A Closer Look At LoL’s Summoner’s Cup

I have spent a lot of time looking at the trophy you get for winning at the League of Legends World Championships [official site]. It’s called the Summoner’s Cup (Summoners being Riot’s term for people who play League of Legends) and it’s this incredibly heavy blue, silver and gold affair. I wanted to find out a bit more about it in advance of today’s finals so I got in touch with the silversmiths at Thomas Lyte who created it as well as doing some poking about of my own. Let’s take a closer look!

  • The Summoner’s Cup is the winners’ trophy for the League of Legends World Championship. Presented annually, the Cup symbolises a mastery of the game as well as superiority over the other teams who competed. I’d also like to say that the fact it takes five people to lift is symbolic of the teamwork required to reach the number one spot but that was more an accidental byproduct of Riot apparently not really taking the weight of the thing into consideration.
  • According to one of the expert silversmiths at Thomas Lyte, making the cup took in excess of 300 hours – the equivalent of 25 working days – using a team of eight people.
  • It’s constructed from brass, pewter, silver and gold – those blue accents are made from glass. Apparently the sculpting was the most challenging part due to the complexity of the design.
  • The cup weighs around 70 pounds (that’s just under 32kg). I wasn’t kidding about watching people struggle to lift it. It was actually sent back to Thomas Lyte for a spot of weight loss. One of their silversmiths explained that “the various metals used, combined with the large size of the Cup does make it very heavy. In order to overcome this we hollowed out the figures.”
  • If my lore is correct, those figures – hooded mysterious folk clutching their blue glass orbs – are representations of summoners. League has stepped away from the summoner conceit in its lore (it used to be that you assumed the role of this all powerful puppetmaster who controlled champions in order to help settle disputes) but it still uses the word summoner to refer to its players and that hooded summoner figure is a key part of the World Championship branding. You can also see it referenced in last year’s esports-as-all-hell video for the Worlds theme, Warriors, thanks to this dude in a hoodie:
  • The Summoner’s Cup is the sort of trophy where the winners get their names added and it gets passed along the next year. With that process (plus all the travel miles the trophy clocks up) it’s bound to get a few dings and scratches. If that ever happens the trophy can go back to its makers for a spot of restoration work. As per Thomas Lyte, “There can be some slight wear and tear over the years, however the beauty of silverware means any damage can always be restored by a skilled silversmith.”
  • I did some calculations and, provided they’re all correct, I think the Summoner’s Cup could hold 3,327 pieces of candy corn.

    1. Munin says:

      I liked the opening of the NYT article:
      “When the company behind one of the world’s most popular video games, League of Legends, started organizing tournaments it had to design a championship trophy. That proved trickier than it sounds. A trophy should be grand and gleaming — that much seemed obvious. But nobody at Riot Games, which owns League of Legends, focused on a pretty basic question: How much should the trophy weigh?

      While there are many correct answers, it turns out that “about 70 pounds” isn’t one of them.”

    2. Snargelfargen says:

      I ran into two nice fellows photographing the European LoL cup poised on the railing of a bridge in Berlin this summer. It was quite a bit more modest (I thought it was plastic to be honest), but the photographers got rather nervous when I posed beside it for a picture and pointed out that it would only take one slip to send it plunging into the canal below.

      In the remote chance you’re reading this, thanks guys! My LoL-playing cousin really got a kick out of the photo.

    3. Lars Westergren says:

      Interesting read. I like that you take some unexpected topics for your articles, Pip.