Riot Games ignoring Snowdown in League of Legends this year is bad news: here’s why

Snowdown Santa Braum sits next to the League of Legends Riot Games logo.Riot Games

It’s worrying that Riot Games has all but ignored Snowdown 2020 in League of Legends this year, and dedicated LoL fans have a right to be nervous about the future of the game after missing the annual Christmas event ⁠— here’s why.

Christmas is nearly here, and while there’s decorations aplenty, and presents under the tree, there’s one thing still missing for League of Legends fans: Snowdown.

It’s been a curious Christmas for Riot’s flagship game. Spinoffs like Legends of Runeterra have enjoyed all the festivities LoL fans have come to expect over the years. Valorant is the same; there’s a “Night Market” and a snowball fight game mode to boot.

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In the past, League would have been included too: snow, presents, and events.

This time around, however, Riot has confirmed there were “no plans” to bring Christmas to Summoner’s Rift. If you ⁠had ignored the outside world ⁠— easy to do this year, unfortunately ⁠— you could be forgiven for not even realizing Christmas Day is just hours away.

This is a concerning trend for League of Legends, as more and more in-game events become focused around one thing: ‘battle pass’ purchases and skins.

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League's snowy Summoner's Rift is nowhere to be found in 2020. Riot Games
League’s snowy Summoner’s Rift is nowhere to be found in 2020.

Is Riot too ‘comfortable’ with League of Legends?

The main concern surrounding Riot’s lack of Christmas cheer in League boils down to one simple thing; fans are worried they’ve become too ‘comfortable’ with their flagship title.

League faithful did get a December event, “Battle Queens 2020,” but it was mainly geared around ⁠— you guessed it ⁠— selling skins for popular characters like Diana, Katarina, and the last champion to hit shelves in 2020, armored support Rell.

Similar issues sprung up across the entire year too.

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In October, players were expecting a big “Harrowing” event; a spooky Halloween celebration that was first introduced to the game in 2012. Instead, we were handed PsyOps 2020, which handed out 11 new skins, some challenges, and not much else.

There’s no problem with skipping real-life holidays in-game.

When they get replaced with other events that are mainly geared around Prestige skins, K/DA hype trains, and cosmetics though, it becomes a bit tedious… a feeling that’s beginning to reach boiling point in the LoL fandom.

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"Battle Queens" seem to have replaced any Christmas celebrations this year.Riot Games
“Battle Queens” has replaced LoL’s usual Christmas celebrations this year.

League players aren’t happy

“World of Tanks called f**king Chuck Norris for their Christmas event, and we’re here with Battle Queens… basically Star Guardians, but more edgy.”

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That was just one lashing Riot has copped on the League of Legends subreddit through December this year. LoL players have shown they’re not happy ⁠— though whether that’s put a dent in their spending, we can’t tell ⁠— and that’s continued into Christmas.

“I think it’s weird, personally. Christmas is such a nice time of year, having League do the board [snowy Rift] just gives that extra spirit,” wrote another Redditor.

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Now, whether Riot will wade in and address the situation or not is anyone’s guess; the fact they may not, though, is as much of an indictment as the fact they’ve skipped Christmas altogether. It’s a worrying trend, to say the least.

More than 40 League of Legends characters boast Snowdown Chrstimas skins.Riot Games
More than 40 League of Legends characters boast Snowdown Christmas skins.

Now, in Riot’s defense…

It’s worth adding there were a few circumstances around the game this year that may have made preparing the new Summoner’s Rift style a bit harder than usual.

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The first was that the start of 2020 saw League of Legends change drastically. The map became a living, breathing elemental battleground; four different variants spring up in-game depending on which dragons were slain through the match.

That means it couldn’t just be a copy-paste job, unfortunately.

Add to this the fact Riot has delivered an entire item overhaul for Season 11, and we can concede it may have been a little tricky this year. That doesn’t, however, change the fact that they could have diverted their “Battle Queens” effort to Christmas instead.

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There were reasons why they didn’t ship out a snowy Rift, and that’s reasonable. It does, however, still feel a little ‘comfortable’ that they ignored it entirely.

The new Elemental Rfit apparently put paid to any snowy updates this year.Riot Games
The new Elemental Rift apparently put a stop to any snowy updates this year.

How to get a snowy Rift in 2020 anyway

Miss Christmas on the Rift? So do we, and so does custom map editor thekillerey. They missed it so much, they’ve redesigned the League of Legends map into a snowy celebration through a simple mod pack.

It includes changes to the map, environment, background music, jungle, minions, and plenty more. If you want to download the “Winter Rift 2021” custom map, it’s available here. However, be careful. These are third-party programs, and could get your account banned.

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And with that, Merry Christmas to all our League of Legends fans!