League of Legends world champ gets his very own skin as a reward—but can’t choose his favourite champion because he didn’t get a chance to play her: ‘they said they can make Bard pretty too’

League of Legends Worlds is a prestigious yearly tournament that wrapped up its 2023 run recently. The victors, T1 from Korea, took home $445,000 along with the gold. In a sad twist of fate—one that belongs in some Greek tragedy—a member of the winning team still didn’t get what he wanted.

See, Worlds winners get to work with Riot on crafting a skin for their chosen character. The players get a cut of the skin, Riot gets a little more revenue off its tournament hype, everybody wins. The catch? You have to play the character at least once.

As spotted by GamesRadar, Keria, the team’s support player, was really excited about being able to get a skin for his personal best girl Lux, whose whole deal is being adorable and shooting big beams of light. Despite playing a good game he didn’t get his wishes, sacrificing those dreams for the good of the team, as Lux didn’t get drafted once.

“Keria originally liked Thresh and Lux the most, and he seemed to really want the Lux skin,” explains fellow teammate Gumayusi, T1’s bot laner, during a livestream (translation courtesy of contraverse0 on the League of Legends Subreddit). “If we went to the blue side, we might choose the [Caitlyn Lux combo] once, but we were on the red side for three consecutive games and won 3-0.”

For context, LoL’s map isn’t symmetrical. The side you end up on does genuinely impact which champions your team will pick. Terrain differences are small at surface value, sure, but it’s important to remember we’re talking about the best of the best here. Minor advantages turn to major ones in games like LoL all the time.

Ashley Kang, a seasoned esports journalist, translated one of Keria’s streams after the fact. “Look, I only thought about making a Lux skin. I never thought about any other skin. So I went to the Riot meeting and spent most of my time talking about Lux … I asked them to make it pretty, and they said they can make Bard pretty too. And I just frowned.”

Bard is… well, he’s a big, friendly guy. A wandering celestial who looks like a balloon with a beard—but if you were hoping to set your eyes on a really cute skin for your favourite digital girl, being told they could make one for him isn’t really the same.

I can’t help but feel sorry for the guy. Well, to the extent you feel sorry for anyone who just won thousands of dollars. Winning a tourney like this takes a tremendous amount of work, and I figure you have to motivate yourself however you can. I can’t help but wonder what the harm is in letting him create a cutesy skin for his trouble. Is the business really that serious?

Some in the community echo that statement, as a post on the game’s subreddit has gathered over 4,600 upvotes at the time of writing calling for justice. “He is a Worlds champion, for fuck’s sake, he earned that, let him leave the mark that he wanted,” writes the post author. “[He should] pick Bard and make [his] chimes little Luxes,” suggests commenter Itseemstobeokay. Cute suggestion, but still a consolation prize.

Of course, not everyone’s being nice. I’d be worried if they were, this is League of Legends. “Bruh. Keria, just win again, ez,” writes one player, while another comments: “Faker [one of Keria’s teammates] waited seven years for his Ahri skin. Keria can have it as his motivation for his next world win.” Just snag another first-place prize in a League of Legends tournament, how hard could it be?

I can sort of understand the counter-point. These skins are, from what I can tell, meant to be celebrations of key moments in the tournaments. The hype lives and dies based on huge plays that stick around as stories. If players get to choose whichever champions they wanted, their custom skins wouldn’t be celebrating much of anything. I’ll be very interested to see if Riot bends the rules for Keria, but I won’t be holding my breath.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous post All Essence of Aether sample locations in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 zombies
Next post Pokimane called a viewer ‘broke boy’ for complaining about her overpriced snacks, and now the internet is mad about miniature cookies