Hey folks, HUGEnFAST here, art lead and splash artist from the Champion Update team.
For a long while, we’ve been thinking about old splash art, specifically splash art belonging to the skins of previously updated champions. As you are likely aware, most champion updates have not been accompanied by comprehensive splash art reworks, creating a problem where certain splashes are outdated or inaccurate representations of what you actually see in-game.
Luckily, we have a solution to this problem: Do. All. The. Splashes.
tl;dr: We are including complete splash refreshes with all future champion updates, and we’re working our way back through previously updated champions to bring their splashes up to par.
When we originally started updating champions, we didn’t really have the bandwidth to include a full splash refresh with each update. League has a lot of art needs; we couldn’t take a full team of illustrators and sequester them for months to work exclusively on old splashes. If refreshing splashes with every update had been identified as a must-have at the time, the lack of illustration resources would have bottlenecked a lot of content.
That said, new skin splash art has always felt like a missing piece of the champion update process – especially when major reworks can completely change almost everything about a champion’s appearance. Now that we have the right resources in place, we’re ready to start filling in the gaps, one champ at a time.
Poppy was the first champion to receive a complete splash art refresh alongside her visual and gameplay update. Shen, whose update was revealed last week, is getting the same treatment, bringing new or updated splashes to the Rift along with his flying magic ninja sword and oh-so-fashionable Crocs. This is the new normal; every champion update from here on out will include splash art to go along with the changes.
One note: Not all splashes need dramatic, obvious overhauls. Some of Shen’s splashes have simply been updated and improved to more accurately reflect visual tweaks, while some have been rebuilt from scratch. The goal isn’t reinvention for the sake of reinvention, but bringing the old splashes closer to in-game accuracy and League’s current artistic sensibilities.
In addition to shipping reworked and refreshed splash art with new champion updates, we’re going back through every previously reworked champion and making sure they receive the same attention where needed. It’s going to take a while to get it all done (there are a lot of updated champs and a lot of skins), but we’re hoping to ship a few of these side updates per year and already have a couple in the works.
We’ll keep you updated as we refine our timelines and work through League’s massive post-update-skin splash backlog.
In the meantime, we hope you’re enjoying Poppy’s and Shen’s new splash art, and we’re excited to finally be moving this process into full production.