While Riot explicitly said during Valorant’s beta stage that there would strictly be no crossovers between the worlds of its first-person shooter and League of Legends, it seems that the development team can’t suppress the urge to pop a cheeky little easter egg in the game for LoL fans to enjoy.
Valorant’s latest map, Ascent, features a nod to one of League of Legends’ champions and, specifically, a well-known chat spam that relates to it. Placed in the mid lane of Ascent is an innocent looking public bench, but on closer inspection players will see that the backrest includes a face appearing to resemble that of The River King himself, Tahm Kench. That’s right; it’s the physical manifestation of ‘Unbench the Kench.’
Often spammed in Twitch chats when fans want to see a player select the giant river demon, ‘Unbench the Kench’ has become a well-known meme among the LoL community. It also has many hilarious variations including ‘unmute the newt,’ ‘unload the toad,’ and ‘permit the Kermit’ in reference to his amphibious appearance (even if he does also look a lot like a catfish).
This is not the first time a reference to League of Legends has been slipped in to a Valorant map, despite Riot’s insistence the two worlds do not overlap. Early in its beta phase, eagle-eyed fans spotted boxes of crab-like creatures in the market area of Split, a nod to the Rift Scuttlers that can be battled in LoL.
TAHM BENCH?? TAHM KENCH??? BENCH TAHM KENCH??? BENCH KENCH TAHM KENCH BENCH KENCH TAHM pic.twitter.com/0prda9urB1
— Riot Bruh (@Riot_Bruh) June 2, 2020
Fans will likely be combing any new map release from here on in for more references to the LoL universe. Maybe with both easter eggs so far including two water-dwelling creatures this will be a theme Riot continues.