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League of Draven is a photoshop meme involving characters and people having their faces replaced by Draven's, a peculiar character from video game League of Legends, usually sporting a pretty long mustache and a grin.
The photoshop trend, first restricted to League of Legends champions, evolved beyond the game to include various facebombing pictures, image macros and video parodies.
Welcome to the League of Draven
From the late May to the early June 2012, Riot Games, creator of League of Legends, announced a new playable champion for their upcoming patch. On june 4th, a champion spotlight video was released, presenting that new character before its official release on June 6th.
In game, Draven's humorous catchphrases such as Welcome to the League of Draven and his special way of spelling his name Draaaaaven would greatly cacth attention among fans.
On June 13th, Reddit user arions made a post on the /r/leagueoflegends subreddit titled Welcome to the League of Draven, which linked to an Imgur album that featured Draven's face photoshopped onto various characters from the game.
As of June 2013, the album has received over 8 700 000 views. The post itself attracted more than 400 comments, many of them referencing another big photoshop phenomenon at that time: Nigel Thornberry.
As early as June 13th and 14th, threads on GameFAQs and the official League of Legends forums were made, linking to the gallery.
In the following months, Tumblr accounts about the phenomenon were registered as well as a /r/leagueofdraven sub-reddit and a /r/draven on Reddpics.com.
In July 2012, Deviant Art user ~armice started hosting a complete gallery on the meme.
Reference in League of Legends
Since his release as a champion, Draven has been considered to be OP, that is to say, very powerful, because of his passive which allowed him to make whatever he hits bleed to death following a critical hit or the use of his Spinning Axe skill. Because of that, he became a formidable and feared champion, especially in the early phases of a game.
As a matter of fact, Riot Games released a patch (3.9) in June 2013, set to take effect on July 10th 2013, that completely changed Draven's passive skill. It was renamed League of Draven and featured a cropped picture of his grinning face. Even if there may be a reference to the meme itself, it was first made as a reference to Draven's background in the game in which he is depicted as a narcissistic executioner who is fond of himself and craves for recognition.
fn9 Youtube – 3.9 Patch preview