Hate, yes. But in a loving way. Teemo is the latest League of Legends champion to receive a snazzy "legendary skin". These are among the most expensive features that ever show up in the super popular game -- they cost 1820 Riot Points, which is more than ten bucks in real-world money. Riot puts a lot of work into them as a result.
The new and improved "Omega Squad Teemo" is no exception to this rule. League's most iconic and insufferably cute yordle character has gotten a complete aesthetic rework to suit the skin, turning him into what looks to me like a tot-sized version of the scary dudes from the Killzone games. Here's what base-level Teemo looks like:
In the actual game, he's one of the tiniest characters you'll come across:
(He's the little ball of fur and camping gear on the left.)
And here's the new Omega Squad Teemo, in comparison.
The influential League site Surrender at 20 has been capturing great images of Omega Squad Teemo since he first showed up in the game's beta version. Here's what you'll see once he starts terrorizing you in League games -- if he hasn't already:
When he goes invisible, which is one of his passive abilities that makes him such a pest to tangle with:
Those poison darts that you can never fucking get away from fast enough have been converted into knives:
And the mushrooms? Oh god, the mushrooms. Running into those poisoned traps adept Teemo seem to plan on every conceivable inch of League's map induces a rage like no other. Omega Squad Teemo's mushrooms look like futuristic landmines:
Or maybe they're actual explosive containers filled with the noxious green stuff that almost decimated San Francisco in The Rock, because look at what happens when you're unlucky enough to step on one:
He also got some new voice-acting to better suit the yordle's grizzle new war-weary vibe:
"Take the pain!" Oh I will, Teemo. Believe me, I will. It's not like you've given me any choice in the matter, seeing how you just peppered my entire lane with friggin' killer mushroom-mine things.
The funny thing about Teemo, though, is that despite everyone in League of Legends always claiming to hate him so utterly and completely, they obviously have to feel some sort of warmth and fuzziness for the guy as well. Riot wouldn't even bother putting so much work into a skin like this otherwise. And I mean, how could you not fall for something this warm and fuzzy-looking?
It's just... those mushrooms, man. Those mushrooms. Seriously. Any League of Legends player who's gone up against Teemo has at least one game full of PTSD flashback-inducing moments. Maybe they were trying to chase the little fucker down to get that last hit to finally kill him -- maybe they even did kill him -- before his darts' poison damage sucked out their last bit of health. Or maybe they weren't even anywhere near Teemo, and were just trying to stroll through some part of the jungle in peace, when a series of mushroom traps gave them the grey screen of death.
Regardless of the particulars of the situation: one thing has always been clear: Teemo can be an absolute terror.
But you couldn't ask for a more lovably adorable terror than this one.
Lead image and Omega Squad Teemo screenshots from Surrender at 20.