‘Arcane’ Creators Explain Why Jinx and Vi Are the Stars of the Netflix Series

It was always Jinx and Vi. They are the sisters at the center of Riot Games’ hit Netflix series, Arcane, and they were picked for the spotlight from a lineup of more than 150 League of Legends champions.

For Arcane creators Christian Linke and Alex Yee, the stars really couldn’t be anyone else from League of Legends lore. Especially not Teemo. Linke and Yee have spent the past nine years preparing Jinx and Vi for their lead roles in an adult, mainstream, animated TV series, even if 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 complete with an original, lyrical song. A year later, Jinx joined the game’s ranks and starred in the first character-driven movie, an energetic music video called Get Jinxed. Linke and Yee worked on both releases, flexing their creative muscles on music and narrative storyboarding, two aspects that didn’t get much attention in the core game development process.

Jinx’s film also marked the first time Riot has teamed up with Fortiche Production, the studio behind Arcane’s otherworldly animation style.

“They already got our special treatment because we just really liked them,” Linke told Engadget. “And so, when we had to think about which characters we want to hold onto for many years to come? I think it was pretty obvious.”

Yee agreed, adding, “Both were a bit of a milestone, I think, for our time at Riot.”

In-game, Jinx and Vi are sisters and bitter enemies, although this story fades into the background of the action, appearing only in minor voice lines and character descriptions. As an online MOBA, the story isn’t essential to the way League of Legends plays, but Riot has taught its champions more knowledge over the years, focusing on expanding their universe beyond the game launcher.

Today, Riot is a hub of creative development through multiple mediums, including short stories, graphic novels, movies, music videos, and a truly fantastic K-pop group. Arcane is the studio’s biggest push for regular service, and Jinx and Vi carry the story, surrounded by a handful of other champions, including Caitlyn, Jayce, and Viktor, among other original characters.

Jinx and Vi were always intriguing to Linke and Yee. They were based in a way that the game’s more fantastic champions were not, with different, opposing personalities and an inexplicable rivalry that clearly cut both sisters to the core. Vi was a powerful, rigid Enforcer who worked 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 those two characters in a scene, in any location, that they’d be discussing – you know, what kind of food they’re going to get for the evening, or what kind of movie they’re going to watch,” Linke said. “It’s just always going to be fun because they’re always going to have these very different perspectives.”

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