Riot Reav3 explains shift in focus of League VGUs following Aatrox rework

The Darkin Blade changed Riot's relationship with its players for the better.

Image via Riot Games

The number of League of Legends champions that have received reworks and VGUs has slowed down in recent years. Riot has put more time into cementing the players’ trust in its ability to bring an old favorite back to life. And this can all be credited to the 2018 VGU of Aatrox, who set the standard of the reworks to come.

In a recent Ask Riot developer post, Ryan “Reav3” Mireles, the lead producer of League’s champions team, revealed that prior to Aatrox’s rework, the goal of these overhauls was to take champions that had little or specifically dedicated use and make them more widely playable and accessible to all players.

“We’d sometimes make choices that we felt would make the champs more engaging and exciting to the broader playerbase,” Reav3 said. “Even if it sometimes meant we had to make drastic changes to the champion’s play pattern or style.” 

But following Aatrox’s rework, which was met with criticism from fans and continued changes to the Darkin Blade’s kit, Riot shifted its primary focus with reworks from the champions seeing more usage in-game to satisfying the players and the hopes that they had for the reworks. This is why recent reworks, such as Volibear and Fiddlesticks, have stuck much closer to their original thematics while bringing new mechanics to the game that don’t deter players who were dedicated to the older versions of the champions.

The champion VGU polls of recent years are the direct result of League’s champions team acknowledging the importance of the game’s players and the love and dedication that they have for their favorite characters.

“In some ways, when we update a champion, we’re really updating something that’s no longer ours,” Reav3 said. “It’s a character that sometimes millions of players have grown to love globally, and we want to make sure we do good by you all first and foremost.”

This Ask Riot developer post also revealed that the results of this year’s champion VGU poll, which included Udyr, Shyvana, Skarner, Nocturne, and Quinn, will be revealed next week, alongside the winner of the thematic poll.

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