A big Star Guardians event is coming to Riot Games League of Legends, wild crack, and Legends of Runeterra on July 14th. A variety of characters across the various rosters will receive new Star Guardian skins and cosmetics, and new stories about this alternate universe will play out in two patches throughout the summer.
The Star Guardian subculture is one of the most popular among the larger ones League of Legends lore. Star Guardians are high school students who are entrusted with cosmic powers to protect their homes from terrifying threats.
“The last time we visited Star Guardian, we really saw that our players loved it and engaged with it,” Stephanie Bedford, narrative producer at Riot Games, said in a phone call with Polygon. “So we just really wanted to deliver that.”
For those just learning about these adorable skins, Riot has released The Story So Far timeline that summarizes all of the established lore about this alternate universe so far. It’s a classic magical girl tale about a force called First Star who chooses guardians to defend humanity against the cosmos. The Star Guardians are portrayed as high school kids balancing a dual identity of teenager and hero.
The previous waves of Star Guardians had cinematics, animation, music, a PvE event and short stories published on the Universe website – but story details were all pretty vague. Players could read an overall setting and some key events, but not a continuous narrative. What we knew came mostly from the skin bios and alternate language lines of legendary skins.
But despite the limited nature of this narrative, fans still fell in love with the Star Guardians. These alternate characters are very forgiving, with the cute costumes, adorable allies, and wholesome friendships you would expect from a Magical Girl Squad.
“This is one of our favorite themes that we have as an alternate universe,” Bedford said. “Riot truly views our alternate universes as a truly amazing medium for narrative expression and storytelling. So for us it’s not just cosmetics or a skin line, and we’re trying to create something that has depth, breadth and appeal to players.”
The Star Guardians have an avid fan base who draw fan art of the skins, ship them together, ponder where the story might go or what certain clues might mean, and otherwise get excited about the alternate world.
OOOHH~ BUT WHAT DOES THAT MEAN
WHAT DOES IT BEAAAAAAAN
— Star Guardian Hekatiane | Say trans rights (@Hekatiane) July 8, 2022
“All of us developers are definitely out there lurking, and sometimes we can’t always interact or share things,” Bedford said with a smile. “But even within Riot, we’re such big fans ourselves that we link it in our off-topic channels and say, ‘Look at this amazing art,’ and ‘Oh my god, how did they know?’ or ‘You’ll be so surprised when that happens.’”
In the main stream League of Legends According to lore, champions live in dangerous fantasy environments that demand excellence from them. It’s, well, a league of legends. The Star Guardian versions of these characters aren’t as battle-hardened or world-weary. Kai’Sa and Kassadin in Runeterra are a tragic father-daughter duo who narrowly survive a battle against the Lovecraftian Void. Star Guardian Kai’Sa, on the other hand, tells her teammates not to tell her father about this magical girl story. “He has big plans.” (“We love Kassadad,” Bedford laughed.)
Star Guardian is a universe that “really deals with the personal aspects of relationship, identity and friendship – things that are really important to our players in real life,” Bedford said.
Over a dozen developers have all worked on this year’s Star Guardian event, including lead concept artist Oscar Vega and lead writer Jared Rosen. There are two legendary skins, Kai’Sa and Akali, as well as some villainous additions to the cast in Star Nemesis Morgana and Fiddlesticks. The Star Guardian event begins on July 14 at Riot Wild crack, League of Legendsand Legends of Runeterra.