League of Legends: 5 things we want to see in ‘Arcane’

League of Legends. Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Courtesy of Riot Games. /
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After the new League of Legends tv show, ‘Arcane’ was announced, what do we want to see from this show?

Arcane is a new television show set to take place in the regions of Piltover and Zaun. The show will appear to follow younger versions of two iconic League of Legends characters – Jinx and Vi – in a sort of origin story. Other champions could be featured (there are rumors that Warwick will also be featured somewhat heavily) but there are plenty of opportunities to build up the lore of League of Legends.

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We know very little about the show beyond the initial release on the League10 stream last night, other than it will drop sometime in 2020. That said, what does Arcane need to do in order to be great and not just another terrible video game movie or TV show?

1. Focus on character

I like that the main protagonists of this show appear to be young versions of Jinx and Vi, two women whose story we already know ends in a rivalry. By doing this, the show will be able to show us a version of them and their world that even the most lore-fanatic fans haven’t considered.

The key to doing this successfully, though, will be to make sure both of our protagonists are active, self-actualized people with needs, weaknesses, and goals. Even though we have stories about Vi and Jinx that hint at their past, we need for Arcane to show us how they become the iconic characters we know and love.

2. Take a page from the MCU

One of the reasons, in my opinion, that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is so successful is that it built a universe where actions have consequences that are beyond the obvious. The MCU is masterful at telling a compact, captivating, and independent story while also showing glimpses of a living, breathing world beyond that which we are exploring, which gives audiences a thirst to learn more.

Riot has the same opportunity to do this in Arcane. Even though we are being told a story about Jinx, Vi, and the regions of Piltover and Zaun, it would be smart for Riot to make sure seasoned players and new viewers know that there is a bigger world outside of this. Let us know about how what’s happening in this story might affect Demacia or Bandle City, make some off-hand references to the Shadow Isles, or have that brief cameo from Twisted Fate, Ezreal, or whoever.

Don’t let them derail the story, of course. The focus should be on Jinx and Vi. But if Riot wants to make fans of League of Legends happy and potentially entice viewers for additional seasons or spinoffs, they should at least hint at the greater world around them.

3. World-building

Along those lines, Arcane provides Riot their first chance to tell a cohesive story that really nails down how the various regions of Runeterra interact, how religions (like the Solari, the Lunari, and the Aspects) work, how death is viewed (the Shadow Isles), and much more. Obviously, this is all stuff that is best left explained in their own focused series or season, but Riot can do a lot of world-building in Piltover and Zaun.

They can examine how this vast divide between the aristocracy and poor came to be. How do families in Piltover become wealthy? Are they selling weapons or developing new technology? And how to the people of Zaun factor into this world?