Lu Boyuan’s hands rested on the keyboard, and he only typed something after a long pause.
[Invincible Q-Ge: Should’ve been.]
[Just Watch My Gameplay: Oh.]
[Just Watch My Gameplay: Then did he send the gifts by accident?]
[Just Watch My Gameplay: I can refund the money]
Lu Boyuan remembered what Xiao Bai said that day about Soft, roasting him for being greedy for money and reading out the ID of anyone who sent him gifts, no matter how offensive the ID was.
[Invincible Q-Ge: No]
Jian Rong had typed out another question, but when he glanced at the chatbox, he felt like he was just dithering around, so he restrained himself and deleted what he wrote.
[Just Watch My Gameplay: Can you hear voice chat]
In order to make it more convenient for players to communicate, LoL had an internal voice chat system. Lu Boyuan glanced over and saw that Soft’s microphone icon was currently flashing.
He changed to earphones, and as soon as he finished putting them on, he heard the sound of typing come from the other end, quite noisily.
[Invincible Q-Ge: I can]
“Is the sound too loud? I just finished streaming, and I’m too lazy to adjust the sound card,” Soft spoke up.
Lu Boyuan discovered that his voice sounded different when he was insulting someone versus when he was just chatting casually. When he was insulting someone, his voice had a provocative, mocking energy to it, while it was much more pleasant to listen to when he was talking normally.
[Invincible Q-Ge: No]
Jian Rong lifted an eyebrow. “You don’t have a mic?”
[Invincible Q-Ge: Broken, do you mind]
To Jian Rong, there wasn’t much difference between solo or duo queue. He turned on his microphone just because it was too much work to type, so it didn’t really matter if the other side could talk or not.
“I don’t.” Jian Rong said, “Let’s pick roles.”
Before entering the match, every player had to preselect two roles that they wanted to play to avoid conflicts arising between players over roles1.
Jian Rong hadn’t played much on his national server main account this season. Right now, his account was just barely at Diamond 3, so there was hardly any wait time when matchmaking, and they entered a game after only a few seconds.
Immediately upon entering the match was the ban phase2. Jian Rong didn’t ban any champions, directly choosing the none ban. That kind of behavior was just like saying “I fear no champions.”
He looked up, and saw that his teammate banned Zed.
You’re out there playing top, why ban my mid champ?
Jian Rong frowned and was about to ask when he saw the word written under the “Invincible Q-Ge” ID: jungler.
Jian Rong asked, “You’re not playing top lane?”
[Invincible Q-Ge: Got tired of it]
Jian Rong made an “oh” noise. A few seconds later, the banned champions from both teams were completely revealed.
Zed, Yasuo, LeBlanc, and Talon were all banned.
[Number One Feeder: #4 is Soft?]
Jian Rong shot a glance at the ID. Unfamiliar, didn’t recognize it.
[Just Watch My Gameplay: ?]
[Number One Feeder: All the champs you’re good at were banned. How about you switch roles with me, and you come play support?]
[Just Watch My Gameplay: There are more champs I’m good at than the total number of champs you’ve ever played]
[Number One Feeder: …]
Jian Rong was the last one to pick3, so while he was waiting, he switched screens and answered a message. By the time he returned, everyone else had already finished selecting their champions.
He glanced at the team composition before he chose Syndra.
[Number One Feeder: You’re using Syndra against Fizz? The enemy is gonna restrain you completely]
[Number One Feeder: You’ve played so many low rank games, can you still play in Diamond 4? This is the last match point game for my promo series, don’t screw me over bro.]
Maybe it was because he had been playing promotion series games to the point of seclusion, but this support was particularly talkative. Never mind Jian Rong, even the other people felt a little annoyed.
However, it wasn’t like the support was completely wrong either. Just judging by champions alone, it really wasn’t easy for Syndra to take on Fizz during the laning phase.
But who was Jian Rong? After playing mid for so many years, he knew more about trading4 than anyone else. He farmed his lane all the way to level 6 without suffering any losses; he even killed over a dozen more minions than Fizz.
After another trade, Jian Rong subconsciously wanted to call over the jungler to come gank, and he opened his mouth only to pause.
Ah, he shouldn’t trouble this newly promoted jungler of theirs.
At that moment, there was suddenly the sound of a ping—— [Invincible Q-Ge is on the way.]
During the game, a player could send out a few simple pings, and “On My Way” was one of them, indicating that one’s teammate was about to arrive. Only then did Jian Rong realize that their team’s jungler, Lee Sin, had already snuck into the river next to the enemy’s tower.
The moment Fizz used his blink skill, Lee Sin instantly leaped out of the river and kicked Fizz back over to Jian Rong. Simultaneously, Jian Rong rapidly knocked back Syndra’s Dark Spheres and stunned the enemy, coordinating with Lee Sin’s damage to successfully kill Fizz.
Even though it was a common combination, all of their skills were used with perfect timing, not sloppy in the slightest. They didn’t give the enemy mid laner any room to retreat.
After receiving 300 gold, Jian Rong returned to base to buy equipment. “Keep coming. As long as you come, I can kill.”
“Yuan Qian” didn’t answer him. But as the game continued, the team’s chat was crammed full of the same line—
[Invincible Q-Ge is on the way.]
[Just Watch My Gameplay is on a killing spree. (Three Kills)]
[Invincible Q-Ge is on the way.]
[Just Watch My Gameplay is dominating the match. (Six Kills)]
[Invincible Q-Ge is on the way.]
[Just Watch My Gameplay is beyond legendary! (Eight Kills)]
After killing another enemy, Jian Rong arrogantly returned to base while standing beside the other team’s base. He glanced at the chat in the lower left corner and suddenly laughed. “Are you copying Road?”
All the fans knew that when Road was streaming and playing ranked, he never used the chat to communicate with his teammates; he would only ever silently drive the three lanes. The sole interaction he used was the “On My Way” ping, so the reason some fans called him “God Lu” wasn’t entirely because of the “Lu”5 character in his name.
What’s more, Road’s signature champion was Lee Sin. He had used this champion to completely overturn the arena during the World Championships before, and every time he initiated a team fight and escaped, the audience would watch with their hearts in their throats.
[Invincible Q-Ge (Lee Sin): . ]
[Invincible Q-Ge (Lee Sin): No.]
When they were pushing the enemy’s Nexus, Jian Rong generously praised, “You play jungler very well.”
Lu Boyuan was about to type.
“Better than your top lane.” Jian Rong said, “How about you switch over?”
“Yuan Qian” was quiet for a while.
[Invincible Q-Ge (Lee Sin): I’ll consider it]
After the match finished, Jian Rong got up to use the restroom. As he was washing his hands, he stared at the stream of water and recalled Lee Sin’s playstyle—he wasn’t shooting off his mouth just then. Even though it was just a Diamond game, it was clear from the gameplay details like tower pushing and team fighting that Yuan Qian’s Lee Sin was quite something.
Almost every single one of his ganks made Jian Rong feel extremely comfortable, and he appeared wherever he was needed. He could even gank and invade the enemy’s jungle without neglecting either one.
Jian Rong returned from the bathroom and put on his headphones again. “Back. Are you playing all night?”
“I can’t play anymore.” Yuan Qian’s voice came through, and he sounded a little apologetic. “Xiao Bai wants to duo queue with me. Next time?”
His mic was fixed now?
Jian Rong was about to agree when he heard a distant, indistinct voice travel through the headphones from the other side.
“Hurry up and kick that bluenette troll! He’s definitely going to screw with you later!”
When Jian Rong heard that, he paused his action of leaving the party. “Xiao Bai?”
The other side instantly grew silent, and the voice didn’t say anything else either. It was obvious that Yuan Qian was currently using the computer speakers and not headphones.
“The Bye in your team?” Jian Rong purposefully drew out his words and asked, “That support who did a reverse Q6 while playing Thresh and got lost in the jungle on Yuumi during the regular season?”
Xiao Bai: “………”
Yuan Qian wanted to help speak up for his teammate, but everything Jian Rong said was true. He couldn’t refute anything, so he just coughed lightly and said ambiguously, “En…”
“Then you look after yourself.” Jian Rong sounded pitying. “See ya.”
Xiao Bai: “……!!!”
Right after Soft left the lobby, Xiao Bai exploded. “Is this troll obsessed with our team! How come he watches every single one of our competitions! He’s so annoying!!”
Pine asked without looking back, “Why didn’t you say that to him just now?”
Xiao Bai said confidently, “BS! It’s not like I can out-roast him!”
Lu Boyuan had already returned to his own computer. He plugged his earphones into the computer and opened StarTV’s platform again.
After switching to his side account, he entered Soft’s livestream room. Sure enough, the other side had already stopped streaming, and a livestream replay popped up on the interface.
Lu Boyuan adjusted his gaming chair to a comfortable angle before he randomly clicked to a part of the replay and started to watch it quietly.
The day of the S10 World Championships, Jian Rong took a leave of absence from livestreaming and arrived at Shanghai Stadium’s entrance at five P.M. on the dot.
He wore a black baseball hat that had a crown logo printed on it, and he was currently looking down and playing with his phone while waiting for someone.
He refreshed his leave of absence Weibo that he just posted. There were a few hundred comments underneath it, all cursing him for his sudden break.
Normally, Jian Rong would battle it out with them a bit, but today he really had posted the notice at the last minute, so it was his fault.
He chose a few comments to reply to.
[Laozi waited for you for two hours, then you fucking come out with ‘taking a break’? Grandpa threw up.]
[You even skimp on Worlds? Why are you in such a rush to be reborn??]
[Dumbass, get back here and stream. Laozi will send you a Sea of Stars]
[Soft: Dad isn’t coming back, just watch by yourself >_<]
The water friends were thunderstruck by his emoticons, and they replied even more vehemently. Even as he scrolled through the comments, Jian Rong couldn’t help but want to laugh.
“I’m here, I’m here.” A man wearing a black windbreaker ran over to him, panting. “There was traffic, I was stuck at the freaking parking lot for almost half an hour…”
It was Shiliu.
Shiliu just broke up with his girlfriend, so he had an extra Worlds ticket and had asked late last night whether Jian Rong wanted to come watch with him.
It was a ticket with a good seat in the VIP section, obtained through a special channel. Money couldn’t even buy that kind of ticket. Jian Rong thought about it for two seconds before he briskly abandoned today’s livestream.
Shiliu glanced around them. “Let’s go. We enter through a different entrance, we don’t need to wait in line with these tickets.”
When they entered the arena, there were already quite a few people in the audience. Jian Rong’s ticket was for one of the first rows, and anyone who could obtain a ticket with this kind of seat all had some connection. Jian Rong swept a cursory glance around and saw quite a few big streamers from StarTV; there were even some players from pro teams present as well.
Shiliu skillfully greeted and chatted with those people. Usually, Jian Rong didn’t like to deal with this kind of social interaction, so he pulled the baseball hat down a little before continuing to reply with emoticons.
A few minutes later, a group of people silently entered the stadium.
They were covered up well, with every person wearing a hat and mask so there was no way to see their face clearly. But no matter how much they covered up, they were still recognized by the surrounding crowd, and everyone couldn’t help but look in their direction while whispering.
After sitting down, Xiao Bai couldn’t resist taking a look around the Worlds stadium.
When he remembered that originally there was a chance for this to be his own competition arena, he felt a bit gloomy, and he tugged his scarf up to his nose. “The arena is just so-so anyway… how long until the competition starts again?”
Yuan Qian glanced at his watch. “Should be soon.”
Xiao Bai let out an “oh” and looked at the person to his right. “Ge, why are you still watching a replay? Which match?”
Lu Boyuan had one earphone in, and he didn’t even look up as he randomly made up something. “Quarterfinals.”
In the game replay, “No Way You’re So Trash” was playing Orianna, the champion that appeared the least in Soft’s stream replays.
During the current wave, Orianna fought 1v2 while defending the turret and beautifully killed the enemy mid laner and jungler. After killing them, she then trampled over their “corpses” and danced on them.
After dancing, Soft recalled to base and sneered, “If this jungler can gank me once, I’ll call him Dad.”
At the same time, the audience members sitting to his right were chatting.
A man asked, “Who do you think will win Worlds? I feel like PUD’s jungler has been pretty impressive lately. They’re all saying that he’s almost at Road’s level.”
The other person was quiet for a long time before he said, “Yeah.”
Perhaps because he had just been caught outside in the chill, the boy’s voice was a little low and hoarse, but its timbre remained unchanged. It perfectly matched the voice coming from Lu Boyuan’s earphones.
Lu Boyuan lifted an eyebrow before he slowly tilted his head to the side.
The youth sitting next to him had the zipper of his jacket pulled all the way up to his neck. Since his head was lowered, Lu Boyuan could only see his tall and straight nose.
He was wearing a baseball hat, and a few tufts of blue hair peeked out from the gap at the back of the hat.
TTC’s logo was on the hat. If one looked closely, they would also see that there was a signature printed underneath the logo: Road.
Before Lu Boyuan could recall which year’s merch this hat belonged to, the youth spoke again and finished what he was saying earlier. “If he practices for another 800 years, then he can just about catch up.”
- Roles as in top, mid, bot, support, jungler ^
- Before every game there’s a ban phase where players can choose to ban a champ (or ban none) so nobody can play that champ during that game. Usually in organized games people will ban champs the other side is known to be good at; otherwise, champs that are generally considered OP/widely used will usually be banned instead ^
- After the ban phase is the pick phase, in which players take turns choosing their champs based on their assigned pick order. No champion can be used more than once in a game. There’s a good visual of the pick-ban phase at the bottom of this wiki page. ^
- Trading: an important mechanic in LoL where champions exchange damage with each other without the intent of killing the other party. Trading allows a player to gain lane dominance and pressure the enemy. Since you’re fighting and swapping damage, usually health goes down, leaving room to gank. ^
- Lu/路 means Road, but it’s also the character used as the “way” in OMW. ^
- Reverse Q comes from a Chinese meme about a LoL pro player who shot his Q skill (an arrow) in the wrong direction during Worlds. A Reddit thread about it for anyone interested! ^
Yan: And they meet face to face!!! Also in case anyone is curious, the Summer Playoffs for LoL have been ongoing these past few days. Through watching the livestreams, I’ve concluded I still do not really know enough about this game. HAHA
Wei: Sorry this is late, 100% my fault T^T will do better next time!