After much speculation and build-up, Riot Games has finally revealed the official Champion Insights for League of Legends' upcoming top laner, K'Sante. Releasing a few days after the champion teaser, the cinematic for the character titled "Defeat Your Monster" dove deeper into his lore, his relationship with his lover, and his powers. Moreover, the latest developers' blog has shed light on K'Sante's romantic partner Tope, who has been referred to as "The Archer" so far.
Apart from showing K'Sante bravely battling a formidable foe, the cinematic also featured Tope, his beloved, who had previously defended their home country alongside him by engaging in battles with similar monsters. The trailer's narrative says:
"Together, the Hunter and his love, the Archer, defended their home from the monsters that threatened it."
During their travels, Tope urged K'Sante to “temper his skill with strategy” rather than take joy in bragging. But the latter repeatedly ignored his advice. Eventually, Tope ended their relationship and went on to have new experiences. More information about "The Archer" can be found in the following section.
Riot Games uses insights from employees belonging to LGBTQIA+ community to shape K'Sante-Tope lore
Tope and K'Sante made for an excellent duo. Tope was temperate and cold, while his partner was fiery. They could do anything as a team. Together, they hunted; Tope strategized and picked their targets, and K'Sante delivered the fatal blow.
The two men, K'Sante and Tope, who got along so well, started dating. However, they encountered two insurmountable challenges: Youth and Pride. Regarding this, this is what SkiptoMyLuo explained:
“They eventually reached this moment where they were unable to kill the lion-cobra baccai they hunted. And that’s where the falling out started to happen. K’Sante needed to kill it to live up to his own expectations as this heroic hunter and idol to his people. Tope tried to convince him to slow down and take a moment, but they would just devolve into arguments.”
An argument arose when the brave characters tried to hunt an animal referred to as a 'lion-cobra bacca'; K'Sante wanted to kill it. He needed to take the animal's life to live up to his own standards as a valiant hunter and idol to his people.
Tope, on the other hand, tried to persuade him to take a breather and calm down. This would see several arguments take place and lead to the eventual separation. However, both characters grew from this experience and acknowledged that they each had a part to play in their breakup and remained friends.
SkiptoMyLuo believes that romantic relationships are often the place where a majority of the worst attributes that two people have come out. He wished K’Sante and Tope’s story to be relatable to everyone.
To build up the K'Sante-Tope story, Riot Games has worked closely with their employees belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community to depict relationships where one couldn't successfully convey their feelings and frustrations to their partners and ended up parting ways.
League of Legends' game designer AzuBK confessed that he is a homosexual and thus harbors a lot of opinions about K’Sante’s 'imperfect' backstory. Here's what he said about the characters:
“I spent a lot of time talking to SkiptoMyLuo about K’Sante’s sexuality because spoilers: I’m gay. So I have a lot of opinions about K’Sante’s backstory. And it’s not perfect—it can’t be. So I had to put my player hat on and think about this not as a League dev, but as a gay, Black man. I asked myself, ‘If I’m seeing this as a League of Legends player do I think this is a good, solid attempt? Do I think this is worthy?’”
The League of Legends developers indeed think that this is a worthy attempt at a good story, and it’s just the start. Certain so-called "societal taboos" and misconceptions can only be removed if stories similar to K'Sante and Tope are re-told and praised repeatedly.
League of Legends dev offers more information regarding creation of K'sante
Riot Games' League of Legends' Senior Narrative Designer (R&D), SkiptomyLuo, had this to say about K'Sante:
“When K’Sante’s direction and kit were pretty much locked I spent a lot of time thinking about his personality. We had created this champion who was meant to solve some frustrations that top lane tanks face, and I wanted to create a League of Legends character who sort of embodied the player’s experience there.”
According to League of Legends lore, K'Sante endured a great deal of stress. From his dreams of being the greatest monster hunter in Nazumah to his desire to prove himself to his people and himself, the pressure on him was immense.
K'Sante is described as a fiercely proud Nazuman. He was proud of himself for standing up to the Ascended and for working so hard to get to where he finally ended up. However, pride is blinding and will undoubtedly cause harm to the people one loves the most.