League of Legends is a marvelous game, with a variety of excellent designers and artists, working to bring us a worthwhile experience. Whether it’s through visual updates, new gameplay additions or excellent Champion skins, there’s plenty of inspiring craftmanship. In turn, creating quite the powerhouse when it comes to awesome character designs and excellent artwork accompanying them. So, whether we’re talking about Sixmorevodka Studio or Bo Chen, Riot Games knows how to pick them. However, it’s the sheer effort of these artists that lead me to creating this list in the first place. It’s about time we shine a spotlight on their work, highlighting their efforts and give them some respect. Therefore, I’m more than happy to list the very best illustrations from League of Legends, starting with Wukong splash arts!
Want more? Here are Top 5 Zed Splash Arts and Top 5 Vi Splash Arts.
*I only considered and ranked the currently official splash arts.
5. Underworld Wukong
Most Halloween skins have quite great splash arts, at least when it comes to concept design and overall creativity. While that’s obviously subjective, it seems that many players have come to love and value these illustrations, with Wukong’s artwork being quite great. At face value, it’s clean and simple, with focus on Wukong, without much effort put into the background. If it wasn’t for the blurry tail and light from the staff, the splash could feel quite lifeless. However, it’s the coloring and the angle that pulls our eyes to the transluscent arm, which is the highlight of this illustration. In addition, it tells a story, as if Wukong’s been corrupted and controlled by other means than his own free will. No smirk on his face, only an eagerly ferocious look in his eyes and it makes it quite a badass splash overall!
4. Default Wukong
Fun fact: When this illustration was first released it looked a bit different, and it was met with harsh feedback. While it looked clean and well-detailed, something about Wukong’s appearance ruffled some feathers. I’m not even going to lie, as I was among the ruffled ones, alright? It was simply about the artistic liberties, which were taken, yet not appreciated by some fans. Ironically enough, looking back at it today, I might genuinely favor the original over the official rework. However, it’s water under the bridge, right? Whether you like the original take or the rework, there’s only one default Wukong splash art, and you’re looking at it!
This splash art is great mainly because of the attention to detail. Surprise, surprise, right? See, I consider the changes in the facial features an artistic decision, rather than a technical problem. Therefore, I’m referring to the sheer amount of detail in this splash art, like the cracks and broken pieces of armor. It’s amplified by the light, drawing focus to these areas, with the composition complimenting the same highlights. Nevertheless, it’s undoubtedly Wukong’s facial features that sell this illustration, showcasing Wukong’s distinct behavior and personality. Therefore, they still nailed Wukong, whichever way you look at it.
3. General Wukong
To be fair, it’s quite clear that Zhou Juexian has taken some artistic liberties with this illustration. Considering that the skin itself is hardly this ferocious or badass, it’s safe to say it’s a romanticized version of General Wukong. While that’s a questionable decision, I wholeheartedly welcome the changes and liberties taken! Why, you may ask? Well, there’s a reason this artwork was imported from China, as it’s particularly badass and the fans loved it. It’s the craftmanship of the head, facial expression and pose, with the details in the fur being really noteworthy. In addition, it comes across much like a general sending his troops into battle with a warcry, looking down on his next victim. However, the lack of detail in the background is problematic, making it drop out from the top 2 spots. In turn, it lands on this respectable 3rd slot.
2. Radiant Wukong
This illustration loosely depicts the real Sun Wukong, from the novel Journey to the West, albeit romanticized and dipped into a rainbow. Now, I’m not saying that’s bad. Quite the contrary, as Sixmorevodka Studio knows how to create extravagant artwork and this is among their best. It’s like a modern interpretation of Sun Wukong, showcasing how he’d look if the novel was written by today’s generation. Given, Sixmorevodka Studio took some gambles, especially with the angle and facial expression, but it works with the color palette. It’s so vibrant, with the cherry tree petals and impact from the smash adding motion to this piece, making it look excellent. However, it’s the sheer decision making that we should praise, as the gambles paid off and we got one of the best Wukong splash arts!
1. Lancer Stratus Wukong
This splash art is absolutely breathtaking! Honestly, there’s something special about this artwork? Every piece of this complex puzzle comes together well, creating a work of art far beyond a basic splash art. It’s also a beautiful concept, with the execution resembling that of an oil painting, with focus on motion and lighting. While the Trickster’s obviously the main attraction and the dominant feature, he doesn’t overshadow the rest of the artwork. Whether it’s the city, the seagulls or the water dripping off of Wukong, there’s plenty to feast your eyes upon. Not to mention, the little girl pulling her guardian makes it feel somewhat connected to reality. It’s a great depiction of the skin it represents and actually makes the skin look lackluster because of this illustration. In turn, it’s the best of Wukong splash arts!