LoL’s Spirit Blossom Champions aren’t “good or evil, just different shades of grey”

If you’re a League of Legends fan, you’ll have seen the raft of new Spirit Blossom skins on the way. So far, characters receiving the themed skins include Teemo, Thresh, Vayne, Yasuo, Ahri, Cassiopeia, Kindred, Riven, and the newest Champs headed to LoL, Yone and Lillia. The splash art for these largely shows two distinct styles, one very serene and full of natural beauty, the other darker and more spooky – but if you’re wondering whether this divides them into ‘good’ and ‘evil’, it turns out that’s not the case.

In an interview with PCGamesN, lead Champion and Spirit Blossom producer Ryan Mireles talks to us about the reasons behind the variation in tone of the League of Legends skin styles featured in the Spirit Blossom thematic experience. “There are two different types of spirits in the spirit world: Kanmei and Akana,” he explains.

“Kanmei, like Teemo, have made peace with their past and so are a lot happier and serene, whereas Akana are still holding onto and obsessed with their past, which make them appear darker and spookier like Thresh or Vayne,” he continues.

“None are really good or evil, just different shades of grey, and I think that is something you will experience in the narrative as you get to know different spirits,” Mireles adds. “Not all is as it seems on the surface, and the Champions, be they Kanmei or Akana are also all complex with different moral shades of grey, but you will have to form deeper bonds with them to see all sides of their personalities.”

In addition, Spirit Blossom marketing creative director Anton Kolyukh explains that the event and its skinline reflect the variation in League’s range of styles more widely. “To me,” he says, “the world of Spirit Blossom is a microcosm of League’s tonal diversity. Depending on the Champ you’re hearing about, you can get a poro cuteness overload or murder victims turned into works of art, and everything in between.

“Likewise, each spirit in this event has their own tonal ‘combination lock’,” Kolyukh explains. “The important thing for me was that, even though the stories take place in this fantastical afterlife setting, the consequences of the characters’ actions can be emotionally intense (in this case – worse than death). You see this breadth of tone in a lot of European folklore – which often has the facade of a fairytale, but very real dramatic stakes.”

If you’re keen to know more about the Spirit Blossom event and skins being rolled out, do be sure to check out both the LoL patch 10.15 and the incoming LoL patch 10.16 notes to get a really good look at what’s in store for some of the best League of Legends Champions in the game.