As the title suggests, I'm finding myself a bit perplexed when it comes to the new Varus Lore update, not necessarily because of what it includes, but more so about what it doesn't. When I saw there was a big Varus Lore update, my first question was whether or not something was actually happening to the lad. But after I read it, and after seeing what mostly seems to have amounted to no new plans to implement changes to Varus' Visuals, Voiceover or Gameplay, I really have to say I'm confused about the timing.
Now usually when say something like A New Dawn comes around or other cinematics that League has done in the past, they've been pretty standard fare. Show off some champions doing some cool stuff, all good. But what makes this whole Varus event so odd to me, is that this is essentially a sort of "grand reopening" of this champion, as it completely upends his previous lore, and came out with a lot of lore content (New bio/2 comics/Music video/etc), compared to everything else we've gotten from riot previously, single-champion focus like this is usually tied to big news for that champion, and I suppose if you want to say that Varus' retcon'd sexuality is "big news" then I suppose that's good?
Now in regards to the lack of support, because this is my main gripe here, but without any major changes to Varus as a result of this change, well, we end up with another awkward situation where the champion hardly resembles their in-universe adaptation. The two lovers who make up Varus' new Kayne-esque inner conflict are a massive point in Varus' new lore, because let's face it, now Varus is comprised of three separate entities fighting for control. In game however, this is going to be seen......nowhere. So you're basically making a big declaration of Varus' new identity, but not even bothering to make him consistent with the new identity you've made a big deal of giving him. If the lovers are important to Varus' identity, and everything you've put out says they are, they need to be represented in game, because it doesn't make sense otherwise.
Finally, to take the piss out on this whole representation deal, By not making any changes to Varus' character while upending his lore to be more inclusive, you're (for the moment at the least) trying to have your cake and eat it too. You get to claim that oh yes Varus is technically a gay character (2?), but you don't actually have to deal with any potential consequences outside of the ongoing outrage regarding the new lore on the boards. Anyone who doesn't check the lore has no idea, and not in the good "They're characters first and gay second" kind of deal, but in the sense that they just aren't there. Kai and Val don't exist in the game right now. They're new characters who are part of a revamp'd old character, but they don't exist. Essentially right now Kai and Val are about as in the game as Friendly Fieram from Orianna's flavor story. Essentially you've made a gay character, two technically, but you didn't put them in the game. But want to say you have. You've left them all in Limbo.
Finally, because I feel like I have to comment on this because of course I do, the whole deal with Varus' retcon is more confusing to me, and as a gay man myself, I'd have much rather had either a new character introduce these concepts in a subtle way, or had a character who didn't have their sexual preferences outright in their lore revealed. I don't mind the new story with Varus, and I think a lot of the concepts are pretty solid, but when so many champions don't have any defined sexual preferences, I find it curious that you decided to retcon one of the few whose lore explicitly states a love interest. Personally, I'm a support main, so I don't really care that much about Varus' lore beyond my interest in narrative and world building, but I definitely think that no matter the choices made, and while their was a lot to digest here, the Varus lore event feels hollow in execution.
Either way, Thanks anyone willing to read my 4am ramblings. Have a nice day! and I suppose let me know what you think of the execution of this event, since there are plenty of discussions on whether it was right or not to change his lore in the first place.