were simply born to play competitively, in terms of both skill and personality.
By putting someone like Jian Rong on stage, the viewing pleasure of the match was already infinitely higher before anything else even began.
Xiao Bai was extremely envious, and he asked in their team voice chat, “Can you take back the gesture that you just did? Let me stir things up this time.”
“I suddenly remembered something.” Yuan Qian sucked in a breath through his teeth. “Jian Rong, did Savior really teach you how to say the things you said in the trash talk segment?”
Jian Rong: “No.”
Pine said, “Savior probably didn’t understand most of it.”
Xiao Bai: “Hahahaha I think so too, then once he left and asked a teammate to translate for him, he must’ve been scared to death—”
Yuan Qian also laughed. “But if you wanna learn Korean, why don’t you ask Captain?”
Right as Jian Rong was about to say that he was only intending to flame people and didn’t genuinely want to learn it, he heard Lu Boyuan say mildly, “He probably thinks that I’m not good at teaching.”
Yuan Qian asked, “How does he know you’re not good at it when you’ve never even taught him before? Jian Rong, pick up a few phrases from him these next few days, it’ll come in handy once we go to Korea.”
Lu Boyuan said, “I’ve taught him other things.”
Startled, Jian Rong asked subconsciously, “When did you teach me…”
The corners of Lu Boyuan’s mouth lifted ever so slightly. “The night of the semifinals.”
Those five words nailed Jian Rong directly to his chair.
“So hardworking? You still have the energy to learn that kind of thing after a match?” Yuan Qian didn’t understand what Lu Boyuan really meant, and he said, amazed, “What’d he teach you? Actually, I know a few phrases in Korean too, things like ssibal, pabo1…”
“He taught me…” Jian Rong was lacking in confidence, and he said vaguely, “Just those two phrases.”
Lu Boyuan chuckled before he indicated that he was ready to the referee who came up to check their equipment.
After that surge of enthusiasm passed, Xiao Bai abruptly thought of something. “Wait a minute, then what happens if we lose to HT at MSI? Should we tell Fu-ge to create an underground base and we’ll live in a fissure?”
You only realized that now?
Ding-ge rolled his eyes so hard they almost flew out of the arena. “Can you guys wake up a little? You’re competing in the spring season finals right now, it’s not even guaranteed that you all are going to Korea yet!”
“Damn.” Yuan Qian straightened up and rotated his wrists to relax them. “We have to win today, or else I won’t have the guts to stream again for the rest of my life—”
Xiao Bai: “You’re still gonna stream? You might as well stream your retirement.”
Pine analyzed calmly, “We have all our starters this time, but they’re missing their starting jungler. If we still lose, we should just retire and go farm instead.”
Jian Rong said, “Don’t worry. I’m the one who said it, so I’ll take responsibility if we lose.”
Ding-ge asked curiously, “How will you take responsibility?”
“I’ll post a long Weibo flaming them.” Jian Rong said, unconcerned, “That way, they’ll all come to insult me.”
Yuan Qian laughed first before he said, “Enough with that ‘I’ll take responsibility’ nonsense… we’re all one team, so if anything happens, we’ll definitely share the burden.”
“That’s right! If there are hardships, we’ll suffer together, but if there are blessings, I’ll enjoy it alone.” Xiao Bai muttered, “Also, I’ve disliked Rish for a long time now. After this match, I’m gonna steal one of Doufu’s team uniforms, and then when I get to Korea, I’m gonna cover Rish’s face with it and trap him in the bathroom to beat him up!”
Pine said coldly, “The voice chat recording has already started.”
Xiao Bai: “I’m sorry monitoring gege, if you put this part on the Mic Check, I’m done for. Out of the kindness of your heart, do a good deed and help your little brother out here—”
With a thunk, they entered the pick/ban phase, and the first game of the spring season finals officially began.
Lu Boyuan withdrew his smile and said, “Get ready. Let’s play well today and win as we please.”
After a season of competing, both teams were very familiar with each other’s commonly used strategies. They didn’t waste any time on the banning phase.
PUD’s first three ban spots were given straight to LeBlanc, Aphelios, and Lee Sin. Ding-ge also immediately blocked the champions PUD excelled at: Orianna, Volibear, and Renekton.
PUD chose the blue side this game, so they had first pick.
Right off the bat, PUD went for a jungle champion, Graves.
“I knew it.” Ding-ge narrowed his eyes. Standing next to Lu Boyuan, he said, “Tuotuo’s champion pool is more or less the same as yours, and he also really likes playing carry junglers.”
“He’s probably another little fan of my ge.” Xiao Bai laughed. “After all, the second Road.”
Jian Rong said frostily, “There is no second version of him.”
Ding-ge solicited Lu Boyuan’s opinion. “What do you want to play?”
Lu Boyuan said, “XIU sent me a text before the match.”
Jian Rong furrowed his brows, displeased. “He’s still harassing you? What did he say.”
Lu Boyuan chuckled. “He said… either I should lose, or I should help him show this jungler, who’s been wanting to replace him as a starter this entire time, just how cruel the LPL is.”
Commentator A: “Okay, the support ratings for both of our teams have already come out! TTC’s support rating is… 82%?!”
Usually when two strong teams from the same pro league clashed, the team with the higher support rating would have a rating between 60-70%.
Commentator B: “That’s normal, considering Soft’s fierce plays during the trash talk segment. Next up, let’s see what role TTC will use their second pick for—Nidalee! Jungler! TTC actually pulled out a carry jungler as well??”
“Is that so surprising? Wasn’t Road born from playing burst junglers? As far as I can remember, nobody’s dared to hedge their carry jungler against Road yet this season.” Commentator C laughed. “What Road means here is—let me teach this LPL newcomer how to play a carry jungler.”
Following that, TTC locked in Thresh support and Kog’Maw ADC in quick succession.
Commentator A was puzzled. “I’m a little confused by TTC’s team comp? Are they going for 3C? Then wouldn’t Qian-ge have a bit too much pressure on him?”
The 3C team composition was also known as the three carry team comp. Its unique characteristic was that it dealt an extremely impressive amount of damage during team fights; a single fully developed lane could deal enough DPS all on its own.
However, the disadvantage was also very obvious—it lacked tanks and CC, and having too many glass cannons made it easy to potentially feed.
After Yuan Qian selected Sion, the commentators were nearly certain that TTC was going for a 3C team composition. As a result, they started analyzing the situation—
“Actually, I feel like it isn’t a great idea to use a three carry team comp against PUD. After all, PUD in itself already has solid macro. Although XIU isn’t here, 98k’s support top laner is still extremely effective in team fights.”
“That’s right. What’s more, 98k picked Ornn this round. If he farms well, he’ll be at the front the entire time in late game, which will make TTC very uncomfortable.”
“Savior’s Syndra also has more than enough CC, so it all boils down to what champion Soft will pick. To tell the truth, I’m really afraid that he’ll pull out a Yasuo…”
The commentators’ voices abruptly cut off.
They watched as a little smiling witch’s face appeared in TTC’s fifth slot.
TTC’s mid lane champion finally appeared—Lulu, the Fae Sorceress.
Lulu was a support champion. Three out of her four abilities healed, shielded, or sped up her teammates, and she was full of healer attributes. Her character design was short, small, and cute; Lulu frequently occupied one of the top three spots in female players’ hearts.
Of course, her shield skill dealt damage to an enemy, her movement boost skill silenced enemies, and the magic bolts fired during her Q were also quite damaging—this allowed her to simultaneously be a protective-style mid laner, which occasionally surfaced in competitive play. Typically, such a Lulu was used to protect the ADC, top laner, or jungler.
The sole objective of this champion in the mid lane was to muddle along timidly and wait for the late game.
With the shield, movement boost, and ult, as long as you were careful enough, enemies wouldn’t be able to gank or solo kill you.
But at the same time, it was very difficult for you to be more than the tiniest sliver of a threat to your lane opponent…
Logically speaking, it wasn’t strange for a support mid laner like her to appear in competitive play. For example, Fighting Tiger’s Da Niu often took her out for a stroll, but—
Commentator A: “Soft picked support Lulu???!”
Commentator B: “Wait a second, I’m quite curious—does he know that this champion can shield?”
“I feel like he doesn’t.” Commentator C pushed up his glasses and analyzed calmly, “He played Lulu once when he was duo queuing with Pine. In forty-seven minutes, he only gave Pine three shields… but it’s fine. I trust that tonight, burst damage Lulu is about to appear in front of everyone’s eyes. May all the female players sit tight and get ready to welcome an all new powerful playstyle for your daughter Lulu—”
Naturally, burst damage Lulu didn’t exist.
The game began. In the first five minutes, Soft’s Lulu single-mindedly cleared minions and carefully positioned herself to avoid Syndra’s skills. The mid lane was peaceful and undisturbed, and nothing happened.
Commentator A: “Ah, I’m not used to this at all.”
Commentator B: “I think the director isn’t used to it either. They keep cutting the camera back to show us the two of them clearing minions.”
Commentator C didn’t waver. “No, it’s definitely not this simple. I’m sure that Soft’s internal capability for violence is about to erupt…”
He didn’t finish his sentence.
Because as Soft was getting ready to recall to base after clearing his minions, he let the animation progress for two seconds before he canceled it himself. Immediately after, the adorable Lulu lightly lifted up her magic staff—
And gave Road, who was passing by at full health, a “brimming with love” movement boost + shield online dating combo meal.
- Ssibal = fuck, pabo = idiot ^