We’ve already detailed the best League of Legends skins from the game’s massive catalogue of alternate outfits. Then there are… others. From dodgy art to terrible redesigns and just plain bad skins, there’s been some real stinkers in League’s history. It’s been getting better, so consider this a graveyard to the worst League of Legends skins and art, rather than active mockery. May we never see their like again. Where to begin? Oh, there’s one champion who seems to have never had much luck…
Evelynn’s Endless Issues
Oh boy, where to start with Evelynn? Here’s some splash art that’s somehow still in the game, for her Shadow skin:
Exactly why this has never seen an update since being introduced six years ago isn’t quite clear, as most other embarrassingly bad splashes were removed when the billions started rolling in. Perhaps they don’t have any more appropriate art lying around for Evelynn? These, which are exclusive to the Chinese server, would suggest so:
She can’t catch a break in any language and this is just a random selection of what’s a whole gallery of ‘sexy’ art. One of her quotes is even “it takes a lot of effort to move like this in heels” – have Riot’s artists heard of slip-on pumps? Or sweaters? The latest Ultimate skin, Able To Run Evelynn, is coming soon after these revelations!
Things have, thankfully, at least begun to improve:
I guess they’d have to remake her voiceover if they took the heels away but skintight leather is better than no clothes at all. Plus, goggles are cool! Gold star, Riot. You tried.
A Chinese Aside
Those Chinese splashes are odd. Many, uh, enhance the features of League of Legends’ women to an absurd degree – turns out there is a place where sex sells even more than in America; who knew? – but others are just far better art than their western counterparts. The Reverse Annie picture used in our best of piece is from there and this Nunu could cheer me up any day:
Look at that smile! I wouldn’t even mind that he’s frozen me to the core while his team delivers me to a better place. I’m also a big fan of this alternate to the PAX 2011 Sivir skin, which is fairly boss in-game too:
They’ve even got the comedy down better than we do, here’s their take on Big Bad Warwick, who has obvious inspirations:
Exactly why they get these different pieces of art isn’t clear. A few times it comes down to wanting characters, particularly women, to look different around the face. That requires a full re-draw and leads to the other, ahem, changes. There are also issues with releasing games that contain skeletal imagery in China – it isn’t specifically banned, but their laws are broad and non-specific so companies take the safe route and self-censor when porting foreign titles.
Posing Is A Problem
Drawing people is hard, I get it, I was always terrible at art. But must we take it out on those we draw, must they be so bent out of shape? Poor Elise’s spine will never be the same:
She’s half-spider, so fair enough on it being technically possible, but is it efficient? Is that the combat-ready fight-pose you want to be executing while taking on a ninja, a dwarf riding a helicoptor, the last giant magic scorpian alive or any of their friends? She’s clearly not worried about defense here, which I can respect, but there’s going ham sensibly and there’s trying to use your own back as some sort of living projectile. Remember kids: good posture saves lives.
It wouldn’t be bad LoL art if Sivir wasn’t about. This time she’s managing to keep a serious, battle-focused look on her face while she’s clearly just falling over:
We’ve all been there. The trip on the pavement, the stumble in the club, the quick glance around to check if anyone noticed because, if no-one saw, it literally didn’t happen. She’s still in that half-state of knowing she could save it if only she’d stayed in dance class, but a faceplant is now almost definite. A less ambitious faller may have just taken the shoulder bump but Sivir, convinced of her gracefulness, is now more likely to miss the ground entirely and discover unpowered human flight than leave unscathed.
Meanwhile Nidalee’s pose is probably possible, but seems stunningly impractical. I’ve just tried holding this on my floor and I collapsed in a heap. Shape-shifting spear-thrower I am not cut out to be:
My question iswhatexactly is she doing here? Has she fallen from a great height and wanted to see if it was possible to slim down by landing in such a way her ribcage burst from her stomach? Has she decided to dislodge a drop of water from her back while simultaneously peering under a nearby rock for possible foes? Perhaps she become so drenched in sweat from the fighting that she feels the need to shake it off like a dog, rotating her entire body and head in opposite directions? These are the mysteries of our time.
The final joke with Headhunter Nidalee, and indeed much of the art I’ve chosen to lampoon here, is the actual in-game changes made are fantastic. She looks like a stone-cold badass. Of course, that isn’t always the case, particularly with…
Rusty Blitzcrank, Worst League of Legends Skin Ever
Rusty Blitz is something of a legend. It was the first skin ever removed from the game for being just too bad. Barely a reskin, it very slightly changed the metal colouring on the robot fella and that was it. No particles, no new animations, no voice or even any changes to the model itself. It’s not even an interesting colour change, it’s just slightly more depressing:
One can only assume Definitely Not Blitzcrank and his brother in excellence Piltover Customs Blitzcrank were late apologies for this. If you’re into seeing just how lazy some of the earlier skins were, I’d also recommend checking out Toxic Dr. Mundo. He’s green.
Naturally he’s gone too, along with Red DeadlyKennen, whose tale will live on only in this spot-the-difference mid-article mini-game:
Intense stuff. It’s a credit to Riot how much better things are now, and that they’ve binned these so as not to pretend they’re still up to standard. Since we’re on Kennen, here’s what was a late cut from the best-of article, the wonderfully funny Kennen M.D.:
They have re-introduced a similar re-colour concept called Chroma Packs, which are reworks of skins in various shades, sold reasonably cheaply. They’re not exactly Riot’s most innovative work, but somebody out there is buying them and a subsection even think it’s worth it. The F2P system in action.
So close but so far: The Riven Story
Riven actually has excellent skins. Behind Sona she may have the best selection on a single character. There’s the fantastic Championship skin, where not only does she look like a premium grade all-time killer but it’s sold so rarely and debuted so long ago that just seeing it on the battlefield deserves a certain amount of respect.
And while Dragonblade Riven looks like she’s just lept straight out of our posing section…
…she’s as rad in-game as her midriff is flexible. Her most recent skin, Arcade, was featured in our best-of article and, despite what everyone I’ve ever met thinks, I even like Crimson Elite Riven and her silly spiked hat.
So, of course, Riot did this:
I mean, come on.Somebody sat in a design meeting with ‘Battle Bunny Riven‘written on the board and decided that was what was needed? They got that art back and thought ‘ah yes, this says ex-soldier badass’? Unhappy with the first draft, perhaps they called up the artist to make sure tits and ass were definitely both on display? Up until that point it’s almost ridiculous enough to retain some level of non-objectified class, so thank goodness the intentions were made clear in the end.
But hey, the cosplay and fan art communities: they bloody love it, though for very different reasons. Big fans of our header image too, the obnoxiously titled Kitty Cat Katarina without whom there’s no way this list could be considered complete.
The Strictly Worse Udyr Problem
This is when a skin is so boring it’s actually less interesting than the base version of the champion. This most commonly happens with older characters that have had visual redesigns since being first introduced, but it’s possible with any relatively cheap skin that doesn’t change much. The one I’ve had mentioned to me the most is Black Belt Udyr, who looks bad enough in his splash art…
… but in game is a bit of a joke. All the colour is stripped from his character. His outfit is replaced by what looks a potato sack with the Riot logo emblazoned on it (incidentally, if the name was changed to Potato Sack Udyr it would automatically become the best skin in the game). Of all design-based crimes, he commits the most sinful: he’s boring. Nobody is ever interested in boring.
Lollipoppy is another for this pile, though for slightly different reasons. She’s less dull, more terrifying:
Imagine that coming down the lane towards you at night, lightly singing to itself. I’ve had nightmares about falling onto church spires from aeroplanes I enjoyed more than looking at that image. It’s enough to put me off sugar for life – they should show this in schools, more effective than any tooth-rotting informercial I’ve ever seen. In-game she does have a hella cute chocolate shield, mind, but I don’t think anything’s worth that splash art.
We’re done, there’s only so much torture we can take. While Lollipoppy devours our dreams and leaves only evil in her wake, there’s only one thing left to do: mention Sexy Christmas Gragas:
Now we’ll pass it over to you fine folks to let us know which of the above, or your own suggestions, raises your ire the most. Let us know below, and discourage all this sort of thing by checking out our best LoL skins list.