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Was the Sentinels of Light event a failure? A look back into League of Legends’ biggest event in season 11

The Sentinels of Light event had too many inconsistencies leading to some problems (Image via League of Legends)
The Sentinels of Light event had too many inconsistencies leading to some problems (Image via League of Legends)
ANALYST

The Sentinels of Light within League of Legends was the biggest and most ambitious event that has ever been done by Riot Games. It was meant to close out the Ruination narrative, the theme of season 11.

However, the event was ridden with flaws and issues that made several fans furious. The way Riot handled the narrative made no sense, leading to many people calling it a complete failure.

Sorry to bring it up again, but Pentakill giving us all this promo and GOOD narrated videos while we had Akshan's powerpoint for Sentinels of Light 😭😭 Really, im still amazed at how many bad decisions were taken during that event 🥴🥴

While it is easy to just bash Riot Games, there is more context which deserves to be acknowledged.


The Sentinels of Light event was not bad for a casual player, but it was a nightmare for lore fanatics and hardcore League of Legends fans

The Sentinel of Light event was a nightmare for lore fanatics and hardcore fans (Image via League of Legends)
The Sentinel of Light event was a nightmare for lore fanatics and hardcore fans (Image via League of Legends)

The Sentinels of Light event featured a large number of elements to begin with. There were awesome cinematics, a cool event within the game with loads of rewards and a bunch of skins for some of the fan favorite champions.

This event was definitely bigger than League of Legends’ Spirit Blossom. A casual player who does not care much about the lore or Riot Games’ modus operandi would have probably enjoyed it.

However, the issues started becoming prevalent when the event was assessed from the vantage point of lore fanatics and hardcore players. In their case, the event had to appeal to the overall world building of League of Legends.

This is something where the event failed massively, especially because Riot Games presented it as canon. This means the event should correspond to the lore that they have presented over the years.

the sentinels of light event is literally just bad fan fic

Not only was the event unfaithful to the actual lore within League of Legends, it felt like a ruse to sell skins. The presence of certain champions made no sense and the lack of communication between the different development teams was apparent.

The various issues surrounding the event have been discussed below in-depth.


1) Poor planning by Riot Games

Riot's mismanagement made the event feel like a chore (Image via League of Legends)
Riot's mismanagement made the event feel like a chore (Image via League of Legends)

The Sentinels of Light event within League of Legends was basically a visual novel. Players had to unlock the story by gathering points which were obtained by playing matches. However, initially, the number of matches was insane.

The points given were too low and this meant that hundreds of matches had to be played to progress a little bit of the story. At the same time, the event was divided into various regions which had their own lore.

Players had the option to choose a region as specific paths had certain benefits. Choices in the story quests had an impact on how many points a player can earn by finishing matches.

If players started with Noxus and helped Riven then they got more points by inflicting physical damage in matches. If they chose Frejlord and helped Olaf, they got more points by destroying towers within the actual game.

2021 is the year of my two favourite games having one MASSIVE but incredibly bad story arc.GuildWars 2 Icebrood Saga 🤝 League of Legends Sentinels of Light event

Therefore, there was an optimal path players could follow and thus, the community worked hard to find that out.

However, it was still a chore and to mitigate player outrage, Riot Games made a small change. They added a repeatable mission which provided 600 points irrespective of a win or loss. This meant that progression throughout the event did not require any optimal planning.

Thus, it not only negated the efforts of those who tried finding the optimal path, but also confirmed the failure of the initial idea of progression implemented by the developers.


2) Narration

The cinematics, visual novel, Wild Rift and comics had different ways of telling the story leading to inconsistent narrative (Image via League of Legends)
The cinematics, visual novel, Wild Rift and comics had different ways of telling the story leading to inconsistent narrative (Image via League of Legends)

The second major problem with the event was its narration. The event was running parallelly in four different places. There were cinematics, an in-game visual novel, comics and also League of Legends’ Wild Rift.

The story was told in very different ways even though they tried maintaining the same context. For instance, in the cinematic, it was shown that Senna and Lucian found Vayne while she was fighting against Shyvana.

TW/// sentinels of light event, lore, spoilers, bilgewater.........is anybody on bilgewater i need to vent to someone about how bad riot games is making this event, this is fake miss fortune, she is not the sarah we know...

In the comics it was depicted that Vayne tried to kill Senna first, leading to their first meeting. In the visual novel, it was shown that Senna and Lucian met with Vayne in a pub. In Wild Rift, on the other hand, they completely ignored every character that was not released for the mobile version.

This led to major inconsistencies in a narrative that Riot Games called canon. As a result, League of Legends fans were infuriated and the event got shrouded by major controversies.


3) Lore

Pyke was destroyed by the even despite having one of the best back stories in League of Legends (Image via League of Legends)
Pyke was destroyed by the even despite having one of the best back stories in League of Legends (Image via League of Legends)

The final and probably the biggest failure of the event was the lore. The first issue was with the Rookie Sentinel or the player's character. The event was canon and therefore, the player character should have been everpresent throughout the story.

However, in the comics as well as the cinematics, they were absent. Thus, it made no sense that Riot introduced changes within the in-game visual novel without any consistency.

Secondly, certain characters like Pyke and Rengar who have some of the best lore in League of Legends were completely destroyed by the event.

Still probably the best character from the Ruination. twitter.com/LeagueOfLegend…

Diana was not even supposed to be in Targon, but for some reason, she was present for this event and it clashed with the original lore within League of Legends. Secondly, she is a demigod with a celestial weapon and therefore, can call down the power of the moon and turn everything to dust.

Instead, she was just a character who did nothing. Overall, apart from Gwen, Lucian, Graves, Senna and Vayne, every other character was present just to sell skins. Riot could have very well placed some other personalities as they would have made no difference at all.


Concluding Note

Vex was the only character that managed to catch the attention of fans in the event (Image via League of Legends)
Vex was the only character that managed to catch the attention of fans in the event (Image via League of Legends)

Thus, as a concluding note, the Sentinels of Light event was indeed a failure. However, the above mentioned aspects would only appeal to the hardcore fans of the lore. The event did have some great music and the skins are quite interesting.

But the fact that those were the only positive aspects from the event despite being the biggest that League of Legends has ever seen is definitely disappointing. The only redeemable aspect was probably Vex, who had the best story of all.

Vex was later released with patch 11.19, however, her introduction during the event did tick all the checkboxes. The way Riot handled Unbound Thresh was also commendable.

Initially, the skin got a lot of backlash as Thresh with a human face made no sense. However, Riot Games later released a cinematic which showed why the skin was called "Unbound" and why Thresh suddenly had a human face.


Edited by Sijo Samuel Paul

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