The Unusual Champion

If you're a League of Legends player, you've probably heard of Pyke, the Bloodharbor Ripper. Pyke is an unusual champion in that he was designed to be played as a support, but he has the kit of an assassin. This combination of roles was unheard of in the game before Pyke's release in 2018, and it took the community by surprise.

Pyke early design

Solving the Queue Crisis

But why would the developers create an assassin support? The answer lies in a queue crisis that was affecting matchmaking in League of Legends. Support was the least popular role in the game, and the Champions team wanted to find a way to increase the queue for support without forcing players to play a role they didn't enjoy.

Thresh as Inspiration

To do this, the team looked at the existing support champions in the game and noticed that most of them were on the bright, colorful, happy side of things. Even the more evil champions, like Zyra, were still typically bright and colorful. The only exception was Thresh, a dark, edgy, evil support that appealed to fighter players.

Pyke development

Pyke's High-Skill-Cap Kit

The team used Thresh as philosophical inspiration for their new support and created Pyke, a bloodthirsty, undead, shark of a man who was once a fisherman. Pyke's kit is designed to be high-skill-cap, allowing players to use his mobility, crowd control, and burst damage to pick off enemies and secure kills for their ADC.


The Risk Pays Off

Pyke's design was a risk, but it paid off. His release increased the queue for support and brought new players into the role. Pyke also brought a fresh gameplay fantasy to the support role, showing that supports don't always have to be healers or shields. They can be assassins too.

Pyke early kit design

Pyke's Enduring Impact

In conclusion, Pyke is a champion that changed bot lane forever. His unique design and gameplay have inspired other champion releases, and he continues to be a popular pick for support players who enjoy a high-risk, high-reward playstyle. Pyke's success shows that even in a game as established as League of Legends, there is always room for innovation and new ideas.