One of the numerous memes out there within the League of Legends community is that people play X champion because of new skin. It doesn’t exist without a degree of truth behind it, as the years have shown us, even the most irrelevant champions can benefit in pick rates if they’re given a new coat of paint (Heartseeker Ashe, Devil Teemo), but not all of them can be winners either. (Slayer Pantheon, any Worldbreaker). Regardless, it’s safe to assume that if you see an overzealous insta-lock of a particular champion that just got a new skin, they will undoubtedly perform poorly and are playing for no reason other than to show off their skin.
This goes doubly and triply for temporary game modes where the games are shorter, but the luxury of being able to select one’s own champion is still available. Needless to say, I’ve enjoyed playing Poro King over the last few weekends, since it’s been helping me rapidly boost my mastery rank with champions like Maokai, Skarner and Fizz, but it’s not lost on me that there’s an inordinate number of people playing Lux in the vast majority of these games. Sometimes on my team, sometimes on the enemy team, often times on both, I’ve seen a few good ones and way more bad ones, but almost in all cases, they’re using the brand new Elementalist Lux skin (above, right), and I’m under the impression that most are playing her not because they believe she’s a smart pick for Poro King, but they just want to use the new skin.
Personally, I think Lux is a poor choice for Poro King because although she provides decent crowd control and a little bit of wave clear in her ult, she’s a shit duelist if you can get up in her face, and is useless if she’s ever facing more than one enemy and will concede every objective.
But let’s not let those important factors factor in when it comes to choosing a team component, because that new skin is just so damn pretty.
I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve been banning Lux not just because I like winning, but to sadistically deny those who dropped $30 on a skin an opportunity to compromise my success rate with their mediocre play because they want to show off their shiny new toy.
Needless to say, I’ve started at a whole lot of Elementalist Lux splash art during load screens, and as much as I really actually do love, appreciate and admire the art of Jean Go, I can’t help but feel that in the grand scheme of the Lux persona/portrayal/character, Elementalist Lux just seems kind of out of place. From the bedroom eyes that it seems like all human-female characters except Jinx are required to be portrayed with now, to the Victoria’s Secret-like outfit that she wears, it seems like it was just a year ago when Lux was pretty much the answer to the question “does every chick in League have to have giant boobs and look like a sexy model,” and now she’s joined the ranks.
I guess the introduction of Illaoi meant Lux is off the hook and was allowed to grow up and be sexed up.
Really though, Lux was initially introduced as like the little sister of the game; literally Garen’s little sister. Born from privilege, raised highborn, nurtured as a prodigy, and rebelling from military duties, Lux was a young woman amongst a playing field of bombshells. And earlier on, presumably when Rito’s art direction had a little more consistent integrity, Lux’s designs were just that; modest yet tasteful, covered while Miss Fortune’s skins progressively shed more fabric, and Sona’s boobs expanded to the point where Ahri had to be unveiled lest she exploded. There used to be funny threads on the League board where pervs used to try-and-fail to be discreet about asking why Lux had no “creative” skins and others calling them out for wanting tits and ass Lux skins and everyone getting a good laugh out of revealing creeper players.
The reality of the situation is that eventually Rito’s love of money grew throughout the years, and they understood the profitability of creating aesthetically pleasing skins, even if it meant reaching for low-hanging fruit. The sheer volume of skin availability has expanded massively throughout the last few years, with the quality of creativity kind of taking a step back. DJ Sona, Arcade Miss Fortune, Heartseeker Ashe come out to great praise, also with tighter clothing, bigger boobs and longer legs. And then less-popular and often male champions come out in these clumped sets, like Beast Hunter, Dark Star, or Worldbreaker, that ultimately nobody cares about, but seem to be released just to poorly veil the weak attempt to equally distribute new skins.
The bottom line is that although impressive and technically amazing from a design and execution standpoint, at least to me, Elementalist Lux has left behind the character that she was initially introduced as. It’s like she was introduced into the game as a late-teenager who still had mom helping her buy her name-brand clothing from the mall in her original splash art, and now she’s got rando-dudes mailing her Victoria’s Secret gift cards for her to buy her own sexy clothing.
Our little girl Lux is finally growing up, and coincidentally Rito is making even more money. God help us all when they decide that an Annie re-design, and aging her conjunctively to how long she’s been in the game, and dressing her appropriately to her age is going to be potentially profitable.