New League of Legends champion Smolder

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Riot Games Scrambles to Alter New League of Legends Dragon Champ After it is Deemed "Ugly"

Sadakshi Kalyan Ramun
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Highlights
When Riot Games revealed League of Legends' next cute dragon champion Smolder, the playerbase was less than impressed.
Most of them could not look past the champion's humanlike facial features despite being a dragon.
As a result, Riot immediately redesigned the champion, making this League's very own "Sonic movie redesign" moment.

On 4th December, the League of Legends fan base and players were treated to a surprise by Riot Games. The publisher posted a teaser and it soon became clear that it was for a new champion called Smolder. Though the champion was lively and cute, fans were unable to move past its face and facial features.

The announcement was swamped with comments like "He's so f***** ugly bro" and "Am I insane or is his face really REALLY uncanny looking?." It seemed like the majority of the League of Legends players were in agreement about Smolder's face being really off-putting.

This led to Riot Games accepting the community feedback and it promptly took action by redesigning Smolder's facial features.


Smolder Visual Rework After Players Point Out Humanlike Features

As mentioned earlier, a majority of the comments and responses to the Smolder teaser denoted a dissatisfaction among fans. Many pointed out that he looked like Spyro the dragon initially. One comment asked, "Is this in partnership with Disney or something?" while another user recorded their worry about Riot Games reworking Shyvana.

The comment read, "I officially don't trust you guys to rework Shyvana with that face."

Following this, Riot Games was forced to acknowledge the feedback and League of Legends Lead Champion Producer Lexi "Lexical" Gao took to Twitter to assure that the developers were making changes to Smolder to highlight his draconic features.

She tweeted, "Hey Guys! We heard your feedback on Smolder's face and are making some adjustment to highlight his dragon features. Thank you so much for Gem, @O0_Y_0O and @White_Leyth for making this happen! The splash team is working on some adjustments too!"

After seeing Riot Games actually follow through with the feedback, the community was surprised. One Redditor commented, "I don't feel extremely disturbed anymore, still wish they made the snout longer but this is a lot better."


While players are praising Riot Games for the quick fix, they also acknowledged how this is their favorite game's very own "Sonic the Hedgehog" movie moment. If you recall, there was a similar reaction to the first Sonic the Hedgehog movie trailer in 2019.

The comments and memes were unforgiving and the trailer was one of the most disliked videos on YouTube. Following this, director Jeff Fowler vowed to make changes.


This is not the first time that a League of Legends champion's design has been loathed by the playerbase. The old Poppy was nightmarish to even look at and it took many years for the people at Riot Games to give her a proper and well-deserved makeover.


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Sadakshi has been a gamer throughout her life and has followed League of Legends since Season 3, immediately falling in love with the esports scene. Bringing in her print journalism experience, she focuses on content that is both informative and innovative. While her heart still remains with League, her love for competition has pushed her to explore other titles such as Valorant and Apex Legends.

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