League of Legends roadmap teases two new champions and Pantheon VGU

Riot Games
Riot Games /

League of Legends developer Riot Games has pulled back the curtain a bit on two new champions, teasing a solo lane AD assassin and a non-traditional marksman.

One of my favorite things about League of Legends back in the day was learning new champions. Back when the game was still relatively new, Riot Games would pump out new champions on a consistent basis. It kept the game feeling fresh; it meant a constantly evolving meta.

Around 2017, the developer took a step back, combined the Champions team and Champion Updates team, and began to focus more on reworking older champions. Champions like Swain, Irelia, Nunu and Ezreal received much needed visual and gameplay updates. As a result, the number of new champions released slowed down dramatically.

For someone like me, who enjoyed learning new characters — in terms of their gameplay kit and background lore — this shift was a bit of a letdown; although, I recognize the importance of keeping the game’s deep roster of champions viable.

But now that most of the classic champions have been brought up-to-date, Riot Games has promised to focus on releasing more new champions for the remainder of 2019. In their latest roadmap this week, Riot gave us a bit of a sneak peek at one of them.

While we don’t have a name or anything, the next new champion will be a solo lane AD assassin. What’s more, they will introduce a brand new faction that has been hidden deep within the jungles of Runeterra.

"This champion’s arrival will send you deep into the jungles of Runeterra where a brand new faction, hidden from the rest of the world, will reveal itself. This assassin has powers which give them all the elements they need to use their surroundings in clever and innovative ways."

Riot also teased that a “very non-traditional marksman” will arrive later this year.

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Sure, the teasers aren’t very detailed, but the fact that Riot is committed to releasing new champions at a more frequent pace is exciting nonetheless. Of course, 2018 saw three new champions released in Kai’Sa, Pyke and Neeko, so hopefully, Riot has more in the pipeline for 2019.

In terms of existing champions, Riot confirmed that Mordekaiser’s upgrade is “pretty far along.” The developer has “updated or replaced” every ability in his kit, with the most noticeable change to his ultimate ability.

We wanted to replace it with something that would make his enemies truly fear and respect Morde, with nowhere to run or hide from his indomitable malice.

League of Legends Pantheon
Riot Games /

After Mordekaiser, the next VGU planned is for Pantheon, who will receive new visuals built from the ground up, as well as expanded lore. His current kit will also be “modernized” rather than completely re-imagined; he’ll stay aggressive in his approach, but with a “deeper set of options” to allow for more strategy.