Christmas is right around the corner, and Santa is loading his sleigh. He’s preparing to give gifts to people all around the world. Santa isn’t the only one who has been giving people gifts, though. Riot Games has given many gifts to their fans and players this year! There’s always heated debate around the game and their decisions, but there are undoubtedly some great things they’ve done this year. So grab some hot cocoa and stoke the fire while remembering some of the best 2018 League of Legends gifts!
Perhaps some of the biggest gifts came in the form of reworks. Swain, Irelia, Aatrox, Akali, Nunu & Willump and Ezreal all were born anew. This year Riot did a great job of making old champions much more exciting. They all had very linear kits but now have arguably some of the coolest kits in the game.
Swain is not the same, decrepit old man he once was. Now he is able to ascend into a glorious demon form while shooting lightning bolts a Sith would be jealous of.
Irelia and Akali are now some of the strongest picks in the meta. Their abilities are flashy and finally good. Their reworks helped breathe life into their characters, and now they live for their causes.
Aatrox, who did see some pro play towards the end of his old self, saw even more after his rework. He was a terror for a while, which was very fitting for his theme of World Ender. He’s not just a Darkin now, he’s a total badass.
Nunu & Willump are the cutest duo to set out on the Rift. They were in dire need of a rework, and Riot certainly delivered a great product. It’s hard not to have fun with this duo, snowball drifting across the Rift with Nunu Bot’s iconic laugh.
Finally, Ezreal received a very nice VGU and new ability. He stands tall, not a kid anymore, with a stronger W that actually does something. His wasn’t a huge update but is still great for players.
It’s easy to see that Riot did a great jobs reviving old, beat-up champions. Most of them have had their player base grow and even made their way onto the pro scene for extended periods of time.
Two of the best LoL songs were released this year too. The first was “Rise,” leading up to the World Championship. It now has over 87 million views on YouTube. Any League player watching this for the first time surely felt shivers up their spine. It featured some of the most iconic players and moments from Worlds 2017, with each confrontation getting your blood pumping more and more.
The second song to debut was the K-Pop sensation K/DA – POP/STARS. It is wildly successful even outside of the LoL community. The song surpassed the high viewer count of Rise, hitting an astonishing 126 million hits. Some of us over here at The Game Haus even have it on our top Spotify playlists. Fans of K-Pop and LoL unite in a truly epic way over this song. It didn’t stop at just the song, either — the K/DA skins are pretty sweet too.
Riot’s skin game this year has been on point. The K/DA skins are probably the most popular, as they are unique and very well done. But there have been so many good skins given this year! Their skins have been masterfully created, and there are too many to mention, but everyone is sure to have some favorites.
Dark Star Cho’Gath is one of the best this year. The skin itself is beautiful, with the animations smooth and the colors perfect. But it also noteworthy because the money it raised went to charities all across the world. It showed how a community could come together for a love of gaming and for helping bigger causes.
Champions that haven’t received much love in the past finally got some new gear, too. Vladimir, Shen, Rammus, Rumble, Wukong, Malzahar and Swain are only a few such champions. For players of these champions, their Christmas gifts came around at different points throughout the year. There were an abundance of champions to receive skins this year, and it made many very happy.
Nexus Blitz is another great gift to the community. Alternative game modes to Summoner’s Rift are hard to push, but this one seems to be an exception. This fast-paced game mode is a fantastic way to goof around with friends and get away from all the tryharding.
This new game mode features the return of many old items, like Deathfire Grasp and Force of Nature. It also introduces the Stat-Stick of Stoicism, a hilarious item that gives every stat in the game.
Within the game mode are mini-games, like Scuttle Crab Racing and URF Deathmatches. And of course they had to jump on the bandwagon with Bardle Royale! The game mode isn’t tedious and doesn’t require strategy; it’s simply a fun time, something that is important to maintain in such a competitive game.
Though this one may be controversial, the metas this year have been quite diverse. This has lead to more exciting picks in both normal and professional play. For example, formerly G2, Hjarnan’s Heimerdinger was had huge impact.
Though ADC’s have received some big hits, there are many who say it was for the better. The bottom lane is more accessible to more classes of champions, which leads to more diversity. There isn’t a tank top lane match up in every game, and niche picks are able to thrive.
Throughout the year, the meta has undergone drastic changes. It’s been a gift, as it is much more invigorating to play and to watch. There is more room for off-meta picks and strategies so that all players can have fun and play how they want to.
Overall, it’s been a crazy year. Riot hasn’t been perfect, but it’s important to remember all the good things they’ve done. So, (if you celebrate it) as you open your gifts from under the tree this year, remember all the gifts in your life that don’t come at Christmas time.
Featured image via Riot Games.
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