The origin of League of Legends: A look into Riot Game’s Arcane

arcane netflix banner image

12 years have passed since the global online gaming community welcomed and enjoyed Riot Games’ League of Legends. Commonly referred to as League or stylised as LoL, it is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) video game inspired by Defense of the Ancients (DotA). Two teams of five players compete in player-versus-player (PvP) combat, with each side holding and defending their half of the map. 

The League’s seamless accessibility, character designs, production value, and talented players are just a few of the many factors that contribute to its sheer global popularity and prestige. By the end of 2020, it generated total revenue of about $1.75 billion and a fanbase of 100 to 120 million players.

Commonality is another brilliant quality of League of Legends. In celebration of its 10th anniversary, Riot Games and French animation studio Fortiche released Arcane, a 2021 animated television (TV) series streamed on Netflix. While it is set in the video game’s universe — serving as its prequel by retelling the stories of its characters — the entire production ensured that it would appeal to both longtime fans and casual viewers who have never played the game before. 

Arcane: A successful video game adaptation 

True enough, Arcane is a major hit, now often highly considered as one of the industry’s best video game series adaptations. Critics praised its excellent story, imposing blend of hand-drawn and computer-generated (CGI) animation, characters and voice acting, among others. 

The above-mentioned acclaimed qualities are further highlighted when Arcane set new records on Netflix. It is the platform’s best-rated show so far within a week of its release, the No.1 on the Top 10 chart in 52 countries, and the No.2 in the United States. Let’s take a look at the details of its episodes and production. 

The making of Arcane

Riot Games independently financed Arcane in which they partnered with writers who have worked on major TV shows to create it internally. Supposedly, it was expected to air in 2020 had the world didn’t suffer from the COVID-19 outbreak. Instead, it exclusively premiered on Netflix in the fall of 2021. 

While it’s true that Arcane was created for fans and casual viewers, it will be most intriguing to those who already have knowledge of the game’s narrative and wish to delve further into its origins. 

When interviewed by The Hollywood Reporter, Riot co-founder Brandon Beck said, ‘Originally, League started off with a bunch of characters and we threw them together really quickly. Over time, players became really attached to the characters and we wanted to build more of a universe around them [with Arcane]’. 

Another target demographic of Arcane is a ‘16+’ audience. Producers clarified firsthand that it will include some adult subject matter. Riot Games’ head of creative development, Greg Street, said that the team would explore ‘serious themes’, reminding parents and guardians that it is not for children to tune in on Netflix. 

Main cast and characters

Listed as follows are the voice actors and actresses of Arcane. 

  • Hailee Steinfeld as Vi
  • Ella Purnell as Powder/Jinx
  • JB Blanc as Vander and Bolbok
  • Harry Lloyd as Viktor
  • Katie Leung as Caitlyn Kiramman
  • Jason Spisak as Silco
  • Reed Shannon as Ekko
  • Toks Olagundoye as Mel Medarda
  • Kevin Alejandro as Jayce Talis

Synopsis of the 9 episodes

Arcane follows the origins of two iconic League champions and sisters: Vi and Jinx. It is set in the complex interplay between the affluent, utopian metropolis of Piltover and the seedy, downtrodden underworld of Zaun.

However, Vi and Jinx find themselves on opposing sides of war when twisted ideologies and a newly created arcane technology called Hextech threaten to destroy the delicate balance between Piltover and Zaun. 

Arcane’s first season has three acts, with each containing three episodes and an average running time of 39 to 44 minutes. 

Act 1

Episode 1: Welcome to the Playground

Following a theft in wealthy Piltover, orphaned sisters Vi and Powder cause havoc in Zaun’s subterranean streets.

Episode 2: Some Mysteries are Better Left Unsolved

Despite Heimerdinger’s (the mentor) concerns, idealistic inventor Jayce strives to harness magic via science. Silco, the criminal kingpin, puts a potent chemical to the test.

Episode 3: The Base Violence Necessary

An epic battle between ancient foes leads to a pivotal moment for Zaun. Jayce and Viktor are putting everything on the line for their study.

Act 2 

Episode 4: Happy Progress Day

With Piltover thriving due to their technology, Jayce and Viktor consider their next step. A familiar figure reappears from Zaun, ready to wreak mayhem.

Episode 5: Everybody Wants to Be My Enemy

With Piltover thriving due to their technology, Jayce and Viktor consider their next step. A familiar figure reappears from Zaun, ready to wreak mayhem.

Episode 6: When These Walls Come Tumbling Down

As a magical technology quickly advances, an eager protégé undermines Heimerdinger on the council. Jinx must confront her history with authorities on her tail.

Act 3 

Episodes 7: The Boy Saviour

Caitlyn and Vi encounter an ally in the streets of Zaun and engage in frenetic combat with a mutual opponent. Viktor makes a terrible choice.

Episode 8: Oil and Water

Mel, the disowned heir, and her visiting mother swap battle strategies. Caitlyn and Vi form an odd friendship. Jinx makes a stunning transformation.

Episodes 9: The Monster You Created

Piltover and Zaun’s leaders present an ultimatum, bringing them alarmingly near to war. However, a fatal stalemate permanently alters both cities.

Upcoming Arcane Season 2

You read it right! Arcane will return on the small screens. After its conclusion on November 20, 2021, multiple news sites announced that the League of Legends animated series is officially getting a second season. One of the few confirmations is that leading voice actors Hailee Steinfeld, Ella Purnell, and Katie Leung will all reprise their respective roles for this continued story. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *