Sunday at 3:30 PM, the entire YYg team punctually arrived at the competition venue and began pre-game preparations.
During makeup, Ye Bo sneaked over from the neighboring lounge to greet them.
Seeing that he hadn’t put on makeup, Zhou Tian knew that this time he was only going through the motions as the team’s substitute, and wasn’t actually planning to go on stage.
Truthfully, she was a bit regretful.
“You guys are so ferocious this season, be a little less tyrannical later,” Ye Bo said.
“We only won over some mid-level teams,” Ying Yuanxia said. “After eating two dumplings, it’s not certain that this dumpling will be beaten.”
“Yea, yea.” Wang Ren immediately agreed.
Ye Bo repeatedly shook his head, saying that you youngsters are too addicted to accumulating virtue, only knowing to be blindly modest. Playing games is obviously a matter of relying on one’s own skills.
“I agree!” Zhou Tian wasn’t afraid of being embarrassed by her fierce words. “So in a bit everyone should rely on their own skills.”
Ye Bo belly laughed, and said that he would wait for it.
At this moment, Zhou Tian had not yet realized the meaning hidden deep in these words. That is to say, she completely didn’t think much about it. After putting on makeup and adjusting the equipment, she turned all her attention onto the match that was about to start.
As in the previous two games, during the Bp phase, the opponent earnestly targeted her.
But Zhou Tian was used to this by now. Facing her two teammates’ mocking chatter, she only smiled to indicate that since it was like this, this round was up to them to carry.
“No, weren’t you the one who told Oracle that everyone should rely on their own skills, take out your skills to carry us to victory!”
Zhou Tian: “Then you go and discuss with tSD’s handsome coach over there, make him stop targeting me, what are they doing with a Jungler 3Ban in the first round!”
Their own coach said that this didn’t really matter, these Jungler heroes weren’t part of our plans in the first place.
“To be honest, I didn’t think that we would really pick the Troll* as Jungler this round,” Han Ziliang said. “This hero used to be extraordinarily incompatible with our team in the past, hopefully we can break the curse today.”
*Apparently, Chinese LoL players often use nicknames when referring to in-game characters for ease of use since transliterated names tend to be quite long. Troll in this case means the LoL champion Trundle.
“It’s so unpopular, we haven’t really had opportunities to test it out.” Intending to calm the teammates’ minds before play began, Coach put in a few extra words. “Believe in xiao Zhou, in the last training match she used the Troll very well.”
Yes, after seeing tSD’s first three selections, YYg could already roughly guess their lineup, and quickly figured out a rebuttal.
But both sides had racked their brains for this match’s Bp -- in the end, no one got their ideal lineup. In other words, just looking at the lineups that both sides needed to play, the result would depend on the players’ in-game performances.
“Go go go, it’s started it’s started, everyone get your energies up.”
“I’ll start clearing for a bit and fatten up before the other side.” Zhou Tian thought that since she had taken an unpopular and weak Jungler, she needed to cherish her life even more in the early stages. “Everyone, be extremely careful, don’t deliver your heads!”
“Who are you suggesting will deliver it, make it clear,” Wang Ren cursed while smiling.
“It’s happened again, entering the map for two minutes, Mid and Jungler have broken up. In that case, I propose that xiao Zhou stay in the top lane, I can forgo heads, just help me push through.”
“What push, while you’re doing that they’ll be using you to sharpen knives.” The Support who was farthest away from the top lane couldn’t help roasting. “Be human, lao* Han.”
*老 - lit. old. Often used to signify familiarity or affection between friends. I've decided to leave words like 老, 哥 and 小 in pinyin because it reads smoother to me.
Zhou Tian didn’t participate in their trash talk contest this time. Since entering the map, she’d fixed all her focus on carefully and cautiously clearing the jungle while keeping a lookout.
Later, having taken control of the first drake, she finally breathed a sigh of relief and slowly began to turn her mind to ganking.
With her striving hard to evade all sorts of mistakes, YYg played very steadily in the first twenty minutes of the round, so much so that when the Elder Dragon spawned in the jungle, they only had three heads in their hands.
But the opponent didn’t have a single one, and Zhou Tian had swallowed up a lot of the jungle resources. Right now the other side absolutely didn’t have the capital to fight their group for the Elder Dragon.
“Let’s let go of the lower turret. After we return to base and finish changing equipment, lao Han will drive us to the dragon pit! They only have one person who can open a group battle, tp is also bad, we don’t need to be afraid.”
The small advantages that they’d acquired in the early stages of the game snowballed after they finished off the Elder Dragon. Coupled with the superiority of their equipment, YYg took advantage of the Elder Dragon Buff to gobble up a wave of economic benefits.
At this moment, if they were a little bolder, it would not be unfeasible to directly charge into the high ground and attempt a home base push. But after hesitating for a second, Zhou Tian still made a more steady strategic decision.
This steadier strategic decision was indeed correct. In the end, they defeated a second Elder Dragon and smoothly pushed through, rendering tSD completely unable to resist.
The court side commentators were being quite dumb, saying that neither of these two teams looked like their usual selves today.
“YYg today played like last season’s tSD, tSD looks somewhat like SF in the games they lost last season.”
“Yes, it looks really fierce, but actually the Eighteen Dragon Subduing Palms* completely lost to the opponent’s Heaven and Earth Great Shift*. The momentum was great, but the results just benefited the other side.”
*Far as I can tell, these are both names of martial arts moves found in Jin Yong's wuxia novels.
“That said, Yuzhou’s Troll in this round has outstanding tempo.”
“Part of the reason is that tSD completely didn’t anticipate she would pick the Troll. I remember that during the second Bp phase, when YYg chose the Troll as the fourth pick, tSD almost used up all their selection time before locking in their fourth pick at the very last second.”
“Catching them off guard.”
“If nothing unexpected happens, I think that this round’s MVP should be Yuzhou. Even though Further got five kills in the last wave of high ground group battles, the economic difference between Yuzhou and her matchup is frightening, and her KDA also doesn’t lose to Further’s. It's not an exaggeration to say that she’s a tempo machine.”
While the two commentators were frantically giving their post-mortem analysis, inside the backstage lounge, YYg was receiving news that was even more unexpected than Zhou Tian selecting the Troll.
For the next round, tSD was switching to Ye Bo.
“Crap, for real?”
“Don’t tell me that Oracle was hit by Olaf* in the last round?”
*The name of another LoL champion.
“Reasonably speaking, that Olaf wasn’t much use.”
While the team was going over scenarios at lightning speed, Zhou Tian was still in a trance. Oh my god, was she really going to be competing with her idol on the same stage? How many Junglers in China, no, in the world, dreamed of this happening...
“Switching to Ye Bo probably isn't a last minute decision.” In the midst of the clamor, Coach hammered in his interjection. “That old-timer’s status isn’t one where he’ll just appear when asked, tSD also isn’t one of those teams who would bring in a big star player when they’re about to lose just to make the fans happy.”
So the question right now was, what had Ye Bo prepared for them? Since he dared to return to the game at this time, he must surely be confident in his own readiness.
“No matter what, this move of theirs has disrupted all of our original Bp preparations,” Coach said. “Later I’ll need to adjust according to the situation. You guys too.”
“Understood.” Besides Zhou Tian, the others had pretty much recovered their composure.
Seeing Zhou Tian’s dazed expression, Coach imagined that she was scared and hurriedly added, “No matter Ye Bo’s greatness, that was two years ago. Although his awareness is still top-notch now, his operating skills must have regressed a lot, everyone just play well, winning definitely won’t be a problem.”
“Especially you, xiao Zhou, you…”
Hearing Coach’s call, Zhou Tian immediately sobered up and declared, “I understand! I will definitely control my excitement and not let the fact that the opponent is Ye Bo go to my head!”
Coach: “...” I thought that you were scared and nervous, but you’re excited instead?
T/L Note: I had such a hard time translating the names of the LoL characters and figuring out what was going on in the game... As always, please forgive or point out any mistakes!