The Public Beta Environment is gearing up for whatever developer Riot Games has planned for League of Legends 9.17, and hints of an unreleased champion are sitting in the game’s latest files.
The picture shows what appears to be a female human. She features a layer of medium-length hair, blue eyes, and semi-modest attire, including a hot pink scarf shown blowing in the wind and a halter top that stops just short of her torso.
She stands in the glow of an otherwise dark space holding a weapon you might mistake for a Mass Effect relay, or maybe even a new GPU. She totes an oversized metallic sheath with a pink orb in the center of its frame.
Her weapon also seems to have the words “True Damage” etched into it, a possible hint that she may be the new ADC character Riot previously teased. If accurate, she’s being worked up by the designer responsible for Jhin, another fun ADC that many players have come to love.
That would also tip us off to her kit’s focus, which might allow her to bypass the damage mitigation offered by abilities and items. Although most characters designed for the ADC role are ranged, it’s possible she uses the weapon in a melee capacity, potentially as part of her ultimate ability.
Riot is keeping its lips zipped about the image and the girl who’s in it, allowing the community to have fun with speculation while work continues on behind the scenes.
It’s tough to predict when the new champion might debut.
Historically, Riot prefers to space out its release schedule to average a new champion every two to four months. The latest character, Qiyana, launched in late June with patch 9.13. But we’ve seen sporadic exceptions to the rule, with some champions being released just a single month apart from one another.
The last significant character change in League of Legends came with the recent rework of Pantheon, so Riot will likely take its usual time for the new addition.
The developer previously confirmed it would limit changes for patches leading up to the 2019 League World championship. Expect the pace to pick up in version 9.23, a preseason update set for launch in mid-November. We’ll be hearing more details about that patch a bit before then, so you have plenty of time to get settled in the current state of things while we await the new arrivals.