Something weird happened tonight in League of Legends, something that's never happened before in the ludicrously popular game's 6-year history: a character died. Like, actually died. In the story. And at least for now, in the game too. Lore is OP.
League of Legends development studio Riot Games has been putting on a calamitous story-driven event for the past few weeks that centres around the game's many pirate and nautical-themed champions and the city they come from, Bilgewater. So far, all of the special stuff going on in Bilgewater has added new content to the game: new character skins, a new version of one of the game's central maps, and a cool new game mode that lets you hire monsters as mercenaries. But with the latest update to League that went live tonight, Riot took the champion Gangplank out of the game.
If you log into League of Legends right now, an alert at the top of the client informs you that "Gangplank is dead and has been disabled in all queues." The reason he's been yanked is because he just died in act three of the story that's been published bit by bit over the past week, killed by none other than his longtime rival Miss Fortune.
This is an absolutely bonkers occurrence for League of Legends fans. The game's story rarely, if ever, has much of a consequence on how the game is actually played every single day by its millions of fans. And now all of a sudden it's deep sixing a character in the lore and the actual game?
I seriously doubt that Gangplank is actually gone for good. A Rioter post on the League of Legends forums hints that something is going to happen in "the next several days," lest fans start revolting over the fact that a character they spent time and/or money to acquire was eliminated from the game:
Champion death is unprecedented in League of Legends, and we do not take it lightly. We encourage all Gangplank fans to remain calm for a few days until we can fully assess the situation. At this time, we are not addressing refund requests for him or his skins but please know that over the next several days we'll do our best to make things right for everyone.
So yeah. My guess is that there'll be some comic book style resurrection. There are enough magical creatures in League of Legends that I'm guessing at least one of them has the power to bring people back to life. Or maybe it will turn out that he was just taking a nap in the bushes.
It'd be pretty neat if he's been changed in some irreversible way by his dance with death. Zombie Gangplank, maybe?