I’ve started so many articles with “it’s that time of year again,” but this time I really mean it when I say.
It’s that time of year again.
We have a new champion on the horizon. A tease from Riot, a short description from the roadmap. What more could we want?
The time period between the tease of a champion and the reveal is always one of my favorites. I’ve enjoyed it since I first started playing League but my enjoyment has only increased since I started covering the game almost two years ago. The teases and the reveals have always meant a lot to me, and I remember so much about each.
The first champion released after I started playing was Lissandra. I remember getting home from class, pulling up the old League client in my old freshman dorm, and seeing a new loading screen. The green, weird Zac was no longer the star. Instead, it was this awesome looking ice witch who towered above the snows. I immediately texted Austen (yeah, the same one who also works here) to tell him that I “think a new champion got released today.”
So much has changed since that moment, but the excitement stays the same. There’s nothing more interesting or refreshing than a new champion. Riot can overhaul entire systems like runes or objectives like dragons, but nothing offers the same breath of fresh air.
Lissandra, Aatrox, Lucian, Jinx, Yasuo, Vel’Koz, Braum, Gnar, Azir, Kalista, Rek’Sai, Bard, Ekko, Tahm Kench, Kindred, Illaoi, Jhin, Aurelion Sol, Taliyah, Kled, Ivern, Camille, Rakan, Xayah, Kayn, Ornn, and Zoe. I remember where I was and what I was doing the first time I read their kits. I can remember what my job was or the classes I was going to or where I was living. I associate so many things with champion releases. They’re like mini milestones in my life, sad as that sounds.
But now it’s time we look ahead. We’re currently in one of those precious moments, the two or three week span between tease and reveal. Once they hit the PBE, we already know everything about them. Waiting for a champion to release off of the PBE is almost quaint.
Instead, it’s the adrenaline rush of seeing a new kit that’s unlike anything else. Come this Tuesday (hopefully), I’ll be so excited that I can barely contain myself. But on Wednesday, I’ll already be looking forward to the next champion, ready to see what else Riot has in store for us.
But that’s the art of this whole thing isn’t it? That’s why Riot succeeds where others fail. Nothing is more exciting to me than new League content. New champions and new champion reveals have me coming back to League game after game after game despite the fact that there’s only one map and one mode.
There have been times where I’ve been playing little to no League, and I still remember the champion reveal. I remember being at work in college when Kalista was revealed and texting Austen from the bathroom about how crazy her kit was. That was back in November of 2014, when I was barely playing League thanks to World of Warcraft’s horrible fifth expansion, Warlords of Draenor.
And that’s the thing. Reveals aren’t any more or less exciting depending on how into League I am at any given moment. Right now, I’m playing loads of Monster Hunter: World every night and I’m still counting down the days until the next champion reveal. We know they’re void related, they’re a marksman, and they’re awesome. That small amount has me speculating wildly as to what they could do.
That’s all we know, but I can’t wait. I’ve only played a few League games in the past several weeks, but it doesn’t matter. I’ve written multiple times in this feature that League is a forever game for me. There will never be a time where new content doesn’t excite me. Even times where I think, “Maybe I’m finally done with League” never last more than a week.
As long as League is around, Riot will have new champions to tease. As long as we keep getting these interim times of wonder, they’ll always have me excited to come back and play.