Riot Games introduces a lore update for League of Legends character Varus. The new origins story for the character includes a gay romance as Riot reveals how Varus’s creation involves a love story between two men.
Riot Games has previously voiced its interest in introducing LGBT characters to League of Legends saying that the characters would be ‘a reflection of Earth’.
Varus Becomes League of Legends‘ First Gay Character
As part of its ongoing efforts to revamp League of Legends lore, Riot Games has now given Varus’ backstory an overhaul. With an animated music video, two comic strips and a new lore text page, the developer has updated Varus origins story explaining how the character came to be.
Varus was initially a “deadly killer” from the ancient race of darkin. But after the Darkin War, he was defeated and the bow which included his essence was taken to Ionia and imprisoned in a “lightless cell sunk deep beneath a mountain temple overlooking the village of Pallas.”
Centuries later, after the bow had long been forgotten, two Ionian beast hunters named Valmar and Kai unwittingly freed Varus from his confines. After Kai was mortally wounded, Valmar brought him to the Temple of Pallas hoping that its magic would save his life. But instead, Varus unraveled the matter of their bodies and the two men ended up being bound with Varus’ essence to create the League of Legends hero that we know today. Now, Varus hopes to get revenge on those who imprisoned him.
This story is presented in the animated music video for Varus’ origins, as Valmar and Kai are clearly in love. The tender head touches, the way they reach out for each other as they sink into the water, and the way that Valmar is clearly distraught that Kai has been wounded in the first place.
The character’s lore page makes it even clearer, though, as it says that “Kai and Val fight on against [Varus’] malevolent influence, hoping against hope that their love can overcome the darkin’s baser urges.” In a developer diary about the lore update (embedded below), Riot again states that the men share a “romantic love” and that the character of Varus exists because Valmar is unwilling to live without Kai.
Varus is certainly not a traditional gay character and is unlike characters such as Tracer in Overwatch or Kung Jin in Mortal Kombat. But even so, it’s positive to see that League of Legends has finally introduced LGBTQ themes and characters into the game’s maintext, instead of just subtextual lore with its NPCs.
Many League of Legends players seem to agree too as the comments of the music video are flooded with fans saying that this is unexpected but entirely welcome. Everyone is excited to see what the rest of the game’s lore updates will bring.
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