League of Legends' eternal connection to Japanese anime is no longer news for the game's ardent fans.
From Battle Academia to Star Guardian, there have been several anime-inspired thematics and storylines in League of Legends. The franchise was recently sought-after at the Anime Expo 2022, where the new Star Guardian skins were considered to be among the show-stoppers.
In the latest "Champion Insights" blog featuring League of Legends' newest champion K'Sante, the developers confessed that the ultimate ability All Out was once again influenced by anime, in this case from the popular show Naruto.
League of Legends developers took Rock Lee's popular move as a concept to build K'Sante's ult
League of Legends game designer Azubuike "AzuBK" Ndefo-Dahl revealed that K'Sante's ult All Out was heavily inspired by the hugely popular scene from Naruto where Rock Lee drops his leg weight and shocks the audience. He stated:
“When designing K’Sante’s ultimate I kept thinking of that moment in Naruto where Rock Lee drops his leg weights and everyone goes, ‘Wait he can do that?’ And when I handed over K’Sante’s design, that’s how I explained his ultimate”
AzuBK further explained:
“The idea was that he’d be in the front of a teamfight, use all of his abilities to protect his carries and set up his team, and then once everything was on cooldown he’d go, ‘Welp, got nothing left. Time to frag.’”
According to the designer, The Shinobi of Konohagakure's Lee clan motivated him to design K'Sante's ultimate in such a way that it would shock the opponents with the protagonist's sudden transformation from nothingness.
As anticipated, once everything cools down, the All Out ability helps K'Sante shatter his ntofos and break the shields into fiery blades, dealing physical damage and knocking back an enemy champion.
League of Legends design lead Daniel “Riot Maxw3ll” Emmons also considered the Naruto moment to be key to the ult’s design concept. This thought led the team to bunk the idea of making K'Sante an old-school tank, and make the Pride of Nazuma a true fighter of the show. His words were:
“That Naruto moment was really key when I took over K’Sante’s design. In the earliest version of his ultimate—which has always been called All Out—he didn’t actually kick his enemy through the wall. We were thinking about how to make a tank the star of the show, and it turns out the answer is to just let them beat the f*&^ out of you."
Riot Maxw3ll further explained the idea behind adding a 'kick' to K'Sante's ult:
“That said, this isn’t some pure upside ability because in deciding to have his huge, exciting moment, K’Sante leaves his team without a tank. That’s why we added the kick—his carries become vulnerable to the enemy team, because he just completely leaves the teamfight to have his 1v1. There’s a tradeoff he’s taking that allows this spell to be a bit more balanced than him just taking over the fight.”
The developers wanted K’Sante to be a fighter who would make his decisions tactically similar to Rock Lee's character from the Naruto anime.
According to them, K'Sante, before going all-in with the ult, must decide between protecting his team and hunting his quarry. So, the League of Legends developers' team has decided to make that decision a little easier for K’Sante players.