The untold truth of League of Legends



League of Legends has over 100 different champions to master. Obviously, some pretty standard archetypes exist in the game: Garen is a valiant knight, Nocturne is a shadowy nightmare, and so on. For some of their other characters, however, Riot has drawn inspiration from popular fantasy stories, real-world fighting masters, and some even more bizarre places.

Aatrox, a soul trapped inside a sword, may seem reminiscent of the bonkers story of the Soul Calibur series. Mike Laygo, senior animator for Riot, actually stated on Reddit that the character’s animations and movements were somewhat-based on both Sauron and the Balrog from Lord of the Rings. Fitting, considering Laygo also worked on Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth.

Fiora, known as the “Grand Duelist” and fencer extraordinaire, probably comes from a bit more obscure stock. She seems to have much in common with 14th-Century legend Fiore dei Liberi, a fencing master who authored a fighting manual called The Flower of Battle. His book is one of the world’s oldest surviving fencing manuals.

Not every hero comes from a legendary warrior, fictional or otherwise. Yorick, the gravedigger, is an easy reference to Hamlet. Heimerdinger, genius inventor, has taken his name from two genius physicists: Robert Oppenheimer and Erwin Schrodinger. Hell: Teemo, with his giant, stupid, smiling face, is just an anagram of the word “emote.”

Moral of the story: screw Teemo.



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Hilary Duff pregnant with second child



Hilary Duff is pregnant!

On Friday, June 8, 2018, the Lizzie McGuire alum took to Instagram to announce that she’s expecting her second child, a baby girl.

“Guess what guys! @matthewkoma and I made a little princess of our own and we couldn’t be more excited!!!!!!” the proud mom wrote, captioning a sweet snapshot of herself with boyfriend Matthew Koma

This will be the on-and-off couple’s first child together. Duff, 30, is already mom to a 6-year-old son, Luca, whom she shares with ex-husband Mike Comrie

For his part, Koma, 31, shared the same photo, writing, “We made a baby girl! She will be as beautiful and sweet as her mother… @hilaryduff another incredible chapter begins.”

Earlier this week, the Younger star opened up about her current relationship while speaking with E! News. “I got a really nice guy. He’s so great,” she said, adding that he recently won over her mom, as well. “She was like, ‘I just love him. I love him so much. He’s the best.’ I’m like, ‘I’m here. I exist, you know? You’re always on my side!’ She’s such a traitor.”

The exciting pregnancy news comes just one day after Duff’s older sister, Haylie, announced that she and fiancé Matt Rosenberg had welcomed their second child together. 

“She arrived June 5th, and brought all her magic with her! Ryan is the happiest big sister & we are finally a family of 4!” the 33-year-old mom-of-two wrote on Instagram, captioning a sweet pic of the couple’s 2-year-old daughter Ryan holding her new little sister. “Meet our littlest one… Lulu Gray Rosenberg!”

Following the baby announcement, Hilary gushed over her niece on social media. Captioning an adorable snapshot of little Lulu, the former child star wrote, “Beautiful LuLu welcome sweet girl ? My new niece has arrived! @haylieduff she’s perfection.”

Congratulations to the happy couple!





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Brody Jenner is disappointed Caitlyn missed his wedding



It sounds like Brody Jenner is not happy with a certain member of the Kardashian-Jenner family.

During an Us Weekly exclusive, published on Friday, June 8, 2018, the Hills alum’s mom, Linda Thompson, opened up about Caitlyn Jenner missing her son’s wedding last weekend.

“[Brody] was very disappointed,” Thompson told the magazine. Explaining that it was a “last-minute” cancellation that happened during the “last couple of weeks,” she added, “It’s something he’s come to expect sadly.”

However, the noticeable absence didn’t ruin the family fun, as Thompson went on to say that the destination wedding “was 10 days of nonstop activity and surfers.” She called the ceremony itself “fantastic,” noting, “We just had a great time.”

As Nicki Swift previously reported, Brody tied the knot with longtime girlfriend Kaitlynn Carter at the Nihi Sumba resort in Indonesia on Saturday, June 2. Roughly 50 guests made the trip, including Brody’s older brother, Brandon. However, Caitlyn instead attended a work engagement at an HIV/AIDS fundraiser in Vienna, Austria the night before.

At the time, an Entertainment Tonight source claimed that the former Olympian, who previously attended Carter’s bridal shower in March, was planning to throw a party in celebration of the newlyweds’ nuptials once they returned home to Los Angeles. While the party will go on after the couple’s honeymoon in the Maldives, Thompson told Us Weekly, “But I’m giving it. Caitlyn’s not. I thought, ‘Oh, that’s interesting.'”

When asked if the I Am Cait alum will go, she simply said, “I don’t know. We’ll see. I guess. Unless work comes up or something.” 

Meanwhile, Brody’s half-sisters, Kendall and Kylie Jenner, were also no-shows at his wedding. While they both apparently neglected to RSVP to the big day, Thompson said they’ll “hopefully” be able to go to the second celebration. “I’m sure they’ll be invited,” she said.

Jenner, 34, and Carter, 29, have been romantically linked since 2014. The reality TV star proposed to his blogger girlfriend in May 2016 during a trip to the same resort on Nihi Sumba. While speaking with People just ahead of their wedding, the pair opened up about the life they’ve built together over the last four years. “Hopefully not too much changes,” Jenner said. “But having the ring and the commitment, that’s really exciting.”





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Celebs who can’t stand Howard Stern



In March 2017, a photo of actor Russell Crowe began making the rounds. It featured him kicking around a rugby ball, enjoying a spot of warm weather in Australia. The photo made it look like Crowe, who was dressed in a baggy tank top and shorts, had packed on a few pounds since 1992’s Romper Stomper. The tabloids subsequently had a field day, with Page Six nicknaming the Gladiator star “Maximus drink-imus.” Multiple outlets reported that Howard Stern called out Crowe’s weight on his show, emphasizing that, while he put in the required effort “to stay thin and in shape,” Crowe had simply become a “big fatso.”

Once this was brought to Crowe’s attention by a concerned fan on Twitter, the actor shot down Stern’s taunting commentary with a tweet of his own, writing, “I can bench press young Howard … he cannot say the same.” Since so many people made a fuss about Stern’s coarse comments, the radio host felt inclined to set the record straight in a subsequent April broadcast, crowing, “I didn’t body-shame Russell Crowe!” 

For the record, Stern’s original commentary included such observations as, “I’ve met [Crowe] personally — very nice guy. But he’s big and fat.”





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What you may not know about Anthony Bourdain



When he wasn’t traveling more than 200 days per year for his CNN hosting duties, Bourdain would spend quality time with his daughter, Ariane, from his second marriage to ex-wife, Ottavia Busia (pictured). Bourdain even co-wrote a cookbook in 2016 titled Appetites: A Cookbook, which featured all of the meals he enjoyed preparing for Ariane.

During an interview with The Takeout, Bourdain said his daughter was a “very harsh critic,” despite how much he loved whipping up her favorite dishes. “You know, I put a tiny tiny little bit of nutmeg in my macaroni and cheese and she did not enjoy that. She called me on it right away,” he said. According to Bourdain, Ariane has a “very acute palate” and could immediately tell if he happened to “over-salt something.”

“If there’s any variance between a dish that she liked last time and how it’s done today she’ll be like, ‘Nah, not eating it, there’s too much pepper in that,'” Bourdain said. 



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The most extreme gun violence in video games



Resident Evil 7 makes an appearance in this roundup even though guns aren’t as prevalent as they are in, say, GTA. Like the RE games of yore, ammunition is extremely hard to come by in this installment, which means you’re only pulling out your firearm when you desperately need to neutralize a threat. And since a threat could lurk right up around the next corner, or could burst through the door when you’re least expecting it, RE7 leaves you feeling constantly on edge.

It’s this feeling, along with the eeriness of the setting and the weapons you have at your disposal, that makes Resident Evil such a violent game. Whether you’re using a pistol, a shotgun, or a flamethrower, you’re often firing away in a panicked state after being happened upon by an enemy. And once you’ve shot your way through your target or burned them into a still-smoldering heap, you’re left alone with a corpse, the quiet, and an opportunity to absorb what just occurred.

Gun violence in games doesn’t always come in the form of a large-scale shootout. Sometimes it happens before you realize what you’ve done.



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Game trailers that lied to your face



Hideo Kojima makes trailers featuring flaming sky-whales swallowing helicopters, plasters on quotes from Roman philosophers, and brands them with fake game studio logos. He’s certainly known for his out-there ideas, and he absolutely loves to keep his fans guessing.

Never was this more notable than when, in May 2000 at a small press gathering at Universal Studios, Kojima unveiled the nine-minute trailer for Metal Gear Solid 2, the sequel to Konami’s most successful game ever.

It displayed absurdly impressive graphics, sound, and enemy AI, and the attendees could scarcely believe that this was gameplay from a PlayStation 2. But Kojima insisted it was, and he was absolutely telling the truth. The actual misleading part of the trailer? Snake being the main character.

The beloved, grizzled hero from the first game had quickly become an espionage icon, and fans couldn’t wait to play as him again, with Kojima happy to let them believe that that’s exactly what they would be doing. In actual fact, however, once players had made it through the intro shown in the trailer, they ended up taking the reigns of unknown pretty-boy Raiden: the antithesis of Snake in almost every way. Gamers couldn’t believe what Kojima had pulled.

The gamble paid off though, with initial sales exceeding expectations, and critics hailing it as a masterpiece.



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Games you didn’t realize were part of a series



When game critics talk about the greatest RPGs ever made, the original PlayStation’s Xenogears often shows up as part of the conversation. It was brought into the world by Square in 1998, and it had the distinct honor of starting out first as the original premise for Final Fantasy VII and, later, the sequel to SNES classic Chrono Trigger. Eventually, though, it was allowed to become its own game, and in time, it achieved a devoted following that it still enjoys to this day.

But did you know that Xenogears was not the only game in the series? It may seem that way due to the first game’s immense popularity. But there are other games that take place in that same world, and some of them have been released more recently than you may think.

All of the Xenosaga games, which include three mainline entries and a mobile title, are also part of the Xeno universe at large. And the Xenoblade Chronicles titles, which got their start on the Wii and appeared most recently on the Nintendo Switch, are also part of Xeno canon.

Simply put: if you see Xeno in the title of a game, there’s a good chance it’s a descendant of Xenogears.



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Video game characters who are still missing today



It’s safe to say that Rare was on its game in the ’90s and early 2000s. In addition to the already-mentioned GoldenEye 007 and Perfect Dark games, Rare also had a string of hits that included all of the Donkey Kong Country titles, the Banjo Kazooie games, and one game in particular that was an absolute shock to find on a Nintendo console: Conker’s Bad Fur Day.

Conker wasn’t the type of video game character you’d expect to find on the Nintendo 64, not with mascots like Mario and Yoshi setting the tone. But there he was in 2001, drinking up a storm, using foul language, and wandering into enough adult-themed situations that the game earned an M rating from the ESRB. After Rare’s sale to Microsoft in 2002, the game got an upgraded port in the form of 2005’s Conker: Live and Reloaded for the Xbox. But since then? Very little.

Conker hasn’t showed up in a game of his own since that 2005 title. He did make a guest appearance in Microsoft’s Project Spark, a game creation tool that launched on the Xbox One platform. But Microsoft ended up canning that idea after its leadership reboot in 2014, leaving Conker effectively homeless.

As we already mentioned, Rare is plenty busy, so the chances of a new Conker game don’t seem good right now.



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The real reasons battle royale games are dominating



Though the series got its start all the way back in 2003 (when World War II was still raging), Call of Duty conquered the industry in 2007 with its fourth iteration, Modern Warfare. Aside from bringing the action into a contemporary setting, Modern Warfare also introduced a number of RPG-style elements into its multiplayer: earned experience points, loot, and perks. Combined with the game’s frenetic pace, this concoction blew gamers away and propelled CoD into the leading shooter series in the world.

Other games challenged CoD, most notably DICE’s Battlefield series, but the basic outlines of these other games came to closely mirror CoD. How could they not? The sales numbers were there. Everybody wanted in on the action. And for ten long years, that has more or less been the state of the shooter scene.

But a decade is a long time to hold the throne, and gamers were ready for a new style. For one thing, a whole generation was coming up that had never known anything else, and was ready for the next spin on the genre. For another, audiences get bored when they see too much of the same thing. Like, say, World War II shooters back in the early 2000s. Call of Duty was the franchise that saw the WWII exhaustion coming, and changed course. But this time around, Call of Duty is the course that the market wanted to turn from.

Battle royale came at just the right time. It was the new direction everyone had been looking for.



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