If you’re like me and you’re really excited to see a beautiful, androgynous-looking champion added to the League of Legends roster, you might be wondering, is Hwei LGBTQ+?

The Visionary is a brooding painter who hails from Ionia. He uses his abilities to punish criminals and comfort their victims. Like many legendary artists, he has a troubled past that still haunts him till today.

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You see, Jhin, a “meticulous criminal psychopath who believes murder is art”, was a former Ionian prisoner who broke Hwei and at the same time, unleashed his full creative potential.

League of Legends mage Hwei turn arounds
Credit: Riot Games

Possessing 10 unique spells, the long range control-artillery mage is here to make his mark on Runeterra, adding a palette of colors to Summoner’s Rift. His three subjects, or stances, are visually distinct, with icons and animations colored primarily in reddish orange, blue, and purple.

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During a roundtable with media, ONE Esports got the chance to clarify with the Riot Games champion design team on whether he was intentionally added to increase roster diversity.

Is Hwei LGBT? Riot Games answers our burning question

Isa Mari De Leon, Associate Narrative Writer at Riot Games acknowledged that first of all, Hwei’s body type is distinct from their current roster of male champions.

“Being a mage, we knew that his silhouette needed to be made very clearly. Mages can’t look too heavy, they need to look as squishy as they are, hence contributing to his body type,” said Isa.

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“With the vibrancy of his colors, we leaned on design communication, using colors to inform his spells, [which are also] a facet of himself as an artist,” she added.

Lexi “Lexical” Gao, Senior Product Manager for League of Legends champions, shared that as a team, they did talk about diversity very early on during his development.

“However, with a complex champion like Hwei, we want to focus on his gameplay and narrative complexity at the forefront,” she told ONE Esports. “He is not a champion that we heavily invested into for representation because the top line goal was to fill out a missing part of the roster.”

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There are a handful of other champions on the roster who were designed with representation in mind, Riot Lexical highlighted, which involves a thorough process of consulting and receiving feedback from the population they are representing.

In short, Hwei is here to challenge your mechanics, period. He’s the most complicated champion on the roster to date, which is in itself is a lot to take in.

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“I want to do representation right from the start when we have the intention to pursue, and not as an after thought that’s forced, or slipped in,” said Riot Lexical.

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