Riot's 'Arcane' is the first streaming series to win an animated Emmy award

'It’s a big deal for us as we come from video games.'


Netflix's League of Legends-based animated series Arcane has won an Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program, becoming the first streaming series to win in that category. It beat out some much better known competition, including Bob's Burgers, Rick and Morty, The Simpsons and What If...? hosted by the late Chadwick Boseman. "It’s a big deal for us as we come from video games. It’s been amazing to see the world embrace our characters and our stories," said Arcane co-creator Christian Linke.

The series stars Ella Purnell (Jinx), Hailee Steinfeld (Vi) and Katie Leung (Caitlyn). It was picked up for a second season by Netflix last winter, suggesting that the streamer was willing to embrace high-budget game-based productions. The first season boasted nearly 34.2 million viewing hours in its first week on Netflix's top 10 chart, putting it second in views at that time. It also received very positive reviews from both critics and audiences.

Riot Games had already worked closely with Arcane animation studio Fortiche, but acquired a significant, non-controlling stake earlier in March. The companies worked together to introduce Jinx to League of Legends in 2013, and plan to join forces on "other to-be-announced" projects on top of Arcane, though no details have been released yet.

Meanwhile, What If...? didn't leave the Creative Arts Emmys empty-handed, as Boseman received a posthumous award for his voiceover work across the first season. "What a beautifully aligned moment it really is that one of the last things he would work on would not only be revisiting a character that was so important to him... but also that it be an exploration of something new, diving into a new potential future," said his wife Taylor Simone Ledward in accepting the award.