Riot Will Keep Delivering Updates To LoL Champions Despite Hurdles

Shoaib Akter Himel
By Shoaib Akter Himel
5 Min Read
Image Credit: Riot Games

Despite potential risks and complexities, Riot has assumed that they will keep delivering updates to Lol Champions.

League of Legends currently has 167 champions. The last champion was Hwei, the artistic mid-laner. In 2024, we will also see the dragon marksman champion, Smolder. While the roster keeps expanding every year, the art and gameplay of the champions keep improving as well.

As a result, champions from 2009-2015 era look so older compared to the more recent ones. To bridge the disparity between them, Riot updates the older champions – either the visuals, gameplay, or all at once.

These come in the forms of VGU, ASU, and CGU. VGU enhances how the champion looks and plays, whereas ASU doesn’t change or touch anything gameplay-related. CGU does a complete overhaul of the champion, including its lore, concept, visuals, and mechanics.

Riot does this to keep the game’s consistency intact across all boards. They don’t charge the players anything for this. If you own the champions, you will get all these changes for free. Even the skin updates don’t require any additional money from the players.

Updating champions is a complex process because you need to get the green signal from other staff members as well. Moreover, you need to think about other relevant criteria, such as the retention rate of recurring players, the reaction from the champion mains, etc.

Riot NeoLexical, in a Reddit AMA post, has divulged their philosophies and decision-making process regarding champion updates and how they plan to continue with the updates despite several hurdles.

In this article, I will summarize it for you.

Read More: Riot Shares Future Improvements For LoL Ranked Season 2024

Tackling the Hurdles with Champion Updates in Lol

Skarner VGU
image credit: riot games

Riot NeoLexical states that they are aware of the champion updates not making any sense when it comes to profitability. Because they are not only redoing the base model of a champion, the skins, and their models also get polished. These are years worth of work requiring overhaul. Naturally, the cost is high, both in terms of money and effort. Not to mention the time spent on it.

God Fist Lee Sin Skin after ASU
image credit: riot games

From the looks of it, Riot doesn’t take much pleasure in the process. Because there are certain setbacks here, too. Recurring players may often be discouraged to have seen their favorite champions change. The same goes for the dedicated main of the champion requiring an update. Without any monetary incentive, it seems almost futile to go for any sort of update.

Not to mention, you can just release new champions, a much easier process, with instant rewards. According to Riot’s research, people are more excited when a new champion is released vs a champion rework. So, clearly, Riot isn’t too eager for updates.

The main reason why Riot will still continue to update the champions is to maintain game fidelity and sustainability.

Less Frequent Updates and Champion Release

In response to a Redditor’s question regarding why we are seeing less frequent releases of champion updates and new champions, Riot Neolexical points out three things.

Firstly, the benchmark or bar for game design (including champions, skins, and lore) has gone up over the years. So, they aren’t settling for mediocrity anymore. This demands much more resources and time to do right.

Secondly, some staff members had to work for other teams, such as modes. The update team has been refilled, but it will take a while to see the improved efficiency.

Finally, they are releasing fewer champions each year as the staff from the new champion team are relocated to other departments, such as modes and update teams.

But despite all these hurdles, Riot promises to keep delivering whatever is necessary to keep the game look and feel good for the vast majority of the player base.

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Shoaib is a League of Legends writer at GameRiv. He is passionate about Video Games, Anime, Movies and TV series. He loves deeply analyzing the media he consumes.