Arcane Creators Explain Why Jinx & Vi Are The Stars Of The Netflix Series
It was still Jinx and Vi. These are the sisters at the heart of Riot Games’ hit Netflix series, Esoteric, and they have been selected for the spotlight on a range of over 150 League of Legends champions.
For Esoteric creators Christian Linke and Alex Yee, the stars really couldn’t be someone else from League of Legends traditions. Especially not Teemo. Linke and Yee have been grooming Jinx and Vi for their lead roles in a mature, mainstream animated TV series for nine years, even though they didn’t know it all the time.
In December 2012, Vi debuted and became the first League of Legends champion to receive a login screen with an original and lyrical song. A year later, Jinx joined the ranks of the game and starred in its first character-driven cinematic, a high-energy music video titled Get Jinxed. Linke and Yee worked on both of these versions, exercising their creative muscles in the music and narrative storyboarding, two aspects that didn’t get much attention in the core game development process.
The Jinx cutscene was also the first time Riot has teamed up with Fortiche Production, the studio behind Esotericotherworldly animation style.
âThey kind of already received our special treatment because we really loved them,â Linke told Engadget. âAnd so, when we have had to think about it, which characters do we want to stay with for many years? I think it was pretty obvious.
Yee agreed and added, “Both were a bit of a milestone, I think, for our time at Riot.”
In the game, Jinx and Vi are bitter sisters and enemies, though this story melts into the background of the action, only appearing in short vocal lines and character descriptions. As an online MOBA, storytelling isn’t essential to how League of Legends plays, but Riot has infused his champions with more lore over the years, focusing on expanding their universe beyond the game launcher.
These days, Riot is a hub of creative development across multiple mediums, including short stories, graphic novels, cutscenes, music videos, and a truly fantastic K-pop group. Esoteric is the studio’s biggest push on a mainstream service, and Jinx and Vi carry the story, surrounded by a handful of other champions, including Caitlyn, Jayce and Viktor, and other original characters.
Jinx and Vi still puzzled Linke and Yee. They were founded in a way that the game’s most fantastical champions weren’t, with distinct and opposing personalities and an unexplained rivalry that clearly cut both sisters at heart. Vi was a strong and rigid Enforcer working for the prosperous city of Piltover, while Jinx was an anarchist with a belt full of bombs and no filter. Vi’s hair is short and pink, while Jinx’s is long and bright blue.
“If you just imagine these two characters together in a scene, whatever the location, whatever their debate – you know, what kind of food they’re going to eat at night, or what kind of movie they’re going to watch,” said Linke: “It will always be fun, because they will always have these very different perspectives.”