Something weird happened last night in League of Legends, something that’s never happened before in the ludicrously popular game’s 6-year history: a character died. Like, actually died. In the story. And at least for now, in the game too. Lore is OP.
League of Legends development studio Riot Games has been putting on a calamitous story-driven event for the past few weeks that centers around the game’s many pirate and nautical-themed champions and the city they come from, Bilgewater. So far, all of the special stuff going on in Bilgewater has added new content to the game: new character skins, a new version of one of the game’s central maps, and a cool new game mode that lets you hire monsters as mercenaries. But with the latest update to League that went live tonight, Riot took the piratechampion Gangplank out of the game.
If you log into League of Legends right now, an alert at the top of the client informs you that “Gangplank is dead and has been disabled in all queues.”
The reason he’s been yanked is because he just died in act three of the story that’s been published bit by bit over the past week, killed by none other than his longtime rival Miss Fortune.
Along with the in-client message saying Gangplank’s been disabled, Riot swiftly updated some of its peripheral materials for League of Legends to reflect the man’s death. The page they’d made to reveal a recent rework Gangplank received now just shows a message from Miss Fortune saying that she’s not done killing pirates yet:
She also just got a new skin called “Captain Miss Fortune,” which makes her look a lot more like the pirate she just deposed:
Miss Fortune’s champion page on the League of Legends website was also updated with a meaty new lore write-up. Curiously, Gangplank’s page still hasn’t been updated to reflect all the changes he went through—either for his rework, or for his untimely death.
League of Legends developers have been assuring fans that Gangplank really is dead and gone, meanwhile. The designer Meddler, who often fields player queries on the League forums, responded to a player asking if Gangplank was just removed because of a bug by saying: “No bug, everything seemed fine up until the point he died.” Another developer chime in on the League subreddit with: “I’m afraid not. This isn’t a response to bugs. It’s a response to a pissed off Miss Fortune and a large bomb.”
This is an absolutely bonkers occurrence for League of Legends fans. The game’s story rarely, if ever, has much of a consequence on how the game is actually played every single day by its millions of fans. And now all of a sudden it’s deep sixing a character in the lore and the actual game?
I seriously doubt that Gangplank is actually gone for good. I mean, Riot literally just completed a total overhaul of the guy’s in-game appearance and his ability kit. There are enough things to work on in League of Legends that it’s hard to believe they’d go through all that trouble just to disappear it a few days later.
A Rioter post on the League of Legends forums hints that something is going to happen in “the next several days,” lest fans start revolting over the fact that a character they spent time and/or money to acquire was eliminated from the game:
Champion death is unprecedented in League of Legends, and we do not take it lightly. We encourage all Gangplank fans to remain calm for a few days until we can fully assess the situation. At this time, we are not addressing refund requests for him or his skins but please know that over the next several days we’ll do our best to make things right for everyone.
So yeah. My guess is that there’ll be some comic book style resurrection. There are enough magical creatures with resurrecting powers in League of Legends that I’m guessing at least one of them can bring him back to life. Or maybe it’ll turn out that he was just taking a nap in the bushes. Part three of the Bilgewater story never actually shows
It’d be pretty neat if he’s been changed in some irreversible way by his dance with death. There’s already a ghost Gangplank skin in the game...
So Zombie Gangplank, maybe?