Thank you to Ringo for the Ko-fi!
TTC’s next match was one week later. Winning one regular season match wasn’t some big occasion worth celebrating, so the next day Ding-ge came to the base and woke everyone up to go downstairs and review yesterday’s game.
This was Jian Rong’s first time attending a real match review meeting. Even though they also held reviews for practice matches, it was always a little informal because those weren’t actual competitions.
“Seventeen minutes in, right here.” Ding-ge paused the game footage and pointed at the Zed on the screen, asking Jian Rong, “This is only seventeen freaking minutes in! You’re almost all the way at their bot lane second turret, how did that happen? You want to push their base without even pushing the first tower??”
Before Jian Rong could say anything, he was cut off by Ding-ge again. “I know that you wanted to come here and camp their bot lane, but could you guarantee they had no sight of you? Or was it that you simply didn’t care whether you could escape or not, you only wanted to kill their ADC? Did you know that you had gold on you at that time?”
Xiao Bai cleared his throat and peeked at Jian Rong, afraid that he would explode with an “are you teaching me how to play this game?”.
But Jian Rong didn’t.
Both of his hands rested on top of the table, and he quietly waited for the lecturing to finish before he said, “My fault.”
So well-behaved that even Ding-ge was momentarily startled.
“…it’s the same problem that you have in practice matches, you’re too independent. You can play like that against Squid, but what about against Fighting Tiger? Or PUD? Or at Worlds in the future? You’ve also watched clips from the last season before, so you know how tacit the coordination is for strong teams. The mid-late game almost always uses a team fight strategy. It’s very easy for them to find a gap with your one-man combat habit. Continue to improve, I will start paying attention to this habit of yours beginning from the next practice match.”
Ding-ge pressed play again. The next scene was of Jian Rong successfully ganking Squid’s bot lane duo from the brush and instakilling Doufu in a few seconds, not giving any face to the enemy support at all.
He should scold for the parts that needed to be scolded, but he couldn’t forget to give praise where it was due either. Ding-ge nodded. “But your gameplay is top-notch. Keep maintaining this kind of state.”
When reviewing, Ding-ge’s habit was to meticulously comb through the recording section by section, pointing out anyone who made a mistake. Half an hour later, everyone else besides Lu Boyuan had been scolded a few times.
Jian Rong was the MVP, but he was also the one who was lectured the most.
After the first game ended, Ding-ge took a big gulp of his water to moisten his throat. He looked at Lu Boyuan and said, “This match review meeting… makes me feel like I’ve returned to that one meeting five years ago.”
At that, Lu Boyuan chuckled but didn’t say anything.
Jian Rong asked, “What happened five years ago?”
“Five years ago…” Ding-ge paused and suddenly asked, “Aren’t you one of his long-time fans?”
Lu Boyuan tilted his head and looked over, only to see Jian Rong open his mouth and give a vague, low “ah” after a long pause.
“I remember that hat of yours now,” Ding-ge said. “It’s from the first year Xiao Lu joined the team, a piece of merch that the team was selling at the venue during the LDL finals, right?”
Lu Boyuan lifted an eyebrow and recalled it.
When they were in the LDL, they didn’t really have a lot of fans yet; in fact, hardly anyone knew about them, so during that LDL season, they only made merch for the finals. He did have a vague impression of the merch being hats.
Jian Rong tugged at his hair and moved his lips, about to say something.
“So young.” Lu Boyuan’s gaze landed on the top of his head. “You started playing the game when you were twelve or thirteen?”
Jian Rong let out an “en.” “My dad played. I learned after watching him play a lot.”
“If you’ve been watching him compete since the LDL, do you not know how he played at the beginning?” Ding-ge put down his cup. “He was also a loner. At that time, the esports industry wasn’t as developed, and there weren’t any coaches or data analysts like there are now… it was all dependent on individual strength. Either he ganked the others, or they teamed up to countergank him. Later, when he entered the LPL, he was taught how to behave properly after he lost consecutively through the entire regular season and almost couldn’t enter the playoffs. During that time, we had daily review meetings in the team, and I ate throat lozenges like they were meals…”
Jian Rong raised his chin, listening even more closely than he had just then during the match review.
“Enough.” Lu Boyuan interrupted him. “If we’re going to review, then do it properly. There’s no need to suddenly reminisce about the past.”
“I remember that the merch was selling for pretty cheap back then? At the manufacturing cost, so we could pull in fans.” Xiao Bai knocked Jian Rong’s elbow. “Did you buy my merch?”
Jian Rong contemplated for a few seconds and frowned. “You were also in the team at that time?”
It was a genuine question, but it was even more hurtful than mockery.
Xiao Bai smiled and shut up.
After the review meeting ended, Ding-ge closed the recording and said to Jian Rong, “Last thing. Regarding you telling someone to mail you their head in the post-match interview… I’ve discussed it with the LPL.”
Jian Rong nodded. “Do I send the penalty money to the same bank account as before?”
“…there’s no need for you to be so proficient about it.” Ding-ge was speechless. “There’s no penalty fee this time. Trash talking is allowed in the first place, they’ve even set up a pre-match trash talking segment on their side anyway. But in the end, since what you said wasn’t anything good, you still have to show the appropriate attitude. After the discussion, we arrived at two punishments. One, you have to go and apologize to that fan on Weibo; two, you have to go and apologize to Doufu…”
“Why apologize to him?” Lu Boyuan said coolly. “Did Jian Rong curse him out?”
Nobody expected him to speak, and they were all startled.
“It’s fine, it’s just an apology.” Jian Rong said indifferently, “Two words, that’s all. It’s not like I’m sincere.”
Lu Boyuan didn’t look at him. He only asked Ding-ge, “Who did you discuss this with in the LPL?”
“…no, it’s not really an apology either, let me finish.” Ding-ge said, “They just want him to go and interact with Doufu once. Squid will also let Doufu know about this. The most important thing is to put on a show for the sake of the audience and to reflect the friendship between the big teams.”
Lu Boyuan’s brows were still furrowed, but in the end he didn’t speak again.
Jian Rong hesitated for a moment. “Interact… that doesn’t mean hugging or shaking hands or something, right?”
“It’s not that excessive.” Ding-ge glanced at his little notebook. “All you have to do is go to his livestream room and send some gifts before exchanging some dialogue with him. He’s streaming at seven tonight. Since you got MVP at the last match, you can submit a reimbursement form for the gift money this time.”
As a result, at seven that night, Jian Rong posted on Weibo.
[TTC ་ Soft: On the evening of January 12th, during the spring season’s regular post-match interview, I said something that was very inappropriate. Thus, I apologize to @Love Doufufu The Most. I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have exposed your Weibo ID on the stream, nor do I really want your honorable head. My deepest apologies.]
After posting that, Jian Rong logged into his main livestream account, which he hadn’t accessed in a long time, and loaded 20,000 yuan1 onto it.
When he entered Doufu’s stream, Doufu was in the middle of a game, a scowl on his face.
[Did you all see Soft’s Weibo? I’m shook 0.0]
[Oh dear~~ Does TTC not have any managers? How could they allow a member to post such a crude apology statement ah…]
[Doufufu is so handsome today too!]
This was Jian Rong’s first time seeing a barrage with this kind of style. Inside, he felt a little put off by it, but he was also a tiny bit envious.
If those dumbasses from his livestream room were half as gentle as these female fans, their father and son relationship wouldn’t be as bad as it was today.
Jian Rong was just about to send the gifts when he saw Doufu open a certain video that a friend sent over.
It was a clip from their match, and there was also a line of text above the video: [Spring Season Match #1, Mic Check].
Before Jian Rong could realize what this video was about, he heard his own voice—
“Nobody on the other team brought Exhaust, their ADC will take responsibility for this.
“This Draven glanced at me, he’s dead.
“Who gave him the #1 Draven title? The little third year middle schooler that lives downstairs from me plays better than he does, I recommend that Squid hire him immediately.”
Then it was Xiao Bai’s voice. “Why did you go gank Draven again… he doesn’t even dare to come out of the base anymore because you killed him so many times.”
“Once he chose Draven right in front of me, our relationship became one of enemies that cannot coexist at the same time.” Jian Rong declared, “On this map, me and him, there can only be one. If I allow him to survive for over three minutes, this game will be considered my loss.”
…it was actually the competition audio from that match.
Seeing Doufu’s face grow more and more green, Jian Rong thought, You’re the one who opened the video, you can’t blame it on me.
[………why is this person like this…]
[Is speaking like this also allowed? Can I report it to the LPL?]
[Wtf wtf wtf, how come I see Soft among the livestream’s spectators!!!!]
[I heard that my son is in this little crappy livestream room??]
[Report nmb2, controlling the sky, controlling the earth, you’re also gonna control what players said during a competition?]
[I’m here I’m here, has the little dumbass started flaming yet? I haven’t missed it have I?]
There were many fans who had followed Jian Rong’s main livestream account, and they would all get notified if he started a stream or if he entered someone else’s livestream room. In a few short minutes, many of his fans appeared in the livestream room.
[A bunch of low quality people came, room mod kick these trolls~~]
[If something’s wrong with your brain, then go get it treated. Has Dad insulted you or your Master Doufu? Paranoid about being insulted?]
They still had a practice match in a bit, so Jian Rong didn’t want to continue wasting time. He moved his mouse and sent a Sea of Stars gift.
This development was a bit unexpected, and all the water friends in the stream were startled. They then all started spamming question marks.
According to the script that Ding-ge had given him, first Jian Rong would send his gifts, and then Doufu would thank him for it. They would exchange a few more lines and that would be the end of it.
But Doufu only gave a sneer and started to chat with the barrage.
“Dinner? I ate it already. Ate some noodles… not tired, I just don’t have an appetite. Room mod, do your job, kick all the people insulting others or my fans.”
Jian Rong coldly watched him act pretentious.
A Sea of Stars was StarTV’s most expensive gift, and the special effects that covered the entire screen were extremely grandiose. It was impossible for Doufu not to have seen it.
This dumbass was purposefully pretending to be blind.
[Jian Rong what the hell are you doing??? Dad worries every day that you don’t have enough money to spend, but then you come and send gifts to this dumbass?]
[You can’t see such huge special effects? A blind person is playing competitively?]
[There’s something wrong with all of you, of course Doufu saw it~ he just doesn’t want to bother with a troll, that’s all.]
[Coming to admit defeat and apologize? Hahahaha]
[I just want to ask, do you fans feel embarrassed or not? Your master came to make amends and apologize, but Doufu doesn’t even appreciate it~!]
These comments made Doufu feel very cheerful.
The corners of his mouth curved up. He had just decided to leave Soft hanging for a while and let him lose all his face before putting on a pretence of reluctantly acknowledging him, when a platform notification suddenly popped up in the lower right corner of his screen—
[The streamer ‘TTC ་ Road’ that you are following is online.]
[The streamer ‘TTC ་ Road’ that you are following has entered your livestream room.]
Before Doufu could recollect his thoughts, a sentence jumped out in the barrage.
[TTC ་ Road: ?]
Doufu had attacked many professional players before with his teammates in private, except for Road.
It wasn’t that he didn’t dare to, but rather this person basically didn’t have any faults.
Road had been in the industry for five years and had countless anti-fans. But if one surveyed the entire LPL, no professional player would dare to call Road trash. His appearance and build were even more so the industry’s ceiling.
All of the LPL’s professional players followed Road’s livestream room; his status in the esports circle was evident from this alone.
For Road to come to his livestream room now, no matter what it wasn’t to come and see him stream.
Even though Doufu had a trashy mouth, he also knew which people he couldn’t afford to offend. He instantly sat up straight and said, “How come God Lu is here… oh, thank you, Soft, for the Sea of Stars. Thanks bro, I didn’t see it earlier.”
Jian Rong didn’t pay him any attention.
He stared blankly at Lu Boyuan’s ID for a few seconds before he couldn’t help but twist his head back.
Lu Boyuan was standing right behind him. One of his hands was inserted in his pocket, and the sound of the stream came from his phone. He lowered his eyes and asked, “Are you done gifting?”
“…no.” Jian Rong looked upwards at him. “Ding-ge told me to send two Sea of Stars.”
“Mn.” Disliking the noise, Lu Boyuan put his phone on mute. “Once you’re done, come to the practice room. Fighting Tiger is waiting.”
Seeing no response come from Soft, Doufu spoke again. “Where’s Soft? He left?”
[TTC ་ Soft sent you a Sea of Stars.]
Doufu smirked, satisfied. “Thanks bro, don’t waste your money…”
[TTC ་ Soft: Don’t mention it bro. I killed you so many times, so I feel quite apologetic.]
[TTC ་ Soft: You can just consider these gifts as compensation for that.]
[TTC ་ Soft: Is two enough? Originally I wanted to send you eight Sea of Stars, since I did kill you eight times, but I’m out of money. You don’t mind, right?]
Doufu’s face was ashen, and he thought, To hell with this team friendship.
- About $3,000 ^
- Abbreviation for a pretty offensive swear (ni ma bi – your mom’s a ___, you can fill in the blank) ^
Yan: Jian Rong is so good at face-slapping hahaha and more about Lu Boyuan and Jian Rong’s history together was revealed~
Wei: I edited and prepared the page for all of Chapter 37 instead of 36 without noticing anything was wrong… Zero awareness lmao