Riot Games launches Season 2023 cinematic to fan backlash

By Nicholas James


Jan 10, 2023

Reading time: 3 min

Riot Games has begun Season 13 with its yearly cinematic, but the Season 2023 cinematic has launched to extreme fan backlash due to what seems to be a major step down in production quality.

League of Legends fans have become accustomed to incredibly high-quality cinematics that depict the world of Runeterra and the happenings therein at the start of each year. This has been a pattern since 2018, when Riot began to focus more intently on depicting the fictional world of League of Legends and its characters. This year’s cinematic has been notably lacking in that department, and fans are incredibly disappointed by the sudden drop in quality.

Season 2023 cinematic leaves fans disappointed

The cinematic for Season 13 took a notable step away from Riot Games’ famous high production quality and the pattern of depicting its champions in the world. This year’s cinematic is called The Brink of Infinity, and it notably doesn’t show even one champion in their element, nor does it take place in the usual world of Runeterra. Instead, The Brink of Infinity is a slow, panning journey as the camera makes its way through Summoner’s Rift with inspiring voice over talking about rising to meet challenges, and other vaguely inspirational platitudes.

The camera makes its way to the Baron Nashor pit, and then the cutscene just ends. No depiction of any champions, no events in Runeterra, not one familiar face, just a slow journey through Summoner’s Rift and a fade to black. League of Legends fans were displeased, to say the least, and made their annoyance known across social media.

The YouTube video was flooded with dislikes, far more than likes, and the comments made clear that fans didn’t appreciate Riot Games trying to pass off what seemed like a terrain engine demo as the exciting cinematic to begin the year. So conspicuously missing were the iconic characters of League of Legends that fans began to joke that characters with the ability to turn invisible were all over the cinematic, joking that Akshan, Twitch, Evelynn, and others were actually being showcased, just in their invisible forms.

Fan outrage hits social media and content creators

Your average fans weren’t the only ones unnerved by Riot Games’ decision to publish such an understated cinematic, with famous League of Legends lore master Necrit publishing a video expressing his annoyance with the developer’s rolling back of its previous patterns. Within hours of the video being published, the top three threads in the League of Legends subreddit all concerned fans’ disappointment with the cinematic, worries that Riot Games was putting League of Legends on the backburner, and general worry about the sudden lack of attention from the developer.

Many fans were expecting a Darkin-themed cinematic, depicting the fallen god warriors doing battle with similarly powerful champions in Runeterra. Instead, being treated to a leisurely flyby of the map that they’ve played hundreds, if not thousands of times, was exactly what they didn’t want to see. Between the LCS being moved to weekdays, decreased Visual Gameplay Updates, and no announcements of upcoming events in 2023, fans are worried that their favorite game is being left behind in favor of other projects like Valorant, Project L, and the upcoming Runeterra MMO.


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