The five from Team 422-424 were shocked when they saw Liu Shan selected. Team Lang Qi was switching the heroes among themselves. Jiang Ziya did not go to the random person as they expected; it went to Gao Ge, who they were most afraid of. The second most threatening person, Zhou Mo, took Zhong Wuyan. He Yu still played Hou Yi like the previous round, and Zhao Jin Ran, who only knew how to play Ake, took Li Yuanfang. Liu Shan, which was the last pick, was given to the random guy that just joined the game at the last minute.
Team 422-424 was confused at Team Lang Qi's line-up. Both Gao Ge and Zhou Mo did not seem to take any core roles in this line-up. Team 422-424 had some idea of what Team Lang Qi was trying to do.
"Are they trying to speed push?"
To players who knew the game well enough, it was very likely that this line-up was chosen. After all, Liu Shan's features were obvious. His passive abilities, Magnetic Barrier, allow his first and second abilities to cause a one-second disturbance to turrets. Together with the Summoner's ability, Provoke, his ability to fight under opponent's turrets would be very strong. Any strategies related to Liu Shan were usually a style of rapid pushing.
"Jiang Ziya and Liu Shan. Two marksmen. It's likely," Huang Bin scanned through Team Lang Qi's heroes and realized.
"Then what should we do?" one teammate asked.
"Gather at the middle lane first. If they are going to push mid, then we will fight them five on five. They won't be able to do anything," Huang Bin said.
"But what if they start the game normally?" another teammate asked.
"Then we will invade their jungle," Huang Bin said proudly, "Wasn't that our initial plan? We're just gathering in the middle lane just in case. It doesn't cost anything."
His teammates all agreed. The game began, and everyone entered into the loading screen. Team 422-424 looked at the opponent's Summoner's abilities. Both Zhong Wuyan and Liu Shan had chosen Provoke, which made their intentions very clear. Provoke could silent a turret for 5 seconds and was usually for fighting under the opponent's turrets.
Looking at the Summoner's abilities of the other three, Jiang Ziya and Hou Yi had brought Flash, which was common, but Li Yuanfang had brought Anger of The Land. None of the five brought Smite. It was painfully evident that they planned to push fast.
This was the reason why speed push strategies wouldn't work in high-level KPL tournaments. It was supposed to be a surprise to the opponent, but the exposure of the hero line-up and Summoner's abilities was like a loudspeaker telling the opponent what they were trying to do. Therefore, the results were usually poor.
Team 422-424 had now confirmed the intention of Team Lang Qi, and they had a solution, so the five of them were relaxed. As the game began, Huang Bin said, "Let's go," and the five rushed towards the middle lane.
"Taiyi Zhenren, explode in the bush immediately. Su Lie, follow up closely. Ying Zheng, upgrade your first ability first. Prince of Lanling, you just watch us." As he distributed the tasks, Huang Bin did not forget to joke about Prince of Lanling, who was useless in this level one team fight. The five laughed as they rushed to the middle lane. Without hesitation, Taiyi Zhenren used his first ability, Experimentation, and walked towards the left bush. He then ran to the right bush after seeing there was no one in the left bush. Huang Bin was playing Marco Polo. His finger was already placed on his first ability and aimed at the right bush. He was prepared to shoot when Taiyi Zhenren exploded at the target or tried to run away first.
Nobody stopped Taiyi Zhenren, but there was no one escaping as well. Taiyi Zhenren's furnace exploded, but there was also no one in this bush. Marco Polo put down his gun, and Ying Zheng drew his knives back. Su Lie blankly stood at the center carrying his large pillar. Prince of Lanling stood behind like a coward. Just like what Huang Bin said, he was useless.
"Where are they?" Huang Bin mumbled.
The minions had arrived, but no one from Team Lang Qi was seen. The entirety of Team 422-424 hid in the bushes, watching the minions fighting one another. The relaxed atmosphere was starting to get on their nerves. It held an uncanny resemblance to the calm before the storm. If they were using the speed push strategy, the five of them should be here already. Even if it was a usual beginning, the mid-laner should be here. But there was no one right now.
Before they could discuss, three icons appeared in the mini-map at the bottom lane.
One turret distractor and two main damage dealers—the three core heroes of the Mid Push Strategy—had appeared at the bottom lane!
"Speed push the side lane?" a member of Team 422-424 shouted. The four of them looked at their captain, Huang Bin. Nobody knew what they were supposed to do since this was something out of their plan!
"Go back to defend?" one asked.
"What about we push mid?" the second guy asked.
"We won't be as fast as them in taking the turret!" the third guy said.
"We wouldn't make it in time if we go defend now, right?" The fourth guy asked.
Four people with four different opinions. Huang Bin was stressed out. He was the center man that had tied the five friends together. As the one who had always made decisions among the five, he was pushed to become the captain when the team needed one. In fact, his skill level in the game was not stronger than any one of his teammates. The decision was on him now, but he was just as lost as the other four!
As they hesitated, their minions at the bottom lane were gone. It was too late to go defend the turret now, so getting the middle turret was the right choice!
"Push mid!" Huang Bin had finally made the decision. The five of them came out from the bushes, killing Team Lang Qi's minions in a blink of an eye and leading their team's minions into the opponent's turret.
The three heroes of Team Lang Qi were already attacking the tower. As there was no one there to defend the tower, Liu Shan wasn't so useful. Li Yuanfang threw her first ability, Target Sighted, and used The Land's Anger to attack the turret madly. Hou Yi stood beside her and shot arrows at the turret blindly. Huang Bin moved his screen to see his turret at the bottom lane. He knew it was gone, so Team 422-424 must take down the middle turret in exchange.
When his screen went back to the middle lane, their minions had gone beneath the turret. Team 422-424 had only one marksman, Marco Polo, and he wasn't an excellent turret destroyer. To make sure that they could take down the turret before their minions died, the whole team attacked the turret. Even Taiyi Zhenren was swinging his chain at the turret.
It seemed like they were going to get it.
Huang Bin was watching the health bar of the turret, which was going down. Although their turret destroying ability was just average, the damage was still significant when five of them attacked together.
After a while, the first allied minion had fallen, and shortly after, the second allied minion had also died. The system made an announcement at this time, and Li Yuanfang had destroyed their bottom turret. Huang Bin was getting anxious. The third minion was a range minion, which was not as tanky as the first two melee minions. It seemed like they wouldn't be able to destroy the turret in time.
"Should've attacked earlier! The minions are not in good condition!"
"Should've taken the damage for the minions!"
The few from Team 422-424 started to regret, and Huang Bin was also frustrated. There was only a bit left, and they thought whether to take it down forcefully. When they were still undecided, a bright ring exploded under the turret.
"Shit!" a teammate shouted. In a bush near the turret, Jiang Ziya was waving his magic staff. Nobody knew how long he had been camping there. He waited until the last minion was left with the last bit of health points and released his first ability, Repentance, damaging the three melee heroes under the turret.
The third minion was instantly killed. The turret started attacking the heroes. Su Lie used The Undefeated and ran away from the turret. Taiyi Zhenren and Prince of Lanling did not have an ability like this, and they could only flee slowly. Jiang Ziya's first ability, Repentance, would burn the enemies continually for 5 seconds, and during this period, the movement speed of the enemies would be reduced by up to 90%.
Taiyi Zhenren and Prince of Lanling moved slower and slower. Fortunately, the turret only attacked one target at a time. But after taking two hits from the turret, Taiyi Zhenren was dying, and he used Flash trying to move away faster. However, Jiang Ziya used his second ability, Annihilation, on the exact spot Taiyi Zhenren landed. The power of the explosion pushed Taiyi Zhenren even closer to the turret than before.
Taiyi Zhenren was slain as he cursed. Prince of Lanling was still trying to run away, but his Summoner's ability was Smite, so he didn't have any skills to help him retreat. The turret started to fire at him after Taiyi Zhenren died. At this moment, Jiang Ziya also had come out from the bush and arrived at the turret, chasing Prince of Lanling and used basic attacks at him although they didn't hurt much.
The other three heroes of Team 422-424 did not just watch outside of the turret. Ying Zheng threw his first ability, trying to slow Jiang Ziya down. Marco Polo fired his guns to deter Jiang Ziya from chasing.
However, Jiang Ziya wasn't afraid at all, he maneuvered around Ying Zheng's golden swords, and most of Marco Polo's bullets were also dodged as he moved around. Prince of Lanling had barely escaped the turret's attack range, but the five seconds of Repentance was still on him.
Prince of Lanling's movement speed was decreasing, and his health points were reducing. The last hit of the turret flew towards him, Jiang Ziya too had reached him after dodging Ying Zheng's golden swords, a basic attack had hit him.
After Taiyi Zhenren, Prince of Lanling had also fallen.
Jiang Ziya defended the turret alone, and he even got a double kill when facing five enemies.
"This ambush is really…" He Yu, who was paying attention at the fight, was amazed at the skills, but Gao Ge looked at him after flashing back to the turret.
"Really perfect!" He Yu looked at his screen and was genuinely impressed.