League of Legends' Void Empress, Bel’Veth, was repurposed from a scrapped Manta Ray champion concept that Riot teased over 10 years ago

Bel'Veth's designer had been waiting patiently to unleash a colossal Manta-Ray onto Summoner's Rift for the last decade (Image via Riot Games)
Bel'Veth's designer had been waiting patiently to unleash a colossal Manta-Ray onto Summoner's Rift for the last decade (Image via Riot Games)

Riot has finally revealed the long-awaited League of Legends void jungler, Bel'Veth, through an old-school champion trailer termed Bel'Veth, the Empress of the Void.

Moments before she hit the Rift, the developers confessed through a blog post that, the original concept of the champion was never a human being, but a manta ray fish. However, these ideas were modified over time and Bel'Veth's introduction to League of Legends presented an opportunity to bring a new angle into the Void story.

Official League of Legends lore states:

"Fascinated by the world of existence and eager to create one for herself, Bel’Veth is like a dark cancer that has metastasized within the heart of the Void, through which all of Runeterra will be consumed and rebuilt in her own twisted image."

"The Void" has always been described as a mysterious concept in League of Legends lore. It seeks to unmake the material realm, and on a physical level, Void champions like Cho'Gath, Kai'Sa, Kha'Zix, and Rek'Sai are insectoid, prehistoric, or alien-like creatures who do not resemble humanity.

Bel'Veth designs (Image via Riot Games)
Bel'Veth designs (Image via Riot Games)

Bel'Veth happens to be the newest discovery in the Void community with slight tweaks in terms of physical appearance.


League of Legends' newest champion Bel'Veth was inspired by multiple deep-sea creatures

Deep sea-inspired voidlings (Image via Riot Games)
Deep sea-inspired voidlings (Image via Riot Games)

Previously, the Void champions had hard and bony bodies. However, in the case of Bel’Veth, the designer team went for a more natural direction. They started taking inspiration from organisms like fungus and deep ocean creatures such as squids, octopuses, and rays.

The initial concept sketches of Bel'Veth by Larry Ray (Image via Riot Games)
The initial concept sketches of Bel'Veth by Larry Ray (Image via Riot Games)

The devs saw a lot of potential in these concepts, and, thus in 2012, art director Larry “TheBravoRay” Ray pulled out the idea of a manta ray champion called "The Void Ray." Unfortunately, it remained iceboxed in the form of a concept for many years before Bel'Veth came into existence in 2022. TheBravoRay stated:

“The Void Ray was iceboxed more than 10 years ago, Brandon ‘Ryze’ Beck and Marc ‘Tryndamere’ Merrill approved the concept, but we couldn't figure out a kit at the time and didn’t have the proper tech to support the idea.”

However, Manta Ray does not happen to be Bel’Veth’s only form in League of Legends. The design team also explored more aspects of the deep sea from an aesthetic angle.


Bel'Veth's in-game operations were conceived from the hunting style of anglerfishes

Bel'Veth face design (Image via Riot Games)
Bel'Veth face design (Image via Riot Games)

The team considered the concept of anglerfish that have lure-lights dangling from their heads or creatures with bulgy, bioluminescent eyes to draw in prey. By the time the prey realizes what it’s looking at, it’s already too late, and that’s precisely how Bel’Veth operates in the game.

Bel'Veth displays her appearance in the form of a human woman, where a pseudo head pops-up through her manta ray body. Her body structure is framed by a fin-like element adorned to represent hair. The regal cloaks that wrap around her are actually manta ray wings while her legs mimic the tentacles.

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Bel'Veth creates a spectral picture of a woman hiding in the structure of a manta ray. TheBravoRay explained:

“We wanted to bring beauty, danger, and horror to the Void,”

Lore says that The Empress of the Void mostly appears in her human-like form, but once she returns to her true manta body, she’s at her most powerful and terrifying form.