"Lads, let's wrap this up. I've got banana bread in the oven." Words I foolishly typed into the text chat of my Valorant match to inform my teammates that I did not have time to mess about - I had baked goods at stake.
I made many mistakes on Sunday. The first was thinking I could get in a quick round of Riot's tactical FPS while my loaf was baking. The recipe said 50 minutes, Valo matches usually last up to 40. Reader, my match did not last just 40 minutes.
It started off so well. Loaf in the oven, timer on, the perfect amount of time to play a quick game - and at first, it went pretty fast. My squad was smashing the other team, and it seemed we'd manage to win the required 13 rounds with no issue. Then, just when we were up 6-2, our Sage piped up in voice chat.
"Hey everyone just use Classics, let's meme on them."
We weren't winning by loads, but by enough to justify a silly round or two picking dumb guns and playing fun strats. If you don't know, the Classic is the basic pistol, and we really shouldn't have won that round. However, our unpredictable and foolish strategy paid off, and only further encouraged my team to do more daft things.
"Can we all afford Operators? Oh my god let's all buy Ops, come on, come on," said Sage, again. And so we did. All five of us charged around the map with the stupidly strong sniper rifle. I don't think I actually saw an enemy that round, they'd all been burst in seconds.
Of course, our playful strategies didn't pay off every time. When we went for only shotguns we got murdered pretty quick. Fortunately, by the time we'd swapped sides from attackers to defenders, we were still up 8-4. It was time to end it - or so I thought. A couple of wins later the enemy team decided they wanted in on our tomfoolery, and challenged us to a knife fight.
It was at this point I began to worry. We were maybe around half an hour into this match, and if we continued to go on like this, there was no telling when it would end. My mind drifted to my poor loaf. What a waste it would be if it were to get burnt (it had nice chocolate chips in it and everything)! But it's bad sportsmanship to bring a gun to a knife fight, so I sold my weapon, brandished my knife and hopped to the chosen dueling area.
Though, it was less a duel, and more 10 idiots charging around attempting to stab each other. The enemy Raze clearly didn't get the sportsmanship memo either, because as soon as she noticed her team was losing, she lobbed a load of grenades at us.
Fueled by spite and the sweet smell of my banana loaf wafting up the stairs, my reservations were gone: no more daft games, it was time to win and feast.
...Except, I am not good enough to carry a team in Valorant who have no desire to play the game as it's intended. From this point on, it all kind of devolved into madness. Our best player was off pissing about with the enemy Raze, while my team insisted that we played with shotguns until we won - specifically the Bucky, which is a Bad Shotgun. The enemy squad caught up with us, we hit 11-10 and I had about 2 minutes left on the loaf. Panic.
The next round dragged on, but we snagged the win. My timer dinged. Paralysed with indecision, I couldn't decide whether to sprint downstairs to get the baked goods out, or buy a decent gun and attempt to demolish my enemies one last time.
"Lads, let's wrap this up. I've got banana bread in the oven," I typed, purchasing a Vandal.
"Screw your banana bread," one replied. "No, savour the win," said another. "It will taste better if you use the Bucky."
No it won't "GaySniperDad420", it'll taste fucking burnt.
Then of course they all used Buckys and of course they all died, leaving three enemies left for me to face alone. But I would not allow these fools to stand in between me and my bread any longer, and so I walked onto the point and clicked on their heads one by one like a woman possessed.
As I defused the bomb the enemy team had planted, my squad started pleading over voice chat to stop. I simply shook my character's head while the "Victory" screen arose. Disrespect the bread and you disrespect me.
I'm pleased to tell you the banana loaf survived - albeit a little too crispy on the top. So take this as a lesson, dear reader, if you're looking for a game to play while baking tasty treats, do not play Valorant (or at least, don't play Valorant like a numpty).
My banana bread tastes great, by the way. Here's the recipe if you fancy making one yourself.