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What Could Have Been / League of Legends

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The dragon champion formerly known as Ao Shin.

With over a decade of development and constant updates, it's no surprise that many concepts in League of Legends — from champion designs, to gameplay ideas, to entire derivative projects — have never seen the light of day, only some of which are even publicly disclosed.

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    Champions A-G 


  • Aatrox's 2018 visual/gameplay update was originally merely supposed to be a gameplay rework, but partway in development, his creators felt his visuals weren't doing enough to convey the new power of his kit, so he was given the full VGU treatment.
  • During a Reddit AMA for his 2018 VGU, several Rioters shared a few ability concepts that were tried out for his rework, but were scrapped for whatever reason:
    • One version of his ultimate had him create a "war zone" that would reduce the death timers of both allies and enemies who died in it, which proved to be popular, chaotic, and thematically resonant with Aatrox's old depiction, but caused too many balance problems. Another version of the ultimate also caused allies to instead respawn at nearby structures.
    • He possessed an ability to "turn allies into Darkin," leaving behind a sword that they would pay a Blood Price to pick up, causing them to die and be revived with huge stat bonuses.
    • An option was tested for his on-release ultimate (where he still had a resurrect mechanic) was to have him deliberately off himself for the instant invulnerability and revive, but was cut for causing no shortage of double-tapping accidents.


  • Ahri got her name from a Korean fan poll (originally "Ari"), featuring other potential names: Danbi, Nabi, Ruri, Chorong, and Dasom.
  • From her ORIGINS blog post in 2017:
    • Ahri went through a few changes during development, with one iteration notably lacking her fox ears, featuring her "tails" instead being parts of her dress. The change was done in an attempt to differentiate her from the nine-tailed fox archetypes she was based on, but she consequently looked too plain, prompting Riot to return to a "true version of the nine-tailed fox" instead of "an artificially unique one."
    • Originally her creators wanted to cram in as many references to nine as possible for her abilities, including a nine-hit passive for her Fox Fire, but was reduced to a more manageable three. Fox Fire also used to illuminate brushes like a ward, but was cut for technical reasons.
    • Ahri's ultimate originally had her "basically [become] an Ezreal ult," making her continuously dash and consume mana over time to travel up to an unlimited distance, damaging enemies she passed. Senior game designer Colt "Ezreal" Hallam claimed "We had to change this ultimate due to its interactions with the Dominion map, which is easily one of my biggest regrets on the character."


  • According to her Reddit AMA, Akali had a few potential abilities for her 2018 VGU:
    • One ability had her "ride" projectiles from other champions, which was considered crazy and novel in concept, but impractical and annoying in practice.
    • Another ability had her throw down 2 kunai with a rope in the middle, tripping enemies if they walked through it, similar to Irelia's Flawless Duet ability, but was cut for not being very fitting for an assassin champion.
    • It was originally planned that her Twilight Shroud would form a dragon-shaped billow of smoke (one of the teaser images for her rework featured this), but was cut due to visual clarity concerns.
  • Akali at some point featured a much longer katana in her arsenal, but was cut for making her appear too similar to Yasuo.


  • Festival Anivia got its name chosen from a wide list of titles, including "Parade Queen Anivia", "Carnival Anivia", Kaleidoscopic Anivia", and "Wings of Revelry Anivia".


Aurelion Sol

  • As listed below under "Cancelled Champions", Aurelion Sol was initially conceived as a storm dragon concept named Ao Shin, although it was suggested that his gameplay kit was significantly different during this phase.
    • Riot tested giving Ao Shin/Aurelion Sol permanent or long-duration-based flight that allowed him to ignore walls. It was considered too annoying for melee enemies to deal with and consumed too much of his power budget, so it was greatly redone into his current Comet of Legend ability.
    • A Twitch-based Riot Q&A (unfortunately since deleted) claimed that Ao Shin had an ability described as a global version of Lee Sin's Resonating Strike, where he could send out a storm cloud in a direction, marking enemies it hits for him to dash to as a massive bolt of lightning. It had apparently shown enough promise that Riot considered iceboxing it for potential future use.
    • Visually, Ao Shin/Aurelion Sol originally had a much more elongated and serpentine body described as 10-12 Teemos in length, with a gameplay element that he could wrap his body around enemies like a coiling snake. This was scrapped due to consuming much of his power budget (he'd have to be fast enough to maneuver around enemies and durable enough to survive them fighting back), as well as raising technical concerns like interactions with bush concealment.


  • Azir had a several-year-long development cycle, once leaked at some point as a sand mage named Seth, and the two concepts were confirmed to be related. Part of this was due to Rioters struggling to find a unique creative niche for him, resulting in countless kits being scrapped even after his "emperor" theme was decided upon.
    • As detailed in Azir's ORIGINS blog post, Seth was originally envisioned as "an aspirational fellow who wanted to turn everything into a desert, thus spreading the realm of Shurima across the land." Sand was tested as an active gameplay element, where casting abilities spread sand across the map, granting further casts on sand bonus effects like extra range, knockup, and in one iteration the ability to summon a giant Sand Worm to attack enemies. It greatly interested Rioters, but was unfortunately cut due to technical concerns as the extensive particle effects were simply too intense for lower-end computers, and as a result, the "desert expander" character concept died with it.
    • One infamous ability by Colt "Ezreal" Hallam was described as "sand hands," which conjured two giant hands of sand that would "rise from the ground and after a delay move together, pushing everyone in between together and squishing them in."
    • One version of Seth/Azir by ZenonTheStoic had him using sand as a resource that had to be gathered, which "made a triangle of obelisks for the ultimate fight arena and spammed sand missiles from sources of sand."
    • GypsyLord once devised an ultimate that caused a sandstorm that globally slowed all enemies.
    • Before Azir gained his turret-summoning passive, one of his abilities had him summon "a windmill of death", a tower that shot four rotating beams of lethal light.
    • Several versions of interacting with Sand Soldiers were tested, such as sending soldiers to block incoming skillshots, sending walls of soldiers to knock enemies backward (which was then retooled to become his final ultimate), and ordering soldiers in auto-attack range to become damage-dealing skillshots to the nearest enemy (reworked into his current Q). Also, his soldiers originally wouldn't actually attack enemies unless Azir personally landed an auto-attack on it first.




  • Before his departure from Riot in 2016, IronStylus did concepts for a Caitlyn visual update before it was officially deemed "abandoned."


  • Her Hookshot ability went through several early experiments, with one iteration described as having the ability to shoot up to 5 hooks in a row to loop around walls. It was fun, but was scrapped for being too impractical in combat and unwieldy to use.


  • Diana's on-release version of Moonfall was inspired by an earlier iteration of a tested ultimate ability, which was a channeled AoE that slowly darkened the area with a crescent moon that would become a full moon if fully charged, shattering the area with true damage based on a resource called "Scorn". It was replaced and greatly toned down into its current version for being "toxic and nearly impossible to counter." Ironically, due to other balance issues with Diana's overall kit, Moonfall was shifted to be her ultimate again in late 2019, albeit with significantly different implementation.


  • Ekko's ultimate went through a few iterations:
    • One version had him return himself and a targeted enemy champion to where they were 4 seconds ago, but was deemed too busted as it made chasing down enemies too easy.
    • A much more drastic version had him rewind every living unit in the game, resetting all their health, mana, cooldowns, positioning, etc., cut for being too disorienting and cheap.


  • When Evelynn's 2017 VGU was originally announced, Allure was named Lust Dust, but was changed on release at the last minute.
  • According to her Champion Insights:
    • Several earlier attempts at a core visual design —specifically to communicate that she was a stealthy demon— made her more monstrous while under stealth, including giving her "spider legs, cracked porcelain skin with shadows pushing their way out, [and] the cavity of a missing eye you could peer into and see three eyes within." It was considered a little too much, and they decided to tone it down to its current state in order to preserve the "attractive succubus" concept.
    • One early attempt at preserving her signature high-uptime stealth but making it manageable was by making a full quarter of the map in a constant shroud which would move around the map and be visible on the minimap, with Evelynn only becoming invisible if she was in it. This particular concept was scrapped as it was too chore-like and didn't have satisfying payoff.


  • His "Captain Gangplank" skin had a few potential names in development, including "Dread Gangplank", "Dread Pirate Gangplank", and "Maurader Gangplank".
  • For his 2015 VGU, one tested new ultimate informally dubbed "Pirate Gundam" had him summon a giant, tank-like unit that would either fire cannonballs or charge into enemies similarly to Malphite. It was scrapped for being too overpowered and requiring too much additional attention for design teams to implement.


  • Mega Gnar had a few different abilities during prototyping:
    • His Wallop was originally both a stun and had an auto-attack chaining effect, simplified to just the stun for clarity and to avoid overloading his kit.
    • His Crunch originally knocked up enemies on landing, which felt satisfying and thematically cohesive, but this feature was cut since it seemed Mega Gnar already had enough CC in his kit.
    • Gnar's ultimate was completely different, and was essentially the precursor to Tahm Kench's Devour when used on an enemy champion. It also tested well, but Riot opted to save the mechanic for an entirely new champion as a core part of their kit (eventually becoming Tahm Kench) rather than tacking it onto one half of Gnar's involuntarily transforming kit.
  • Gnar's W originally had no damage cap against monsters. This changed when playtesters discovered that Gnar in the Jungle was a complete Game-Breaker.


  • His Gragas Caskbreaker skin was potentially instead named "Gragas the Wanderer", "Cleric Gragas", and "Gragas Stoutbrew".

    Champions H-M 





  • Early in development and before his hammer/cannon weapon was finalized, Jayce was very originally planned to have three different forms (a two-handed weapon, a sword and shield, and a ranged glaive), but there were difficulties in implementing this in gameplay as opposed to if it were just two. When it was reduced to two forms, the plan was then that he would have two different melee forms, which led to some interesting abilities, but ultimately the setup didn't feel distinct enough, so it was reworked again into the melee/ranged dichotomy of the final product. Some unused abilities:
    • One tested version of Thundering Blow which allowed him to stun enemies with the enemies he knocked away, allowing him to "golf swing" minions into enemy champions for a stun.
    • It was tested that he have a different ultimate for each form: with his hammer, he could slam down and create a shockwave that knocked up enemies, and with the sword and shield, he could march forward with an impenetrable wall to knock back enemies.



  • According to her ORIGINS blog post:
    • Jinx herself originally had a more traditional design with a standard voluptuous hourglass figure (and also a lot more tattoos), which proved to be a problem as she was too generic, eventually developing her into her Small Girl, Big Gun archetype in the final product.
    • Gameplay-wise, Jinx was conceptualized as "a weapon-swapping ADC, like a ranged Udyr" where each main ability simply switched what gun she'd use for her basic attacks, with her ultimate changing based on her current stance. After trying out all sorts of weapon combinations to see what would fit (pistols, rifles, crossbows, tasers, taser crossbows, semi-automatic machine guns, mini-guns, grenades, a rocket launcher, and even a flamethrower) and finding this exclusive gameplay pattern boring, Riot consolidated her weapon-swapping into a single ability with just two distinct options, her current Switcheroo! ability. Riot eventually did come around to a proper "gunswap marksman" concept with Aphelios, albeit with drastically different implementation.
    • Several ultimate abilities were also tested:
      • Drop the Hammer summoned a cannon to fire a bomb onto any position on the map, but because its detonation time was 10 seconds, it was incredibly easy to simply walk away.
      • Homing Missiles fired six missiles to automatically chase down enemy champions, dealing instant death if they couldn't avoid them.
      • WTF Missiles fired a massive swarm of missiles that would travel in unpredictable directions, cut for being... well, too unpredictable.
      • Circle of Cats fired a bomb across the map that surrounded the first enemy hit with magic smoke, causing enemies who crossed it to turn into harmless kittens, which was considered too impractical and indirect for Jinx.






  • Kled's abilities went through multiple changes during prototyping:
    • Instead of Beartrap on a Rope, Kled had an AoE flurry ability where he repeatedly striked all enemies in front of him, akin to Pantheon's Heartseeker Strike but mobile. The "melee flurry" aspect was reworked into his current Violent Tendencies.
    • In place of Violent Tendencies, he had a completely different ability where he tossed a net that stunned enemies in an AoE, cut for not being a great fit for him.
  • His "Sir Kled" skin went through a huge namepool before settling on its current title. Among the runners-up were "Kled the Cavalier" and "Grass Knight Kled".

Lee Sin


  • Lillia had a few different gameplay plans:
    • Giving her the ability to make enemies fall asleep was imperative as she was envisioned with a dream-based theme early on. Riot wanted to add it to a regular ability, but after testing options out (such as a skillshot that could affect multiple people or sleep-inducing traps), it was seen as too oppressive and non-interactive, so it was made into her ultimate.
    • Her passive's damage-over-time effect originally didn't have a cap on monsters, which turned out to be incredibly broken as it allowed a level 1 Lillia to solo-kill the Baron. It was also supposed to heal her to give her sustain, but it was cut for being too overpowered.
  • Lillia's very original character archetype was "form swapping jungler on a timer," with early depictions of Lillia depicting her with two different, diametrically opposing forms, including a shy priestess/murderer, traveling shaman/exorcist "with a dark side", and a deer whose personality changed with the seasons (joyful and fiery like the summer, but also cold and melancholy like the winter). However, while Rioters loved the deer archetype, they struggled to meaningfully integrate any sort of Duality Motif in gameplay, which went up to a dream/nightmare dichotomy that would change her from a bruiser to an assassin every five minutes. In the end, this was all scrapped as playtesters ultimately hated the high concept, but they decided to preserve the elements that did work (namely her faun-inspired design and focus on dreams), resulting in her final product.


Miss Fortune

  • Her "Captain Fortune" skin went through a few potential names, including "Baroness Fortune", "Queen Fortune", "Mistress Fortune", to even simply "Sarah Fortune".
  • A voiceover update was toyed with around 2018 as Riot was doing voicework for her Gun Goddess skin, but it ultimately did not come to pass. According to Riot Meddler, some lines were recorded and tested, but their internal feedback was immensely divisive with too many differing opinions of what her proper characterization should be, causing the update to be shelved. With her newly-recorded voiceover for Legends of Runeterra, they finally settled on preserving her iconic Femme Fatale characterization with a smattering of drama here and there.



  • While Morgana's half of her and Kayle's dual 2019 update was primarily expected to be merely cosmetic, several new potential abilities were tested on her.
    • One tested replacement for her passive had her become "enraged" when at low health, making her deal true damage per second to nearby enemies and giving her a massive surge of movement speed and spell vamp. It was cut for being too intense for the rest of her otherwise perfectly functional kit.
    • Another attempt at a new passive had her gain movement speed towards enemies she had damaged or were hit with crowd control from allies, which was cut due to negative playtester feedback.
    • Yet another attempt at a new passive gave her bonus auto-attack range towards enemies she snared, which also allowed her to steal health.
    • Yet another passive, this time based on her ultimate, gave her an "ascending power tiers" mechanic similar to Kayle, each level granting her bonuses like movement speed towards enemies (which was kept), massive healing, and true damage.
    • A version of her Tormented Shadow was also tested that would deal bonus critical damage to enemies on low health.

    Champions N-S 



  • Xypherous originally intended Nautilus to have an ultimate that involved picking up an enemy champion and spinning them around him, but it sadly didn't pan out. He also wanted Nautilus to have a base movement speed even lower than the bottom-of-the-barrel 300 Nautilus has right now, but said they wouldn't let him make it any lower.
  • Nautilus' "Worldbreaker" skin went through several potential titles shared with its skin line, including "Era of Gods", "Mythic Retribution", "Finis Mundi", "Forsaken", and "Dawn of Ruin". One was even simply just "Na'tilus".



  • Nocturne was a candidate in a poll to decide which champion would be relaunched in 2020, but it was won by Fiddlesticks and Volibear, and the following VGU went to Dr. Mundo. His later inclusion in Legends of Runeterra suggests that Riot will be holding off any future relaunches for a much longer time.











  • Rek'Sai was envisioned as a "Burrower" champion from the start, a concept which went through different versions in development.
    • She initially started with the idea of being under stealth while underground, but it was quickly discarded as it was simply too much for her kit.
    • One of her unburrowed Q abilities was a simple passthrough dash, similar to that of Fizz. Another was a channeled "Void Cleave" ability that ghosted her and had her deal constant damage to all enemies in front her.
    • Initially, her unburrowing ability was merely a stance change without the knockup, which was instead part of an ultimate consisting of slow-moving stealth and untargetability.



  • Riven was originally pitched as "Gooder than good" according to her designer Xypherous. She also had an alternate backstory about her being an exile from Demacia, which was changed just before release. This is the reason for the Redeemed Riven skin, which was released with her on launch but looks notably Demacian and seems unfitting both in appearance and name-wise to her current backstory.
  • Riven's Runic Blade passive used to be called "The Art of War", which can be seen in her original Champion Spotlight.
  • Riven's ultimate (where her shattered BFS magically reforms in her hands) was an idea from very early on, originally tested with a more drastic transformation animation, but unfortunately had to be cut to fit her fast-paced gameplay, it instead being indicated by a voice line. As for what her ultimate would actually do, however, many versions were tried:
    • One version had her gain a rage meter very similar to Shvyana, continuously charging up while attacking and allowing her to stay in the form longer. This was cut since Riven was already an aggressive champion, making it overkill.
    • One version made her abilities reset her auto-attacks, and her auto-attacks reset her abilities, which was canned because "It was just... kind of terrible."
    • Another ultimate made her deal a sonic boom on activation, knocking opponents back and creating distance, which was cut for being counter-intuitive for an aggressive melee fighter.
    • Another gave her the ability to shoot frickin' laser beams every time she used an ability, which was greatly reduced into a single Wind Slash for being overkill.


  • Ryze Whitebeard skin was potentially instead named "Ryze the Azure Conjurer", "Ryze the Ageless Conjurer", and simply "Wizard Ryze".
  • According to concept art for the "Ryze: Call of Power" short, a couple of unused characters he would've encountered on his journeys across the world was a Zaunite assassin, and very interestingly a little girl who suspiciously resembles Daisy, Annie's stepsister seen in her origins video.






  • Shyvana was a candidate in a poll to decide which champion would be relaunched in 2020, but it was won by Fiddlesticks and Volibear. While she had a strong run for third place (placing first in China) and Riot openly acknowledged the high potential demand for a VGU, this appears to have been iceboxed in favor of updating Dr. Mundo instead, with her appearances in Legends of Runeterra and Wild Rift being mostly the same as usual.




  • Regarding Swain's 2018 full visual/gameplay update, his newly-updated kit could've gone in a plethora of different ways. One shared element to his kit which was removed relatively late in development was a transformation inspired by his original ultimate, but bound to a regular ability; while transformed, Swain couldn't cast any spells but he'd slowly drain health from nearby enemies and gain extra movement speed, and could empower his transformations by absorbing the souls of fallen enemies for bonus damage. This was greatly retooled back into an ultimate after resulting in several problems with balance and thematics.


    Champions T-Z 


  • Early in her development, Rioters experimented with giving her a much more destructive palette of earth spells, one of which was an alternate ultimate that completely removed all the natural terrain from a portion of the map. This was scrapped due to it not fitting her self-sustaining, disruptive control mage playstyle (this ability seemed to belong more to a support champion), as well as concerns of visually representing this effect.
  • Before her kit was solidified, Taliyah's visual designers tried out giving her a "spool" accessory that she would use to gather up rocks to then unleash onto opponents. This would suggest that her abilities would realistically be Charged Attacks, but as her kit went in a different direction and made it so she has none, the idea was scrapped.
  • Taliyah was planned to be the games first transgender champion, but after discussion among the champ team, the idea was nixed.note 
  • Taliyah's auto attacks, rather than her appearing to sling rocks toward her enemies, instead resembled her ripping out a trail of rocks from the ground to use as projectiles. It looked visually impressive, but looked misleadingly powerful when compared to its actual damage and wasn't very clear to read.



  • Trundle's "Worldbreaker" skin went through several potential titles shared with its skin line, including "Era of Gods", "Mythic Retribution", "Finis Mundi", "Forsaken", and "Dawn of Ruin". One for his skin was simply just "Tr'ndle".

Twisted Fate

  • His "Cutpurse" skin was chosen out of several other potential skin titles, namely "Seadog Twisted Fate", "Reckless (Twisted) Fate", and "Wanted (Twisted) Fate".





  • One of his voice lines on the PBE has him namedrop his previous kingdom as "Camaveia". This was confirmed to be not canon anymore due to the name translating rather unflatteringly as "old bed" in Portuguese, with it later being confirmed as "Camavor".
  • Several abilities surrounding his use of Black Mist were tested. One form of his passive allowed him to control and move his allies across the map, and one ability allowed him to use Black Mist to walk through walls.
  • From his Champion Insights:
    • One explored idea was to have him be "carried around" by his allies (similar to Yuumi's attaching gimmick) where he would follow them and strike whenever opportunity hit. It was fun, but didn't reflect the "king" aspect of his character as he would be subject to the whims of his allies, not vice versa.
    • In order to communicate that Viego was possessing an enemy, one idea was to engulf the entire champion model in a shader to appear as a ghostly spirit. This was deemed too unclear to discern in the thick of a fight, so it was toned down into a mild recolor and placing Viego's crown on them.
    • A few versions of a "Harrowing" ability using his Black Mist were tried out. One version had him cover the entire map in Mist, allowing him to stay in stealth almost permanently, but it was too annoying and similar to Evelynn. Another version filled the Mist with ghouls, with an ultimate that would summon them to attack enemies.
    • Experiments were also done to integrate the Blade of the Ruined King item into his gameplay. One idea was that he began games with it and it would become greater and more powerful as Viego collected more souls (starting off as a small, broken dagger and only with the slowing ability, and would grow over time to become the item's standard form and then into an even bigger upgrade), but was scrapped by the time designer August fleshed out more of Viego's main design and it became increasingly out-of-place. It was instead just integrated as a passive on his Q ability.







  • In 2010, it was hinted that Riot was toying around with the idea of a double blade samurai champion but was put on hold, "though he may come back some day," hinted to have been a much earlier version of Yasuo. This concept may have been recycled when designing his brother, Yone, almost a decade later.


  • One scrapped ability meant to parallel with Yasuo's Wind Wall was a "flame wall" that could block enemy vision, which, while powerful, had negligible impact for Yone himself and his team to appreciate.
  • Several details from the design process were revealed in a 3-part interview between Rioters Blaustoise and EndlessPillows:
    • Early in the process, the creative team toyed with the idea that in making the now-resurrected Yone a more ambiguous character whose connection to Yasuo was only implied, and would only go by the nickname people gave him in-universe: "Dusk", tied to another idea that he was known for fighting demons during sunset. This was scrapped as the secrecy was deemed redundant and they decided to fully confirm that this was Yone.
    • One early mechanic Yone was built around was the ability to let him dive onto enemies who are dashing or otherwise moving suddenly. This was core to his kit for a while, with several abilities being designed to synergize with it, including knockback-inflicting tornados (knockback could count as a "dash" he could follow up on) and an ultimate described as "you are the Gragas ult", where he would launch enemies up in the air, then blast them all away with wind. The ult in particular lasted for a long time in developmentnote , but eventually Riot realized that the mechanic was ultimately too much to play against (and even play as), and once the core was removed, the other abilities were greatly reduced.
    • One iteration of his kit contained his current Q (a three-strike ramping attack where he would dash forward and create a tornado), and a W ability that was nearly identical, with the only difference being its third cast which would send him backwards and creating a tornado that pulled enemies towards him. This was surprisingly very exciting and helped lean into his Dual Wielding fighting style, but like above, it was considered way too much during playtesting, so it had to be drastically scaled down.




    Cancelled Champions/Skins 

    Miscellaneous Content 
  • In 2012, it was discovered Riot had registered many web domains for a possible game called League of Legends Supremacy, and after President/CEO of Riot Games Mark "Tryndamere" Merrill's Twitter account was hacked, it gave suggestion to the idea that it was some kind of Collectible Card Game similar to Hearthstone. Tryndamere later confirmed it was something in development, but no word on the specific product appeared since 2012. A Riot-released League of Legends TCG was eventually announced in 2019 in the form of Legends of Runeterra, but it's unknown if this project was one and the same as Supremacy.
  • Magma Chamber was a map tossed around for a long time, teased from as far back in 2010 (whose game mode apparently evolved into Dominion), but was then repurposed for a 1v1/2v2 gamemode map that was teased at All-Star 2013 Shanghai. However, feedback from pros playing on the map, as well as major technical optimization concerns, led for the map to be shelved for public use, and no word of it being introduced has came since.
  • Around 2015 after the Bilgewater "Burning Tides" event, a leak surfaced of a future event titled "The Invasion of Bandle City", reportedly born out of Riot's annual internal Thunderdome event and presumably would've involved conflict between Bandle City and Noxus. This would be verified years later as the artwork of Katarina would be found recycled in Legends of Runeterra, but for whatever reason, the event never saw the light of day.
  • Concept artist IronStylus had been working on several champion visual updates before leaving Riot. Some of them (Evelynn, Irelia, and Akali) eventually got full VGU releases, with additional works-in-progress for Trundle, Vayne, and Dr. Mundo.
  • In the preseason 2017 Assassins Update, CertainlyT experimented with adding a new dynamic in the jungle called "Base Guards", with each team getting a pair of "woodland satyr-like creatures" to spawn from base and patrol a quadrant of their jungle. Each one would attempt to fight enemy intruders, granting gold to the opposing team if they were defeated, and while they possessed high damage, they were also susceptible to burst, which was theorized to give assassins an avenue for relevance in high-level macro play.
  • A cinematic short surrounding Garen and Katarina was in development at some point in time, featuring Garen and Katarina first meeting as enemies, but end up having to work together to survive and developing a relationship. The development went as far as concept art and even a voiced story reel/animatic before it was shelved for unknown reasons.
  • Another, much shorter animated short featuring Darius fighting a horde of various soldiers, was also in the works at some point around 2017, but was also cancelled for unknown reasons.
  • The Zed comic saw quite a bit of cut content, mostly to accommodate the page count.
    • The intro to issue 1 was originally supposed to feature Zed killing vastaya for their magic instead of the monk in the final version, which was turfed by Marvel who felt it made him too unlikable. There are around three further scenes where "Zed/Kayn were doing horrible stuff to monks and/or Vastaya", and in general, there was much content that had to be cut or altered due to rating restrictions.
    • One planned scene taking place during the Noxian war was meant to have Shen and Zed converse about their conflicting philosophies, as well as their relationships with Yevnai.
    • Many scenes with Akali had to be cut, including a fight scene between her and Kayn and a flashback to her childhood where she was dragged away from her father, who she'd never see again.
    • Many other flashback scenes were cut, including one scene where Zed was originally banished from the Kinkou for using the Tears of Shadow as Yvenai and Shen watched helplessly.
    • There were also many scenes of investigation which provided clues to the audience, allowing them to figure out where Jhin was going at the same pace as the characters, including one scene where Zed would scan a crowd for Jhin's face (the clues of which could help the reader narrow down to four potential suspects).
  • Right before preseason 11 and the massive overhaul of the item system, several new items were announced with different names (and presumably designsnote ) to what they became introduced as on the PBE a month later.
    • "Kraken Slayer" was originally called "Behemoth Slayer". Its passive, "Bring It Down", was originally just "Harpoon".
    • "Sunfire Aegis" has a passive called "Flametouch", originally "Radiance".
    • "Frostfire Gauntlet" has a passive called "Snowbind", originally called "Frostfire".
    • "Turbo Chemtank" was originally called "Berserker Suit". Its passive, "Supercharged", was also called "Pursuit".
    • "Duskblade of Draktharr" had its passive replaced, but instead of changing its name to "Dusk" as announced, its previous name of "Nightstalker" was preserved.
    • "Eclipse" has a passive called "Ever Rising Moon", originally "Moon Strike".
    • "Prowler's Claw" has a passive called "Sandswipe", originally "From the Shadows".
    • "Everfrost" has a passive called "Glaciate", originally "Frigid Blast".
    • "Hextech Rocketbelt" has a passive called "Supersonic", originally "Fire Bolt" (the same as the item's previous incarnation, the "Hextech Protobelt-01").
    • "Riftmaker" was originally called "Axamuk's Folly". Its passive, "Void Corruption", was originally just "Corruption".
    • "Night Harvester" has a passive called "Soulrend", originally "The Reaping" (likely as to not conflict with "Reap" passive of the Cull item).
    • "Trinity Force" was given a new passive called "Threefold Strike", originally "Swift Strikes".
    • "Strikebreaker" has two innates: "Halting Slash" and "Heroic Gait", which were originally "Swift Slash" and "Nimble" ("Nimble" became the passive name for one of its component items, Hearthbound Axe).
    • "Divine Sunderer" was originally called "Divine Devourer". It also had an additional passive called "Feast", but was folded into the rest of its "Spellblade" passive.
    • "Locket of the Iron Solari" has two innates: "Devotion" and "Consecrate", originally "Intervention" (which instead became the name for the "Redemption" item's active ability) and "Iron Aura".
    • "Moonstone Renewer" has a passive called "Starlit Grace", originally "Vital Stream".
    • "The Collector" has a passive finalized as "Death and Taxes", originally "Contract Killer".
    • "Navori Quickblade" has a passive called "Deft Strikes", originally "Nimble Strikes".
    • "Force of Nature" has a passive simply called "Absorb", originally "Rhythm of Ionia".
    • "Serpent's Fang" has a passive called "Shield Reaver", originally "Shieldbreaker".
    • "Horizon Focus" has a passive called "Hypershot", originally "Focus Fire".
    • The passive of "Serylda's Grudge" was initially called "The Grudge" in beta, renamed to "Betrayal" on the official PBE implementation and 10.23 patch notes, and was then renamed again to its current title of "Bitter Cold".
    • "Silvermere Dawn" was originally called "Silverweave Legplates".
    • "Chempunk Chainsword" has a passive called "Hackshorn", originally just "Cursed".
    • "Chemtech Putrifier" was originally called "Chemtech Fumigator".
    • "Staff of Flowing Water" has a passive called "Rapids", originally "Riptide".
    • "Stirring Wardstone", "Watchful Wardstone", and "Vigilant Wardstone" were originally called "Ancient Runestone", "Ixtali Wardstone", and an inconclusively-named "Ixtali Wardstone Upgrade". Their shared "Arcane Cache" passive was originally called "Control" (interestingly, the Watchstone and Vigilant Wardstones preserve the "Visions of Ixtal" titles).
  • When Wild Rift was first announced, one of the advertised changes was to the vision system — rather than traditional wards and sweepers, jungles would have "Ward Zones" that provide vision to teams who captured them, who could do so by fighting around them or standing on them similar to Skarner's Crystal Spires. This was removed at the last second and the game ended up returning to the traditional warding system, presumably because capturing Ward Zones would be too tactical and complicated in a version that was designed to be streamlined and accessible.
  • Riot originally planned for 2021 to provide two VGUs: Dr. Mundo and a second champion based on player poll. Unfortunately, outside circumstances forced the second VGU to be shunted to later; they had difficulties implementing the voting tech within their intended time (only arriving by early 2021 to decide the 2022 VGU), and when they decided to just move onto the second VGU anyway (it's unknown which champion they chose), the shift to working from home due to the COVID-19 Pandemic created scheduling and resource issues that ultimately resulted in it being iceboxed.

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