Meet Milio, the friendly and fiery wizard who will be League of Legends’ next addition to the Champion roster.
Milio is a glass cannon backer who empowers his allies and works well in pairs that bully their way into the lane. He is best used in the back line of his team and pumps them with movement speed, attack range, healing and cleansing in skirmishes.
As a character, Milio is a 12-year-old mage from Ixtal, with his talent surpassed only by his boundless positivity. Milio keeps an eternal, anthropomorphic flame he calls “Fuemigo” in his backpack, a “furnasita” of his own design.
Unlike the rigid and methodical Qiyana, Milio displays ixtal’s elementary axioms in a fun and lively way, not bound by sharp scientific principles. Milio travels to Ixacoan, Ixtal’s capital, to be tested by the Vidalion and become a Yun Tal (an elemental master and ixtal’s ruling class) to regain his family’s honor.
Narrative writer Elyse Lemoine said: “He’s very playful, very fun and very intuitive, which is the opposite of the way Ixtal does magic. For them, elemental magic is science and it is approached in a very rigid and formulaic way.
“Milio has a little more flexibility because he tends to just figure things out on his own rather than sticking to a rigid formula. He just doesn’t have the patience to learn.”
Lemoine continued: “That Milio is this optimistic, upbeat 12-year-old who sees the good in everything really positions him as someone who can break that cycle of generational trauma and help his family heal.”
Let’s take a look at Milio’s gameplay.
Milio’s passive skill is “Fired Up,” and means that allies affected by one of Milio’s other skills receive a buff, which deals them extra damage on their next attack or damaging skill, and applies a burn to the target.
Milio’s Q ability is “Ultra Mega Fire Kick. Milio kicks a fuemigo ball, which recoils and stuns the first enemy hit. In addition, it bounces up on hit before falling down and doing AOE damage and a slow.
Milio’s W skill, “Cozy Campfire” creates an AOE zone that follows the ally closest to it when cast. Allies within the zone are healed over time and gain additional attack range. It also constantly applies Milio’s passive.
Milio’s E ability is “Warm Hugs,” a shielding ability for allies that also provides a temporary movement speed buff. Milio can apply this ability himself.
Milio’s R skill is ‘Breath of Life,’ an ultimate cast that cleanses crowd control effects from allies in a large area. It also provides healing for allies. Milio cannot cleanse himself with this ability when he is crowd controlled.
Despite being a fire-based wizard, Milio stands out from current Champions such as Brand or Annie by presenting a warmer and friendlier version of the element. This sense of warmth and friendliness was something Riot’s game design team wanted to capitalize on.
Myles Sandholm, the Champion designer for Milio, said: “One: he has a lot of energy. I wanted to try to make it feel like there’s a lot of excitement in his actions.
“But two makes him feel, to a certain extent, a little annoying like a sassy younger brother.
“The way he ends up dealing with you is that he won’t kill you outright, but he will continue to annoy you until you get so fed up that you try to kill him.”
Milio’s art team worked hard to make sure his skills felt cozy and welcoming rather than harsh. Concept artist Nancy Kim stated: “We said, ‘How do we convey a character who is not aggressive and has this kind of healing, gentle flame?’
“We decided to use a lot of round shapes and made sure there were no spikes or things like that coming out of him.”
Riot also felt it was important for Milio to offer an accurate Latino representation, so they worked with Riot Unidos (the resource group for Latin American workers) to make sure the Champion feels authentic and matches Ixtal’s fantastic aesthetic, which are inspired by some Latin American cultures.
Riot Unidos became an integral part of the conception process for Milio, giving Kim feedback on everything from dancing, nose shape and hair texture.
Similarly, it was important to composer J.D. Spears that Milio’s Champion theme represented these cultures and was recognizable and uniquely Runeterran.
He said: “I knew I wanted to bring in some really unique and less common instruments from those regions.
“Every time I do something like this, I feel like I have to lean on people who are experts in those areas.”
This led to collaborations with percussionist Alex Acuña and flutist Pedro Eustache to bring their own flair to the piece.
Spears said: “The musicians brought so much of their own performance … they brought so much character to the piece that didn’t exist before.
“These are world-class musicians and they became a part of Milio’s theme in a way I couldn’t have planned.”
Milio’s release will coincide with the upcoming Faerie Court event, which has already unveiled skins for Kalista and Karma. Milio will join them, with his debut skin Faerie Court Milio (1350RP).