The Sorrow of Skinless Champions: “Has Riot forgotten about us?”


Today's editorial cartoon highlights the development in the quality of champion skin design. We also mentioned a few champions that have had no skins released for them in a long time.

The set of skins that ‘SKT T1’ fans were waiting for has finally been revealed. All the skins come with great design and animations. The skins were also designed according to the input from the actual players, with one example of that being the recall animation. A ward skin was also created for ‘Kkoma’, the coach of the team.

I pictured all the Championship skins of the past. Back then, it was much easier to predict the design of the skins before their release, as the in-game modeling was a lot simpler. Now, the quality of skins as well as the splash art that represents them are improving after each release. Skins that would likely be considered ‘Ultimate skins’ in the past are being released today as ordinary ones. It is not just the character models alone that have seen increased quality, as the animations have also become more complex and lively. Many things have changed in ’League of Legends’ over the course of its history. The UI and maps have improved significantly, but the most important and noteworthy improvement is, of course, the quality of the skins.

However, there are some champions that did not receive the luxury of having such skins. Despite having been released a long time ago, some champions in the game have been given no love from Riot, as if they have been completely forgotten by them. The ones that immediately come to mind are Yorick (Released: October 2011), Urgot (Released: August 2010), and Swain (Released: October 2010). All of the listed champions have been around for a long time, yet they all have four or less skins. Out of all of them, Yorick’s lack of skins became a meme in certain communities. After the release of ‘Pentakill Yorick’, Yorick was left with just three skins for a long period of time; which motivated many fans to design custom skins in an attempt to compensate for the lack of Yorick skins. There are two others I would have added to the list, but luckily, Zac was graced by SKT with a new skin recently, and Rumble is a very popular pick in the competitive scene at the moment, so I will leave them out of it.

Every company chases after profit. As a gaming company, Riot probably does the same, and that is to be expected. Releasing skins for popular champions make perfect sense in that aspect, but for those who mainly play “unpopular” characters, they may feel somewhat left out. For those champions with many skins, Koreans refer to them as “Riot’s son/daughter” or “Skin rich champion.” Compared to these champions, Yorick and a few others not only lack new skins but have received very little attention from Riot throughout the history of the game, despite their low pick rate and/or win rate. When I tried to think from the perspective of players who love those champions, I started to feel that Riot simply doesn’t care much for those champions.

The feeling of satisfaction from using a skin is great, but a skin also acts as a catalyst for attracting more players to a champion. Think about Zac. He had 3 skins, with one of them being the basic skin, and another being nothing but a color change from the basic. Although it is true Zac has become strong from the rework, imagine the increase in amount of Zac players you will see due to the release of the new skin. 

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