We finally know exactly how Riot chooses the Victorious skin each year

A lot needs to be considered.

Image via Riot Games

Each year in League of Legends, near the end of the season, players try to predict which Victorious skin will be announced.

After seven seasons, some fans picked up on some patterns, like Riot never chooses two of the same role in a row, but it’s only been guesswork up until now. Riot revealed exactly how it decides on a Victorious skin in yesterday’s Ask Riot, the company’s semi-regular feature where designers and other Riot staff answer the community’s questions.

Skins take quite a long time to make, so the process for choosing the champion begins during the Spring Split, giving the design team enough time to finish the skin by the end of the season. That’s why, each year, the Victorious skin goes to a champion that was dominating both professional and ranked gameplay during the spring.

The chosen champion can’t already have a Victorious, Championship, or Conqueror skin. That means we won’t be seeing a Victorious skin for Karma, Ashe, Zed, or anyone that fits that bill. Typically, Riot also likes to choose champions that aren’t getting another skin around the same time that the Victorious skin goes live, so players don’t have to choose between the two.

Riot doesn’t choose champions that don’t have many skins—which seems a little weird. That means there probably won’t be a Victorious Illaoi or Yorick anytime soon, either. Riot doesn’t want fans of these champions to feel like they aren’t good enough to play with that champion’s best skin, since you earn them by placing in Gold or higher in ranked queues.

Finally, if a champion has a huge balance change coming, Riot will try to avoid giving them a skin. This one is hard to predict, according to the design team, because they may begin production of the skin only to discover that the champion needs a big change afterward, but the intention is still there.

This year’s pick, Graves, certainly fits all of these criteria, and his Victorious skin is expected to be dished out to those that earned it over the course of the next month.