Uncovering the magic behind Wild Rift’s Star Guardian event

Terry Oh
Wild Rift Star Guardian event key art

The Star Guardians are among some of League of Legends’ most beloved champions. This year, Wild Rift brought them to life for mobile players, standing as one of the most fleshed out and engaging events to date. From exclusive skins to inspired artwork and story, Riot Games’ extensive preparation created a truly magical experience on the mobile.

The Star Guardian universe is one beloved by League of Legends fans, providing an alternate dimension for many of the game’s popular champions. The magical school girl themed events started off with a small cast and story — but has since evolved into something far bigger.

This year, Wild Rift joined its big brother in celebrating the Star Guardians. According to Riot, the “Wild Rift story in 2022 is part of the singular Universe that exists for Star Guardian.” In essence, the characters exist in a single chronology — and it’s something the developers are keen to riff off in the future.

Despite existing in the same universe though, the events differ in key ways. Wild Rift’s content catering towards the mobile demographic while creating an entirely new roster of Star Guardians. The colorfully delightful exclusive roster is illustrated through various mobile catered mediums — such as vertical scrolling comics and animation shorts.

The process for choosing this specific roster of Star Guardians took a lot into account, a decision making process lead by Michael Sevilla, which the Lead Narrative Producer on Star Guardian for Wild Rift and League of Legends, Stephanie Bedford, elaborated about to Dexerto.

Wild Rift’s Star Guardian event differed from League PC’s, but it’s all part of the same universe.

“We knew we wanted to focus on Xayah and Rakan’s redemption story,” Bedford said. “With Rakan becoming lost to the corruption he took on, Xayah needed to save him, but she couldn’t do it alone.”

This led Riot to ponder the exact team necessary to help Xayah see success on her mission. Xayah is battle hardened and very serious, a characteristic which used to play in contrast with Rakan’s flamboyant demeanor.

Riot looked towards adding diverse personalities into the mix — personalities which would both support and challenge Xayah’s gloomy state of mind.

“When thinking about Xayah’s more serious personality, [Sevilla] and the team wanted her to have someone like herself she could trust. Someone battle tested and knew what it was like to struggle with love. Senna was a clear choice here… We can even see in the comics how Xayah and Senna bond on a few commonalities.”

Senna’s League of Legends lore is based on fighting the darkness and helping lost souls. She’s practically lives on the battlefield, and is known for her grit and commitment to battling the darkness. Though the Star Guardian is technically a separate universe, it seems Senna’s sense of justice remains. From the moment she’s introduced, it’s clear she understands the responsibilities that come with being a Star Guardian — connecting with Xayah on the burden of loss.

Since Riot had two serious members as part of the team, they wanted other personalities to provide contrast to the otherwise gloomy cast.

“We needed someone lighthearted and very positive, which was clearly Seraphine,” Bedford elaborates. “She could not only keep things cheery, but add in some sweet comedic moments.”

And Seraphine fits this role perfectly. Throughout the story, Seraphine breaks the ice over Senna and Xayah’s hearts, allowing them to reveal the more sensitive nature of their personalities. It’s thanks to small interactions, like catching Senna crying over a ‘boys love’ novel, that Seraphine’s golden moments are seen.

Jack Lee, the Star Guardian Brand Manager for Wild Rift chimes in on this amazing scene, “showing her as a manga-obsessed otaku with a harder shell that Seraphine finally cracks.

“There was magic in that because in the end it feels like these are genuine, real people.”

Senna reading BL book in Wild Rift Star Guardian event
Seraphine catches Senna indulging in her novel, prompting her to chuck the book at Seraphine in one of the event’s lighter moments.

With Xayah and Senna always seemingly focused on business, Seraphine’s commitment to fun despite the harsh reality of situations highlights the idol’s optimism — while softening the rest of the cast’s somewhat negative mindset.

Seraphine is the chaotic optimist, while Senna and Xayah are the stern leaders. The last Wild Rift exclusive Star Guardian, Orianna, is the fact-based analyst. She serves as the neutral ground, using statistics (like the mechanical creation she is) to stabilize the otherwise volatile emotions of the cast.

While sharing his favorite aspects of the event, Lee expressed his bias for Star Guardian Orianna: “My favorite part of the vlogs was everything involving Orianna.”

“The opportunity to take a cold-blooded clockwork killing machine and paint her as a robot girl-turned-human and endearing her to the audience in a light she’s never been seen in before was beyond fun.”

Star Guardian Orianna in Wild Rift
Orianna is humanized as part of Wild Rift’s Star Guardian story, giving the clockwork creation new life.

Since Wild Rift is a separate entity from League PC, it’s easy to assume the Star Guardian events would be handled separately as well. But surprisingly, a single team handled all entries simultaneously — preparing extensively for uniform cohesion while catering to each platform accordingly.

According to Bedford the teams “set up early and on-going rituals focusing on cohesiveness across the different product, game, and discipline teams.”

The extensive prep allowed the Wild Rift exclusive roster to seamlessly incorporate into the bigger League of Legends Star Guardian universe.

The team began planning for the event early on in November 2021 — far before the first trailer released on July 2022. They wanted to ensure every detail tied into the universe without contradicting each other.

If you observe the visual novels and comics closely, you’ll even notice Lux’s statue is always placed in the center of the city in every game. These little details were sprinkled throughout the events, with many callbacks to prior story elements.

“The League and Wild Rift Narrative game dev team was over a dozen people and all of them helped in some way,” Bedford continued.

“Whether that was overseeing campaign narrative cohesion, editing VO scripts, visual novel development, scripting, skin descriptions, character or familiar biographies, world building support, and more.”

Summarizing the cast, Bedford states “combined I felt we had a crew that could offer a wide variety of personality and depth. We also felt that this crew would be pretty resonate to many different players.”

Star Guardian Wild Rift event keyart
There’s still plenty to come in the Star Guardian universe, and all League IPs will be involved.

Many wonder if this is the last we’ve seen of this specific cast of Wild Rift Star Guardian, and whether similar events will release in the future. Bedford assured players there’s still plenty to come, and that this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Valoran City in the mobile version — or in all titles, really.

“We will have to see where the next iteration of Star Guardian takes us in the future, but I am sure it is not the last time we will revisit this universe. There are so many more stories to be told, after all!

“I can only speak for the Narrative team that we really enjoyed our work on Star Guardian for Wild Rift and that we do plan to keep supporting them in whatever kinds of work they have in the future!”