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What Only League Of Legends Fans Know About Arcane's Characters

The "League of Legends" show "Arcane" was met with widespread critical acclaim when it dropped on Netflix in 2021, praised for its bold animation, exhilarating action sequences, and masterful storytelling. The higher-ups at Riot Games (creator of "League of Legends," the online battle arena game that hit 180 million active players in 2021) initially thought about teaming up with an established Hollywood production company to make "Arcane" happen, but they quickly realized that their prized IP would be safer in the hands of Christian Linke and Alex Yee, two longtime Riot staffers.

Both know everything there is to know about "League of Legends," though they wisely resisted the urge to cram too many of the game's champions into the first season. "We definitely wanted to get as many champions as we could into the show without feeling like we were sacrificing the quality of the story for any of the ones that we really wanted to focus on," Yee told SyFy. They were able to dedicate more storytime to their chosen champions as a result, but "Arcane" only scratches the surface when it comes to "League" lore — the champions that did appear had their backstories tweaked and/or streamlined for the screen.

"League of Legends" fans are privy to all the formative events that got skipped over for time, and they also know what could be around the corner for our favorite "Arcane" characters in Season 2 and beyond. If you want to know, too, then read on, but be warned: Spoilers ahead.

Whose side is Vi really on?

We meet the well-known "League of Legends" champion Vi in the opening moments of "Arcane," as she and her little sister search for the bodies of their parents. A battle has taken place on the Bridge of Progress (which connects the shining city of Piltover to Zaun, the polluted undercity below), and the girls soon discover their folks among the victims. They're taken in by revolt leader Vander, who eschews violence from that moment forward. While there's a Vander-like figure in her "League of Legends" backstory, game Vi has no idea how her parents died, and she didn't even have a sister when she got added to the champions roster in 2012. Jinx came along the following year, and Riot Games' Greg Street confirmed that they were siblings in 2017 following much fan speculation.

Vi's early relationship with her sister was new territory for "League of Legends" fans, but they know a whole lot more about the grown-up version of the character (voiced by Hailee Steinfeld in "Arcane"). According to "League" lore, Vi just vanished from Zaun one day, leading to speculation that she was either traveling new lands or dead. Neither turned out to be true. When an undercity gang called Old Hungry's Scars spread its reach to Piltover they were met by the city's sheriff — and Vi was at her side, rocking a new pair of hextech gauntlets. To the surprise of the Zaunites, Vi has been working with the wardens.

Caitlyn is hunting for her parents' kidnapper

The Piltover sheriff that Vi works closely with in "League of Legends" is none other than Caitlyn, which will come as no surprise to "Arcane" viewers. The pair formed a bond during the first season of the Netflix show, teaming up to tackle the issues plaguing Zaun so that it can peacefully co-exist with Piltover. Despite finding it hard to trust one another at first, their relationship went from mutually beneficial to seemingly romantic, and fans have been shipping them as a couple for Season 2 ever since the first season ended on a cliffhanger. "League of Legends" fans are none the wiser when it comes to Caitlyn's relationship status, but they know all about her past.

Her pre-enforcer days were largely skipped over in the show, but we know from "League of Legends" lore that Caitlyn spent time as a kind of private investigator before she became the law, motivated by the kidnapping of her wealthy parents. She returned home to find her mother and father missing one Progress Day, and — being a gifted tracker as well as an excellent shot — she decided to make it her first case. Caitlyn located her parents in a hidden hextech lab belonging to a rival Piltover family, but the mastermind behind it all (known only to the goons that carried out the operation as "C") was nowhere to be found. She's Sheriff Caitlyn now, and she's still on the hunt for the elusive "C."

Viktor wants to speed up evolution

"Arcane" viewers have seen but a glimpse of the character that Viktor becomes after his relationship with Jayce deteriorates. In the show, he falls terminally ill and is driven to augmentation, but it's desperation of a different kind that leads to Viktor totally transforming himself in "League of Legends" lore. A genius inventor from Zaun, his mechanisms dramatically cut fatality rates in the undercity's factories when he was still just a teen. His brilliance didn't go unnoticed by Professor Stanwick of Piltover, who offered him a place at the city's famous academy. Viktor created the great steam golem Blitzcrank to help deal with a disastrous chem-spill back in Zaun, only for Stanwick to take credit for his work.

When fellow inventor Jayce refused to back Viktor over the professor, the two fell out big time. In "League" lore, their friendship was based largely on their respect for one another as inventors. That respect was shattered when Viktor proposed something called a "chem-shunt helm" for Piltover's divers, a device that would allow them to take remote control of the wearer, should they need to. Jayce reported the incident and Viktor, expelled, sank into a depression — until he came to the realization that humans are held back by their minds and their bodies. He fits the vast majority of his body with mechanical augmentations and sets about forging what he sees as a better tomorrow, one where reason rules over emotion: Viktor's Glorious Evolution.

Jayce was a jerk at first

"Arcane" made Jayce a largely likable character, though he was sometimes a jerk in his early years, per "League of Legends" lore. A revolutionary inventor and proud Piltover resident, he strives to make the City of Progress live up to its name. He had no patience for those that couldn't keep up with him during his time at the academy, but he lightened up considerably around his equal, Viktor. Jayce and Viktor brought the best out of each other, even if they did clash over their ultimate goal: while Viktor approached humanity's problems from a logical standpoint, Jayce wanted to solve those same issues with boundary-pushing tech. The two would meet again following Viktor's expulsion, with Jayce getting a front row seat to his old friend's so-called Glorious Evolution.

After Viktor stole a powerful crystal, Jayce located him at a warehouse and discovered a horrific experiment in progress. In an attempt to save the victims of a toxic catastrophe, Viktor had removed their brains so he could flush the toxins out, which is why he needed the crystal. Viktor turned his golems on Jayce, who in turn destroyed the crystal and brought the whole building down for good measure. Viktor would survive, of course, and his next experiment would be on himself.

In terms of Jayce's love life, there's no Mel in the mix. She was invented for "Arcane," though "League of Legends" players are predicting that she'll debut as a playable champion before long.

Heimerdinger comes from the spirit realm

He was once described as a "magical sci-fi gerbil" by a staff member at Riot Games (per the Los Angeles Times), but Heimerdinger — or Cecil B. Heimerdinger, to give him his full name — is, in fact, a Yordle, a race of spirits that adopt a wide variety of appearances in the "League of Legends" universe. They hail from a mystical city known as Bandle, a place that exists beyond the material realm and is seldom visited by mortals. Time works differently in Bandle City (those mortals that do manage to reach it always come back looking significantly older, if they come back at all), where Heimerdinger has carried out some of his experiments. It proved "insufficient for field research," he revealed in one research journal, which is presumably what led him to cross realms and settle in Piltover.

Heimerdinger is seen as a genius in the City of Progress, of which he's considered a founding father. The same can be said of the Heimerdinger we saw in "Arcane." He's a widely respected scientist with a seat on the council when we first meet him, and he remains that way until the end of the first season, when he's given the boot in a vote initiated by Jayce. His actual age wasn't confirmed, but Yordles live way longer than humans, and Heimerdinger's colleagues on the council were growing increasingly impatient with his lack of urgency when it came to the advancement of hextech.

Ekko is the boy who shattered time

In a twist that "League of Legends" players didn't see coming, Heimerdinger forms an unlikely partnership with Ekko in "Arcane" Season 1. After losing his council seat, the revered inventor visits Zaun to see the suffering that's supposedly taking place there with his own eyes. It doesn't take him long to realize that tales of great strife in the undercity are far from exaggerated, though it's not all bad: he also meets Ekko. Heimerdinger is blown away by the things that Ekko has managed to create with a lack of resources, but that part will have come as no shock to "League" fans, who know all about the boy who shattered time.

Ekko got his nickname after coming across a shard from a mysterious crystal in the remains of a demolished lab. Like everyone in Zaun he had heard all about the powerful hextech used in Piltover, but he didn't understand just what he had found to begin with. He was always a smart kid, however (he's described as having "genius-level intellect" in his official bio), and after some experimentation, he fashioned a device that allowed him to jump back in time by a few moments. His so-called Zero Drive saved him and his friends repeatedly, and keen-eyed "Arcane" viewers will have noticed it being referenced in Ekko's epic bridge battle with Jinx — she appears to shoot Ekko, only for him to rewind time and get the better of her.

Jinx becomes Vi's worst nightmare

She went by Powder in the first act of "Arcane" Season 1, but "League of Legends" fans knew by her flash of blue hair that she would grow up to become the popular champion Jinx (voiced by Ella Purnell in "Arcane"). She's adored by older sister Vi, though Powder is seen as a weak link by the boys, Claggor and Mylo. Like Powder, both were taken in by Vander and they became like brothers to her, which made it all the more tragic when she accidentally killed them while trying to help them rescue their adopted dad. In her grief, Vi called Powder a jinx, and the character that "League" players learned to love was born.

Much of "Arcane" is dedicated to Jinx's story, but there's so much that the creators couldn't fit in, from her mundane pranks (she once swapped all the street signs in Piltover) to her wilder ones (like setting the animals of Count Mei's menagerie loose). In "League" lore, Jinx began taunting Vi after she teamed up with Sheriff Caitlyn, mocking her with graffiti and dubbing her "Pretty in Pink." She even revealed the exact date that she was going to hit Piltover's Ecliptic Vaults, and they still couldn't stop her — she smuggled herself into the treasury in a crate days earlier and wreaked havoc from the inside. The Pilties have no idea why Jinx is obsessed with their gauntlet-wielding enforcer, while Zaunites are split over her antics topside.

Singed made weapons for Noxus

He was Viktor's childhood mentor and a former professional parter of Heimerdinger in "Arcane," but in "League of Legends" lore, the "twisted, unfathomable madman" known as Singed has generally worked alone. A native of Piltover, he was once a star student at the city's university. He was on the verge of big things with his studies into natural sciences, but his research became yesterday's news when hextech arrived on the scene. Disheartened, Singed turned his attention to the study of alchemy and relocated to the undercity, where he became a founding father of the fledgling chemtech scene.

Singed was later sought out by a military commander from Noxus, an expansionist empire that needed some powerful new weapons to help in its war efforts. Interestingly, "Arcane" Season 1 brought the leader of the Noxians (the new character Ambessa, mother of the also-made-up Mel) to Piltover looking for advanced new weaponry. Could she turn to Singed in Season 2 after failing to acquire hextech? In "League" lore, Singed's dealings with Noxus made him a rich man, and he used his newfound fortune to crank up his research from bold to plain crazy.

At one stage, Singed attempted to create an animal-man-machine hybrid. The resulting monstrosities tore down his lab and have been roaming the back lanes of Zaun ever since, becoming just another thing to avoid while out and about in the undercity after dark. His main goal, it seems, is extending life by any means necessary.