League of Legends' Star Guardians mode is amazingly cute and I hope it stays


A short PVE jaunt

When Riot Games hosts an event for League of Legends, they go all-out. An animated intro is par for the course for a limited time event, which is just what they happened to do to promote Star Guardians.

As a limited-run PVE mode, it’s more than enough to get you to log back into League.

While most of my current MOBA time is taken up by Heroes of the Storm, Leaguehas always been a close second, and one of the most consistent games in the space since 2009. I still remember picking up the alpha for the first time, impressed by the now-ancient engine and cast of characters, which has ballooned into 138 Champions.

Between learning and re-learning the character meta and the item meta, I like to take a break with ARAM (all random all middle, a MOBA staple and “chill” slugfest gametype), and every now and then, a wacky game mode. Star Guardian has its tendrils in me this week. It’s not just the idea of taking a 15-20 minute PVE gametype and injecting it into Leaguethat excites me, but the whole premise of making it a Magical Girl joint. The lore is already there as the Star Guardian skins have been a huge part of Leaguefor years, so all they had to do is just theme a mode around it.

Like most PVE MOBA modes this is a guided tour of sorts, as you can only pickAhri, Miss Fortune, Syndra, Ezreal (the sole guy of the group), and Soraka. With a limited shop between levels, you’ll battle minion versions of other Champions likeVel’Koz and Skarner, framed as the evil bug menace. Yeah, it’s basically Magical Girls EDF. The arenas themselves are well thought out, even if there’s only several that rotate with different waves. All of them have a shoot ’em up tint with projectiles to constantly dodge, and the final boss is basically a take on bullet hell.

I really want to see more of these events in MOBAs, promoting teamwork and letting people take a break from the arduous task of climbing ladders (Valve just dove into this market with DOTA 2). As a bonus, you also get IP for playing (300 for a win isn’t bad). People seem to be angry at the way loot and the promotional items are handled, but that’s basically just an extension of the hatred for Riot’s sweaty Hextech loot box system. Since their inception, the company put a 24 hour limit on loot box purchases.

Star Guardians will be available until September 25 as a free mode, and I suggest everyone try it at least once.