Season 2021 Opening Day Recap: Viego, Dr. Mundo Update, VGU & Skins Poll, and More in 2021

Posted on at 9:45 AM by Aznbeat

The Season 2021 Opening Day livestream has premiered with a new cinematic, as well as tons more info, including details on our newest champion, Viego, the Ruined King, the next champion update, Dr. Mundo, VGUs, skins, the ranked season, other Riot games, and more in 2021!
Continue reading to check out the video and articles with tons of details!

Table of Contents

Season 2021 Opening Day Livestream

Missed the livestream? Check out the VOD below:
"New year, new surprises: Welcome to Season 2021. Here’s a first look at the upcoming year across League of Legends, Wild Rift, Teamfight Tactics, Legends of Runeterra, and esports."
Each of the individual videos can be found on the LoL youtube channel:

Individual videos for other Riot games can be found on their youtube channels:
"Lunari legends. Ascended heroes. Co-op labs?! The winds of change usher in a new season, and with it the journey through Runeterra is only beginning. Take a peak at what 2021 has in store."

Reav3 posted the teaser images used in the Champions video on Reddit:


The LOL UKN twitter posted full resolution splashes for 11.2's Lunar Beast skins:

Lunar Beast Jarvan IV

Lunar Beast Alistar

Lunar Beast Fiora


Season 2021 Cinematic - Ruination

Check out the Season 2021 cinematic - "A king returns. All he touches turns to ruin. Video created in partnership with Digic Pictures."

Gallery:
                             

VGU & Skin Thematic Voting in Client

The votes for the next VGU and skin thematics are up in the client! Login and make your voice heard!

Here's a closer look at the skin thematics in the vote:

Monster Tamer

Debonair 2.0

Crime City Nightmare

Here's the goals for each of the champion update candidates:
  

For the full details on the champion update poll, check out this article by Reav3 - "Five options are on the table. Which champion should we update next?"
"Last year, we committed to holding another VGU poll where you could vote for which champion you’d like to see updated next. While we didn’t quite make it for 2020, we’re excited to say the polls are open. 
You have until 11:59 p.m. PT on January 19 to vote. You may cast your vote directly in the League client, and your vote cannot be changed after submission. 
We’ve selected five champions we see as high-priorities for updates, and we’re committed to working on whichever one you choose. It’ll take a few months to get rolling on development, but once we do, you can expect regular check-ins like we did for the Fiddlesticks and Volibear updates. This helps us collect your thoughts and feedback as we go so we can make sure we get it right, especially for mains who already love these champs. 
Finally, if you read our last Champion Roadmap, you may be wondering what happened to the VGU we started at the end of last year. Our work here got delayed, so instead, we’re making good on our original promise and letting you all decide which champ we should focus on next. 
With that, let’s jump into how we'd approach updating each of these champions. 
Udyr 
Udyr’s warrior-shaman theme feels unique to League, but his outdated visuals leave a lot to be desired. If we were to update him, you could expect major improvements to his art and a more modern take on his thematic. 
At a high level, Udyr has one of the most interesting kits in the game. His form-swapping mechanic is iconic, and he's the only champ whose entire kit revolves around modifying his basic melee attacks—both of which we’d want to preserve. One thing we’d aim to solve is how one of Udyr’s forms tends to become his default state. Our goal would be to build a kit where all forms feel meaningful and useful, regardless of balance state.
Shyvana 
While Shyvana’s overall visuals and kit quality aren’t as low as some of the other champs in this poll, she falls under the category of champions like Irelia or Akali, who weren’t fully delivering on their thematic promise before being reworked. 
If we were to update Shyvana, we’d want to really bring the fantasy of “warrior who transforms into a fire-breathing dragon” to life. In terms of gameplay, we’d want to make her dragon form feel more formidable and destructive while better differentiating it from her human form.
Nocturne 
Nocturne’s an interesting case for a VGU. He’s one of the most popular champions among new players, but most of them drop him quickly. This suggests Nocturne's gameplay and visual fantasies are strong, but he’s not quite delivering on them. 
If we were to update Nocturne, we’d want to really drive home his promised fantasy of a living nightmare who leaves his enemies in total darkness. Nocturne would keep his iconic ultimate, and we’d create a more deep and satisfying base kit to go along with it. We’d also modernize Nocturne’s visuals so can live up to his title as the Eternal Nightmare
Skarner 
Skarner is one of the least played champs in League, and honestly he needs a lot of work. We’d want to fully reimagine his kit and theme, similar to older VGUs like Sion and Urgot. Skarner’s crystal scorpion fantasy is generic, and we’d want to give him a clearer, more exciting source of power. This would likely result in big changes to his visuals and story. 
Finally, we’ve tried to rework Skarner’s kit in the past, but it hasn’t increased his playrate. This indicates it has deep-rooted issues—Skarner does a little bit of everything but doesn’t really excel at anything. We’d want to keep his ability to kidnap enemies with his ult in some form, but otherwise, we’d rebuild from the ground up.
Quinn 
We believe Quinn’s biggest issue is that her gameplay doesn’t really reflect her fantasy of “Demacian ranger working in perfect sync with a trained warhawk.” While Valor is depicted in her abilities’ visuals, they’re basically just bird-shaped missiles. 
If we were to update Quinn, we’d want to redesign her kit so it feels more like you’re teaming up with Valor. Since Quinn has been played in so many roles, we’d be pretty open as to which one she lands in, as our main focus would be making her kit match her theme.
Head on over to the League client to cast your vote, and stay tuned after the polls close for the results. We can’t wait to see which champion you choose!"

 

Viego - Abilities Rundown

Check out the details on Viego, the Ruined King's abilities! First up, here's an all-in-one video:

Check out the article here

"Bring Ruination to the world with Viego, the Ruined King. Learn more about his mist-commanding, death-dominating abilities below. 
"NO PRICE IS TOO GREAT. NO ATROCITY BEYOND MY REACH. FOR HER... I WILL DO ANYTHING."
Passive - Sovereign’s Domination 
Viego can temporarily possess enemy champions he helps kill, healing for a portion of their max health. During possession, Viego's items, attacks, and non-ultimate abilities become those of his slain enemy's, and he gains a free cast of his own ultimate, Heartbreaker. While possessing an enemy, Viego also gets bonus movement speed when moving toward enemy champions.

Q - Blade of the Ruined King 
Passive: Viego’s attacks deal a percent of the target's current health as bonus damage on-hit. When Viego attacks an enemy he recently hit with an ability, the attack strikes twice. The second strike siphons health from the target instead of dealing regular damage, but still applies on-hit effects and can critically strike. This passive is maintained during possession. 
Active: Viego stabs forward with his blade, damaging all enemies hit.

W - Spectral Maw 
Viego charges up and then dashes forward, hurling a blast of mist that stuns and damages the first enemy hit. Stun duration and mist range increase with charge time, damage and dash range don't. 
E - Harrowed Path 
Viego spreads a wave of Black Mist around a nearby wall. While in the mist, Viego becomes Camouflaged and gains Attack Speed and Movement Speed. 
R - Heartbreaker 
Viego discards any bodies he is currently possessing and teleports forward, attacking the enemy champion in range with the lowest percent health and dealing bonus damage based on their missing health. Other enemies in range are knocked away.

"THE WEIGHT OF THIS MOMENT IS SO MUCH MORE THAN YOU." 
Bring your darkest desires to life with Viego in patch 11.2!"

Check out his Champion Page:

And his biography:
"Few know of the kingdom to the east, far across the seas, whose name lies all but forgotten among the ruins that dot its shores. Fewer still know of its foolish young ruler, whose lovestruck heart was doomed to destroy it. 
Now a grave threat to all, that man’s name was—and is—Viego. 
The second son of a dynastic king, Viego was never intended to lead. Instead, he lived a life of comfort that made him complacent and selfish. Yet, when his older brother died unexpectedly, Viego, who possessed neither the inclination nor the aptitude for rulership, suddenly found himself crowned. 
He showed little interest in his position until he met a poor seamstress, Isolde. So taken was he by her beauty that the young king offered her his hand in marriage, and thus, one of the most powerful rulers of the age was wed to a peasant girl. 
Their romance was enchanting, and Viego, who’d rarely shown interest in anyone other than himself, devoted his life to her. The two were inseparable—he scarcely went anywhere without Isolde, always lavishing gifts upon his queen, and his attention could seldom be broken when she was present. 
Viego’s allies fumed. Unable to interest him in governance, and with the nation beginning to unravel under his questionable rulership, some plotted in secret to end their new king’s reign before it had begun. His nation’s enemies, meanwhile, saw an opportunity to strike. And the vipers began to circle. 
Thus did an assassin’s poisoned dagger one day come for Viego. But the king was well defended, and the dagger did not strike true—instead grazing Isolde. 
The toxin worked quickly, and Isolde fell into a ruinous torpor, while Viego could only watch in horror as his wife’s condition grew ever more serious. Overwhelmed with fury and despair, he spent every last coin within his coffers trying to save her. 
But it was all for naught. Isolde perished in her bed, and Viego was consumed by madness. 
His search for an antidote became desperate, crazed. Unable to accept his wife’s death, every treasure of the kingdom—every scrap of wealth—was sacrificed to his quest to return her to him. As the land fell into disarray, Viego hid himself away with Isolde’s body, becoming hateful and violent. 
Then came the day he learned the secret of the Blessed Isles, of its water that healed any ailment. With his great army, he stormed the peaceful country by force, slaughtering everyone who stood in his way until he at last breached its inner sanctum and let his wife drift beneath the blessed water. She would return to him, no matter the destruction he wrought. No matter the cost. 
And for just one moment, she did. 
Isolde arose a horrifying wraith of shadow and rage, and in her pain, her anger, her confusion at being ripped from death, she took Viego’s own enchanted blade and thrust it through his heart. The magic of the waters and the ancient sword clashed, and the chamber’s energy erupted, tearing across the Isles and trapping everything it touched in tortured, conscious undeath. 
Yet of this, Viego remembers nothing. His country collapsed into ruin, great nations rose and fell, and in time, even his name was forgotten... until, a thousand years after his death, Viego stood once more. And this time, he would not fail. 
His mind twisted by the same dangerous obsession he possessed in life, Viego’s unflinching, deranged love fuels his every action, his every desire, his every atrocity. The deadly Black Mist pours freely from Viego’s broken heart—ripping the life from everything it touches—and he uses the Mist to scour the world for some way to return Isolde to his side. 
Legions will fall before him only to rise again in his service, continents will be swallowed by living darkness, and the world will pay for every moment of happiness it stole from an ancient ruler laid low by all-consuming love. He cares naught for the destruction he causes, so long as he can see Isolde’s face again. 
His reign is terror. 
His love is eternal. 
And until Isolde returns to him, all will fall before the Ruined King."

/dev: The Latest on Dr. Mundo's VGU

Check out the latest from the Dr. Mundo VGU team on their progress - "Mundo’s still under the scalpel, but it’s time for our routine checkup.":
"Hi all! It’s been a while since we shared our progress on Dr. Mundo’s champion update, and we have lots more to show today. Production is in full-swing, so we’ll be looking at his latest character model, animations, VFX, and SFX. Then we’ll take a peek at his Rageborn skin. 
Before we jump in, let’s recap what we’ve shared so far. 
Medical Professional Coming Through

We set out with three main goals for Dr. Mundo’s update:
  1. Upgrade his visuals and theme, not only to look better, but to better fit in with how League's visual style has evolved.
  2. Improve Mundo’s kit while maintaining his super-tank regen and ability to chuck cleavers.
  3. Keep Mundo a very simple champion. 
One of our early challenges for Mundo was landing on the right tone for his doctor theme—is he a brilliant doctor who went mad, or a “brilliant doctor” who is mad? We read a lot of your feedback after our first post, and we saw that the thing that was important to many of you was that we keep Mundo a fun and comical champion. So that’s the direction we’ve headed. Our goal is for Mundo to embody a “dark comedy” theme, which we think is unique in League’s champion roster. 
As for gameplay, we tried a few directions for Mundo’s kit, but the one that stuck was making him an extremely difficult champion to lock down. Having CC-immunity in any form is a powerful tool, so as a trade-off, Mundo will remain a champ with no mobility or hard CC. And of course, he’ll still chuck cleavers. 
Finally, the last time we shared Mundo’s concept art, we heard that his hair was feeling a bit too well-kept for Mundo. We talked about that feedback as a team, and we agreed, so we’ve untidied him up a bit.
AND NOW… ONTO THE NEW STUFF! 
Madman Brilliant Doctor Escapes

Edgar “SpaceReptile” Monteon, Job Title: Character Artist 
Being part of the development process for Mundo drew me in as a character artist right away. 
Mundo’s visual process began with concept art to establish his identity, then these visual elements get "digested" (so to speak) and become fleshed out. Throughout, I spent enough time creating Mundo's sandal, dials, torn clothing to be completely immersed in the visual story that is Mundo. This immersive experience is what’s most insightful and fun for me, and it’s what I would like to share with you.
Creating Mundo’s new model and texture is like setting the stage for other disciplines (like animators and VFX artists) to expand him further. We also have to think about how we retain what we love from Mundo’s old model. From a visual perspective, Mundo is an explosive character that does not fit in his clothing, and this is what makes him so threatening and powerful to me.
With new Mundo, you can see there’s more room for a more dynamic character—he wears a soft sandal and his animations have multiple layers of personality. It’s evident Mundo went through an ordeal of modifications and then escaped from somewhere. The type of outfit Mundo wears, as well as his weapons, are a tell-tale sign of what has transpired in Mundo’s recent past, and it was a blast painting in details that support this story.
Severely Stupid and Seriously Scary 
Drew “sandwichtown” Morgan, Lead Animator: 
During early exploration, I wanted to lean heavily on the silliness of Mundo and have some fun seeing how goofy we could push him. Part of what makes him unique is his severe dumbness, so it was fun exploring how dumb and weird he could be. We knew he also needed to feel dangerous though, and so the real challenge was balancing how seriously scary he could be while still being a bit of a caricature. Most of his core mechanics are meant to feel weighty and strong, but sprinkled in there are some moments of levity.
Originally his Q was going to be a jumping toss, which felt pretty good but was feeling too happy and carefree. The current version has him really leaning into the ax cleave, only briefly breaking his stride to wind up, then continuing to trudge along immediately after while he grabs a new weapon from his bag. Having him continue his stride mid throw helps him feel determined and purposeful. Always marching forward. 
His tower attack however highlights his stupidity and inability to feel pain...

Emotes will be a place to tip the balance a bit more goofy, but the core animation set will maintain the feel of an unstoppable brute. Mundo is not delicate, and he doesn't really use restraint. His movements should all be at 100% because he doesn't know how to hold back, which is why he is so uncontrollably dangerous. 
Chemically Enhanced Physicality 
Jason “LankyTree” Chisolm, VFX Artist: 
As a long time League player, VGUs remain some of my favorite projects to be a part of, especially when it’s a champion as iconic as Dr. Mundo. I like to start out each and every project by coming up with a few VFX pillars—these essentially serve as guidelines for me. Every effect I make should help reinforce these pillars and be informed by them. 
One of the major ones for this project was “chemically enhanced physicality.” I wanted to really emphasize that Mundo’s over-the-top strength and utter disregard for pain is the result of chemical augmentation and experimentation. The big standout example of this is Mundo’s ultimate. It’s this really iconic moment where we get to see Mundo transform into this HP regenerating monster. It’s something the team really wanted to highlight and bring a lot of attention to. 
So let’s take a look into Mundo’s big bag of unstable chemicals and medical tools to see how it’s done.
How do we highlight such a big transformation? Well quite simply by making him big, so big he bursts out of his jacket, absolutely shredding it to pieces and sending the many buckles flying. Then we saturate him in some good old fashioned Zaunite chemicals. He’s so heavily saturated that it’s just evaporating off of him, surrounding him in this gaseous cloud, and what doesn’t evaporate drips off to really give a sense that he’s soaked in these chemicals. 
The Sounds of Zaunite Chemicals 
Jayvon “Riot Jirsan” Rymer, Sound Designer: 
Like other VGUs, it's always cool to look at where we were before in comparison to what we are trying to evolve the champion into. For Dr. Mundo, I really wanted to keep a few things that players have come to know about him, but also push his physicality and strength even more. I really wanted it to feel like you are in a fight with a giant unpredictable force that only increases in power as time goes by. There were a lot of cool experiments that other disciplines were working on with his muscle expansion and size, so I wanted to make sure I captured a bit of that in his abilities. 
A cool space that I had fun exploring was the sound of the Zaunite chemicals that he uses. I tried different things, like processing ice recordings to see what tonalities I could get from it, dropping ice cubes on a super hot pan with oil, and even using chicken recordings from our library and reprocessing them to get cool tonal textures. Nothing specific is quite ready to share yet, but here’s a bit of a compilation of some of the elements I was able to get from those explorations. 
DR. MUNDO SFX EXPLORATION

One of the Skins 
Sunuman “KindLeJack” DePandito, Surgeon-Hobbyist:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: There’s nothing more exciting than completing a champion update only to crack open their skin catalogue and see the vast potential which lies therein! At Riot we prize the “player focused mindset,” and I feel like there’s little more player focused than bringing the love and learnings from all those years of experience to a faithful old champ’s moldering cosmetic collection. The newer skins get cleaned up and adjusted to work with the new base design and there’s always wins to be had there, but the senior citiskins are the ones that really get to pop out of the salon ready to drop some jaws. 
Speaking of which… 
Ready for the Rift Quest invitational PvP tournament, it’s Rageborn Mundo! Today I wanted to share one specific skin from Mundo’s impressive trove that is finally finding a home in a now-storied skin theme. “Red Mundo” is coming back with a bolder edge—paying homage to classic fantasy but updated for the current edition, Mundo burns with the rage of a berserker as he paves the road to victory with naves. Not even cute necromancers are safe! 
Checkup Complete 
That’s all we have to share for today. As always, we’ll be looking through your thoughts and feedback, so please keep ‘em coming. This will be our last post for Mundo’s VGU, and you can expect to see it on PBE in a few months. Until then, happy doctoring!"

Ranked 2021 Rundown 

Getting ready for ranked in season 2021? Check out this article with all the details on changes this year - "Welcome to a new ranked season! We've made some changes to the climb; here's what you need to know!":

"Welcome to the 2021 ranked season! We've made a bunch of changes to prep for this year's climb. Here's what you need to know! 
New Account Placement 
If you're new to ranked, we'll use your performance in normal matches to determine your initial placement rather than start you at a default position. This also improves match quality for everyone else since new accounts will be matched with players actually close to their skill level. 
Lighter Start-of-Season Reset 
For ranked veterans, the start-of-season rank reset is less drastic this year. Once you've finished provisionals, you'll start your climb closer to where you ended last season compared to years past. 
Division Promos Removed 
There are no more promo series between divisions (ex. Gold III -> Gold II), and any excess LP rolls over when you're promoted. Be careful—inter-division demotion protection is gone, too. If a loss drops you to 0 LP, losing again will drop you into the next division down. 
You'll still go through promos between tiers (ex. Gold -> Platinum), and still have demotion protection between tiers. 
Ranked Informed Matchmaking 
Matchmaking will now check that your teammates and opponents are close to you in their displayed rank, not just their MMR. 
Smaller LP Gains & Losses 
Between placing higher, LP rollover between divisions, and removing division promos which granted no LP for the required wins, we're adding a lot of LP to the system. Left unchecked, that would slingshot everyone upward and prevent ranked informed matchmaking from working. LP gains and losses will be slightly smaller this season to keep matchmaking healthy. 
LP Mitigation 
If we detect an AFK on your team, you'll lose less LP for a loss (and the AFK will lose more) depending on how the game was going before the AFK. LP mitigation is stronger if your team was dominating but may not result in any LP difference if you were super far behind. There's a weekly cap to how many games LP mitigation can apply to. 
Immediate Master+ Unlock 
Master, Grandmaster, and Challenger are open right now. Check Riot Support for your region's tier sizes. Who'll win the race to Challenger rank 1? 
Master+ Duo Queue Removed 
Players in Master, Grandmaster, and Challenger can no longer duo queue. This improves match quality at the top of the ladder where the matchmaking pool is small and ensures the top of the ladder is representative of the best individuals on each server. 
Diamond Decay Changes 
Diamond now uses the same banked-game decay system as Master+, though with more relaxed tuning:
  • Master, Grandmaster, Challenger
    • Each game played banks 1 day of activity, up to 10
    • After 10 days of inactivity, you'll begin consuming banked days
    • Once all banked days have been consumed, you lose 250 LP each day until you fall out of Master
  • Diamond
    • Each game played banks 7 days of activity, up to 28
    • After 28 days of inactivity, you'll begin consuming banked days (this initial grace period is skipped if you decayed into Diamond from Master+)
    • Once all banked days have been consumed, you lose 50 LP each day until you fall out of Diamond
Best of luck on your Season 2021 climb!"

 

TFT: Bringing the Festival to Life

Here's a dev blog from Riot Beernana on the development of the Festival of Beasts arenas - "A behind-the-scenes look at new arenas from Fates: Festival of Beasts."

"Hey there, tacticians! The TFT team is excited to share with you what went on behind the scenes during the making of arenas for Fates: Festival of Beasts. From concept to execution, set 4.5 pushed the boundaries of what we can accomplish in TFT arenas. And of course, with that ambition came some unique challenges for environment artists, composers, and VFX artists alike. With the results, we hope to have opened up a whole new realm of possibilities for how you all experience a game of TFT. Keep on reading for the full story! 
Let’s get into it! Here’s Gino to introduce you to the concepts for 4.5 arenas. 
Concept Design 
Going into set 4.5, we knew we wanted to celebrate the Lunar New Year with players. To do that, we had to make it a fun experience while remaining true to the traditions of the celebration. For a while we played with some traditional explorations of the theme, but we wouldn’t be TFT if we didn’t push it further. We took original arena concepts for a throne room and river village and dialed those up to 11. The throne room became a Chinese-inspired club (with our own adorable DJ), and the river village became a rooftop parade celebration, complete with hologram projections. The team was hyped about the idea; we knew this was the direction we wanted to go. 
Our next challenge was to convey all of our grand ideas while still accommodating TFT’s gameplay needs. The club needed to feel like a club on both PC and mobile, and the same went for the rooftop parade. This meant that any visual elements needed to be visible and interactive on all platforms without getting in the way of anything important, like items. 
We also had to be very thoughtful with our use of cultural art and symbols. Communication and collaboration became our strongest assets at this point. Shoutout to all of my “cultural consultants,” coworkers who were familiar with the Lunar New Year tradition, who gave very valuable feedback about what would resonate with all of youplayers. Thanks to multiple rounds of feedback and iteration, as well as the beautiful execution by our environment artists, VFX artists, SFX artists, and animators, we ended up with two great boards that I am excited to see released into the world! 
I hope you enjoy what we’ve made for set 4.5, and with that I’ll hand things off to Jeremy on environment art! 
Environment Art

Thanks, Gino! As usual, the environment artists were given beautiful art from the concept team to work with, and our first challenge was to bring those images to life in a 3D space. This included creating our first indoor arena, Club 2! With the previous success of our skyboxes and vistas, we were faced with the unique challenge of creating that same parallax in an indoor environment. We decided that by adding large windows to the Club, we could showcase a vast city in the distance, complete with a fireworks celebration. Beyond that, we added a sweet DJ Ox and concert stage and we were starting to really hit the vibe of Lunar New Year. For that iconic TFT twist of fun, we added little human touches like tables of food, disco balls, and confetti cannons. 
For the Lunar City Arena, we wanted to create a futuristic facade on top of an ancient town. We also knew we needed water around the rooftop for floating boats that would emanate holograms. To achieve this, we worked with tech art to create a water shader and used a couple of simple textures to act as reflections. 
As a final fun fact: this mid-set is also the first time we’ve introduced foreground elements to our arenas! In Club 2, we created a balcony overlooking the dance floor, and for Lunar City we created some futuristic pagoda-style buildings. 
And now, I’ll pass it off to Isaac on VFX! 
VFX


Thanks, Jeremy! For Fates we tried our hand at adding interactivity and reactivity into our arenas, like you’ve seen on the Kanmei, Akana, and Festival boards. But for this mid-set, we pushed that exploration even further. We wanted to include more clickable interactions with even bigger effects. We also wanted these interactive pieces to feel like more essential parts of the board. So, we pushed our tech in completely new ways. You can see this from DJ Ox in the club to the holograms in the city, which was one of the hardest challenges we took on. We had to create something that actually feels like a hologram—one that would celebrate with you ingame, at that. We worked closely with our concept artist to create the great flipbooks you see now. Using Mult textures (multiplying an alpha from one texture to another to the diffuse texture) and jittering around some additive versions of those flipbooks, we finally got the look we wanted. 
Let’s hear it from Jason over on music! 
Music 
Thanks, Isaac! When we set out to write music for the new arenas, we had to figure out how to incorporate new tracks into the music you already hear throughout a game of TFT. Our usual TFT music consists of six music tracks, four musical transitions, and a handful of unique melodies to create a sense of progression throughout early gameplay. Sound designer Alison Ho and I worked together to simplify the TFT music system to allow for arena-specific tracks. 
The Club 2 music had to feel like TFT’s stylistic departure from the Lunar Revel theme that still felt true to Lunar Revel. When building out this song, I referenced some of the melodic content from our Lunar Revel 2019 campaign to make it feel more familiar to players who really enjoyed the thematic. To keep it recognizable, I used traditional Chinese instruments to cue listeners into the Lunar Revel styles, and then processed them to fit with a modern EDM aesthetic appropriate for a nightclub. It was important that this music felt connected to the carousel and other arenas players might encounter in TFT, so we wrote the music in A minor for more seamless transitions. 
We also wanted to include something fun and special for long-time TFT players. We’ve had some awesome TFT campaigns in the past that used an electronic music style similar to the Club 2 theme, so we thought it would be fun to incorporate some of those elements into the gameplay music. We managed to get the “DUDUDUNGA” song stems so we could add the vocals into our win stingers on this arena.

[TEAMFIGHT TACTICS | FATES - CLUB 2 ARENA THEME]

[LUNAR REVEL 2019 - LOGIN THEME (EXCERPT)] 
[WIN STREAK MUSIC]

[WIN MUSIC] 
Finally, here’s Alison with everything you need to know about SFX. 
SFX 
Thanks, Jason! Going into the SFX production for the Club 2 and Lunar City arenas, we were lucky to have a lot of concept art and mood boards to inform our work. After talking with the team’s Art Director, Marcus, we knew that we wanted these arenas to feel festive and celebratory like a traditional Lunar New Year celebration, but with a futuristic twist to capture the Lunar Revel thematic. 
To achieve this, we used more traditional Chinese instrumentation (erhu, guzheng, metallic gongs) mixed with some newer elements (hologram digital effects, airhorns) as well as some crowd sound effects. In Club 2, this manifested mainly through the music, while Lunar City required a more ambiance-based approach: 
Although the Club 2 arena is so heavily focused on music, the composer Jason and I still wanted the arena to feel like an experience if the player decided to turn the club music off. For example, if the player decides to mute the music in the client, there’s a very muffled ambient version of the music that plays to hint at the party that’s still going on. 
[AMBIENCE WITH MUSIC ON] 
[AMBIENCE WITH MUSIC MUTED] 
We also created a stinger at the win or loss of a round, to let the music shine through for a moment whether the player had muted the music or not. This meant that whatever SFX played at the end of a round had to sound cohesive with whatever the player was hearing before. We played around with the key to make sure whatever off-set we created blended perfectly. 
[STINGER WITH MUSIC ON] 
[STINGER WITH MUSIC OFF] 
Like Jason, we just had to sneak a bit of the Dududunga vocals into the SFX for the arena! I played around with various processing, pitch, and reversing to “remix” the vocals. You can hear the remix when you win streak, as well as a sadder version when you lose a round. 
[DUDUDUNGA PROCESSING] 
[DUDUDUNGA WINSTREAK AND LOSS] 
DJ Ox was a particularly fun character to sound design for. DJ Ox jams along to the music and reacts to the player’s wins and losses, so I took some real bull and cow sounds and auto-tuned them for the character. 
[DJ OX SOUNDS] 
Finally, there was the Lunar City arena. As mentioned above, our goal was to add a futuristic feel to a traditional celebration. In addition to the hologram boats and holographic shop signs, we added some hover cars and traffic to sprinkle the environment with some futuristic tech. 
[LUNAR CITY TRAFFIC] 
[SIGNS] 
[LUNAR CITY AMBIENCE IN-GAME] 
The win and loss states, on the other hand, are focused more on the crowds and the live parade sounds. Pulling all these elements together, we wanted to bring the Lunar New Year celebrations to life during every battle. 
[ERHU, GONG, DRUMS] 
[LUNAR CITY WIN ROUND] 
[LUNAR CITY LOSE ROUND] 
And that’s the scoop on TFT arenas! Thanks for coming behind the scenes of Festival of Beasts and celebrating the Lunar New Year with us. We hope you enjoy playing set 4.5, and check out our Season Start video for more on the Festival of Beasts!"
2021 is shaping up to be a great year in Runeterra!


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