This is the new Quinn, a ranged archer character in League of Legends who fights with a giant vicious eagle named “Valor” perched on her shoulder. She’s a lot like the old Quinn, only she’s become much more...intimate with her bird friend.
See, until very, very recently, Quinn would spend most of the game attacking with the help of Valor. Expect for one key moment: whenever she triggered her ultimate ability “Tag Team.” As the name suggested, this ability basically made Quinn tap out of the fight and tag Valor in.
When triggered, Quinn would disappear somewhere off screen, and the player would take over sole control of Valor. The bird was similar to Quinn, except it had fierce melee attacks instead of ranged ones. Then after a moment of wrecking face with the giant bird, Quinn would return to the scene in a flurry of arrows. It looked something like this:
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It was never clear where, exactly, Quinn went during these moments. Players who didn’t know or didn’t care about League’s lore could easily be forgiven for thinking that Quinn actually transformed into a large deadly eagle, rather than just swapping out for one.
Riot addressed this discrepancy between Quinn’s backstory and her in-game aesthetic with a recent marksman update. Now, instead of swapping out for Quinn, Valor just hoists the champion up by her shoulders instead.
I suppose that this makes Quinn make more “sense” with regards to her lore composition...if “making sense” is something a video game like League of Legends is going for, which it usually isn’t. I realized last night when finally getting around to play in a bunch of games both with and against Quinn that her new bird ult just looks sort of...silly in comparison to the old one:
It looks like the two of them are enjoying some weird, feathery piggyback ride or something.
I double checked to see what the new bird-person combo looks like with one of Quinn’s special skins, and can confirm that yes, she also looks funny there too:
On the plus side, this makes me want to play League while listening to R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly” on repeat, and there’s never a bad reason to put on something from the Space Jam soundtrack:
...or mutter the old Batman theme except with BIRDMAN instead.
No matter how many jokes one can make about Quinn’s silly new look, I don’t think any Quinn mains will feel bad in their new skin. She’s ridiculously strong in the League meta since she got her marksman changes, and a lot of that is thanks to the humongous speed boost her bird gives her in-game.