The whole MOBA genre has deep roots in Warcraft, since the original Defense of the Ancients – which would branch off to spawn both League of Legends and Dota 2 – was an immensely successful mod for Warcraft III. But the callbacks are much more specific than that. In fact, League champion Veigar has his roots in a bizarrely specific WoW guild.
“I was in an all-gnome warlock guild called the Tiny Masters of Evil,” former WoW game designer Kevin Jordan says during a Twitch stream (via Dot Esports). “We were all gnome warlocks. We dueled each other for who got to be guildmaster. So if you wanted to be the guildmaster, you had to challenge the current guildmaster to a duel.”
That guild name should sound familiar to anyone who’s spent some time with Veigar, and Jordan says that’s no coincidence. “Tom Cadwell, who’s the VP of design at Riot, loved the characters so much that that’s what Veigar is based on from League of Legends. You’ll also notice that he is a Tiny Master of Evil, which is basically from that guild idea.”
This isn’t the only reference to the Tiny Masters of Evil guild in a modern game, either. Hearthstone’s Tiny Knight of Evil – noted for its resemblance to Veigar – is based on the same guild. At least, that’s what former Hearthstone lead Ben Brode said years ago on Twitter.
It doesn’t seem that Tiny Masters of Evil is still going these days, but as WoW Classic brings back all those 2004 memories, maybe it’s about time for a successor.