Bonus Ko-fi chapter 5/6~
After watching Jian Rong return to the practice room, Ding-ge made a cup of Ovaltine for himself before closing the door to the break room.
“There’s another thing.” Ding-ge massaged his forehead. “Someone from the legal department came over, and the penalty fee they calculated is quite high. The LPL’s approach to this matter is unyielding, so Kan probably won’t even be able to stream in the future. Once the announcement is made… he’ll be as good as finished.”
Matchfixing was extremely malicious behavior. When everyone first found out, they seethed with anger, and Xiao Bai and Yuan Qian itched to drag Kan back from the LPL and give him a beating. But once more time passed, everyone inevitably couldn’t help but recall that period when they all struggled, ate instant noodles, and fought through small competitions together.
During Kan’s early years in the team, he was a very enthusiastic and sincere person. He left home when he was quite young to start working for his family, and he persevered from esports’ unpopular phase all the way until now.
Because he had been in the team for a long time, everyone in the team more or less had received his help.
Later on, the esports industry grew more and more superficial, and the new replaced the old more and more quickly. Endorsements and signing fees in the upper millions easily led many people astray.
Kan didn’t have enough willpower, and regretfully ended up on the wrong path.
Ding-ge rubbed his eyes and said resentfully, “Originally, I was planning to have him transition to behind the scenes. Even though a coach’s salary isn’t as high as a player’s, at the very least it’s still a decent job… never mind. His luggage is all packed already, and the car is about to arrive at the base. I booked an airplane ticket back to his hometown for him.”
Lu Boyuan lowered his eyes and gave a somewhat indifferent noise of agreement.
“That’s all, I just wanted to be transparent with you, since you have an interview in a few days. At that time, how to respond if you’re asked about this… you can decide by yourself.” Ding-ge glanced at the time. “The car is going to get here soon, I’ll go out and take care of it.”
Lu Boyuan nodded and put down his cup before he remembered something. “What team is this afternoon’s practice match scheduled with?”
“MFG.” Ding-ge said, “Their coach has been trying to schedule a match with me for a long time, it just happened to work out this time.”
As one of the LPL’s powerhouse teams, TTC would receive numerous practice match invitations every week. Most of the teams who came looking for them were of average or above strength. Teams who didn’t have good scores firstly didn’t have a way in to schedule practice matches, and secondly, they knew that they weren’t powerful enough. Never mind if they won or not, they might even ultimately shatter their own players’ mental fortitude by accident.
Although MFG got no further than the top sixteen in this year’s World Championship, their overall strength had already risen a lot, so they were perfect for practicing with a newcomer.
Lu Boyuan nodded. “Got it.”
Not long after Jian Rong went back to the practice room, someone pushed open the practice room door.
Kan stood outside the door and didn’t enter, holding his luggage. He licked his lips a few times before he finally said, “I’m leaving now. I’m sorry.”
Before he came, Xiao Bai was in the middle of duo queueing with Pine and farming League Points. Xiao Bai’s cries and Pine’s disdainful tongue clicks filled the entire room.
The moment he spoke, the two of them instantly quieted down.
They didn’t look back, nor did they stop playing the game, as if they didn’t see the person standing in the doorway at all.
Jian Rong wasn’t used to this kind of situation, and he silently turned up his game sound volume.
Kan awkwardly stood there for two minutes before he clenched his teeth and turned to leave.
“Travel safely.” In the end, Yuan Qian’s heart softened, and he softly said that one line.
Immediately, Kan’s tears fell, and he nodded a few times dazedly. “Okay.”
Because of what happened with Kan, a few members’ spirits were low all the way up until the practice match.
“What’s up with you all? A passerby would think that the team’s about to dissolve after this match,” Ding-ge asked, frowning.
“It’s nothing.” Yuan Qian said, “I just didn’t sleep well during my midday nap.”
Xiao Bai said, dispirited, “Me too.”
Did the concept of a midday nap even exist in the world of gaming youths?
“Play seriously.” Lu Boyuan slipped on his headphones. “This is part of Soft’s tryouts.”
Jian Rong startled and opened his mouth to say that it didn’t matter, it was fine as long as he himself played well.
But Xiao Bai, who was sitting next to him, suddenly straightened up and asked, “Ding-ge, how should we play this match?”
Ding-ge lifted an eyebrow. “It’s tryouts, I’m not going to voice any suggestions. You guys do what you want.”
“Then, Soft, what kind of playstyle are you used to?” Yuan Qian asked. “You like to play assassins, right? I’ll choose a tankier, engager champ then.”
“…it’s alright.” Jian Rong pursed his lips. “You guys play according to your own rhythm, you don’t need to worry about me.”
As soon as they entered the custom lobby, MFG’s members took the initiative to interact with them before the game officially began.
[MFG-Kongkong: Big brothers, good afternoon]
[TTC ་ Bye: As long as you don’t come 4v2 me later in the bot lane, then you can be my good little brother]
[MFG-Kongkong: Alrighty. Bai-ge, who’s your mid laner ah?]
Jian Rong was on his probationary period’s side account.
[TTC ་ Bye: Guess]
“Stop interacting with them.” MFG’s coach said, “Their team hasn’t even posted an official announcement yet, why would they possibly tell you?”
Kongkong said, “I’m just curious. Look, Bai-ge told me to guess, which means this mid laner is definitely someone I also know.”
“The esports circle is only so big, it’s not like you only know a few people?” The coach paused and said, “If you’re really that curious, you’ll find out in a bit when you fight against him.”
The practice match soon began.
During the ban and pick phase, Yuan Qian asked, “Soft, are there any champions you’re particularly afraid of?”
Jian Rong didn’t even think about it. “Nope.”
Yuan Qian: “…okay.”
From the get-go, MFG banned Lu Boyuan’s commonly played Lee Sin and Camille.
“Even banning Camille…” Xiao Bai lifted a brow. “Ge, if you play a Teemo jungle one day, will Teemo also be sent off into the ban list?”
Teemo could be considered one of LoL’s most unique champions. He looked adorable, his skills were weak, and he was ardently adored by a multitude of female players.
If this champion was chosen in Platinum and up ranked games, then the player would have to prepare to be insulted by their teammates. Since Teemo was lacking in every aspect, he had never stepped into LoL’s competitive arena before.
Lu Boyuan laughed. “That wouldn’t happen.”
On the other side, Kongkong snatched up LeBlanc first. Jian Rong swept a quick look over the team composition before he unhesitatingly picked Orianna.
“??” Xiao Bai said, shocked, “You even know how to play Orianna?”
Orianna was a classic example of a farming, team fighting champion, and she was known as a late game queen. In the early game, this champion was just mindless waveclear waveclear waveclear, and Xiao Bai had never seen Jian Rong play her before during a livestream.
“I also know how to play Teemo.” Jian Rong asked, “Do you want to see?”
Xiao Bai shut his mouth.
Yuan Qian said, “Captain, assist me more in this round. MFG’s top lane has a huge gap, if you come we can easily get a kill.”
Hearing that, Jian Rong subconsciously typed in the chat the words that he said the most often when playing ranked.
[asdsdfz: No need to assist mid]
The team chat quieted for a few seconds.
[TTC ་ Bye: Aren’t we using voice chat?]
Jian Rong: “…sorry, habit.”
[TTC ་ Road: Okay.]
Jian Rong: “…”
After entering the game, both sides entered their respective lanes.
Everyone thought that Jian Rong picked Orianna so that he could delay to late game and team fight, but unexpectedly, when the match just hit six minutes—
Jian Rong took LeBlanc’s head and got the first kill of the game.
Everyone was startled after they saw the kill notification, and they couldn’t help but open the match stats page to repeatedly confirm it.
It was Orianna who killed LeBlanc, for sure…
“You’re playing LeBlanc, and you got solo killed by Orianna at level 5???” MFG’s top laner exclaimed.
Kongkong hadn’t expected it either.
LeBlanc was known for being agile, and her blink skill could be recast with hardly any cooldown. Nobody expected Orianna to toss out her spells even faster, positioned very incredibly as well. Quite a few times, he even started suspecting that he was the one walking into the other person’s skills…
The most unbelievable thing was that the other person was actually able to deal damage while simultaneously avoiding LeBlanc’s CC chain.
Kongkong retrospectively realized—TTC’s new mid laner hadn’t picked Orianna to team fight at all. Instead, it was because he believed that he could deal with Kongkong’s LeBlanc even if he used Orianna.
“Amazing,” Yuan Qian complimented without holding back at all. He then said, “But you have to be a little careful now. The substitute jungler playing for MFG today has a bad habit…”
Jian Rong was buying equipment, and he gave an “en” without paying much attention or questioning further.
However, he soon found out.
Seven minutes into the game, the enemy jungler, Rek’Sai, jumped out from the side. Jian Rong immediately used a flash to escape.
Nine minutes in, Rek’Sai drilled out of the ground again. Jian Rong used a Stopwatch to evade Kongkong’s damage and fled with low health.
Twelve minutes in, Jian Rong had just stepped onto the lane when the enemy mid laner, jungler, and support joined hands to tower dive and kill him. Before he died, he released a perfect combo, successfully taking the enemy jungler’s head.
In less than ten minutes, Jian Rong was ganked six times.
Upon returning to the respawn point, he took a deep breath before sullenly buying equipment.
[[All] TTC ་ Bye: How come your team is starting to practice so early?]
Lately, most teams were still on break, including TTC. They were just playing one practice match today, but they weren’t formally beginning to practice just yet.
Right after Xiao Bai sent that line, he heard someone ask in his headphones, “You can type in all chat during practice matches?”
“Generally, you can…” Xiao Bai only abruptly realized who was asking the question after he had already responded.
His eyes widened, and he promptly added, “But you—”
[[All] asdsdfz: Is the original account owner playing mid?]
[[All] TTC ་ Bye: …]
[[All] MFG-Kongkong: Ah?]
[[All] MFG-Kongkong: I’m the original account owner, what’s wrong 0.0]
[[All] asdsdfz: Nothing.]
[[All] asdsdfz: So attentively ganking mid, I even thought your club’s boss was the one using your account.]
Everyone in MFG: “…”
Originally, MFG’s jungler kept ganking mid with a sort of “if I can’t gank you then I’ll keep trying there’s no way I can’t kill you one time” peeved attitude.
Seeing the line in the chat, he couldn’t resist the provocation and ganked mid again. This time, Jian Rong had his flash, and the jungler couldn’t even touch him; to top it off, he also lost half his health.
[[All] asdsdfz: Don’t give up, you’ll definitely succeed next time!]
Everyone in MFG: “………”
[[All] asdsdfz: How about you call over your top laner and ADC too, and I’ll arrange a grand banquet for you all in the mid lane? Consider it as team building.]
Everyone in MFG: “………………”
His derisiveness: the nail in the coffin.
MFG’s top laner, who was on his way to the mid lane, asked carefully, “Uh, should I still come?”
Kongkong wrinkled his brows and hesitated briefly before he finally answered, “Come, your top lane is done for anyway, we might as well just push a tower first at mid.”
As a result, everyone in MFG except the ADC arrived at the mid lane and promptly tower dove to kill the other side.
The instant that they tossed out their skills, Jian Rong used his Zhonya’s Hourglass, which made him invulnerable to damage for 2.5 seconds, causing MFG’s three ults to disappear into the void.
MFG’s jungler was infuriated. “Just wait, once the Hourglass effect wears off, he’ll still have to die…”
As soon as he said that, the four of them abruptly had their game sight radius reduced—Lu Boyuan, controlling Graves, made it over just in time, and he tossed out a smoke canister right on top of them.
But Jian Rong was still in a very bad position, and it looked like he was going to die no matter what.
Jian Rong straightened up and was about to deal as much damage as he could before dying when he suddenly heard the sound of a flash, and Thresh’s lantern landed securely at his feet.
Thresh was the support champion that Xiao Bai was playing. He had a lantern skill that allowed a teammate to immediately dash over to Thresh’s location once they clicked on the lantern; it was an exceptionally good skill for escaping and chasing.
Jian Rong instinctively clicked on the lantern and, upon landing safely, he heard someone muttering in his headphones—
“The hell…” Xiao Bai mumbled. “Only their support knows how to gank? Treating me like I’m dead!”
Jian Rong successfully got away, and he said quietly, “Thanks.”
Xiao Bai: “No probl—what’d you say???”
Jian Rong clammed up and went silent.
He was about to re-enter the fight when he heard the sound of a game announcement—“Triple kill!”
While MFG’s jungler was frantically ganking mid, Lu Boyuan had completely taken over MFG’s jungle.
He consumed the resources of two jungles and also killed MFG’s top laner three times, inadvertently becoming the person with the highest damage in the match.
It reached the point where all Lu Boyuan had to do was casually fire his gun a few times before tossing out his ult, and he promptly got a triple kill.
Simultaneously, Pine solo killed the enemy ADC in the bot lane.
MFG’s defeat in the first practice match was already set in stone.
Kongkong angled his camera over to Orianna, who was currently clearing minions. “Coach… don’t you think this Orianna’s style… is just a tiny bit familiar?”
“It can’t be him.” The coach paused. “I’ve looked into him before, he almost never plays Orianna.”
“It’s not like this is your freaking average Orianna either!” Kongkong said, “What kind of Orianna would walk right up to LeBlanc’s face and deal damage—”
During the second practice match, Jian Rong successfully picked LeBlanc.
After rising to level 6, Jian Rong walked into MFG’s jungle without a single look back.
He was in the middle of contemplating which monster he should go camp out at when he saw his team’s jungler pass by him.
“Come here,” Lu Boyuan said.
With any hesitation, Jian Rong followed after him at once.
The two of them ganked and killed MFG’s jungler six times in the jungle, and they kept running away right after, so the only thing the rest of MFG saw when they rushed over was their own teammate’s dead body.
Jian Rong, who was excellent at holding grudges while playing games, glanced at his game score and silently subtracted one.
This jungler had ganked him seven times last game.
Just one more time, and they would be even.
MFG’s jungler today was a substitute, and it was as if Lu Boyuan could see his each and every movement. Finally, he typed in the all chat, wanting to cry but lacking the tears: [Lu-ge, it’s been six times. I haven’t even killed any valuable monsters yet, it can’t be worth it…]
While recalling to base, Jian Rong took a peek from his peripheral vision and saw Lu Boyuan, who was sitting next to him, suddenly click on the chat and leisurely type something.
[[All] TTC ་ Road: Mn]
MFG’s jungler had just released a breath of air when—
[[All] TTC ་ Road: But you ganked our mid laner seven times in the last game]
Yan: Hehe I always like it in gaming novels when one person gets revenge for the other person’s deaths/injustice :))