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League of Legends’ Star Guardians event offers up good vibes

A welcome source of serotonin

League of Legends splash art, showing Star Guardian Akali do a flip in the air while fighting off monsters. Image: Riot Games
Cass Marshall is a news writer focusing on gaming and culture coverage, taking a particular interest in the human stories of the wild world of online games.

League of Legends’ events and alternate universes range from grim, far-future cyberpunk dystopias to a world full of witches, old gods, and solar knights. But this summer, I’ve been surprised at how much I’m enjoying the Star Guardians event. Star Guardian is an alternate universe where a bunch of familiar cast members are high school students who live a double life as magical girls, and fans are already in love with the new roster of Guardians and the start of their adventures.

On one hand, yes, Star Guardians are a corporate product and the end goal of the event is to make money for Riot Games. On the other hand, the world is burning down, everything is terrible, and it’s genuinely really nice to see a bunch of people just enjoying pretty anime costumes and music videos on the timeline. Fans are poring over screenshots, skin splash arts, and otherwise enjoying the feast of magical girl content.

While there’s ton of official content to pore over and dissect, fans are also drawing their favorite Guardians or imagining new additions to the universe. What if other champions became Star Nemesis enemies, or joined the Star Guardian lineup? What’s it like when these characters hang out?

There’s still plenty of time for fans to have evolving feelings about the event, which will play out over 10 weeks. There are visual novel-style campaigns that will play out over both the PC versions of League of Legends and its mobile adaptation Wild Rift. While we don’t know how the story ends, exactly, there’s a lot of stuff to dig into already, and players are enjoying the journey as much as they anticipate the destination.

It’s nice to see a generally positive reaction to an event. Even Riot developers are chiming in to share some fun extra goodies and behind-the-scenes thoughts on the new skins.

While previous events like the Sentinels of Light were relatively serious, high-stakes, and dealt with mainline lore, so far the Star Guardian universe feels a little more accessible. Magical girls and their struggles are a well understood series of tropes, and Riot Games has left lots of blank space in between the canon for fans to doodle in their own thoughts, stories, and interpretations of characters. It’s been an absolutely terrible year, and so it’s nice to have something bright on my social media feed. So far, the Star Guardians event has been a delight to watch unfold.

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