Why Riot updated League’s 2021 preseason item icons

Items are getting a makeover for the new season.

Image via Riot Games

Riot Games recently announced that League of Legends‘ developers were finally overhauling the game’s item system for the 2021 preseason. Earlier today, the company showed off its plans for a full item icon update.

These updates will be applied to every item in the game, whether it be a full redesign of the icon, or a simple retouch and modernization of an item icon. There are five goals that these updates should hit for next year.

Image via Riot Games

First, Riot wanted to make sure that the readability of each icon is clear to all players. This means that every item must have its own distinct silhouette and color palette so it is easily recognized in the shop, in a player’s inventory, or in the scoreboard.

The devs also wanted to ensure that each icon reflected the stats and gameplay of the item being portrayed—people should be able to ascertain what effect an item will have for a champion based off of the thematic sense given by the art.

Each icon has been updated to have Riot’s new, redefined art style, especially since many of the icons haven’t had a visual update since 2009. Familiarity is also a big focus for the artists, as Riot wants to make sure that each icon is still immediately recognizable by the player base.

Lastly, Riot has redesigned some items so that they can be used in other parts of the League lore—fans could see popular items make its way into various stories across Runeterra in the near-future.

You can catch all of these changes and more when the preseason PBE cycle begins in less than two weeks.