Gamers might not know this, but League of Legends developer Riot Games is one of the very best purveyors of cute things in video games. Yup, right up there with Nintendo. Don't believe me? EXHIBIT A: Tristana's adorable new baby dragon that's disguised as a cannon.
Tristana, in case you don't know, is one of the cute fuzzy little hamster-esque creatures in League of Legends that are known as "Yordles." She made a huge impact at this year's World Championships thanks to the power of her rocket launcher's many explosive abilities in League's current meta.
The new Dragon Trainer Tristana skin, captured by the always-resourceful League of Legends news site Surrender at 20, switches her cannon out for what looks like a newborn version of the game's iconic NPC dragon monster. You know, this guy:
...or maybe girl. Or a third option! I know absolutely nothing about the gender of dragons.
But you know who does know a thing or two about the League of Legends dragon's backstory? Riot Games. And their shoutcasters for the 2015 World Championships did just introduce a new theory to the game's always-confusing fiction, positing that dragons keep appearing and reappearing because they spawn out of a single dragon nest, controlled by a malevolent overseer who lures the dragons out of the cave with promises of taking them to "dragon fun land."
Could this baby dragon be an orphan, somehow rescued by Tristana?
The dragon's too cute not to believe in some League of Legends fan fiction.
Man, someday I'm going to ride a dragon and be just as happy as Tristana is in that last screenshot.
The YouTubers at Skin Spotlights have a video showing the new skin in action:
The most heartbreakingly adorable part is whenever Tristana dies, the baby dragon tries to wake her up, then cuddles up next to her corpse:
In the words of emotional League of Legends fans the world over: TEARS FULLY STACKED.
The Dragon Trainer Tristana Skin costs 1820 Riot Points (RP), which is around $17.
There are some other, cheaper new skins as well that are also very cool. Like the "Grave Lord Azir," which makes the sand king warrior look like a crypt king:
"Elderwood Hecarim," who, coincidentally, looks a lot like the newly-announced Heroes of the Storm character Lunara (who looks an awful lot like she was directly inspired by Hecarim):
"Ryze Whitebeard," which makes the purple-skinned mage look like Dumbledore/Gandalf/Father Christmas:
"Braum Lionheart." I guess they're really pushing the Asterix and Obelix angle in League of Legends these days:
And last but not necessarily least, "Varus Swiftbolt":
OH! And there's also a new "wriggle ward" that gives you a lil' baby dragon without having to pay for the pricey new Tristana skin:
The new ward costs 640 RP (around $6), while the other skins range from 750 to 1350 RP -- i.e., somewhere between $7 and $12.