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Character Insights - Yasuo 'League of Legends

Yasuo undoubtedly surprised all the players of that era with his exaggerated highs and lows.

By Peter UriPublished 2 months ago 3 min read

Yasuo, one of the most renowned characters in League of Legends, hails from Ionia. Whether considering his backstory or his skill set, Yasuo undoubtedly stood as one of the best characters in League of Legends' history, almost without equal. For seasoned players, his fluid and masterful gameplay, and for beginners, his aggressive playstyle offered everyone a thrilling experience during that era. To this day, Yasuo remains a hero that evokes nostalgia for a segment of the player base.

Early Concept Designs

Background and Design As early as 2012, the development team aimed to design a character based on the concept of a Japanese samurai, specifically a ronin, rather than a "sword-wielding old man." In the initial storyline, Yasuo did not fight with Yone. When Yone learned of Yasuo's innocence, he chose to end his own life. However, after much deliberation, the team decided on a different narrative direction, as such an ending might not resonate with readers from diverse cultural backgrounds. Moreover, as the climax of the story, a battle scene was far more compelling than a suicide. Yasuo’s earliest concept art did not receive positive feedback, as many people disliked the idea of a down-and-out samurai (this concept art even featured short hair). In terms of voice and visual design, the studio strived to balance ruggedness and severity, aiming to avoid creating a character that felt overly heavy for all audiences, even though it was already quite intense.

Yasuo

The Ronin’s Tale As a sword master skilled in wind techniques, Yasuo could not tolerate using his martial skills solely to protect the Elders. He yearned for combat and to showcase his life’s mastery, so he went to the battlefield, defying his mission and becoming a traitor. No one could absolve him. The young sword master, filled with anger and sorrow, had no choice but to flee, ultimately having to kill his brother in his quest to find the true culprit.

Yasuo & Yone

The wandering journey grew increasingly painful until he met Taliyah, the Stoneweaver. Taking her as a disciple directly alleviated Yasuo's loneliness and pain. After they parted ways, Yasuo chose to return to his homeland. In the council hall, he learned that his master had died due to an incident caused by Riven. Yasuo judged Riven and himself, but even so, he still found no inner peace. His master's and Yone’s deaths were his inescapable burdens, his obsession, and his nightmare. Leaving his homeland, Yasuo went to the Spirit Blossom Festival in Weh’le. There, he met Yone, who had come to hunt demons. Seeing his brother again, Yasuo thought Yone would seek revenge, but Yone left with only a bitter blessing. Thus, Yasuo bid farewell to his homeland and headed to Bilgewater. After everything had settled, Yasuo knew no one could restrain him anymore, but his guilt never dissipated. Homeless and directionless, he continued his long journey of redemption.

After becoming accustomed to the wandering life, Yasuo left Ionia, traveling to places he had never been, continuing his long path of atonement. His journey will not end, as the patience and wisdom of his master and brother now pave the way beneath his feet. The once young and arrogant sword master, while leaving his homeland, walks the path of his predecessors’ legacy. Yasuo will eventually return to Ionia. All he has experienced, and his reconciliation with his past obsessions, echo Yone’s words at the Spirit Blossom Festival: “The wind will return to its path.”

Extra "Yasuo" is a Japanese name that was quite popular fifty years ago, meaning "peaceful man." Compared to other candidates like Hayate ("gale"), Sho ("shore"), or Tachikaze ("sword wind"), this name seemed too plain. However, the Chinese server's phonetic translation gave him a cool and unique name, which, upon reflection, seems irreplaceable.

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    Peter UriWritten by Peter Uri

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