LoL Arcane: What the final trailer tells us about Piltover and Zaun

·Contributor
·4 min read

The highly-anticipated premiere of Arcane, the League of Legends (LoL) animated series on Netflix, on 6 October is almost here. 

Created by Riot Games in collaboration with Paris-based animation studio Fortiche, Arcane takes place in Runeterra, the LoL universe, and will center on the rivalry between Jinx and Vi, two of the game's most iconic champions. However, there’s more to this series than just their story.

Arcane will also be tackling social and political issues through the bitter struggle of the twin cities of Piltover and Zaun, where much of the series will be taking place. 

With the show's recently-released final trailer shining a bigger spotlight on Piltover and Zaun, we want to help you get acquainted with the setting, the champions residing in it, and what its role is in the world of Arcane:

Piltover: A City of Progress

The city of Piltover is a shining metropolis of progress and prosperity that stands tall over Zaun. (Screenshot courtesy of Riot Games/Netflix)
The city of Piltover is a shining metropolis of progress and prosperity that stands tall over Zaun. (Screenshot courtesy of Riot Games/Netflix)

Piltover is a city known for technological advancement and is home to the brightest inventors in Runeterra. There are many champions hailing from this city, including Ezreal and Seraphine, but the ones that are confirmed to be in Arcane are Heimerdinger, Caitlyn, Jayce and Vi. We also see Viktor in Piltover in most of the trailers.

The city is dominated by a societal elite dressed in fine clothes and living in opulence. To that point, they celebrate an annual “Progress Day” to give the city’s brightest scientists a chance show off their latest and best inventions. In the trailer, we see Jayce on the podium announcing that the “Future is Bright”.

But it seems that the city has lost its way — letting power and prestige come before anything else. 

It’s still unclear as to how this was so, except that we know that the city underneath them — Zaun — is suffering, while they continue to live in luxury. 

The hubris and negligence of the citizens of Piltover seem to be what is fueling its conflict with Zaun, though a deeper reason for the struggle between the twin cities may yet be unveiled over the course of the show.

Zaun: A City with Nothing

In stark contrast to Piltover, Zaun is a dark and squalid place where oppression runs rampant. (Screenshot courtesy of Riot Games/Netflix)
In stark contrast to Piltover, Zaun is a dark and squalid place where oppression runs rampant. (Screenshot courtesy of Riot Games/Netflix)

Zaun is a huge city tucked away in the cliffs and valleys that cut through Piltover. 

Very little light gets to this city that seems to be in a perpetual state of squalor and disrepair, with Silco even mentioning that “there’s never enough to go around”. 

The people of Zaun are poor, and many have to find a way to survive, some through the black market, while others resort to dangerous experimentation.

Despite lacking resources, Zaun isn't lagging too far behind Piltover in terms of technological advancement. 

The reason for the city’s current situation is yet to be known, but all we know is that the people of Zaun are set on fighting for their rights at all costs.

Champions that come from this city include Warwick, Singed, Blitzcrank, Dr Mundo, and Ekko, but in Arcane, only Jinx and Viktor are the confirmed characters to appear.

The Devs’ Perspective

In the dev diary released by Riot on 1 November, Arcane creators Alex “Skribbles” Yee and Christian “Praeco” Linke explained why they wrote about the political situation between Piltover and Zaun from that perspective. 

“It’s easy to be influenced by the perspective that you have and really lack an understanding of what it’s like on the other side,” Praeco said.

Arcane aims to show that situations like these have deeper issues within them, with each side having their own merits and flaws.

“No one should be a stock villain. Everyone should feel that the troubles they’re facing are complicated and don’t have easy answers and easy outs,” Skribbles explained.

Arcane will premiere on Netflix on 6 November at 5:30 pm PDT or 7 November at 8:30 am SGT. 

The show will be the first Netflix series that is available on Twitch for co-streaming. The series will also be available in China via Tencent Video as part of Tencent's partnership with Riot Games.

Arcane will be releasing in a series of acts, with each act including three episodes. The first act will release on 6 November, shortly after the grand finals of this year's LoL World Championship.

The second act will then follow on 13 November with the third and final act releasing on 20 November.

For everything you need to know about Arcane, check here.

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