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We Went to LA for the Stellar Debut of Arcane

By Dan
Nov. 10, 2021 updated 06:14

Arcane, League of Legends (LoL)’s first animated series, had its world premiere on the evening of November 6th. Riot Games teamed up with Twitch and Netflix to co-stream globally from the Riot campus in Los Angeles, and we were invited along with other members of the media to the red carpet event.

Many LoL players may have already seen the first three episodes. The story takes place in the City of Progress, Piltover, and the Sin City, Zaun, where Jinx and Vi embark on different life paths after a fierce conflict triggered by the creation of hextech. The grand universe of League of Legends gradually reveals itself around the destiny of the two sisters.

Arcane quickly earns IMDb’s highest rating for a Netflix original series upon releaseArcane quickly earns IMDb’s highest rating for a Netflix original series upon release

The premiere site was carefully decorated with elements related to hextech and the twin cities of Piltover and Zaun: a "green carpet" made of artificial grass with fountains and lights was set up next to a few live studios in hex crystal-blue, and at the end of the green carpet was the main stage based on the Piltover Council Chamber.

As a key to the plot, hex crystal was the most eye-catching decoration at the eventAs a key to the plot, hex crystal was the most eye-catching decoration at the event

Guests strolling the red carpet included Riot Games co-founders Brandon Beck and Marc Merrill, CEO Nicolo Laurent, the two co-creators of the episode, Christian Linke and Alex Yee, and several of the main voice actors. When they learned that we are from China, they almost invariably expressed their congratulations to EDG for winning the championship earlier in the day and their gratitude to Chinese players for their continuous support, hoping that the Chinese audience would enjoy the show.

“China is one of our biggest communities,” Nicolo said before the screening. “I wish we were in China for Worlds this year. We couldn't (due to the pandemic) but hopefully, we made it up with a super weekend.”

When asked about Arcane’s potential impact on Riot, Marc said “Obviously video games are becoming a more and more popular way for folks to spend their time, which is exciting. Probably a lot of people still don't understand what we spent all these hours doing, but I do appreciate that the game is becoming more widely accepted. I think this is not just an awesome moment for LoL – hopefully, we can kick the door wide open on more story-telling games.

Riot CEO Nicolo LaurentRiot CEO Nicolo Laurent

Several cast members also shared thoughts on their roles. Ella, who plays Jinx, said that she feels “very protective of her” and that the Jinx all the fans of LoL know is just her final part, while the story of Arcane reveals how she came from a naive little girl to the crazy and dangerous villain she is today.

Also in attendance were the actors of the three main new characters - Vander, Mel, and Silco, who all looked forward to their characters being added to the League as new champions. “He is a power broker,” Silco’s voice Jason said. " I'm hoping they fall in love with him the same way they fell in love with the champions. It'd be so cool if Riot would add him as a new champion. He could do some cool stuff behind the scenes.

The epic Jinx and Vi cosplay at the eventThe epic Jinx and Vi cosplay at the event

The show was then kicked off at the 3D dome theater on the other side of Riot’s HQ. Accompanied by Imagine Dragon and J.I.D's “Enemy”, the main characters flashed by one after another, instantly pushing the emotions of the room to a climax. The unique visual effects and surround sound of the 3D theater, coupled with the series's own excellent animation and plot, made even audiences who do not know much about Runeterra sigh for the love-hate entanglement between the two sisters.

The giant dome theater at the Riot campus looked gorgeous in the night skyThe giant dome theater at the Riot campus looked gorgeous in the night sky

It is not the first time that Riot partnered with Fortiche, but Arcane means something different. It marks a milestone for Riot Games in creative industries: the world of League of Legends is finally no longer based on simple settings of regions and characters but is filled with vivid and substantial details. From gaming to music, animation, and television, a real universe is gradually taking shape.

The two-day Arcane Premiere Super Weekend has come to an end, but the “Progress Days”, a Piltovan celebration from November 7 – November 13, and the subsequent "Undercity Nights" celebration in Zaun from November 14 – November 20 will continue. Stay tuned for more news as the RiotX Arcane event progresses!