Unlocking the Secrets of LOL Champion Design: From Concept to Victory

Unlocking the Secrets of LOL Champion Design: From Concept to Victory

Have you ever wondered what it takes to bring your favorite League of Legends (LoL) champion to life? With 155 unique champions to choose from, Riot Games has perfected the art of creating champions that keep millions of players engaged. Join us as we dive deep into the world of champion design, unveiling the behind-the-scenes insights and expert opinions on what makes a LoL champion truly captivating.


  • League of Legends has 155 champions, each with unique abilities and playstyles.
  • Yasuo is the most popular champion based on pick rate.
  • Riot Games has a dedicated team of over 200 designers and artists for champion design.
  • Champion design balances uniqueness, satisfaction, and overall game balance.
  • Expert opinions and personal experiences from pro players like Imaqtpie provide valuable insights into what makes a well-designed champion.

The Art and Science of Champion Design

Creating a new champion for League of Legends is no small task. Riot Games employs a massive team of over 200 designers and artists who work tirelessly to ensure each champion feels unique, satisfying, and balanced. To achieve this, Riot Games Lead Champion Designer Andrei Van Roon states, “A good champion design should feel unique and satisfying to play, while also fitting into the overall balance of the game.

Champion Abilities and Playstyle

When crafting a new champion, the design team focuses on developing abilities and playstyles that set them apart from the rest. Riot Games Narrative Lead Tom Abernathy explains, “We always try to create champions that are not only fun to play, but also have interesting backstories and personalities that players can connect with.

Adapting to an Ever-Evolving Game

Riot Games Design Director Greg Street emphasizes that champion design is an ongoing process, stating, “Champion design is a constantly evolving process, as we strive to create new and exciting gameplay experiences for our players.” This means that the design team must remain agile and adaptive, anticipating how a new champion will interact with the current roster and adapt to future changes in the game.

Expert Opinions on LoL Champion Design

League of Legends pro player and streamer, Michael “Imaqtpie” Santana, shares his thoughts on what constitutes a well-designed champion: “A well-designed champion is one that can be played in multiple ways and has a high skill ceiling, allowing players to constantly improve and find new ways to use their abilities.

Designing for Balance and Versatility

The ability to play a champion in various ways not only adds depth and replayability, but it also ensures that the champion can remain viable in different metas and team compositions. A high skill ceiling rewards players who invest time and effort into mastering a champion, further enhancing the satisfaction and excitement of playing that champion.

Personal Experiences and Secret Insider Tips

As an experienced gaming journalist, Spezzy has had the opportunity to interview numerous pro players and Riot Games developers, gathering insights into the inner workings of champion design. One consistent theme among these discussions is the importance of player feedback and community involvement in shaping the direction of new and existing champions.

Embracing the Unconventional

Challenging conventional design norms and exploring uncommon angles can lead to the creation of iconic and memorable champions. Don’t beafraid to think outside the box when theorycrafting your favorite champion concepts or discussing potential changes with fellow players. Innovative ideas can lead to the birth of the next iconic League of Legends champion.

Champion Design: A Multidisciplinary EffortChampion Design: A Multidisciplinary Effort

The creation of a League of Legends champion is an intricate process that involves numerous disciplines working together to bring a character to life. Some of the essential roles include:

Concept Artists

Concept artists are responsible for creating the initial visual representation of a champion. They work closely with designers and writers to ensure that the champion’s appearance aligns with their abilities, backstory, and personality.

Game Designers

Game designers develop and balance the champion’s abilities, stats, and overall gameplay mechanics. They must consider the current state of the game and how a new champion will fit into the existing meta while remaining unique and engaging.

Writers and Narrative Designers

Writers create the champion’s backstory, lore, and personality, ensuring that they have a compelling narrative that players can connect with. Narrative designers work to integrate the champion’s story into the larger world of Runeterra, weaving their tale into the game’s overarching narrative.

Animators and Sound Designers

Animators and sound designers bring the champion to life through their movements, visual effects, and sound effects. These elements are crucial in creating a cohesive and immersive gameplay experience, conveying the champion’s personality and abilities through every action.

Champion Design: From Concept to Completion

Designing a new champion is a lengthy and iterative process, often taking months or even years to finalize. Some of the key stages in champion development include:

Concept Ideation and Exploration

During this phase, designers brainstorm ideas for potential champions, drawing inspiration from various sources, such as mythology, popular culture, and player feedback. They explore various themes, abilities, and playstyles to determine what would make for an engaging and unique champion.

Development and Iteration

Once a concept has been selected, the team moves on to fleshing out the champion’s abilities, lore, and visual design. This stage involves extensive collaboration between artists, designers, and writers, as they work together to refine and polish the champion.

Playtesting and Balancing

Before a champion can be released, they undergo extensive playtesting to ensure that their abilities are balanced and fun to play. This process involves internal playtests, feedback from pro players, and sometimes even limited public tests (such as the PBE) to gather data and make necessary adjustments.

Launch and Post-Launch Support

Once a champion has been finalized, they are released to the public. However, the work doesn’t end there. Champions often receive balance updates, visual updates, and even reworks in response to player feedback and changes in the game’s meta.

Community Involvement in Champion Design

The League of Legends community plays a vital role in shaping the game’s champion roster. Riot Games actively encourages player feedback, often taking suggestions and ideas into account when designing new champions or updating existing ones. Additionally, the community’s enthusiasm for creating fan art, cosplays, and champion concepts serves as a constant source of inspiration and motivation for the design team.

Champion Skins: A Creative Outlet for Players and Developers Alike

Beyond the champions themselves, the design of champion skins offers another avenue for creativity and expression. Riot Games often collaborates with the community to create exciting and unique skins, incorporating player suggestions and even hosting skin design contests. In conclusion, the world of League of Legends champion design is a vast and fascinating realm that involves a myriad of disciplines, stages, and community interactions. As the game continues to evolve, we can look forward to discovering more innovative and captivating champions that will further enrich the League of Legends experience.

The Importance of Inclusivity in Champion Design

As the League of Legends player base continues to grow and diversify, Riot Games recognizes the importance of inclusivity in champion design. This involves creating a diverse roster of champions that represents different cultures, body types, and genders, ensuring that all players can find a character they can identify with and enjoy playing.

Champion Representation and Inspiration

Over the years, Riot Games has made strides to include champions inspired by various cultures, mythologies, and folklore from around the world. Examples include Azir, who draws inspiration from Egyptian mythology, and Illaoi, who is influenced by Polynesian culture. This commitment to inclusivity not only enriches the game world but also fosters a sense of belonging and connection among players.

Champion Reworks and Visual Updates

In addition to creating new champions, Riot Games also invests in updating existing champions to better align with modern design standards and player expectations. Champion reworks and visual updates allow the design team to address issues related to outdated visuals, problematic abilities, or lack of diversity in the champion roster. This ongoing process ensures that League of Legends remains an inclusive and enjoyable experience for all players.

The Future of League of Legends Champion Design

As League of Legends continues to grow and evolve, the champion design team at Riot Games remains committed to pushing the boundaries of creativity and innovation. Some potential directions for future champion design include:

Expanding Interactive Storytelling

Champions with more intricate backstories and narrative connections to the game world could lead to new opportunities for interactive storytelling within the game itself. This could involve champion-specific quests, events, or even in-game cinematics that further immerse players in the world of Runeterra.

Exploring New Gameplay Mechanics

As technology and game design techniques evolve, there is always room for experimentation with new gameplay mechanics and abilities. This could include champions that utilize unique resources, introduce novel playstyles, or challenge players’ assumptions about what a champion can and cannot do.

Continued Commitment to Inclusivity and Representation

As the gaming community becomes more diverse, it is essential for the champion design team to continue prioritizing inclusivity and representation in future champion releases. This involves not only creating diverse champions but also ensuring that the game world and lore are inclusive and respectful of different cultures and perspectives. In conclusion, the ever-evolving world of League of Legends champion design is a testament to the creativity, passion, and dedication of the design team at Riot Games. As we look forward to the future, we can expect even more captivating champions, engaging gameplay experiences, and diverse representation that will continue to shape the landscape of this beloved game.

FAQs on LoL Champion Design

1. How many champions are there in League of Legends?

As of 2021, there are 155 champions in League of Legends, each with their own unique abilities and playstyles.

2. Who is the most popular champion in the game?

The most popular champion, based on pick rate, is Yasuo, with a pick rate of 12.8% in ranked games.

3. How big is Riot Games’ champion design team?

Riot Games has a team of over 200 designers and artists dedicated solely to champion design.

4. What is the most important aspect of champion design?

A well-designed champion should feel unique and satisfying to play, while also fitting into the overall balance of the game.

5. How do pro players influence champion design?

Pro players provide valuable insights into what makes a well-designed champion, as their expertise allows them to understand the intricacies of champion abilities and playstyles.

Conclusion: The Ultimate LoL Champion Experience

From concept to launch, the process of designing a League of Legends champion is a complex and collaborative effort. By balancing uniqueness, satisfaction, and overall game balance, Riot Games has managed to create an ever-evolving roster of champions that keep players engaged and excited. As the game continues to grow, we can expect more thrilling and innovative champions that will redefine the way we play and experience League of Legends.


  1. League of Legends Official Website. 
  2. Yasuo stats, pick rate, win rate. 

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