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NOTE: This is actually a real thing that happened based off of one of the games I played earlier. I don't really know... Just felt like I needed to write about it.
The clock slowly crept to three in the morning and a Skype chat with a friend was almost hitting five hours in call time. It was a chilly to say the least and a nineteen year old girl (almost twenty), shivered in her computer chair as she passively entered the League of Legends queue. Blind Pick.
"I would be crazy to enter Draft when I'm this tired," the Girl figured.
A horn blared and the screen darkened. A box with two options centered on the interface and the girl entered the champion selection. One by one, the slots were filled by the other people and as usually, she proudly took the Support role. The girl had grown comfortable babysitting other champions, and having responsibilities other than focusing on what damage needed to be dealt to the enemy team in terms of kills and deaths.
Enabling the deaths of the opposition was much more satisfying.
It wasn't any surprise to her friend on the other end of the Skype call that Lulu, the Fae Sorceress was locked in. Over the past week or so, the Girl had taken a fancy to the new yordle and had been obsessively choosing her match after match.
The gongs sounded and the screen quickly changed to black and filled with the portraits of the champions they were to face.
Jungle Xin Zhao, Caitlyn, Mundo, Lulu and Wukong versus Jungle Trundle, Karthus, Zilean, Nautilus and Garen.
The Girl and her companion chatted away about the strange team compositions and what to do to deal with them as the loading bars slowly crept up to full. She excitedly yammered on about how rare a jungling Trundle was and was interested to see how they played. Of course, due to the nature of how Free Week champions worked, and Trundle being among them, her expectations weren't exactly high. Nevertheless, she welcomed the change of pace.
Then her focus changed to what she was to be up against in lane. Zilean was the obvious Support choice and the Girl was confident in her ability to trade blows with the Chronokeeper. What concerned her was who was his partner. The choices quickly narrowed down to either Nautilus or Garen. Which ever it was, she wasn't necessarily sure she would be able to fend them off.
The last loading bar filled and the screen quickly changed to that of the battlefield, Summoner's Rift. The announcer boomed over the headset and the girl immediately began her standard routine. Her eyes were glued to the game clock, waiting for the moment to cast Clairvoyance at the enemy fountain. Information gathering won games after all. As soon as the numbers hit 0:14, the red glowing eye showed up in the enemy base and the Lulu player pulled up her Tab Menu to see what everyone was purchasing. It wasn't long before the spell wore off. All she found out was Zilean had spent his initial starting gold on a Doran's Ring.
It wasn't a problematic setup though, and the Girl swiftly purchased her Faerie Charm, Wards and Potions. Like clockwork, she sent her champion down to the bottom lane and awaited her laning partner to follow... But something was amiss...
The announcer boomed overhead, "A summoner has disconnected!"
The Lulu's partner, Wukong, was nowhere to be found. Immediately the Girl started whining over her microphone to her friend. While she was aware that there were numerous lag spikes happening at the time, she didn't want to believe it was actually going to happen. Of course, the friend tiredly listened on to his friend's stammering, but did not show any sign of concern. He was simply too exhausted to respond.
"This isn't going to be pretty", the Girl told herself, gluing her eyes back to the match timer. Another Clairvoyance went up at 1:27 in between the enemy Wolf and Ancient Golem camps and both the Zilean and Trundle showed up. The other three champions were, unsurprisingly, missing.
However, the Support player figured that if the Ziliean was guarding the Trundle, they wouldn't invade their team's jungle anyway. Logical. They didn't want to risk it or they simply didn't want to invade in the first place.
This didn't detract her from her initial problem though: she still didn't have a partner and the lanes were starting to fill with lines of minions. Cautiously, the Lulu stepped out of the safety of her tower to see if she could swipe up some money. Unfortunately, for all the six-hundred games or so the Girl had played, she had never gotten all that better at earning money from killing minions. Most of the time she was not required to do so and often left that to the carry she was helping.
But it wasn't like she wasn't able to get creep source... She just did so terribly and her lack of practice with the new champion didn't assist her in any way either. The Girl cursed between her teeth. All's well that ends well, though.
The clock continued to tick and the Girl continued to try and hold her own in the lane against Zilean and Garen. It wasn't the best combination but it wasn't one that was easily scared off by her mind games, harassment and attempted zoning. One champion versus two often ended up that way.
It wasn't long before her team's Xin Zhao came to assist her and sat in the river, waiting for his time to jump in. The Girl quickly pinged the Zilean, indicating him as her target due to the lower HP and the fact he was a huge annoyance in the first place with his Time Bombs. As if anything else couldn't go wrong though, her teammate expected her to start a fight. Not the other way around. It wasn't long before his clevar ruse was found out and he was subsequently attacked by the Chronokeeper and the Might of Demacia and quickly dishing out a death. The Support player had frantically rushed over to assist after realizing what happened moments before, throwing out all the skills she could to save him but alas was too slow and too late. Even if she burned her Heal skill, it would have been wasted because of the Ignite that was already ticking away at the Senchal's health.
Xin Zhao: gj lulu Xin Zhao: nice mate
The Lulu couldn't tell if he was being facetious and condescending or was genuinely praising her for her efforts. After spending so much time in the warped and toxic community, you often couldn't tell the difference at all.
In the end, the Girl simply continued on without saying a word. She didn't feel the need to ask if he was being serious about praising her.
Only a short time passed before the cursed laning partner, WuKong, reconnected, behind and weaker than the rest. The Girl decided to cut him some slack, as he was experiencing some issues. If this was to be a losing game, then so be it. No skin off her back. It was there it came flooding back: her match history. She had been on a terrible losing streak consisting of five losses in a row. Admittedly, her ending scores weren't bad, pretty average in fact for your everyday support player, but it didn't really help her case. She didn't want to blame bad composition, bad gameplay from her teammates or bad teamwork but herself. Her own gameplay wasn't game changing enough to justify her earning victory.
And sure enough, The Girl was killed twice within the next five minutes without gaining anything in the trades or skirmishes that occurred. It was a terrible blow to her pride. This wasn't a regular occurrence and the deaths were certainly her fault. She was playing terribly and she admitted it. But she pressed on, not saying a thing and continued playing her role as she knew it: constantly having full stacks of wards and deploying them where she could without any risk to herself, trying to enable her team to earn kills, saving people from untimely deaths, buying what would benefit her team the most when it counted, landing slows, disables and buffs... Yet, she still wasn't doing anything right... It wasn't enough. It was never enough...
Then it ended up happening in the most inopportune time: a hectic teamfight.
The nerves in The Girl's wrists flared and the muscles in her hand contracted, hardening like a rock. Spikes of pain ran up her arms sporadically as she continued to smash her fingers on the keys trying to stay alive in the game itself. Why? Why of all times did it have to happen then?
It was only recently that The Girl had been experiencing early symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome in her hands and it constantly plagued her with incredible amounts of pain and agony even in the simplest of tasks and pressing buttons on a keyboard or clicking on a mouse was no exception.
The Lulu player bit her lip, trying to ignore it all.
She had to do more to help everyone else. There was a simple solution, after all. The faster they won or lost, the faster she could rest...
Particle effects constantly whizzed by filling the screen. Health bars constantly dropped to zero or raised to full. Turret after turret went down. Ward after ward destroyed and replaced. Clicking around the map to find enemies. Scouting ahead. Running away. Engaging and disengaging from fights...
The screen began to blur as the match crept to thirty minutes. The pain escalated as the match continued to drag on.
It is almost over, The Girl kept telling her self. It was almost over.
"ACED!" the Announcer yelled. The names of the enemy team filled the chatbox as they were slain one by one in combat.
It felt like a miracle! All it took was one solid winning fight. The Girl's team immediately rushed to the enemy base, destroying everything in their way. The inhibitors were gone and the Nexus was brought down.
It was complete victory! After a terrible loss streak no less! And yet it was not as satisfying as The Girl would have liked but it was a win.
It was at the stats screen she took a deep breath. Tears trickled down her cheeks; the pain in her palms was unbearable. Clumsily, the girl reached over across her desk, picking up an arm brace. Hastily strapping it on, she slowly typed with one hand commenting on her score as she flipped through the stats screens and graphs.
Lulu: Oh well. I didn't do all that great but my score isn't all that terrible...
She smiled to herself, telling her friend over Skype what she had achieved. It wasn't long before she had gotten a response from her teammate.
Mundo: 0/3 nice score bro Lulu: I'm a support. I managed to assist in 21 kills which is alright. Mundo: dont get all technical
The Girl's smile quickly faded. Sure she didn't actually attempt to kill people, but didn't she help win at all? 0/3/21 wasn't actually as bad as she was expecting it to be.
Lulu: Eh. It wasn't like I was aiming to get kills anyway. Mundo: nowai who does that
It was at that point it was confirmed that this guy was obviously going to say anything positive after that. It was pretty typical by now. The Girl secured the velcro of the brace with her teeth, using her free hand to navigate out of the screen. She didn't feel like saying much else and repeated what she had read to her friend.
Friend: That is messed up. You did pretty well. Dude. Why do you even deal with people like that anyway? You could have just disconnected if you were having so many problems with your arms too. That's not good for you. Girl: Well. I won didn't I? And I didn't want to make people mad if I disconnected or complained about it.
What she told her friend was true enough, but she couldn't help feel slightly peeved by the players behavior towards her. And looking back at the match they had been throwing back and forth hurtful words to the enemy team and each other. Nothing that was worthy of a report or being sent to the Tribunal but nevertheless they were harsh and uninviting...
After much contemplation, she told herself the community wasn't always like that. She simply had to ignore the negativity, no matter how much it nagged at her. It would do no good to fuel the rage or arrogant boasting...
With a sigh, the Girl sat quietly in her chair and stared at her hands, inspecting them, then looked up at the screen again and logged out of the client deciding she needed to take the entire day off from playing League of Legends...
"No one needs a non-functioning team member with them, after all. I'll play again when I'm feeling better," she told herself with a grin.