Want to know why Zeri and Neon are so similar? There’s a good reason for that – they shared a design team at Riot deliberately.

Things seemed a little too convenient. Riot announced Zeri and Neon one after another. The character even shared some theming and a voice actor. People said that Riot simply copied from each other, and it turns out that that is not even that far from the truth.

Announced in a blog, Riot revealed that Zeri and Neon did in fact share a design team. That's why their abilities, focused on speed and movement around the map, and electrically charged shots all seem so similar.

Sharing a design team

"Beyond gunplay, Zeri’s development started with another goal: Making a League champ and a VALORANT agent in tandem," Riot said in a blog on the topic. "Around 20% of League players also play VAL, so we wanted to see if we could make a set of characters that felt similar so you could run it down on your main in both games. Which honestly was kind of a challenge."

“I worked closely with Riot Sojyoo and one of the senior concept artists on VALORANT, Konstantin ‘Zoonoid’ Maystrenko to brainstorm a lot of different ideas,” Riot concept art lead Gem “Lonewingy” Lim said. “We had so many ideas! Origami paper magic, graffiti, fog and soot, light magic, liquid metal and mercury, human printer, baseball girl, VR gamer girl… And then someone suggested a bioluminescent, electric eel girl, which we all thought was really cool.”

The community noticed - Zeri and Neon the same person?

Indeed, this similarity was quickly pointed out by the community, especially on YouTube, where many compilation videos comparing the heroes were put together. This one below is perhaps the best one, though.

Additionally, Vanille Velasquez is the voice actor for both characters. While many suggested that Riot was copying their own design homework, it's now clear that that was on purpose, and not just a "ripoff" as some suggested.


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