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League of Legends' new LGBTQ character is a mischevious lizard girl

League of Legends’ newest champion, Neeko, is an upbeat shapeshifter who reminds me a wee bit of one of my favourite superheroes, Squirrel Girl. But instead of a squirrel, she’s a chameleon. She’s also the latest LGBTQ character to join the game. Check out her trailer above. 

Neeko’s battlefield abilities include a passive that allows her to shapeshift into any ally champion, though the disguise can be broken by her attacking or being attacked. It looks like this opens the door to some very clever strategies. 

She’s all about catching enemies out and making them think she’s someone else. For instance, a player could pretend to be a jungler, making enemy players run away or focus on her as a main threat, allowing a teammate to get the drop on them while they’re worried about whoever Neeko looks like. 

Yesterday, Riot Games writer Matt Dunn, who wrote Neeko, confirmed that she identifies as a lesbian. People noticed that her interactions with other female characters were a bit different; Dunn explained why on Twitter

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Technically she’s not the first LGBTQ champion, as Varus sort of counts, I guess? I mean, he’s a fusion of two lovers and a dark spirit, so he’d probably rather you didn’t label him. This was part of a lore rework for Varus. 

League of Legends’ champions have detailed backstories, but this stuff doesn’t often make its way into the game itself, so it’s good to see that Riot isn’t playing a J.K. Rowling by just saying that a character is LGBTQ, and that it subtly changes her interactions with other champions. 

If you’ve got a craving for League of Legends lore and more backstories, Riot and Marvel are teaming up to publish League of Legends comics, starting with Ashe: Warmother this month. 

Cheers, Dot Esports.

Fraser Brown

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long. He thinks labradoodles are the best dogs but doesn't get to write about them much.