Thank you very much to Vera for the Ko-fi!
In the first place, TTC being spawn camped last year was a sore spot for Chinese LoL players. Now that someone had brought it up once again, everyone became extremely agitated, and they hated the fact that they couldn’t reach through the screen to grab Rish’s dog head.
Since it was late at night, not many celebrities bought topics on the hot search around this time. On top of that, this was the hour when gamers were the most active, so the incident quickly occupied quite a few spots on the hot search—
「Rish posts gif mocking TTC」 There was a vomiting emoji at the end of this topic.
「The online translator is so laggy」
「Master liked Rish’s gif」
「HT humiliates the LPL collectively」
The gamers used a translation website to convert everything they wanted to say into Korean and stayed up all night, waging a 300-round war against the Korean flamers.
[Only three of TTC’s starters were playing in that game. If all their starters were present, wouldn’t they knock out your teeth? Who the hell are you trying to mock here?]
[Korean netizen: A loss is a loss, it doesn’t matter who was playing. Is the LPL a sore loser?]
[A sore loser? What, did the competition organizers decide not to give you the trophy because they thought you guys were too despicable? Or did the LPL go back on their word and force you to participate in a rematch after losing? Do you not have a single damn idea how little this trophy is worth?]
[Korean netizen: In any case, HT was still the winner. If just posting a gif is enough to strike a nerve, then you all must have felt so sad when you lost the match.]
[We did feel pretty sad. It’s one thing to play against a bunch of dumbasses, but there was also a disgusting person matchfixing from inside the team. Truly fucking unlucky.]
[Hey, if your champion team is so amazing, why did they still come over here to stream and make money? Isn’t your league supposed to be the esports powerhouse? Do you not have money to invite your champion team to go stream?]
[Allegedly, it was also an exclusive contract. Once they signed it, they couldn’t stream in Korea anymore. You all can’t even get your own world champion to stay? What an impoverished professional league.]
[All the other Korean teams and pro players are pretty good, so why is your HT the only team that insists on being so full of themselves.]
[Korean netizen: You’re the ones who spent money to invite HT over, what are you even arguing about now?]
[Yeah, that’s right, our league has the money to do so, and we like getting dumbasses to send themselves right to us so we can curse them out. Do you have any other questions I can help answer?]
The result of an entire night of fighting was—
[Korean netizen: How do you report a Chinese person for using a VPN?]
At the crack of dawn, the capitalists began a new day of business, and the hot search topics related to HT were almost completely pushed down. Only two hashtags remained.
One was 「Rish posts gif mocking TTC」, while the other one was—
「Why is Soft still not awake」
The top trending post in this topic was: [#Why is Soft still not awake#, dammit I’m already tired from flaming, isn’t this Soft’s job? Can’t he wake up soon and get to work??]
Of course Soft was awake.
As a matter of fact, when this flame war first erupted, Jian Rong hadn’t gone to sleep yet. He was just so tired that he had almost closed his eyes in the shower, and he had collapsed immediately on the bed afterwards. He didn’t even have the energy to reply to his texts, let alone browse through Weibo.
Today at noon, right as he arrived at the practice room with Lu Boyuan, he heard Xiao Bai’s insults float out from inside the half-shut door.
Although Xiao Bai would also curse out strangers from time to time through the barrier of his computer screen, this was still the first time he sounded so stirred up about something. There were also quite a few phrases sprinkled throughout his swearing that had evidently escaped only because of how furious he was.
When Jian Rong pushed open the door, Xiao Bai instantly shut up, and everyone in the practice room looked at them in unison.
Chewing on his milk straw, Jian Rong stopped in place. “Whatcha looking at?”
Lu Boyuan sat down in front of his computer and turned it on before he reached out and turned Jian Rong’s computer on as well. Then he made the most of the ten seconds it took for the computer to turn on and closed his eyes to nap.
Upon seeing Jian Rong’s reaction, Xiao Bai blinked and pursed his lips. Finally, he asked, “Have you not checked Weibo?”
At that moment, Jian Rong swiftly recalled all the times he and Lu Boyuan had been in contact with each other these past few days.
Practice was too exhausting lately. It went late into the night too, so he hadn’t gone back to Lu Boyuan’s room.
They had shared several quick kisses in the practice room before when everyone else was gone, but the privacy of the practice room was fairly decent. There was no way someone could’ve seen them with the door closed.
After making a round through his memory, Jian Rong unfurrowed his brows. He carelessly pulled out his gaming chair and sat down lazily in it. “I haven’t, what’s up?”
Xiao Bai shot Ding-ge a look; he didn’t know if he was allowed to tell Jian Rong or not.
Ding-ge leaned against the long table placed behind the computers, arms crossed, with an unpleasant expression on his face.
If Jian Rong found out about this, he definitely wouldn’t be able to hold back—never mind Jian Rong, even Ding-ge himself had almost risen to the bait.
Rish’s post was being shared all across Weibo right now, so it was impossible to conceal it for long. Ding-ge drew in a few deep breaths before he gave a simple explanation of the incident.
The instant he finished talking, a burst of noise came from outside the door.
Everyone in TTC was used to their lifestyle back at the base, where they didn’t have a habit of completely closing the door. As a result, all they had to do was turn around to see what was happening outside.
In the hallway, a staff member was in the middle of leading HT’s members to their practice room—HT’s headquarters were located elsewhere, so they also had to stay in the same hotel as the other leagues’ pro players for the duration of MSI.
At the front of the line was HT’s mid laner, Master, a tall guy with a long face. Both of his hands were stuffed in his pockets, and he passed by without a single sideways glance.
The top laner and jungler followed after him, quietly discussing something together.
HT’s bot lane was at the very end.
Rish could be considered a newcomer. He wasn’t very old, and he sported a partial perm, along with a face covered in pimples. His eyes were so small that they could almost be overlooked entirely, and when he smiled, they narrowed directly into thin lines—
He was walking side by side with HT’s support. After he saw the letters “TTC” pasted to the cracked open door, he promptly peered inside the room.
And met Jian Rong’s eyes.
At first, Rish looked taken aback, but he quickly recovered. As he passed by the entrance to TTC’s practice room, he provocatively whistled a few times.
In that second, Jian Rong had already pummeled Rish 3,000 times in his head.
His morning grumpiness didn’t allow him to tolerate dumbasses. With an “either Rish dies today or HT is getting team wiped” expression on his face, Jian Rong shot up from his chair—
This sudden movement of his gave everyone else a scare.
Ding-ge: “Calm down…”
Xiao Bai: “Murder is a crime…”
Before Jian Rong could go anywhere, someone picked him up by the waist and carried him back to his original spot.
He was seething with rage, so when both of his feet left the ground without warning, he momentarily wasn’t able to adjust his expression.
Lu Boyuan placed him back down in his chair and said, “What are you trying to do?”
Jian Rong: “Solo.”
“You’re a pro player,” Lu Boyuan said mildly. “This hotel isn’t your solo battleground.”
Jian Rong stared at him silently for several seconds, still wearing an extremely dark expression.
A beat passed, and he averted his eyes. Then, he swiveled his chair back around to face his computer and clicked on the LoL game client.
Lu Boyuan ruffled Jian Rong’s hair before he turned his head and asked, “What time are we going to the arena this afternoon.”
The assistant coach immediately regained his composure. “We have to get there before two. We’re the first match, the opening fight, so we’ll have to leave in half an hour… Jian Rong, maybe you shouldn’t be starting a game? Just in case you can’t finish…”
“I can finish it.” Jian Rong expressionlessly chose Talon. “It’ll be over within twenty minutes.”
Half an hour later, TTC punctually boarded the coach bus that would be taking them to the arena.
“Fuck!” Xiao Bai’s curse suddenly rang out through the quiet bus. “This dumbass Rish freaking posted on Instagram again!!”
Yuan Qian frowned. “Hasn’t he had enough yet?”
Pine opened his eyes. “What did he say.”
Ding-ge said hastily, “We’re about to compete and you’re still on your phone?! Stop looking at it, what is there to see…”
“Read it out loud.” Lu Boyuan said.
“He said…” Xiao Bai paused briefly but read it aloud anyway. “‘The color blue is such an eyesore, though it’ll look really nice staying in the fountain.’”
Yuan Qian: “Dumbass.”
Ding-ge couldn’t stand it any longer and pulled out his phone. “I’m gonna ask the LCK right now if their league doesn’t control their pro players at all…”
Lu Boyuan: “No need.”
Lu Boyuan glanced at the person sitting next to him who was currently blowing bubbles with his gum, eyes narrowed. Unexpectedly, Lu Boyuan let out a soft laugh and said, “If they won’t take care of it, someone else will inevitably do it for them instead.”
MSI’s opening match soon kicked off. The first game consisted of TTC playing against Turkey’s LK3.
After a simple opening ceremony, the ten pro players each took their seats.
Even though this was only a group stage game, the domestic viewership for today’s match was extremely high because of the interregional war that had erupted earlier that morning, as well as the fact that none of TTC’s members had posted on their social media in almost a week.
Before the match began, all sorts of things were already flying across the barrage—
[Soft is awake, but Soft has become a coward.]
[Fucking bullshit! Even if everyone else in this entire world was a coward, my son would never freaking become one!!!]
[Maybe he’s already privately fought Rish over ten times.]
[Stop fantasizing, we would’ve heard about it by now if something really did happen… though it feels pretty bad, turning a blind eye to it is how the LPL’s teams have conventionally handled this sort of thing. After all, they can’t let their pro players be penalized while an international tournament is taking place.]
[What? Even this isn’t enough for him to start flaming? Has the dumbass been subdued by his career and capitalism?]
[They were the ones being spawn camped in the first place, what’s so bad about lying down and taking the mockery? It’s true that the LPL is trash.]
[To the above comment: Your bait worked, but you lost your dignity instead. Was it worth it?]
[Now I’m just worried that this incident will affect TTC’s performance… they really can’t lose this international tournament, or else it’ll be so damn shameful.]
[Me too. After that gif came out, who the hell could resist not being provoked…]
Actually, the water friends were right to be concerned. TTC had indeed been affected.
Rish’s gif essentially added a ten-stack enrage buff to each member. Every single lane played especially fiercely today—to the point where Turkey and North America’s teams started suspecting that they had somehow offended the people on this team.
Over the course of the games, the pro players from both teams unwittingly shared the same doubts—
Is this my jungle or Road’s?!
Isn’t TTC’s top laner supposed to be a support-style player? Why is he playing Irelia and Fiora?!
The bot lane duo tower diving at level 3 without their jungler, is this really happening?!
As well as—TTC’s mid laner is absolutely crazy!!!
For the two matches, Jian Rong pulled out LeBlanc and Zoe respectively.
During the laning phase, he was either killing someone or on his way to kill someone.
Peaceful laning? It didn’t exist. Once you’re in the lane, we have to fight; it’ll be my loss if I go back to base earlier than you.
It was so ruthless that the enemy jungler couldn’t put up with it any longer and had to come gank. But then, it turned out that Road was always one step behind this blasted mid laner.
Each match lasted for less than twenty-five minutes. TTC’s group stage was off to a good start, as they simply and beautifully seized two consecutive victories.
Needless to say, today’s MVP was given to the killing-frenzied Jian Rong.
Backstage, Lu Boyuan reached up and straightened Jian Rong’s collar for him. “Go ahead.”
Jian Rong let out an “en” and turned around, only to come face-to-face with Ding-ge.
At first, he thought that Ding-ge was going to warn him to watch his words, just like usual—even though he didn’t normally listen to him either.
Unexpectedly, Ding-ge merely patted him on the shoulder. “Don’t take too long, everyone’s hungry. Let’s hurry up and go back so we can eat.”
Since Korea was the hosting country, a Korean anchor was naturally in charge of the interview as well; they had also provided a translator on hand.
The anchor began with a few standard questions related to today’s matches, which Jian Rong answered concisely.
Soon after, the anchor asked, “Which team does Soft look forward to playing against the most?”
Jian Rong said, “HT.”
The anchor chuckled. His smile seemed to contain a tiny bit of arrogance and satisfaction, and he nodded. “Is it because HT is very strong?”
Jian Rong scoffed. “No.”
The anchor was startled. Right as he was about to continue his line of questioning, Jian Rong spoke again.
“I’ve just heard that there’s a member of HT who’s pretty trash on his own and relies on his teammates to carry him in games. However, he’s extremely good at barking once he’s off-stage… in other words, he’s the so-called dog that barks because of its master’s power… to tell the truth, I haven’t ever really seen this kind of dog before. That’s why I want to take advantage of this opportunity to properly meet him.”
The translator was Chinese. He pressed his lips together and restrained his laughter as he turned to translate what Jian Rong said for the anchor. In addition, he gave a detailed explanation of what “a dog barking because of its master’s power”1 meant.
The anchor was completely dumbfounded for five whole seconds.
Then, he said with a strained smile on his face, “Soft is really great at making jokes. In that case, do you currently have any strategies for facing HT?”
“Of course.” Jian Rong laughed. “They all say that you have to find out who a dog’s master is before you hit it… so I’ll take care of his master first, and we’ll see how long he can keep barking.”
- Someone who bullies/threatens others because they have someone powerful backing them ^
Yan: master… Master… B) #my son is never a coward#