LoL devs slammed after laying off designer ahead of new champion’s release

Liam Ho
Smolder concept art league of legendsRiot Games

The League of Legends devs have faced major backlash for laying off a champion designer for a character who is still being slated for release in the near future.

League of Legends developer Riot Games shocked the community after announcing that the company was facing 530 layoffs, approximately 11% of the total staff. This was announced as a part of an effort to refocus and center their attention on things that drive the most player value.

As a result, employees from all over Riot’s teams saw their jobs removed, regardless of what team they were in, many were left scared and uncertain if their jobs were safe. This caused universal backlash from fans of Riot, who were disappointed and upset at seeing so many lose their jobs.

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One champion designer came forward to explain that they had also lost their job. Riot Llama’s job loss struck a chord with the League of Legends community, particularly since their most recently designed champion had not even been released into the game.

LoL players lash out at Riot for laying off designer before champion hits live servers

Riot Llama expressed their enjoyment in being able to serve the LoL player base.

“It’s been a pleasure serving the League player base! I hope Smolder, Skarner, and K’Sante prove to be some of ya’lls favorite champions. My only regret is I didn’t get to make more. GG gamers >

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Many players were surprised at the announcement of their layoff, considering their newest champion Smolder, has not yet hit the live servers.

Some pointed out the irony of one of Smolder’s voice lines, where they claim their mom works at Riot and can have them banned. They even went so far as to call the company “heartless”.

Another player revealed the terrible timing of the layoffs, showing a tweet of the dev sharing their work with their family.

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With the gloom of the layoffs still wafting thick in the air at Riot, it’s clear that League of Legends players are more than displeased with the company. As for the future of the MOBA, it’s not yet certain what the loss of jobs could entail, with players hoping for the best.

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About The Author

Liam is a writer on the Australian Dexerto team covering all things gaming with an emphasis on MMOs like Destiny and FFXIV along with MOBAs like League. He started writing while at university for a Bachelor’s degree in Media and has experience writing for GGRecon and GameRant. You can contact Liam at or on Twitter at @MusicalityLH.