In 2021 we got a total of 4 champion releases. Which were the best releases of the year though? Which champions were received by the community with open arms upon release and which were the worst of them all?
Originally Riot had wanted to release a total of six champions in 2021 as well, but they decided to push back the final two champion releases since they didn't coincide with the Arcane x Riot event, so be prepared for two new champions early in 2022.
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Which Champion Releases Were a Success in 2021?
4. Champion Release: Akshan
Akshan wasn't very popular upon release. His kit is extremely long and someone would have to take half a day to read all that flavor text explaining his abilities before they're able to even try and get to play him. Sure, the hook mechanic was fun, but everything else just seemed... awful.
Fans didn't like his W ability to bring back his team from the dead. His attack speed is slow and his ultimate was weak as hell. His win rate upon release was also down in the dumps at a mere 32%.
3. Champion Release: Gwen
Gwen was believed to be Isolde before her release. Everything pointed to it, but we were fooled by Riot and everyone looked pretty silly since we'd all been rambling about the connection between this champion and Viego. But in the end were we all that wrong since a piece of Isolde's soul is stuck within Gwen?
But enough to the lore, let's go over Gwen and what kind of a champion she is. She's a skirmishing AP top laner, something we haven't gotten a lot of lately in League of Legends, and while her kit is unique and fun it quickly became clear that she is a high skill cap champion who will flourish in higher elos and the pro-scene while suffering in Plat and below.
2. Champion Release: Vex
Vex is the newest champion in League of Legends and her gloomy/emo attitude spoke to millions of people. After almost two years of pandemic life League of Legends players were sick and tired of happy-go-lucky champions filled with brightness... no we needed something that would mirror our innermost feelings.
She is the champion we needed in 2021 to combat the toxic Yasuo and Fizz players lurking all over Summoner's Rift. Therefore, Ves became one of the most popular champions instantaneously.
1. Champion Release: Viego
Viego was the first champion to be released in 2021 and he also got the ball rolling on the Ruination/Sentinels of Light event. Sure, the event wasn't what most had hoped it would be, but Riot Games – hopefully – will learn from the disaster and make better lore-based events in the coming years.
He was a champion that could be played in the pro-scene while being simple enough to ruin our pleb bronze games as well with his resetting ultimate. Viego is just a fun champion was probably the most successful champion release of 2021.