League of Legends: Why the new Arcade skins are underwhelming

League of Legends. Courtesy of Riot Games
League of Legends. Courtesy of Riot Games /

Welcome back to Flame Friday. Today’s topic: why the newly-released Arcade skins suck, and how Riot can give us better skins to play around with in League of Legends.

Let’s start by saying that Riot bringing back certain skin lines every year is a good thing. After all, it’s a lot of fun knowing that a new PROJECT or Blood Moon event is on the horizon and being able to speculate which League of Legends champs are going to get skins for it.

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But I think it’s fair to say that the recent Arcade skins are a disappointment – especially if the buzz on the forums was anything to judge by. Caitlyn and Kai’Sa’s new appearances are both the safest possible iterations of the concept that you could possibly design. The Yasuo and Qiyana skins don’t even look like they belong as a part of the Battle Boss line.

Take a gander at Battle Bosses Malzahar, Brand, and Ziggs, and then back at the two new ones. The similarities just aren’t there, and it really makes you think that Riot chose to make watered-down skins out of necessity rather than love.

This becomes especially true when you look at the Demacia Vice skins. Every aspect of the two new skins are perfect – the particles, sound effects, animations, and models are flawless in every way and speak to the excitement and passion of the designers. Demacia Vice Garen and Lucian are love letters to the ’80s, and that comes across loud and clear with every auto attack they make and spell they cast.

Demacia Vice Garen. League of Legends
League of Legends. Courtesy of Riot Games. /

The contrast between the new Arcade skins and the Demacia Vice skins could not be clearer. Arcade Caitlyn, Kai’Sa, Qiyana, and Yasuo are phoned-in additions to a popular skin line that feel like they were made because Riot knew we wanted more Arcade skins, while Demacia Vice Garen and Lucian are a breath of fresh air. Even though Kai’Sa and Yasuo are undoubtedly more popular characters than Lucian and Garen, I’d bet that the latter will outsell the former because of how solid the designs are.

And that brings us to the point I’m trying to make here: Riot shouldn’t make skins just because they feel like they have to add more to an already-popular skin line. That just leads to uninspired designs, poor champion choices, and a general lack of excitement. Instead, Riot should focus on creating new themes, and only add skins to an existing theme when they’ve come up with kick-ass designs that everyone can be excited about.

Sure, it means that sometimes they’ll have flops like the recent Papercraft skins, but it also means that sometimes they’ll have wins – like Demacia Vice. Since wins can translate into full skin lines of their own, that means Riot will ultimately make more money, and get the player base excited in a way that won’t happen otherwise.

At the end of the day, I don’t begrudge Riot for making skins for popular champions. I will, however, begrudge them for phoning those skins in – and I definitely want to see them put the same level of love and passion that the Demacia Vice skins received into all future skin line releases.

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Let us know your thoughts on the new Arcade skins – or the upcoming Demacia Vice skins – in the comments!