Just an update, since we found You're Beautiful When You Smile, we will be posting every Wednesday replacing Secret Room. Secret Room will be going back to the normal Mon & Sat schedule. Also, some chapters of When You Smile is longer than our normal fair, and so we may release part 1 of a chapter on Wednesday and part 2 on Friday.
Thanks for understanding. Enyjoy!
As the saying goes: there’s no such thing as love affairs in esports.
Tong Yao was profoundly aware of that, from the beginning she encountered the game.
The reason that Tong Yao began playing LoL was very simple-- -- the same reason as most girls who played-- --she started playing because another person was addicted to the game and she happened to like him.
They lived very close to each other that summer, but halfway through the summer, Tong Yao realized that they rarely spoke…...So, one day, she knocked on his door and discovered him sitting in front of the computer frantically playing a certain game. Tong Yao couldn’t elicit much of a response from him. While he was busy with his abilities, she went up to the keyboard while he was distracted and pressed a key.
On screen, his character suddenly dashed forward towards a group of people with red names. Then the screen, which was full of color, suddenly became black and white.
Tong Yao giggled even as a pair of angry eyes glared at her. She moved a stool over to sit next to him, just in time to see him speedily type a message-- --
[Sorry, my girlfriend's messing around.]
Tong Yao’s eyes narrowed as she laughed. She poked him, who was annoyed but afraid to complain, and slowly asked, “Jian Yang, looks like you’re having a lot fun. Teach me how to play so I can play with you.”
“En?” He turned around, “You?”
“Yeah, me.” Tong Yao smiled.
She still remembered the look he gave her. With little choice, he was forced to log off, then used Tong Yao’s QQ to create a new account. He reluctantly let Tong Yao sit in his chair and hold his mouse, then patiently explained everything standing behind her-- --
“This is a pushing tower game. There are three lanes on the map. You only need to remember that when you destroy the towers on all three lanes, the enemy base, and the enemy nexus, you’ll win.”
They reached the champion selection screen-- --
“Which one do I choose? Is it ok if I choose that good looking one?”
“Don’t, don’t, don’t. Aiya, just choose a support. Support-- --see that big guy with blue armor, that’s it.”
“It’s alright since you’re pretty enough.”
“......you’re really a sweet talker. What’s a support?”
“This game has three different lanes with five people on your team. One person runs around in the jungle to kill monsters to get level up, he’s called a ‘Jungler’; one person takes the upper lane, called ‘top’; one person takes the middle lane, called ‘mid’; and the bottom lane-- --”
“It’s called bot!”
“It’s called ‘ADC’.”
“Usually there are two players at the bot because the ADC is the carry. How well the ADC plays in the beginning defines how well the game will usually go and so has a partner to help. So, the support.”
“Sounds like I won’t have much to do. Will I be able to browse Weibo after I choose support?”
“Might as well not play if you’re browsing Weibo. Haven’t you noticed that it’s pitch black in the jungle area on the map? Support has to be the eyes for his teammates. He has to use wards to light up the map like planting mushrooms-- --”
“So bothersome. Is there a position that doesn’t need to run around but has a strong presence and doesn’t have to worry about being yelled at for poor skill?”
“Sure!” Jian Yang used his lips to point at the middle of the screen. “Mid.”
So, Tong Yao became a mid player.
Jian Yang was a jungler. When the two of them played together, Jian Yang would hang around mid all the time, despite any cries from the other lanes for help. He would tirelessly move about mid, harassing the opponent, and establishing an advantage for Tong Yao-- --
Jian Yang called it the “mid alliance.”
After Tong Yao got more into the game, she realized that it wasn’t a “mid alliance” at all; it was just the “the basic rule of playing with a girl.”
In the beginning, Tong Yao needed Jian Yang’s help all the time. Without Jian Yang at her side, she would die instantly. She would call out, “I’m dead.”, “I’m dead again.”, “Damn, why, I’m dead again.”, “Jian Yang, if you keep doing jungle, you won’t have a girlfriend anymore.” Yet, after numerous deaths, Tong Yao finally got the hang of it-- --
The game has 30 levels. After reaching level 30, one can start playing ranked games.
Ranked games use League Points, or LP, as the fundamental indicator of a player’s skill level; from lowest to highest the rank went as the following: bronze, silver, gold, platinum, and diamond each having five divisions within each tier…...The rule is very simple: whenever one wins a ranked game, he will gain 10 to 30 LP, if one loses, the system will deduct the same amount of points. For every 100 LP you acquire, a player qualifies for a promotion series best out of three games to move onto the next tier.
Once one reaches diamond, there were no more tiers. League Points will keep accumulating until reaching “Master” tier and the top two hundred players with the highest points in each server is considered “Challenger” tier, kings of their server.
-- --Jian Yang was one of those kings in one of the toughest servers, Ionia. He was one of the rare ones that when he played in an internet cafe, they would announce his arrival, “the super strong king so and so on the Ionia Server is playing at our cafe now on computer number 17.”
Therefore, he could do whatever he wanted with the newbie Tong Yao at mid.
Days passed quickly.
Tong Yao was too excited to sleep well the night she reached level 30. The next morning, the first thing she did after she got up was to knock on Jian Yang’s door and declared that he had to help her play ranked-- --When she saw Jian Yang’s confused look after he opened the door, she was stunned to find that she had turned into an internet addict…...That summer, Tong Yao and Jian Yang passed the last half of the summer dating at Summoner’s Rift.
Few days before the end of summer vacation, Tong Yao went to knock on Jian Yang’s door with a bag of yogurt in her mouth. Jian Yang opened the door and said, “We’re not going to play game today, let’s do our summer homework.”
So she brought over a stack of notebooks and went into Jian Yang’s room. Before she had time to set the notebooks down, she noticed that there was an open suitcase on his bed with a few clothes inside-- --
“ ? ” Tong Yao turned around to ask Jian Yang, “You going somewhere? School is going to start soon and you’re going out? Aren’t you going to finish your homework? Don’t procrastinate then beg me to finish for you when school starts-- --”
“ ? ”
Jian Yang paused, after a while he spoke as if he had finally made a decision, “I’m not going back to school.”
“What?” Tong Yao was taken back and thought maybe she had heard it wrong.
“A manager of a professional team likes me and wants me to go to Shanghai to try out. If I do good, then I’ll stay there to play professionally. My parents have already agreed to it.” Jian Yang slightly frowned and scratched his head. “You know that I’m not good at studying. Even if I can get into a third-tier college, I wouldn’t know what to do after I graduate. I like to play games and I feel that I can have more of a future there-- --”
That was the first time she had heard about the LoL tournaments and this ‘first time’ didn’t come with a pleasant impression-- --
She felt that the game had taken the person she liked away from her.
Several days later, Tong Yao went back to school and Jian Yang went to Shanghai. A few days after that, Jian Yang told her that he had passed the try out without a hitch. He started as a substitute for one of the best teams in China-- --
Later on, he finally got the chance to compete on stage.
Jian Yang’s team not only won the match, they won beautifully. At the time, the first jungler of their team wasn’t in a good condition, Jian Yang was sure to become the first jungler after that match.
That night, he excitedly talked to Tong Yao without stopping. Tong Yao searched online for news about him while listening. Everyone from Baidu Tiebar, Weibo, or APP was surprised at his performance: where did this Yang come from? He’s super strong.
Aiyo, she had thought, my boyfriend was a star now.
Later, her boyfriend really turned into a star-- --
Everyday he either had to train or played a match. On WeChat, he wouldn’t reply to the message she sent at 8am until 8pm. The first line would always be, “Sorry, I was training, didn’t see it.”
They had less and less time to talk. During the day, while Tong Yao was in school, Jian Yang would be sleeping.
When she got off school, he was just waking up. They would chat a bit then he had to go train or stream.
When Tong Yao was getting ready to sleep, Jian Yang was calling to order dinner delivery……
-- --When Jian Yang became the “Yang God”, their relationship became a long distance romance with time difference.
In the end, Tong Yao couldn’t remember exactly who became fed up with it first. Regardless, after a big fight, they sulkily broke up.
Afterwards, Tong Yao paid little attention to the professional scene. She concentrated on playing her own ranked games. She rose slowly from silver to gold, then to platinum, and finally diamond-- --
Then, Tong Yao got into college, met some new friends, and changed to another id. Suddenly, one day her accumulated LP had became the highest on the Ionia Server, she became the strongest king herself……
It seemed such a long time ago when she was yelling, “If you keep staying in jungle, you won’t have a girlfriend anymore.”......
Until now-- --
“Tong Yao! Hey! Come back! What are you thinking!”
The manager of the ZGDX team clapped a few times to get Tong Yao back from her wandering mind. Tong Yao, startled out of her reverie, saw the manager reach out his hand, “Welcome to ZGDX!”
Tong Yao shook his hand in a daze.
The current mid, Ming God, of ZGDX was a veteran player. He felt that he was getting too old to play the game well and was preparing to announce his retirement after this year’s spring tournament-- --it was said that the news release was already done and it would be announced on the day of the spring tournament finals.
That was the reason why ZGDX was in a hurry to look for a replacement and they picked Tong Yao-- --they said that before they contacted Tong Yao, ZGDX’s data analyst had followed her when she played for several days. The analyst was quite satisfied with her and even suggested that she could skip the try outs…...The head of ZGDX flew from Shanghai to meet Tong Yao and her parents. They offered a contract of 800,000 RMB a year and guaranteed the first mid position for the summer season. The whole signing process was kept a secret.
When Tong Yao signed the contract, she was in a daze-- --
She had never thought that one day she would be standing on the stage which had seemed so very far away before.
Yet, right now...
After they shook hands, the manager sat back to his seat and spoke to Tong Yao with a smile, “Though there’s no hurry to come over, next Wednesday is our spring finals with CK, why don’t you come take look? Get to know your teammates in advance. We will take care of the airline ticket and the ticket for the first row at the final……”
“Which team are we against?
“Oh.” Tong Yao slowly nodded without any expression. “Alright, I’ll go.”
-- --CK is Jian Yang’s team.
In the past, Tong Yao wouldn’t miss any of the CK’s games. Now, she only wanted to go watch the game live and see how her future teammates would smash their enemy.
Just by thinking about that dejected face……
She felt happy even by thinking about it.
: The name of the main 5v5 map in League of Legends