Riot Talks About Updating Champions, ASU, VU, And More In LoL

Shadman Sabik Zaim
By Shadman Sabik Zaim
6 Min Read
Image Credit: Riot Games

With a lot of transparency happening on Riot’s end, this is what they think about Updating Champions, VU, ASU, and More.

Riot has to be praised for transparency, as we have been hearing more about League of Legends in the past few months. This is refreshing, even if players don’t always agree with them. Thus, Riot has been more forthcoming and has tried to make changes needed in the game.

In the past, Riot has made a lot of ASU and Reworks just this year alone. We got the Ahri ASU, Aurelion Sol CGU, and the upcoming Jax VU. There is a lot more planned, like the Lee Sin and Teemo ASU, while Varus also got a new VO. Overall, in terms of player satisfaction, Riot has done a fair bit.

In light of that, Riot has recently amped up their conversation about Updating Champions. More specifically, a thread on Reddit has popped up where Riot has answered some questions. Here is all we have learned from their responses.

Read More: How to Vote For The Theme Of A New Item In League of Legends

Riot Answers About Updating Champions

In this thread, Riot Reav3 talked about updating champions in terms of VGU, ASU, CGU, VU, etc. So, before we start talking about what he said, let’s talk about what those terms actually mean.

Meaning of Terms For Updating Champions

Starting from most update intensive to least, VU stands for Visual Update, where the champion’s looks and skins are improved. The new Jax VU is the latest example of such an update.

Next is the ASU, which is the Art and Sustainability Update, which comprises updating the Abilities, looks, and skins that are upgraded. Ahri was the last champion to receive an ASU.

Then we have the CGU, which is a Character Gameplay Update. This one includes all of the above and rework kits for champions. Aurelion Sol was the latest champion to receive a CGU.

Lastly, we have the VGU, which is the most intensive one of them all. As the Visual and Graphical Update, it updates everything about the champion. Udyr was the last champion to receive one, while Skarner will be getting one soon.

Riot Reav’s Comment On Updating Champions

With the clarifications out of the way, Riot Reav replied to a thread about Updating Champion. His first statement started by saying that Updating Champions requires “2-3 time more” resources than new champions.

That is a huge amount of resources required to just update champions. He also laid out several things that need to be done for a champion update.

  • New Concept Art or Re-imagination of the Champion in terms of Lore and IP.
  • New Model, Animations, etc.
  • New VO for all Languages and Legendary+ Skins
  • New Concept Art for All Skins
  • Updated Splash Arts For All Skins
  • New Models, VFX, and Animations For All Skins.
  • Possible Redoing of Champion Kits
  • Publishing Campaign

While the last two depends on certain factors, the rest look like quite a work load. For new champion, Riot has to do the first 3 and one new Concept and Splash Art for the release Skin. Other than that, everything else is added on for Updating Champions. This is an immense resource pull as Riot Reav3 said.

He added on by saying that the extra workload is really the skins. Also, what makes it less appealing for Riot to do is that ASU and VUs do not increase engagement for Champions. So Riot has to focus on the more popular champions to make it worth their while. However, popular champions mean more skins, so more work.

He did end the whole comment by saying that they want to do more of it. He then moved on to talk about other things regarding ASU’s and VU’s in particular.

Why VU and ASU Do Not Increase Engagement

Like Reav3 said, VU’s and ASU’s do not increase engagement.

ASU and VU do not increase play rate but VGU’s do, considering they are reinvented champions. Also Midscopes have better engagement that ASU/VU so it is not exactly the reason why ASU/VU’s are done.

Riot does these updates to improve the quality of the game but engagement does not increase because of that. Hence, Riot considers popularity into this mix.

Increasing Frequency of VU and ASU

That said, VU’s and ASU’s are an important part and Riot is increasing the frequency of them by outsourcing them.

So with Riot employing outsourcing and such, we can expect more VU and ASU. Riot has also shown intent on doing more of them including the upcoming Teemo and Lee Sin ones. Thus, these updates will be one to look forward to in the future.

Avatar photo
By Shadman Sabik Zaim Deputy Editor
Shadman is a Deputy Editor of League of Legends and other Riot IPs (excluding VALORANT) at GameRiv. He is a computer science and engineering graduate who got into games pretty early. Also, he takes pride in trying multiple types of games and got into League of Legends pretty early. Games, Board Games, Writing, Music, and Sports are his passions and hobbies.