Master Yi, one of the first champions released in League of Legends in 2009, has retained his popularity over the past decade, consistently chosen by players regardless of the shifting meta in the game. He is one of the old champions in LoL that have stood the test of time.

Despite being a long-standing favorite, this Ionian swordsman has not undergone an Art & Sustainability Update (ASU) or a visual makeover from Riot Games in recent years. As a result, his model appears outdated and underwhelming when compared to the designs of Riot’s recent champion releases.

Funko Pop Games League of Legends Vi Vinyl Figure Action Figure
Credit: Funko Pop, ONE Esports
PUNCH FIRST: Funko Pop Games LoL Vi Vinyl Figure Action Figure

Several old champions share the same fate and await visual updates in League of Legends. Riot Games, however, seems to be taking its time addressing these overdue updates.

In a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) thread on the League of Legends subreddit, Riot’s Senior Product Manager for Champions, Lexi “Lexical” Gao, sheds light on the challenges and reasons behind the delay in updating the appearances of these old champions.

Old champions in League of Legends badly need visual updates — here’s why it’s taking so long

League of Legends old champions Master Yi
Credit: Riot Games

The main reason for the lack of visual updates for old champions is Riot Games’ priority to create and release new champions instead.

“The reality is, no update on a single champion will move the needle for a player to come back, engage in the game more,” Riot Lexical said. “I know lots of players that are vocal on Reddit do believe that updates encourage them to play more, but the reality is that new champions are a bigger draw with no comparison.”

League of Legends US$100 gift card
Credit: Riot Games, ONE Esports
ADD TO CART: US$100 League of Legends Gift Card for NA server

Moreover, these updates come with a huge cost for Riot. Lexical notes that big updates, such as visual reworks, have the potential to deter returning players and dishearten mains of the champions undergoing changes.

League of Legends rank 2024 LP gains and losses changes — here’s everything you need to know

She listed various factors affecting the visual update process, primarily revolving around internal challenges. Organizational complexities within Riot, requiring alignment across different teams and departments, especially regarding lore, contribute to delays.

Additionally, the team responsible for champions comprises of veterans who are transitioning to support other teams.

Exclusive: Why is League of Legends solo queue and pro play so different? It’s not what you think

Lexical, however, assured players that they are “committed to looking for ways to update and refresh champions when (they) can.”

Riot Games has deliberately reduced the number of new champions released each year to redirect their resources to initiatives such as champion visual updates.

For a detailed look at the Riot Games Reddit AMA on the League of Legends subreddit, you can view the complete discussion here.

Follow ONE Esports on Facebook and Twitter for more LoL news, guides, and highlights.

Just a heads up, some of the links on ONE Esports are affiliate links. This means if you click on them and make a purchase, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. It’s a way for us to keep the site running and provide you with valuable content. Thanks for your support!

READ MORE: All upcoming and new League of Legends skins in 2024