Riot Shares New Details on the New Champion Naafiri, Reveals Jax Visual Update and Briar

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Riot Shares New Details on the New Champion Naafiri, Reveals Jax Visual Update and Briar

The latest update on the 2023 Champion Roadmap for League of Legends.

As we get closer to the halfway point of the Season 2023 for League of Legends and the midseason ranked reset in July, Riot released another Dev Update video for their plans for the remainder of the season. In the video, League of Legends Executive Producer Jeremy “Brightmoon” Lee and the Head of League Studio Andrei “Meddler” van Roon talked about what are the planned changes.

The main part of the update was focused on quality life updates, optimizing in-game bots and botted accounts and the upcoming itemization update. But players also got to hear from the Lead Champion Producer, Ryan “Reav3” Mireles, about the new champion releases and reworks in the pipeline, along with a blog post about the current projects.

The next three champions will be Naafiri, Briar and the artistic mage from Ionia

The first new champion in the pipeline for 2023 is Naafiri, the Darkin assassin. There still is not much detail about what kind of a playstyle Naafiri will have, or even her appearance. We knew she will be dog themed and easy to pick up. Reav3 confirmed the latter fact in teh newest Dev Update video but also gave a hint that Naafiri could be more than one animal and more of a pack players would get to control.

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naafiri image
Image via Riot Games

After Naafiri, fans will meet the Noxian Briar. While Riot called her a mythological figure with an insatiable hunger, it’s strongly implied that she will be a vampire-like character. It’s a long-time-known fact that Riot and the lead Champion Designer August “August” Browning were wanting to add a vampire to the game, as Vladimir is not a vampire but rather a hemomancer. According to August on Twitter, he will be on the team working on Briar and she will play as a diver/skirmisher.

Last but not least, Riot gave another strong hint for their next champion in the blog by saying, “…we had intended for there to be art for our mid laner, but he actually insisted that he create something for us himself!” The team previously talked about an artistic mage who would use drawing as an in-game mechanic. Although there aren’t too many details expect that the mage is a male, from Ionia and is a mid laner at the moment.

Jax to get a visual update to complement his mini rework

Despite being one of the oldest and most popular champions in teh game, Jax was a rare one as he is mostly the same champion he was ten years ago. At least he was before he got a midscope update in patch 13.1.

According to some comments from Reav3 and Meddler on Reddit, Jax’s update was first planned as a full Visual and Gameplay Update (VGU) two years ago, but the team had to separate the two as the visual update part took longer than expected.

Jax’s popularity skyrocketed with the midscope update. Ever since 13.1, Jax is a strong meta champion both in solo queue and pro play. And now with the art team catching up, the visual part of the champion will also get an update. Although Jax mains can rest easy as Riot promises he will not get a real weapon and will continue carrying his trusted lamppost.

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jax visual update
Image via Riot Games

Some bad news among the good

Unfortunately for League fans, not all news coming out of the latest Dev Update has been positive. Just last month we heard from Riot on their new direction about the Skarner VGU in a blog post. Fans of the champion got to see some of the new concept art and learn about what kind of changes there will be, such as the AoE ultimate planned. But Jacob “Riot Llama” Crouch, a game designer working on the project, also noted in the article, “Skarner has been a challenge to rework.”

In line with this sentiment, Ryan ‘Reav3' Mireles said in the video that even though the perception has been very positive on the VGU, the new Skarner be getting released this year as the team needs more time to get everything right.

Although Riot’s Lead Champion Producer, Alexia ‘Lexical' Gao, commented on a Reedit thread by saying the team made a lot of progress catching up since the article was written and they are more optimistic about bringing the rework to the players. Still, Gao did not say whether 2023 is a realistic goal or not.

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Riot Shares New Details on the New Champion Naafiri, Reveals Jax Visual Update and Briar
Rohat Dicle Kılınç
Rohat is a writer mainly focused on the League of Legends esports scene, and an LCS hopeful.