For a long time, Riot Games was known for only one game: League of Legends. That game has opened a lot of doors for Riot, and now stands as one of the most consistently popular multiplayer games out there, but it was still only one game. That's different now, of course. Aside from Legends of Runeterra and a number of other games inspired by League of Legends, Riot has Valorant, the team-based FPS that blends elements of hero shooters like Overwatch with the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive gameplay loop. Valorant is a huge success so far, and if it's anything like LoL, it'll only continue to grow in the coming years.
Valorant does share a significant flaw with League of Legends, however, and that flaw is a lack of storytelling devices. There's no singleplayer or story mode in Valorant, nor are there quests that give a sense of where the game's story is going, meaning players have to piece together lore for themselves from character dialogue and map details. League of Legends, however, just got a great storytelling device that skillfully brought the game's lore to life. That device is Arcane, the animated Netflix original show about LoL's Zaun and Piltover. Considering how well Arcane worked for Riot's flagship game, a Valorant TV show seems like the logical next step.
Arcane's Impact on League of Legends
League of Legends, as a MOBA, doesn't have a lot of tools to explain its inherent narrative. Characters have unique interactions that explain their backstories and the world of Runeterra, and on rare occasions there's in-game events that reflect a major change in League of Legends' setting. Otherwise, players have to seek out official short stories and explainers in order to really learn anything about Runeterra. The result is that it's hard for casual fans to have a good grasp on how League of Legends' many champions fit together in a cohesive, living universe.
Arcane turned that on its head. While it's no story mode, Arcane tells the stories of some iconic League of Legends champions just like a singleplayer campaign might. There's no shortage of conversations and action sequences where characters work together, build relationships, and sometime fight each other, directly showing fans what kind of story League of Legends has to tell. Reception to Arcane has been highly positive, so it's no surprise that Riot Games has already ordered a second season, but the success also meant Riot is probably interested in coming up with some additional shows, which means Valorant could come to Netflix soon too.
Valorant Has TV Potential
Valorant is nearly ten years younger than League of Legends, which means it has a lot less lore and fewer major characters built into it so far, but it still has a lot of potential as a TV show in the style of Arcane. Recent videos related to Valorant lore have hinted at the parallel universes that are coming together and pitting Valorant's playable characters against themselves. A show like Arcane that brings some of Valorant's central characters together and explores their relationships while leading up to an interdimensional conflict could be really compelling.
Riot Games has already gone far to support Valorant, but making a TV show for it would be another great sign of support for its new IP. Every Valorant update hints at a much larger web of stories and characters that would be worth representing in greater detail than the game itself is capable of. After all, it worked wonders for League of Legends. Arcane is filled to the brim with long, detailed interactions that simply weren't possible within the bounds of a MOBA. Letting Valorant escape its limitations in the same way would be a wonderful way to help its story flourish and further establish Riot Games' potential to transform its games into compelling shows.
Valorant is available now for PC.
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Ever since the two were added as champions to League of Legends, Caitlyn and Vi have had quite a history that has only deepened with Arcane's story.
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