League of Legends Spirit Blossom Festival merges MOBAs with visual novels

League of Legends is incorporating more narratives into the MOBA experience.

Originally Published: 
Splash art of Teemo's pink Spirit Blossom skin

On Wednesday, the new month-long Spirt Blossom Festival began in League of Legends. This event not only introduces a new champion named Lillia but nine new themed champion skins that come with a new kind of narrative mission type called Spirit Bonds.

If you're curious about what this event update brings, here's what you need to know.

When will the Spirit Blossom event begin?

If you're reading this, then the latest League of Legends event has already begun! Riot Games released the new skins, champion, and introduced Spirit Bonds at 4 p.m. Eastern on July 22 via a new update. As long as your game is fully updated (which it needs to be in order to do anything online) you should be good to go. The Spirit Blossom Festival will run until August 24, 2020.

Lillia is the new champion that is being introduced via the Spirit Blossom event

Riot Games

Who is the new champion? The new champion introduced within the Spirit Blossom event is Lillia, who Riot Games describes as a "magical fawn" that "musters the courage to venture out and uncover the mystery behind her ailing forest" during this event. Lillia's abilities allow her to put enemies to sleep and deal a lot of magic damage.

Who got Spirit Blossom themed skins? While the new champion is neat, those of you who already have mains are probably just wondering if your favorite champion got a Spirit Blossom Skin. Starting today, new skins for Yasuo, Thresh, Vayne, Teemo, Ahri, Kindred, Riven, and Cassiopeia can be purchased in-game.

They all embrace the purple, white, and pink color palette of the Spirit Blossom event. A tenth champion will also get a Spirit Blossom skin, though the developers don't plan on saying who this is until July 24.

How do Spirit Bonds work? By far the greatest addition that the Spirit Bloom brings are new narrative-focused Spirit Bonds. These focus on the heroes featured in the Spirit Blossom skinline. This experience functions quite similarly to visual novel games, where players establish relationships with each of the characters as they complete objectives for them.

Completing the missions for each Spirit will increase and eventually rank up your Reputation with them. As the player levels up in this way, they will gain event tokens and new icons in addition to Blue Essence. Of course, those who own the Spirit Blossom event pass will see greater event token rewards. After getting to know them enough, players will finally get some challenging final bonus missions to unlock an emote of the Spirit they are talking to.

The new Spirit Bond events in League of Legends play more like a visual novel than a MOBA.

Riot Games

The Inverse Analysis — While League of Legends will always be a MOBA first and foremost, these new Spirit Bonds add an intriguing new element into the game for fans of visuals novels or those who want to get more immersed in the world and its lore.

As the universe expands with Wild Rift, Ruined King, Convergence, and even lightly teased fighting game, it makes sense that Riot Games would want to increase the narrative appeal of the regular version of League of Legends going forward. Hopefully, similar kinds of narrative experiences are included in future events.

League of Legends is available for free on PC.

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