Arcane's success sees pick rates for the show's characters in League of Legends rocket

One of 2021's pleasant surprises is that Arcane, the animated League of Legends series on Netflix, is pretty good. Steven Messner even went so far as to call it "stunning." Such plaudits have gone alongside popular success, with the show currently the second most-watched on Netflix after Squid Game: Which it even briefly dethroned for a few days, per stats-tracking site Flixpatrol (this site calculates its stats based on Netflix's own daily top 10s).

One of the funny things about all of this is, of course, is that it's pretty easy to watch a Netflix series, but should you wish to explore further... League of Legends is not the most welcoming game around. Nevertheless, the show's success has coincided with an unmistakable uptick in the number of players choosing key characters from the show (thanks, NME). 

The show made its debut on November 6 and Jinx's picks saw a steady uptick beforehand, but Jinx has always been a popular character anyway: she went from 11.8% on November 6 to 17.5% at the time of writing, per LoLalytics. Jayce on the other hand soared from a 3.7% pick rate on 6 November to a peak of 12% on 11 November, before settling in at around 8%—more than double the number of players since the show's debut.

(Image credit: Lolalytics)

The show features several LoL characters, but Jinx's buddy Vi seems to be the biggest beneficiary of all: her pick rate soared from around 6% on November 6 to a whopping 20.4% at the time of writing. Amusingly enough, you can see the win rate drop over the same period.

It would be quite amusing if Riot ends up tweaking any of these characters in response to their increased popularity, with Jayce's winrate in particular consistently hovering in mid-40% range. One thing that's doubtless helped with the crossover appeal is that Riot's been holding celebrations across all of its games to coincide with Arcane's launch, including LoL, doling out things like character skins for the above that bring them more in-line with their appearance in the show.

Should you play League of Legends if you like Arcane? Erm... maybe. Here's a comprehensive breakdown of Riot's LoL-based games, and which ones might be right for Arcane fans.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."