The new Summoner’s Cup – forged in conjunction with Tiffany & Co. – is certainly… different from its predecessor. It comes with some shiny new features like five handles, with one of the five roles found in-game etched into the top of each one, that will make it easier for the victorious team to lift it together in San Francisco later this year.
Additionally, all the former Worlds winners have been immortalised on the base of the new trophy, thanks to some slick engraving, with plenty of space reserved for this year’s triumphant team and beyond – nice touch.
It’s all very pragmatic, and the sleek design screams “I want to be taken seriously” as League – itself arguably the poster child of modern esports – continually seeks to elevate its World Championship to the same sort of prestige as international tournaments in traditional sports. And while it certainly looks the part, and finds interesting ways to make itself uniquely ‘League’, I cannot help but wish that it went a little bit bolder on the overall design as the previous Summoner’s Cup had done.
Yes, it was perhaps time to revisit the original design – the Summoners adorning it are canonically defunct now, after all – but I cannot help but feel that this new, stripped-down trophy sacrifices too much form for function, and there’s a distinct lack of ‘theme’ to build upon. It’s like tearing down those funky Baroque buildings in Moscow and replacing them with London’s Brutalist high-rises; small touches, for me at least, an iconic trophy does not make.
Maybe my first impression is all wrong, and I’m simply just being resistant to change. After all, I’ve been watching League esports since 2013. But even the Valorant Champions trophy has that x-factor about it that makes me think of football’s (soccer for our US readers) World Cup, while retaining that sense of sophistication.
Regardless of my own thoughts and feelings on the matter, the response to the reveal has certainly been mixed. For the most part, the additions discussed above have been taken positively, but the reactions to the minimalist design overall are varied.
Who knows? Maybe by the time we get to the Chase Center on November 5 the rest of us will have warmed to the redesign – or maybe there’ll still be those memeing it in Twitch chat as the champions each take a handle to lift it for the first time.