The reality is that League of Legends events have always had ample room for improvement. Riot Games isn’t exactly the developer that best integrates players into its big themed celebrations, and the game’s new protagonist also wants to make some changes in that regard. However, it is often said that there is an exception to every rule. An exception that, in this case, can be found in 2015, when the company far exceeded the expectations of gamers by giving the community the biggest surprise it had received so far. We refer to the Bilgewater: The Glowing Tide event which even included the death of a champion.
The only champion eliminated in League of Legends history
We’ll explore the real reasons that made the Bilgewater event the best event for much of the League of Legends community later in the game, but it’s easy to get carried away by the content. The celebration took place during patch 5.14 and included a new map for ARAM, a game mode called Black Market Brawlers, seven skins (one of which is free), and two complete reworks of the main protagonists. (Miss Fortune and Gangplank). We could also add a third visual and gameplay update, as Fiora received a complete overhaul when the event reached its epilogue.
From what we’ve said so far, this should make your heart ache when you compare it to recent events (which have greatly disappointed the community). However, what made the event even more memorable was that Riot Games decided to take player engagement one step further. Overnight, the League of Legends client posted a hard-to-believe warning: “Gangplank is dead and disabled from the game”. You could no longer select it in the various game modes.
The League of Legends community had no idea what was going on. Reading the history of the event, it was easy to understand that the champion lost a battle to Miss Fortune and disappeared. However, no one believed that due to tradition he would be removed forever. There have been a lot of complaints and players even asking for refunds on Gangplank, and Riot Games had to come out of their silence and say they would all be temporarily denied and it was better to wait a few days. The joke didn’t last long, as it took a week for the champion to return to the game.
Gangplank returned to League of Legends after a seven day absence and did so with a complete rework. The outdated version of the pirate had been replaced by the one we know today without the players being informed. Riot Games had never revealed the changes to the PBE to surprise the community, and the novelty of the situation made the move of the studio very effective. There were also no leaks at the time to spoil a historical surprise.
It is true that Riot Games had some problems with not introducing Gangplank on the test servers. However, the less positive aspects of this change have largely been forgotten. Moreover, the developer would have made a much bigger mistake a few days later by introducing the infamous patch which included the Colossi update. Nothing the company can’t handle today. It is true that they cannot use the same strategy, but it is very annoying to see the full potential of League of Legends for these kinds of events constantly being wasted. Repeating what happened with the Bilgewater theme is next to impossible, but less than half would improve the events of recent years.
The League of Legends World Cup has not yet started, two exceptional situations have already occurred. From a random choice in LCK to a setback that could be historic in China, back to a Friday like no other.