There will be multiple new faces coming to the LoL season 2023.
The dev team supporting League of Legends tends to have pretty set goals when they start out a new season in terms of new champions, or updates to the already existing ones. These goals generally get outlined in dev blogs named Champion Roadmaps, which the 2023 edition hasn’t been released yet. But to help promote the League’s thirteenth season, Riot recently held a press roundtable where we had to chance to hear from folks like Jeremy “Brightmoon” Lee, Executive Producer of League of Legends, and Lexi Gao, Lead Champion Producer.
One news coming out of this roundtable was that there isn’t a player vote planned this year for a new champion rework. Last year, Skarner was the champion fans voted for a VGU. But according to Lee, they are still catching up to the recent polls. He gave Shyvana as a champion example, who lost her poll but players are still asking for an update.
The panel also said the main focus for Riot in 2023 will be smaller updates to older champions to modernize their art and gameplay, a goal a big part of the player base was favoring over new champions. This will mean more mid scope updates and perhaps ASUs over big CGU projects like Aurelion Sol. There will also be other small changes, such as voice-over updates for older champions like Nidalee and Varus. The known timeline for 2023 so far is:
- Ahri ASU
- Aurelion Sol CGU
- Male Enchanter from Ixtal
- Darkin Assassin
- Skarner VGU
More mid scope updates will be released in LoL Season 2023
2023 already started out with big news on the ASU (Art and Sustainability Update) front. Just a couple of days ago, Riot announced the long-awaited update for Ahri, one of the most popular champions in the game. Ahri is the second champion to get an ASU after Caitlyn, and apparently, the third candidate is already decided. Even though we don’t know who they are yet.
Ahri update is currently on PBE and will go live on January 24 with patch 13.2. Following Ahri, Aurelion Sol will be the next major update released with patch 13.2. League’s Star Forger just went live on the PBE today, and you can read more about the changes here.
Aside from these two and Skarner, who is very early in his VGU process, there might not be too many big projects in 2023. It seems like the team will mainly be focusing on mid scope updates like Taliyah, Swain and more recently Syndra. These updates in 2022 were very successful, increasing the play rate of champions and getting praised by the community. Gao said while there is no set rule about mid scope updates, they are hoping to finish one every two months.
The next champion up on the list will be Neeko. The shapeshifter currently doesn’t satisfy the champion fantasy enough, as her shapeshifting passive isn’t rewarding or effective. But with the mid scope update, Neeko will be able to turn into more than champions. Imagine cosplaying as a Gromp or Scuttle Crab in the Rift.
The first male enchanter and a darkin assassin is coming to Runeterra
Of course, it is clear that Riot doesn’t want to completely stop releasing new champions, and 2023 won’t be the exception. However, there might be some changes in approach with the newest additions to the game. According to Gao, the team took some lessons from past years and will be more careful about putting too much utility into a single kit as it can cause too many problems when trying to balance between pro play and solo queue.
When it comes to these new champions, not too much new information about their gameplay or aesthetics was revealed. We know the first champion on the slate is the male enchanter hailing from Ixtal named Milio. Milio is exciting as there aren’t too many champions in the game from Ixtal, and no male enchanters. The second fact was especially important for the Design Team, as Gao said giving players diverse characters to choose from is a big goal for Riot.
After Milio, players will meet with Naafiri, the fourth Darkin champion in the game after Aatrox, Rhaast and Varus. Not much more information about Naafiri was revealed than we got in the latest dev drop. So far we know that Naafiri was trapped inside a Darkin dagger, and the character will be a melee assassin, probably a mid laner.
What comes after these two isn’t set in stone yet. Lee even said there might not be a champion released for each role in 2023, even though they would love to introduce one for each. Aside from Milio and Naafiri, the only other promise Riot gave for 2023 is that there will be a monster champion released during the season.
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