The newest champion to join the League of Legends is in its earliest stages of teasing — mysterious voice files found on the PBE suggest that this new champion will be a mage that befriends creatures of the jungle. Quickly after this discovery Reddit became ablaze with speculation and debunkery. Fake “leaks” and details spread like wildfire, as always with these types of info dumps. Countless users claiming to know this champion’s name with an equal number of users debunking these false prophets litter the forums and YouTube comments. The most prevalent theory is that this newest champion is named “Sorag, Ghost of the Forest”; this theory seems to have gained traction, despite being debunked by an official Riot-er on the League subreddit. The community seems to have collectively ignored this, and are continuing to call the teased champion Sorag regardless.
The Riot school of teasing new champions has become a sort of process, a task list that goes something like this: 1) voice or image files are leaked on the PBE, 2) Reddit goes bananas and scrutinizes every possible angle for potential leaks, 3) the files are found on the public live servers, and finally 4) the champion is revealed in all of its (official) glory. This sort of “tease and grow hype through minimal information” is quite different from the method employed by Blizzard’s Overwatch.
Overwatch has added only one new hero to its roster, in which it revealed Ana quite literally out of the blue with no prior hype or teasing. However, an ARG (alternate reality game) hype campaign for the second hero, Sombra, has sprinkled clues throughout the teaser trailers, promotional materials, and the game itself for months. . Bits of clues have been expertly hidden in game files and trailers, including leaving a trail of crackable binary hidden in a single frame of the “Summer Games” trailer. This, of course, leads to a mysterious and oh-so-juicy website with a countdown to the next clue. This type of marketing campaign is nothing new, but allows for the sleuths of the gaming community to come together and pool resources to “discover” this champion as a type of game-within-a-game.
It seems the less you give an audience, the more they want; Riot and Overwatch both employ similar types of “marketing campaigns” that don’t really feel like marketing campaigns, as they entice the players to look deeper and beneath the skin for the next clue. To all participating in the hunt for the next clue: best of luck and happy sleuthing! For the regular player though, all there is to do is wait for the official reveal.
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