League of Legends is a marvelous game, with a variety of excellent designers and artists, working to bring us a worth-while experience. Whether it’s through visual updates, brand new gameplay additions or new champion skins, there’s plenty of inspiring craftmanship. In turn, creating quite the powerhouse when it comes to awesome characters, superb ability effects and illustrations that pressure us into buying new skins. So, whether we’re talking about Sixmorevodka Studio, Bo Chen or any unknown artist, Riot Games surely know how to pick them. However, it’s the sheer effort from these illustrators that lead to the creation of this list, showcasing their talents and putting a spotlight on their work. While it’s easy to forget these individuals, it’s important to remind ourselves of the bits and pieces that make us yearn for these champion skins. So, this is where I come in, listing the very best splash arts, starting off with our beloved trickster, Wukong!
Keep in mind, this list ranks the champion splash arts, and not the champion skin/cosmetic appearance accompanying it. Therefore, it’s based solely on the artwork in and of itself!
*I only considered and ranked the currently official splash arts
5. Original Wukong
Some splash arts lack character, others lack personality, which was definitely the case with the first draft of this splash art, something only die-hard will remember. It lead me to feel that the artists simply missed the mark on their subject, taking some liberties that should not have been taken. It wasn’t long before the feedback was heard and the call for change was answered, leading to necessary changes, with a warm response from the fans. It was simply the facial structure and expression that made people feel uneasy, and the changes nailed the character and personality of Wukong. Today, that misstep is ancient history, yet the groundwork was fundamentally solid from the beginning. It’s the small details, like the broken pieces of armor, the reflection from the sunlight and the shading that brought this work of art to life. However, it’s undoubtedly the facial expression and combat stance that make this feel like the Wukong we know and love so dearly!
4. Underworld Wukong
The majority of Halloween skins have quite remarkable 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 splash being quite great. At face value, it’s a very clean and direct design, focusing mostly on Wukong, without putting too much effort into the background. However, it’s the sheer coloring and decision making that makes it work, with the translucent right arm being the highlight. But, the utilization of light from the staff and the blurry tail make it feel in motion, adding to the overall depth of the illustration. In turn, it tells a story, as if Wukong’s been corrupted, with no smirk on his face, as if controlled by other means than his own free will, making it quite the splash art.
3. General Wukong
In all honesty, it’s quite clear that Zhou Juexian has taken some artistic liberties with this illustration. Considering that the skin it depicts is hardly this ferocious and badass, it’s safe to say that it’s a romanticized version of General Wukong. While that’s quite a questionable decision, I wholeheartedly welcome the changes and liberties taken! Why, you may ask? Well, there’s a reason this splash art was imported from China, as it’s arguably one of the most badass Wukong illustrations ever created. That’s saying something, when you think of how all the other splash arts look, there’s something noteworthy with this interpretation of the champion skin. It’s the craftmanship of the head, facial expression and pose, with the details in fur texture and lighting bringing it all together seamlessly. It comes across much like a general sending his troops into battle with a warcry, looking down on the possible victim he might annihilate himself. However, the lack of detail in the background makes it fall a couple of spots, meaning that it lands on this respectable number 3 slot.
2. Radiant Wukong
This illustration loosely depicts the real Sun Wukong, from the novel titled Journey to the West, albeit romanticized and dipped into a rainbow. Now, I’m not saying that’s a bad idea. Quite the contrary, as Sixmorevodka Studio is known for superb designs, with this artwork being quite extravagant. 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 Wukong’s facial expression, yet it works with the color scheme. It’s so vibrant, with the Cherry Tree petals and impact from the smash complimenting the motion of Wukong, creating a beautiful work of art. However, it’s the sheer decision making that makes it wonderful, 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 illustration, especially considering how every piece of this complex puzzle comes together seamlessly. It’s a beautiful concept, with the execution resembling that of an oil painting, with focus on motion and lighting to bring Wukong to life. While the trickster’s obviously the main attraction and the dominant feature, he doesn’t overshadow rest of the artwork. Whether it’s the city at the front, the seagulls flying around or the water dripping off of Wukong, there’s plenty to feast your eyes upon. Not to mention, the little girl pulling her guardian and pointing at the trickster, making it feel so much more connected. However, it’s the overall depiction of the skin it represents, with Bo Chen’s utilization of light and dark drawing focus to specific parts of the illustration. In turn, making the Star Lancer Wukong splash art is the very best one!