A Twitter post depicts moveset similarities between MOBA characters by portraying League champions Diana, Kennen, and Zed as Pokémon trainers.
Similarities between MOBA characters have lead one fan artist to draw champions from League of Legends as trainers of their respective Pokémon Unite counterparts. The crossover inspires a world where the superpowered combos do battle together, somewhere between the lands of Runeterra and Aeos Island. The synergy in their prospective pairings could make for startlingly good team composition.
The similarities between the games don’t end with their characters. Both feature mechanics that incentivize players to attack opponent’s towers in the fight towards victory, both have legendary flying beasts that can be slain for significant team benefits near the end of a match, and Unite‘s Rotom functions nearly the same as League‘s Rift Herald. The Pokémon MOBA has a significantly lower barrier to entry, by comparison, perhaps making it an accessible lead-in to the more intense League. League of Legends and Pokémon Unite also both owe their presence to Tencent, which owns the studios that developed the games. Tencent even went as far as to hire a “Pokémon Superfan“ to make sure Unite would be a faithful addition to the franchise.
The fanart, posted on Twitter by Tuna, pairs the game’s iconic characters together in formidable poses that inspire a potential franchise crossover. Unite‘s Absol is joined by League‘s Diana, whose white hair and nighttime naming conventions in their move-sets likely lead to the artist’s connection. Diana also recently had a short story about her posted in League lore. Kennen is depicted as the trainer for Pikachu, both of whom are small, furry, and attack with electricity. The Pokémon Greninja and League of Legends champion Zed are the final duo portrayed back-to-back in Tuna’s art. Greninja and Zed’s playstyles are perhaps the least individually distinguishable out of the three Pokémon-trainer pairs, as each strike using shurikens and use shadowy duplicates of themselves.
While the artwork is spurious, a collaboration between Unite and League isn’t entirely out of the question, especially considering that Tencent is a parent to both of their development studios. League-inspired Holowear could one day be available for Unite‘s Pokémon combatants, or as costumes for the player, trainers to wear. Skins—themed after Pokémon—could just as easily appear in League of Legends. Both games feature ongoing additions of cosmetic apparel, so Tuna’s pieces might be a harbinger of content that could come in the future.
Hoping for a direct connection between the games may be optimism founded in vain. But the Twitter post does indicate a shared community between Pokémon Unite and League of Legends, potentially opening an avenue for even more champion-as-trainer artwork. Considering the vast difference in gameplay complexity between the two titles, and the contrast between their target audiences, it’s heartening to see that the MOBA format is nonetheless common ground for character appreciation.
League of Legends is currently available on PC and Mac, and Pokémon Unite can be played on Nintendo Switch.
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