Rise

CH 64

g Bingyao’s question stole all the thunder and bravado he had moments ago.

Ren Rou shot Ouyang a disdainful glare before turning back to Lin Feng and Tang Bingyao.
She took a deep breath and then started explaining the League of Legends scene in Shanghai.
Specifically the high school esports club scene.

Shanghai was known for being the heart of China’s esports scene.
Most of the professional teams in the LPL and LSPL had set the city as their base of operations.
Riot Games had even held a League of Legends All Star event in Shanghai.
The city’s competitive environment allowed the high school esports clubs to evolve until they were better than anywhere else in China.
The teams who managed to qualify for the Shanghai 16 School Tournament reflected that evolution.

“So, for example, Shanghai International had a Challenger and Master on their team.
Their weakest player was Diamond 2,” Ren Rou explained.
“Even with a stacked team like that, they only got second place.
The champion was Shanghai High School.
They had two Diamond 1s, two Masters, and a Challenger.
Their best player is called Tiny Teacup.
I heard he climbed all the way to the top 10 on Ionia.
He’s a prodigy at the game…”

Yang Fan nodded and sighed.
“Comparison really is the thief of joy.”

“Then what about our team?” Lin Feng asked.

Ren Rou’s expression turned awkward.
“Well.
That.
Look, it ’s obvious that we’re nowhere near Shanghai International or Shanghai High School.”

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Ren Rou found it difficult to admit but High School 13 and the top schools in Shanghai were simply on different levels.
They were so far apart you couldn’t even compare the two.
Before Lin Feng and Tang Bingyao joined the team, the average skill level of High School 13 was low Platinum.
Yang Fan was currently their best player.
It wasn’t always like this.
They used to have several Diamond rank players, but those guys either graduated or quit the esports club to focus on their studies.
Only the weaker players like Ouyang and Yang Fan stuck around, refusing to let go of their dream of winning the Shanghai 16 School Tournament.

“So how are we going to win?” Tang Bingyao asked, intense as always.

Ouyang, Yang Fan, and Ren Rou looked at each other, but none of them opened their mouths.
Although the tryouts a few days ago were a massive success and they’d recruited several promising players, they needed a lot more than that to beat the likes of Shanghai International or Shanghai High School.

“I think even getting into the Top 8 will be hard,” Tang Bingyao said.

Ren Rou sighed.
“All we can do is try our best.
I don’t want to leave any regrets behind.”

“NO!” Ouyang gnashed his teeth.
“That isn’t enough! I won’t settle for just doing our best.
This is our final year! Screw the Top 8, we have to get into the Top 4! At the lowest! I want to leave something behind for the club.
Something they can be proud of!”

Yang Fan shook his head.
His eyes betrayed the sadness he felt inside.
“I understand how you feel.
I feel it too, Ouyang.
But statistically speaking, Top 4 is impossible.
It’s so far away that you cannot even consider it a pipedream.
We’ll never get that far.”

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Lin Feng listened to the exchange with a puzzled expression.
“Is it that hard?”

“I know you’re amazing Lin Feng.
But even if you’re a Challenger, the rest of the team can’t keep up with you.
And we can’t count on you to hard carry us to the Top 4, can we?” Ren Rou said.

Ouyang and Yang Fan nodded.
The euphoria of finding out Lin Feng was an actual Challenger had clouded their judgement.
Reality was kicking back in.
At the end of the day, their team consisted of a Challenger, a Diamond, and then some random low rank players.
If they got lucky, they might possibly make it to the quarter finals.
But anything more was just wishful thinking.
League of Legends was a team game.
They didn’t have a team.
They had two talented individuals.
Nothing more.

In the background, the sound of other customers at the internet cafe chatting could be heard.
But Ouyang, Yang Fan, and Ren Rou kept quiet.
Their expressions were sombre as they stared at their hands.
Lin Feng rubbed his chin, looking at his three friends, then suddenly broke the silence.
“I don’t think it’s too hard!”

“I don’t mean to offend you here or sound like I doubt how good you are.
I know you’re a great player.
But if you think about it for a second you will understand.
Think about it and tell me what it is you can do? You’re a Challenger.
A Platinum player like myself would end up dragging you down once we get deep into the tournament.” Yang Fan sighed.
“You know… I would really like to have the skills of a Master or Challenger and help out the club, but I don’t.
I’m a Platinum player.
There’s nothing I can do to change that fact.”

“Well, if you’re not good enough, just get better!” Lin Feng said as a matter-of-factly.
Then he swept his gaze over Ouyang, Yang Fan, and Ren Rou.
“I can help you guys come up with a training plan!” Feeling as though that didn’t sound convincing enough, he pounded his chest.
“I’m really good at coaching too, you know! Isn’t that right Tang Tang?”

Tang Bingyao slightly tilted her head.
Then, thinking seriously for a moment, she nodded.
“Mhm.”

Yang Fan, Ouyang, and Ren Rou stared at Lin Feng, dumbfounded.
A training plan? Coach Lin Feng?

1.
The LSPL is the League of Legends Secondary Professional League with the LPL serving as the main professional league in China.

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