Christmas came early this year after Riot Games gifted the League of Legends community with previews of the game’s newest champion Monday evening.
The new champion is named Neeko and is half human girl, half chameleon. She is a member of the fictional vastaya, a magical chimeric race that embodies both human and animal characteristics. She lives up to her pre-release codename of "the Colorful Mage," as her in-game model is bright and beautiful, incorporating both floral and tropical elements into her overall design.
The champion introduces a new mechanic to the game with her ability to transform into allied champions. She breaks the illusion upon damaging or receiving damage from enemy champions or upon casting her Q and E abilities. Her other abilities include producing a temporary clone of herself and stunning or rooting enemy champions.
Neeko brings mind games and a high level of mechanical play to the Rift for both those playing her and those playing against her. The best Neeko players will need to work with their teammates and take advantage of her trickery to deceive enemies throughout the game.
Neeko’s release offers a break in the game’s most recent lack of new champion releases. Earlier in the year, Riot Games stepped away from its typical release schedule of five new champions annually to focus on redesigning older, outdated characters. Six characters received full visual and gameplay updates, and several others received updates solely to their in-game visual designs.
The most recent champion released was Pyke, who entered the game back in May. Neeko now joins the League of Legends cast as the third champion to be released in 2018 and will top off the total number of champions at 143.
Neeko will remain on the game’s testing server for the current patch cycle but will likely be playable on the live server before the end of the year.