ALL-ROUND MID LANER

Chapter 10

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Xie Yu's expression was a bit hideous.

He had been playing all day, and this wasn't the first time the Abyssal Lord was banned or picked before he could lock in that hero. But this time, his opponent was also an [Abyssal Lord] main who was taking aim at the national leaderboards with this hero—and this opponent was a new streamer to boot.

Xie Yu had planned on taking the Abyssal Lord to teach his opponent a lesson in front of everyone, but this opponent snatched the hero away from him? Xie Yu laughed disdainfully. "Alright, sure. Then I'll use my best hero to beat your Abyssal Lord!"

He happened to have the first pick in that game, so he immediately took the Illusionist.

The chatter in the streaming room grew more excited—

[Brother Fish's famous Illusionist is coming into play? Looks like Brother Fish is serious!]

[The Illusionist is very strong in early-game. I bet Brother Fish will get a solo kill on that guy!]

[Go, go, God Fish! Take first blood!]

[I Love God Fish The Most has sent Brother Fish a rocketship!]

[Brainrot Fan #7 has sent Brother Fish a deep sea torpedo!]

Seeing as he was a very popular streamer on Whale Streaming, God Fish's streaming room filled up with more than three million viewers. A dense flood of white bullet comments packed the screen, and gifts flew in from all over the place.

In comparison, Ye Shaoyang's fans weren't as excited—or, rather, he basically didn't have any fans. Most of the people in his streaming room were simply passersby. Some of them were God Fish's fans, who were watching both streams at the same time to catch a good show.

Ye Shaoyang minimized the comments window and concentrated on the game interface.

The other team's first and second picks were the Illusionist and the Stealthy Rogue.

When it was the blue team's turn to pick again, Qin Rui chose the Blessed Priest once more to continue protecting his gege.

The third player to choose, Blockhead, took the initiative to ask for Ye Shaoyang's advice: [Great God, do I need to choose a particular hero to work with you?]

[Xiao Bai]: Which positions are you good at?

[Blockhead]: Marksman and jungler are both fine for me.

[I Only Play Jungler]: You'd better take a marksman, dude. Let me be the jungler.

[Blockhead]: OK!

Blockhead started to move his cursor around the hero selection screen, repeatedly cycling between five marksman-type heroes to indicate that he was familiar with those five.

Ye Shaoyang studied all five of them, then gave his answer: [Take the Divine Archer.]

The Divine Archer was immediately locked in as their team's third pick.

When their opponents' turn came around again, their third and fourth picks went to a bottom lane duo—the healer Forest Envoy and the burst marksman Godly Sniper. A sniper in the bottom lane with a healer to play nanny for them was a very common combination; these two players were probably double queueing with each other too.

Ye Shaoyang mulled it over for a while, then typed: [Take the Brawler for the jungle and the Berserker for the top lane.]

[I Only Play Jungle]: Won't we be too fragile?

[Shooting Stars Every Day]: We won't have a single tank in that team comp, and our marksman won't be good until late-game. Team fights will be hard for us.

[Xiao Bai]: We'll focus on mobility.

[Xiao Bai]: For team fights, we have me.

Upon seeing those confident words, his teammates were instantly reassured. Maybe they would see the true power of a great god? By messaging his teammates in the chat to help them choose their heroes, Ye Shaoyang set their minds at ease. Compared to games where players randomly picked their favorite heroes or even fought over heroes amongst themselves, this was a much more comforting preparation stage.

At least everyone knew that their teammates would be taking this game seriously. No one would screw up carelessly.

The blue team finished making their picks.

Xie Yu almost laughed out loud when he saw their lineup—the top lane was a glass cannon, the jungler didn't have enough carry potential, the support was only suitable for pocketing one hero at a time, and the marksman was a late bloomer. Plus, their middle lane hero had a lot of attack power, but he was fragile as well.

"Who the fuck came up with this team comp?" Xie Yu spat. "We're up against a bunch of real geniuses here!"

The viewers in his streaming room all reacted to his sarcasm with popular 'LMAO' reaction memes and emojis. Everyone started spitting their own insults at this absurd lineup.

The red team still had one last position to fill—their top laner. The fifth player swiftly chose the Holy Knight, which was the hero with the highest defense in the game. Many players called this meat shield 'Tank Daddy'.

The game began.

On the red side: the Holy Knight in the top lane, the Stealthy Rogue in the jungle, the Illusionist in the middle lane, the Forest Envoy as their support, and the Godly Sniper as their marksman.

On the blue side: the Berserker in the top lane, the Brawler in the jungle, the Abyssal Lord in the middle lane, the Blessed Priest as their support, and the Divine Archer as their marksman.

The red team's lineup was, relatively speaking, more conventional for ranked matches. They had a meaty tank in the top lane and a healer as their support. Their jungler and mid laner were flexible, and their marksman's attack power was explosive. They had all their bases covered.

As for the blue team?

Five glass cannons? Seriously?

Although they had lots of crowd control skills between them, the problem was… could the five of them really get a kill on the enemy's Holy Knight, even if they all ganged up against him?

In Ye Shaoyang's streaming room, viewers saw the messages he sent into the game and started to voice their doubts—

[Is Xiao Bai planning to drag this out to late-game?]

[This team comp is as fragile as a piece of tissue paper. They'll die as soon as anyone touches them in a team fight!]

[But Xiao Bai does have a point. The mobility of this lineup is really good.]

[Don't order people around blindly, host! You need a tank to take damage in team fights. A top laner like the Berserker can't handle it!]

[Just popped over from God Fish's room. Can't wait to see this newbie taken down a peg, hahaha.]

Ye Shaoyang didn't bother explaining any further.

MOBA tactics were largely interchangeable between games. Ye Shaoyang had memorized all the information on these heroes in detail, and he had a general idea of what role each hero played in each position. This team comp had been constructed with one goal in mind—to deal with the enemy's middle laner and jungler.

So the enemy had destructive firepower? So what? Ye Shaoyang's team was highly mobile. All their heroes had displacement crowd control skills, and the Blessed Priest had a haste skill that could buff his teammates' speed. Their opponents would soon realize that, if they failed to wipe out Ye Shaoyang's side in one go during team fights, they wouldn't ever be able to catch them.

If they couldn't be caught, they couldn't be immobilized and they couldn't be killed.

That was something to fear in any game.

Welcome to Gods War!

The familiar system notification indicating the start of the game sounded out. Ye Shaoyang instantly marked a spot in the woods on their side of the map.

Their top laner, middle laner, support, and jungler all grouped up there, waiting to stage an ambush near the blue buff. Only their marksman went down to the bottom lane to await the enemy minions.

Qin Rui skillfully planted a well-hidden ward by the river.

Thirty seconds into the game, the blue buff spawned.

The opposing jungler, the Stealthy Rogue, had invisibility skills. He really had the guts to slip into the enemy jungle to try to steal the blue buff. While he hid out in the woods, he saw that only the Brawler was hacking away at the monster which would drop the blue buff. Among all junglers, the Brawler was one of the ones with the lowest attack power. It would take ages for this hero to grind down the blue buff monster's HP to the halfway point.

Now was the time to strike!

The Stealthy Rogue suddenly emerged from the woods and snuck up to take a stab at the blue buff—

Just as the Stealthy Rogue was about to claim the buff, the Berserker suddenly emerged from the other side of the woods, swinging his big sword down!

That massive blade came down hard on the Stealthy Rogue's head. The Rogue was instantly stunned, and he lost a chunk of HP as well.

Qin Rui hooked his gege up with his Q skill, which granted an attack buff. Ye Shaoyang instantly seized the opportunity to pop out and collect the enemy's head.

First Blood!

The Abyssal Lord had taken first blood!

Ye Shaoyang's other teammates were all rewarded with some gold for assisting in that kill.

Xie Yu couldn't help but swear, "Fuck! Is there something wrong with my jungler? Going out there first thing, trying to steal the blue buff, and giving away his head?"

He frowned and swiftly took down some minions in the middle lane, then crept into the woods in hopes of getting the jump on the enemy mid laner.

However, his opponent was extremely cautious. The Abyssal Lord didn't cut through the woods at all. Instead, he left the jungle and headed to the nearby tower.

Xie Yu's wait was fruitless. He turned back around and continued farming creeps.

Both sides leveled up peacefully for a while. Then, at the three-minute mark, an event on the bottom lane was announced—

Murmur (Godly Sniper) killed Blockhead (Divine Archer)!

Ye Shaoyang glanced at the bottom lane and quickly typed a reminder into the team chat: [Bot lane marksman, don't leave the tower. The marksman and support are teamed up on the other side. You'll be going 1v2, it's dangerous.]

Blockhead was embarrassed. He replied: [My bad. I got him down to low health and got greedy. They killed me before I could get him.]

Ye Shaoyang reassured: [It's fine. Just pay attention. Later, our support will be down to help you.]

And so, the headcount became 1 to 1.

Due to taking one kill, Ye Shaoyang had a lead in gold for the time being.

Soon enough, both junglers hit Level 6 and started to gank. The enemy jungler headed down to the bottom lane. Although the marksman on Ye Shaoyang's side was cautious, their opponents had a dedicated healer. That allowed their opponents to heal through the damage from the tower while seeking out another kill!

Murmur (Godly Sniper) killed Blockhead (Divine Archer)!

The enemy marksman got a second kill.

Ye Shaoyang's marksman was about to go crazy from all these deaths. He sent a long string of ellipses into the chat.

Ye Shaoyang made the decision right away. "Xiao Rui, go help out in the bottom lane."

Qin Rui obediently slipped down to the bottom lane.

Which left Ye Shaoyang and Xie Yu in a 1v1 in the middle lane.

Xie Yu sneered. "That annoying support is finally gone. Watch me get a Level 6 solo kill on this guy!"

Among mages, the Illusionist was one of the ones with the highest damage output in early-game. He could take down a glass cannon with just one skill combo. Ye Shaoyang had coincidentally purchased this hero and practiced with him a bit in games against A.I. teams. He knew how explosive this hero's damage could be.

As soon as Xiao Rui left for the bottom lane, Ye Shaoyang started to retreat with his minions.

Soon enough, both mages lit up with the glow of hitting Level 6.

A flash of color suddenly burst in front of Ye Shaoyang's eyes—

In a haze of purple light, countless illusory shards swirled around his body like a whirlwind. Then, those shards all ferociously stabbed at him, cutting away a huge amount of his HP!

Only a sliver of health remained.

Seeing that the Abyssal Lord was only hanging on by a thread, Xie Yu quickly gave chase to get the kill. Ye Shaoyang instantly used his skill to swap places with one of his shadows, immediately transporting himself behind a wall—escaping with that sliver of health!

That stimulating scene had all their viewers in a cold sweat.

It had seemed like the Illusionist could get the kill. Too bad the Abyssal Lord escaped with just a drop of blood left!

Xie Yu was beyond pissed. "Fuck! No kill? Is this guy cheating?"

After slipping behind the wall to make his escape, Ye Shaoyang rushed back to his base to heal up.

He had deliberately held his minions back just then. Even if he was beaten and forced to retreat to his base, he wouldn't lose his forces.

The two mid laners continued facing off.

Shortly after that first exchange, both junglers came over to help their mid laners. Xie Yu continued to look for opportunities to strike, coordinating with his jungler. In that 2v2 fight, Ye Shaoyang once again had to flee with only a sliver of health! But, due to some careless positioning, his jungler was reaped by the enemy Illusionist.

Brother Fish (Illusionist) killed I Only Play Jungler (Brawler)!

As soon as that notification popped up, the '666' comments in God Fish's stream started flooding the screen like crazy!

That 2v2 was a win for God Fish. Unfortunately, the Abyssal Lord had slipped away with a droplet of health again.

Xie Yu raised his eyebrows, then laughed. "He got away again. That could've been a double kill."

Ye Shaoyang returned to the middle lane and issued a reminder: [Jungler, help the bottom lane. I'm fine by myself in the middle.]

The jungler changed his course and headed down to the bottom lane.

The enemy jungler just so happened to head down to the bottom lane as well, creating a 3v3 entanglement down there. The three players on Ye Shaoyang's side were at an obvious disadvantage. They didn't have enough DPS on their side, and the enemy had a healer. Once again, the fight was a loss for them.

Murmur (Godly Sniper) killed I Only Play Jungler (Brawler)!

The enemy marksman had three kills now. He was the obvious leader in terms of gold.

The jungler on Ye Shaoyang's side had been taken down twice in quick succession. His mental state was cracking!

[I Only Play Jungle]: …forget it, I can't beat their jungler!

[I Only Play Jungle]: I'll leave you the resources in the upper jungle. We'll be relying on you for this match, Great God.

[Xiao Bai]: Thanks. Everyone, keep calm.

The headcount was now at 1 to 4.

Shortly afterwards, the outer tower on the bottom lane was destroyed.

Ye Shaoyang's team was in an unfavorable position. Everyone's morale was a bit low.

Their bottom lane collapsed sooner than Ye Shaoyang had anticipated. The marksman and jungler on his team weren't very high-level players.

Ye Shaoyang swiftly typed out: [Don't worry. We'll take this to late-game.]

Nine minutes into the game, the enemy mid laner suddenly went down to assist in the bottom lane. When another team fight broke out there, Ye Shaoyang's marksman and support were both killed. The Illusionist took both heads.

Brother Fish (Illusionist) killed Xiao Rui (Blessed Priest)!

Brother Fish (Illusionist) killed Blockhead (Divine Archer)!

Xie Yu's mood was getting better and better.

He grinned and said to his viewers, "I didn't expect to win this one so easily. The enemy marksman really sucks too bad, and the support's skills are only Gold-level at best. He was probably carried up to King."

He opened up the info panel and checked the game stats for both teams.

Currently, his own kill-death-assist stat was 3-0-0. The opposing mid laner was at 1-0-0. Based on these numbers, Xie Yu should have been far more developed than the enemy mid laner. However, when he saw the other mid laner's gold count, his hand suddenly tightened around his mouse. He couldn't stop his eyes from widening the slightest bit.

How could this be!

How could the enemy mid laner's gold count possibly be nearly equal to his own?!

He had clearly beaten the enemy to low health twice, sending him scampering back to his base. Plus, he'd just taken a double kill on the bottom lane!

Just then, Xie Yu saw the Abyssal Lord appear before his eyes. The hero's whole body was illuminated by the glow of the blue buff.

"…fuck, he ate up all the resources in the jungle!" Xie Yu exclaimed.

Xie Yu, who had played dozens of games with this hero, knew exactly how powerful the Abyssal Lord was in late-game. A chill ran down his spine. He hurriedly typed out a message into the team chat: [They want to take this to late-game, don't let them drag it out! Team fight in the mid lane to end the game now, now, now!]

His teammates saw that message and started to gather in the middle lane.

Ye Shaoyang also signaled his teammates. They grouped up in the middle lane as well.

Eleven minutes into the game, the first 5v5 team fight of the match was set to begin.

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