The boy looked a little thin, and the small section of his nape that was exposed when he lowered his head was very pale. He didn’t look much different from the way he did in his livestreams, so clearly he didn’t use any random face-thinning-eye-enlarging filters when streaming.
Not like Xiao Bai, who had pulled the beautification bar to max when he first started streaming. Amidst the fans’ uproarious laughter, they even sent him onto the hot search.
Shiliu laughed when he heard that. “He’s not that bad… You really do like Road ah.”
“I’m only stating facts.” Jian Rong frowned. “PUD’s jungler’s weaknesses are very obvious. He’s okay when ganking and team fighting, but he’s too weak when invading the jungle. He’s very reliant on his teammates’ support. If the teammates don’t follow him, then his rhythm would be broken up.”
Shiliu thought about it and realized that really did seem to be the case.
The reason he went to ask Jian Rong to come with him this time was because he liked to hear Jian Rong analyze this sort of thing. He asked, “Then what about Road?”
Jian Rong lifted his head and pondered over it quietly for a few beats.
Lu Boyuan saw that his eyelashes were very long.
Jian Rong said, “Road’s weak point… his teammates are too inferior?”
“I didn’t pay attention to the other roles, but the mid laner is too trash,” Jian Rong said. “He only knows how to kill minions and farm. He can’t provide assistance, nor can he create an advantage for himself. Useless piece of crap.”
Shiliu assessed, “This is called competitive rivalry.”
Jian Rong tugged the brim of his hat downwards and said, “I played with Kan before on the Korean server. I filled in as a support, he was mid, and the enemy mid was HT’s starting mid laner.”
Shiliu knew that his Korean server account was ranked highly before, so he wasn’t surprised that Jian Rong could match with professional players. “And then?”
“He was solo killed by the other team four times.” Jian Rong spoke breezily. “I wasn’t paying attention to the IDs at the time, so I thought he was some small retired player from another division.”
Lu Boyuan looked away, and there was a trace of a helpless smile in his lowered eyes. He exited the video on his phone and stuffed his earphones casually into a pocket.
The competition was about to begin, and the staff members went on stage to finish their last-minute preparations. The commentators were already seated at their spots as well. The atmosphere of the World Championships spread lightning fast, and the entire arena was abuzz with noise.
Ding-ge returned after going backstage to greet his friends. He straightened his suit before he sat down, asking the person whose head was lowered the entire time, “The competition is about to start, what are you still watching?”
Xiao Bai looked up. “Nothing, I was just checking out StarTV.”
Yuan Qian said, “Aren’t all the streamers waiting for the official broadcast right now? What is there to see?”
Xiao Bai clicked his tongue. “I wanted to listen and see how that bluenette troll is going to flame HT or PUD later, but he actually isn’t streaming.”
“He didn’t comment on competitions very often in the first place.” Yuan Qian waved at his streamer friends sitting further back as a greeting before he continued, “Maybe he came to the arena today too.”
“Does he dare?! I’m not exaggerating at all, he’s completely offended every single member of every single team that’s here today.” Xiao Bai straightened up and peered around. “I can recognize that little bluenette on the spot. If he dares to show up here, I have no choice but to settle my accounts properly with him…”
Just as he said that, he locked eyes with his ge.
Lu Boyuan said, “Sit properly, it’s about to start.”
Xiao Bai let out an “oh” and obediently sat back down.
With the three commentators at their seats, the Worlds broadcast officially began, and the lighting on the audience dimmed.
After the commentators each introduced themselves, they started to analyze both teams.
Usually, in LPL competition broadcasts, the commentators were extremely neutral, but when two different divisions collided, the commentators would always be more partial towards the players from their own division.
“Even though HT is strong, their breakthrough point is also very obvious. For example, the newcomer duo that just joined their team. They don’t have enough competition experience, so it’s easy to drop the ball when it comes to the mid-late game. By contrast, our PUD players’ team composition is already very well developed, so I have a lot of faith in them!”
After the commentator hyped up PUD for a while, the director aimed the camera at the stadium’s audience.
Commentator A: “This year’s World Championships finals are being held in Shanghai, and we could be considered as having the home ground advantage as well! I can see that there’s a huge crowd right now at the competition arena, and the fans are all extremely passionate!”
The camera cut to the front rows of the arena.
Commentator B: “That’s right. But it’s not just the fans who are passionate. There are quite a few familiar faces who’ve come to the stadium today… all the members from the teams Fighting Tiger and MFG are present, as well as from the team Squid…”
Every time the commentators listed out another team, the fans sitting in the back would cheer and shout.
Jian Rong felt like his eardrums were about to burst from the screaming.
He frowned and removed his hat before he lowered his head and casually messed with his hair a bit, lifting a hand to massage his ear.
At that moment, the camera turned to another team.
Immediately, the audience’s cheers multiplied infinitely. In such a situation, it wouldn’t be too much to say a superstar had appeared at the scene.
Commentator C: “And—our Tank team is also here at the stadium!!!”
Jian Rong was stunned for a few seconds before he realized what team the commentator was talking about.
TTC’s official name was “Take the Crown.”
But since this team won the World Championships right after entering LPL, they were an incredible powerhouse, and the fans all jokingly referred to the team as “Tank Training Center.”
And then, TTC became the so-called “Tank team.”
Jian Rong looked up at the large TV screen above the stage, wanting to see who from TTC was present.
First the camera focused on TTC’s bottom lane duo. Pine was still wearing his mask, and his expression didn’t change at all when he looked at the camera; Xiao Bai took off all his face coverings and flashed a grin at the camera, revealing a mouthful of white teeth.
After that was Yuan Qian and Ding-ge. Both of them waved appropriately while wearing faint smiles.
The last shot was a single-person focus. The moment the man appeared on the big screen, the screams nearly overturned the roof. If someone didn’t know better, they would’ve thought that PUD already won the championship.
LPL’s most popular player, Road, was covered up extremely well. He was wearing both his hat and mask, but he still couldn’t escape the director’s hawk eyes.
A few seconds later, upon seeing that the camera hadn’t moved, Lu Boyuan helplessly raised the brim of his hat a little, revealing his eyes.
Then he nodded at the camera.
The commentators’ microphones were already extremely loud, but at that current moment, they were still drowned out by the audience’s roars. “Our God Lu is here as well! Today’s competition arena is absolutely a gathering of legends! Audience members, the price of your ticket is worth it!”
If this were any other occasion, Jian Rong would have already left and gone to buy earplugs.
But he momentarily couldn’t afford to care about anything else.
He stared blankly at the Road on the big screen… and the audience member to Road’s right who had accidentally entered the shot.
Blue hair, black jacket, holding a baseball hat in his hand, a lost expression on his face.
It was himself.
The director’s camera abruptly shifted, and Jian Rong’s entire face entered the camera without warning.
Jian Rong: “?”
Commentator A: “In addition, the person sitting next to God Lu is actually his fan! Everyone, take a look at this audience member’s hat…”
Half of his soul returned to him, and Jian Rong stiffly hid his hat inside his jacket.
Commentator A: “Hahaha, don’t worry, we have security over here, no one would dare steal your hat from you.”
Jian Rong: “…”
The other two commentators were both startled, and they only resumed the conversation after a few seconds.
“Er, yes.” Commentator B said, “…actually, I know this fan.”
Commentator A: “What do you mean?”
Commentator C: “He’s also a streamer for LoL. His stream content… is very unique.”
Commentator A was puzzled. “How so?”
“He’s very good at, uh that,” Commentator C floundered for a long time before he finally squeezed out, “…analyzing players.”
Commentator A: “???”
The audience was roaring with laughter. In the official broadcast that they couldn’t see, “666” and “hahaha” had already flooded the entire barrage.
The camera soon refocused back on the commentators, and the three commentators skillfully and easily proceeded onto the next topic.
The people below the stage weren’t nearly as calm.
Jian Rong maintained his hat-hiding movement from just then, his back rigid as he remained frozen.
He wasn’t in the habit of glancing around nosily, so after he sat down he had only concentrated on looking at Weibo and hadn’t noticed who was sitting next to him at all.
But now he knew.
More than ten seconds later, Jian Rong slowly fished out his hat from inside his jacket and put it back on his head, messing up his hair completely.
TTC’s side had also descended into a brief silence.
Pine nudged Xiao Bai with his shoulder and said coldly, “What’re you in a daze for? Go settle your accounts.”
Xiao Bai: “…”
Xiao Bai snuck a glance in that direction. At that moment, the bluenette troll’s face was chilly, and his lips were pressed tightly together. Even though he didn’t have a sturdy figure, he still didn’t look like someone to be trifled with.
Xiao Bai withdrew his head. “I-I’ll endure it for now. With so many people watching, it’s not good for me to do anything.”
In the end, both sides’ diplomats broke the deadlock.
Yuan Qian bent forward and waved at Shiliu over the two people between them. “Shiliu? You’re here too?”
Shiliu quickly smiled and nodded. “Yeah, what a coincidence, Qian-ge. You guys came to watch the competition too?”
“In any case, it’s close to the base, so we just came over.” Yuan Qian glanced at the person next to Shiliu. “You must be Soft, right? We’ve played together in-game before.”
Jian Rong tilted his head and answered with an “en.”
With his hat on, the brim of it acted as a screen so that he couldn’t see the person to his left.
Yuan Qian said, “It’s been a long time since we’ve played together. If the opportunity arises, let’s queue together again sometime.”
Jian Rong was in the middle of remembering everything he and Shiliu were chatting about before. When he heard that, he blurted out, “Didn’t we play together just a few days ago?”
Yuan Qian was startled, before he immediately explained, “Ah, that day…”
“I was the one playing in that match.” The person in between them suddenly spoke.
The man’s voice was very soft. Jian Rong felt like he was nailed in place as he maintained the slightly bent forward posture he had used to converse with Yuan Qian.
He felt a gaze sweep down from above, landing straight on his hat.
Jian Rong started to recall everything he had done that day.
Seemed to have played Syndra.
Asked “Yuan Qian” if he was copying Road.
Also persistently asked “Yuan Qian” if the person sending gifts that day was Road himself or not.
Lu Boyuan looked at his hat and said, “My feel for the game wasn’t good that day. I didn’t screw you over, did I.”
Jian Rong could no longer hear what the commentators were saying clearly anymore. He briefly closed his eyes before he braced himself and slowly raised his head, meeting Lu Boyuan’s gaze.
The arena’s lights spilled in the depths of Lu Boyuan’s eyes, like a lake.
Jian Rong struggled free from the lake, his heart beating even faster than the rhythm of the background music.
“Oh.” With a wooden expression, he licked his lips and shook his head. “You didn’t.”
Yan: Hehehe, Jian Rong is exposed as a Road fan! A true Road fan with very old merch! :)) Also omg first chapter without any translation notes OTL… only because they didn’t play league at all I will try my best to keep T/Ns to a minimum in the future! I think most of the core terms have been explained already, thankfully.
Wei: LOL Jian Rong is a true Road groupie ahaha completely exposed