League of Legends’ True Damage and Virtual Celebrities

   Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within was a film in which wanted to be the first to have “virtual actors” in which Aki Ross was a cgi character acting as the main character and not Ming-Na Wen, her actual voice actor. This was supposed to set a trend in cgi films in which virtual actors could play in different cgi films. There was obviously a lot of confusion, such as how would they play in, say, Finding Nemo, would Aki have to dress as a fish or be molded into one? Or would it just be herself? Regardless, it wasn’t a popular idea because it seemed so silly. The movie bombed, receiving $32 million in the US and $87 million in domestic box offices. With a budget of $137 million and more for advertising, this was a pretty awful sight to see. This virtual celebrity idea wouldn’t be too invested in besides the band  Gorillaz.

   What’s this to do with League of Legends? Well, quite a bit to be honest. Their champions have almost outgrown the game itself. Plenty of the most popular champions have their own shorts, separate storylines for their skins and even their own comics. I dabbled on this topic in my Skins article, but essentially these skins outlast the champions which outlast the game itself. True Damage is a new skinline coming out as a collab between Riot Games and Louis Vuitton, a popular fashion company. More notably, this music group isn’t just a bunch of Kpop artists but a variety of rappers and musicians playing as these champions, such as Keke Palmer as Senna, Becky G as Qiyana, Soyeon of (G)i-dle again as Akali and Duckwrth and Thutmose as Yasuo and Ekko.

   A prime example of this would be KDA Akali, which is a skin that has become more popular than Akali as a character herself, and here we see KDA Akali in a collaboration project with other League characters portrayed as different celebrities. Not only that but there’s even connections to Yasuo as a character. In the Odyssey trailer is seen reading a sort of romantic novel and, what seems to be out of character for a hardened badass samurai, gasps while reading it like a Twilight fan. This wouldn’t be too notable but, again, it’s so weird for a character like Yasuo to be doing that, the LoL fanbase exploded and loved the idea that a hardened warrior would get emotional over books. True Damage Yasuo does that exact same sort of investment while reading a Star Guardian comic.

   The point is with these small details and the fact that different celebrities are playing as these champions, is that these League of Legends champion skins are becoming more and more celebrity-like on their own regardless of the game or original champions attached; they’re essentially their own characters and much like Virtual Celebrities to which its concept was dropped so long ago. They finally found how to properly implement it and it’s pretty exciting.

   So this ‘Giants’ music video with this new True Damage group is kicking off on the 10th for the finals between G2 and FunPlus Phoenix, so this is going to be a pretty tense and exciting Sunday this weekend.