Ezreal, the… Space Cowboy?


The team did a lot of exploration with Ezreal. And while his League gameplay is iconic with tons of spells and high mobility, what if—and just hear us out—we leaned into his really cool explorer thematic?

06_Gauntlet.jpg In his earliest design, five artifacts would shuffle into your deck at the start of the game. And if you drew three of the five, Ezreal’s gauntlet would upgrade and he’d become incredibly strong. That’s Ezreal, right? Well…

“A lot of Ezreal mains at Riot didn’t understand what was happening,” UNCONKABLE says. “So we had to go back to the drawing board.”

“I remember during one of these feedback sessions a Rioter—who I won’t name—said they didn’t know what Ezreal’s deal was,” laughs Riot Dovagedys. “I have a very vivid memory of them asking, ‘Is hesupposed to be a space cowboy?’ And I was standing outside of the room going, ‘What the f*&^?’ So, yeah, we needed to keep trying.”

Have you ever seen the questionnaire that pops up in the corner of League at the end of a game asking for feedback? That’s what the insights team used to propagate word clouds for each champion.

“The methodology we were using at that time asked Ezreal players what his most identifiable trait was,” Riot Dovagedys explains. “The top answers were things like ‘high skill,’ ‘Mystic Shot,’ ‘Q spam,’ and stuff like that. We then gave those answers to the designers.”

So the dev team decided to reel back the thematics and listen to the players: Mystic Shot spam it would be!


But sometimes player League fantasies are a bit more difficult to bring into a card game.