With League of Legends’ huge, cross-game summer event Sentinels of Light drawing closer to its end, players are now deep into the fight against the Ruined King Viego and the Black Mist. While the event – which brings chapters and missions to work through as the baddie-bashing Sentinels – will soon be wrapped up, it sounds like we could potentially see a return to this slice of Runeterra in the future if fans are keen – and that includes the possibility of more Sentinels.
We got the chance to speak to various members of the Sentinels of Light team about the MOBA game’s big summer bash and asked if there might be a chance of seeing its narrative journey continue into the future of League. “Even if Viego has been defeated, the threat of the Black Mist isn’t gone,” communications lead Paul Perscheid tells us.
“We may revisit this piece of Runeterra’s world in the future if players want, including more recruits to the ranks.” So, while it’s not a definite yes at this stage, it looks like we could see the Sentinels make a comeback if fans really enjoy the event.
We also asked about why Riot Games was keen to go in a similar direction to last year’s Spirit Blossom festival this time around, with a story-led, mission-based structure and a strong element of interactivity with champions. “Viego introduced both a world-spanning threat for the future of Runeterra, as well as a glimpse into a long-lost past,” principal narrative writer Jared Rosen tells us. “It felt like the right time to begin moving the story forward in a more major way, something that would necessarily touch nearly all, if not all of our roster – even if they don’t appear in the event proper.”
Touching on considerations about League’s future, Rosen adds, “this is a living world and we want to make it feel more dynamic and alive, so we can keep telling fresh stories for years to come”.
Additionally, Rosen talks to us about the importance of events such as Sentinels of Light in enriching League of Legends as a whole, as well as enhancing players’ experience of “being a champion” rather than just playing one. “On a champion level, good narrative design, good plot, good characterisation – these feed the aspirational fantasy of being a champion, rather than just playing a champion, and it helps fans of those characters get into their respective stories. If all the champions in the game retained their gameplay but were replaced with colourless mannequins, I don’t think that would be very interesting or fun. The purpose of narrative in that sense is clear.
“More broadly, narrative stories are great for players who want a bit more from the world than a snapshot of a single character, and want to see those relationships deepen and stakes get higher. Sure, it won’t make your rank go up, but you might feel a stronger connection to the champions you’re interacting with, as well as the world of Runeterra.”
On the topic of champions – some of whom have got some shiny new Sentinel skins to tie into their prominent role in the event’s story – we were curious about how Riot went about picking these central characters out, especially since some in the Sentinels’ lineup aren’t necessarily the goody-two-shoes type you’d perhaps imagine would answer the call to fight evil. “The Sentinels are a clandestine organisation,” Rosen explains. “They’re not going to pick up the phone and call, say, Garen. They’re going to press whoever they can get into service, and a lot of the time those are champions who are on the outskirts of society.”
On those new skins, we asked about the inspiration and ideas behind them, and how they feed into the story Riot’s trying to tell. “From a high level, art-pillars perspective, it was important for the Sentinels to feel serious, gritty, and dark, but always hopeful!” art director Seth Haak tells us. “It was really important that we showed off these awesome Relic weapons in the hands of champions that have answered the call to be light in the
“Making sure Sentinels of Light retained the core identity of champions from all over Runeterra as they banded together under this one cause. Feeling cohesive, but never losing their individuality. Some elements of their home region in Runeterra should be maintained, whether that’s reflected through tertiary hues or secondary shapes and pattern designs. They are a team, but more like a faction than soldiers in uniforms. They are a ray of light in the darkness!”
As for the flip side of the coin – the Ruined champions who feed into Viego and the Black Mist’s side of the battle – Haak says it was important that the team tie the Ruined skins into these two elements. “Amplified, twisted versions of themselves; ‘Beautifully corrupted’,” he explains. “Ruined Champions are beautiful, sexy, and consumed by their amplified desires, like the Ruined King himself. There’s an element of opted-into tragedy that you could be sympathetic for, if it wasn’t at the cost of the destruction of the world. You get your deepest desire fulfilled and (surprise!) it wasn’t actually a good thing.
“Viego has left his mark on each ruined champion in the form of that oozing black triangle on their chest where they were pierced by his blade. They are surrounded by Black Mist wraiths and take on visual similarities to their unliving king.”
League of Legends’ Sentinels of Light event runs until August 10, so go get stuck in if you’re keen to get wrapped up with the story while it’s still live. Be sure to check out our League of Legends patch 11.16 notes to see what’s coming to the game next, too.