My fingers are trembling as I am typing this. If you can't take the time to read this, I understand, but please. Just please. Don't play Shaco. Not today, at least.
I'll try to provide as much clarity as I can about what happened last night. I think the first thing is obvious enough: I decided to play Shaco today. In the jungle, of course. I'm not sure if this is important or not - for all I know, it could be the least important thing about all of this - but I didn't play as the normal Shaco. I had a skin for him. Workshop Shaco.
If you're reading this on a phone or you just can't view the image I posted, it's the skin where he's simply smiling at you, his eyes void of any presence, of any emotion. Just staring... prancing about... sharp daggers in each hand as if he were born holding them. His body turning towards you, while behind him sits an enormous clock. Is it ticking? Does it even matter? Maybe. Maybe not.
From this point on, every detail I'm giving is strictly from pure memory. Unfortunately, according to the server, the game I played never existed.
The beginning of the game started out fairly casually. My team started out on purple side, so I bought my starter items and headed towards my blue buff where the Lucian and Thresh followed to help watch it. After setting down a couple of boxes next to where the buff spawns, my teammates and I did what any other normal player would do. Danced, taunt-spammed, laugh-spammed, whatever you can do to kill the time until the buff spawns. Personally, I chimed in by spamming Shaco's laugh...
I regret that...
Silence followed around 1:45. The game froze. Everyone froze in their place. This wasn't any lag issue either. There were no animations and the time didn't budge, but I could still look around the map. It was like someone just paused the game, only the screen didn't gray out.
After about 10 seconds, everything resumed. The time progressed from 1:45, and my teammates were moving around like nothing happened, and for a few moments, I thought nothing did.
But then I heard it.
And I heard it again. And again. And again.
I did everything I could think of short of exiting the game to make it stop. I tried laughing again, hoping to cancel it out. I tried turning my sound on and off, but none of it worked. In the end, I dismissed it as a small bug and lowered the game volume, hoping to just brush it off. I wasn't going to restart my client just because there was a bit of laughter in the background. Admittedly, it was getting on my nerves, but it wasn't anything I couldn't handle.
So I played on, my mind getting accustomed to the rhythm of the laugh. It only seemed to repeat itself every 3-4 seconds, so it was only a matter of time before I could drown it out in my head. After 3-4 minutes, that's exactly what I did. Drown it out. It was just white noise to me at that point, and I played the game like I normally would, moving from camp to camp, ganking, farming empty lanes...
Then I tried to gank bot lane. I walked around the dragon pit to gank them from their tribush, which I assumed wasn't warded. Just another textbook gank. I was, I believe, level 7 at that time, and my ultimate was available. So I pressed R, readying myself for a gank.
But nothing happened.
I pressed R again.
I tried walking.
'The hell is going on?' I remember asking myself. After a few seconds, I realized. Everything had frozen again. No animations, time didn't move, same as last time. Only this time, I actually disconnected.
As I was reconnecting into the game, the one thing I can remember vividly is how painfully long I had to wait during the loading screen. Just Workshop Shaco staring at me and smiling next to 9 black boxes on my monitor as I waited to reconnect.
The first thing I noticed when I finally did reconnect was that the laughter was still there. Same rhythm as before. But that's fine. I'd already gotten used to it at the time. The second thing I noticed was that the game was progressing just fine without me. No one died, last I checked, which is always what you want to see if you're the jungler and you just reconnected.
And the third... the third thing I didn't notice for a while. Maybe for a full minute and a half actually.
There was another Shaco in the tribush... The same bush I tried to gank from before the game froze. Did my ultimate actually go off? I assumed so. But then why was the clone still there? It bothered me for a while, especially because this "other" Shaco was just standing there, in the bush, biding its time. As soon as I looked at it, the laughter came flowing back into my ears, and I couldn't ignore it anymore. Too much was happening to just brush them off as bugs. There was something more going on. I felt... scared.
That's when he moved.
I was caught so off guard when he did that I had to move away from my computer screen, my heart skipping a beat. I followed its movements on my screen with hesitation, my hands shaking. I don't know why I did, exactly; curiousity, perhaps? I couldn't tell you. But I can tell you this. It wasn't natural.
He moved towards the enemy bot laners and stood right behind them, between them and their turret... watching them... It became clear to me that no one else could see him as neither side reacted to his presense. But a few moments after he arrived, a fight broke out between the four laners.
"...An enemy has been slain."
And all he did was watch. Watched as two people died right in front of him, his laughter playing repeatedly into my headphones. And with the same smile painted on his face as his splash art. The same empty eyes too...
I was too petrified to do anything but follow his movements. I didn't even think about turning the volume down. Even though I just saw it happen right in front of me, I still had trouble believing it. But right after the two enemy bot laners died, the Shaco moved towards my own bot laners. A few seconds later, the enemy mid laner came to clean up my gravely wounded teammates with a river gank. Another double kill.
"...A summoner has disconnected." "A summoner has disconnected."
'Did that... really just happen?' I thought to myself. My teammates had left, their bodies laying still on the ground, the Shaco standing over them. Still smiling. Eyes still empty...
It couldn't have been coincidence. It just couldn't. Everything was happening so... purposefully.
He proceeded to run around the map, visiting each lane, leaving only death behind him as he stayed and watched, the players disconnecting after each death, one by one, never to return. At this point, I could barely move, let alone keep playing. All I could do was follow this ghost around until only the top laners and myself remained.
Then, the enemy top laner, a Nasus, engaged, going far too deep into turret range, even with his ultimate. Although he killed the Riven on my team, he paid for it with his life. And there, not too far from the both of them, was Shaco. Standing. Smiling. Watching.
I was the only one left. It all happened so suddenly and so quickly that I barely left the base. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know if there was anything I could do... He was invisible to them, after all. And I doubt any of them would have believed me. Before today, I would never have believed it myself...
My train of thought was ended by his movement. I didn't have to guess where he was going. There was only one place left to go to. Me.
I'm not afraid to admit that I started to panic once I saw him moving. The first thing I did was try to move as far away from him as possible, into the purple side fountain. As futile as this effort was, it was a natural response. By this time, he was already halfway in our
base. I pressed the ESC button repeatedly, desperately wanting to quit, but the option was grayed out. I felt hopeless and frightened at the same time, and if it weren't for the constant laughter, I would have been able to hear my own heart beating rapidly.
Once he got to me, I froze. The laughter stopped. Neither one of us moved. I just sat still in my chair, waiting for something to happen.
Part of me was hoping the Shaco would explode, much like a clone would. But he never did. He just kept standing there, staring at me. In a twisted way, the silence was worse than the constant laughter. It's as if I was waiting for something.
Then...my own character exploded. As if I was the clone. I remember having what felt like a mini heart attack as it happened. My screen turned gray, and moments before my client
closed itself, the Shaco turned towards me as if it were watching me through my monitor.
Seconds after I was returned to my desktop, the laughter resumed, only this time, it was much, much worse, and it was loud enough that I had to throw my headphones to the side. All it was was constant, horrible laughter...
And it didn't go away. It still hasn't. I've tried rebooting, ending programs and messing around with my speakers, but to no avail. I had to resort to physically remove my speakers just so that I don't hear it anymore...
It's probably playing right now...
I recorded only a few seconds of it just in case someone can figure out what the problem is, and you can listen to it if you like, but I never want to hear it again.
...It just hit midnight here. I still don't fully understand what happened.
In fact, I'm not so sure I want to find out...
Just please. Don't play Shaco.