League of Legends’ summer event features a visual novel

Riot Games is announcing a big summer event, Sentinels of Light, that will take place across all five of its currently available games: League of Legends, League of Legends: Wild Rift, Legends of Runeterra, Teamfight Tactics, and Valorant. Each game will receive themed content during the event, but League of Legends players will get a special treat: they’ll be able to play through a visual novel-style story experience right in the game’s client.

The story experience, called “Rise of the Sentinels,” is intended to be “approachable for everyone,” Thomas Cunningham, a narrative editing manager for League of Legends, tells The Verge in an email. The idea is that you’ll be able to enjoy it if you’re a new player or if you’re already well-versed in League of Legends lore.

Here’s a short summary of the story, shared by Riot — it sounds like you’ll be meeting up with a number of familiar faces from the game:

Taking on the character of a rookie Sentinel, players will unveil the mysteries behind Viego’s return and participate in the battle against him with beloved Sentinels like Senna and Lucian, and some new faces joining them like Vayne, Graves, and more.

And if you want to get caught up on what’s happened leading up to Rise of the Sentinels’ story, check out Riot’s two-minute video summary.

As for the decision to use the visual novel format for Rise of the Sentinels, “we wanted to give players the chance to build personal relationships with these characters and make meaningful choices, while at the same time feeling like they were a part of something much bigger than themselves,” Cunningham says. “Visual novels are great at those things, especially when it comes to balancing individual player choices with a far-reaching narrative.”

The event in League of Legends runs from July 8th to August 10th, and each chapter should take about five minutes to complete for most players, according to Cunningham. In addition to the story experience, League of Legends players will also be able to check out a new mode called Ultimate Spellbook where they can use a second ultimate ability, likely leading to explosive and action-packed fights.

Sentinels of Light will also see the release of a champion across all of the in-universe League of Legends games during the same event for the first time. Over the span of two weeks, the new champion Akshan will come to Legends of Runeterra, then Teamfight Tactics, then League of Legends, and finally to Wild Rift.

The Rise of the Sentinels visual novel represents Riot’s latest effort to build out the League of Legends universe, which it has also expanded to other mediums. The studio has partnered with Marvel Entertainment to make comic books, for example, and there’s a Netflix series on the way called Arcane.

Update July 8th, 4:48PM ET: Added detail on Cunningham’s title.

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