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

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.