On the molasses-like progress of League of Legends lore

Hi everyone! Today, I’ll be talking about the lore of League of Legends.

Around the time of the Shurima update, the League of Legends was abruptly removed from the lore of League of Legends. At the time, Riot’s Lore team said that the League and the Institute of War were holding them back creatively, as they had to give each champion reasons to be there. They promised that, with the League gone, they’d be able to expand into new territories, improve their writing and be able to come out with more content. At the same time, the Lore team removed a lot of the backstories for existing champions, ready to replace them with new, Shurima-based stories.

That was one and a half years ago.

Since then, they’ve had a few lore updates, but for champions who already kinda had lore. Miss Fortune changed from sexy pirate hunter into sexy punisher. Gangplank lost all the charm he had of being a pirate. Graves and Twisted Fate are now friends. Xerath’s plan to free himself made no sense what so ever and now he’s just an evil bastard with a snake and a crocodile as sidekicks. They turned Pantheon into a really boring god of war, made the defensive protector Leona into a killer and did somewhat improve Diana, but she doesn’t seem to be in control of her own actions. Bilgewater has been fleshed out as a location, as has Mount Targon a little. Shurima has a hint of culture too. We finally found out who the ruined king was with a small (but horrendously late) Harrowing update. There’s been some progress.

But these jobs are half-done. Yes, Azir and Xerath got new lores, but Sivir, Cassiopeia, Renekton and Nasus are unfinished, Amumu’s new lore doesn’t say anything apart from “cursed mummified child” and Ezreal, Rammus and Skarner had their lores removed, only for them to never be replaced!

They have made some improvements. The Sion, Poppy and Taric updates were all very good, but Poppy lost her hardcore no-nonsense style and while Taric is still a charming, flamboyant man who cares about saving lives, he’s now a Demacian who has been titled the Shield of Valoran… despite not actually having a shield any more. To be fair, they didn’t have much to work with for any of these champions, but only Sion is a bigger, better version of what he used to be, Poppy in particular just isn’t the same person any more.

The biggest problem though is that the Lore team hasn’t fixed the fallout from retconning the League in the first place. Lee Sin, for example, joined the Institute of War, fucked up big time and trained in solitude to become a champion, but Lee Sin as a character no longer has a place in the game since the Institute of War isn’t there any more. He’s just… some guy. It gets worse though. Brand is a powerful demi-god who’d burn the world to ashes had the Institute not stopped him. Nocturne would have continued killing people in their dreams had the Institute not trapped him in a Nexus. Cho’Gath is a gigantic, intelligent beast from another plane of existence, who can only exist because the Institute summoned him by accident. Do these beings no longer exist, or are they free to rampage over Runeterra? If it’s the latter, I’m terrified.

I get that writing quality work is hard. I truly understand the struggles of translating said work into the myriad of languages that League of Legends has. But they need to stop taking this scattershot approach to things and just get stuff done. Fix what is broken, then start work on new content!

This is Phovos of the SPUF of Legend, thanks for watching.


Also known as Doctor Retvik Von Schreibtviel, Medic writes 45% of all the articles on the Daily SPUF. A dedicated Medic main in Team Fortress 2 and an avid speedster in Warframe, Medic has the unique skill of writing 500 words about very little in a very short space of time.

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