There’s one burning question on my mind when it comes to League of Legends.
Not “Who is the most underrated top laner in Djibouti?” or “What are the odds that Team Schwifty beats Team SmegmAIDS on account of a roster change at the Wisconsin Truffle Butter Finals?”
Interesting questions, sure. But what I really wanna know is: Who is Helmet Bro?
Yes, that little guy you see on all the Summoner spell icons.
And in myriad official Riot Games videos and art pieces. The man’s got a bit of a cult following. Fans have dubbed him Marrak Helmen; they’ve devised their own lore and rules for him based on that one video, for cryin’ out loud. Such intriguing celebrity brings about equally intriguing questions:
- Should Helmet Bro be the subject of such adulation?
- Is he really some unyielding hero that somehow makes it out alive time and time again in the face of certain death?
- Are there a legion of Helmet Bros all identical in appearance and demeanor like Nurse Joy from of Pokemon fame?
- Or is he merely a placeholder? A human extra that Riot trots out in facsimile form to glorify the spotlighted Champion and take a beating like the League of Legends equivalent of a Star Trek Redshirt or a pro-wrestling jobber?
First, let’s take a look at what might be this polarizing figure’s most renowned appearance:
The League of Legends video where most players took notice of Helmet Bro was in “Vel’Koz: First Contact.”
Helmet Bro is able to dodge Vel’Koz’ first energy attack only to be caught beneath the swell of an impending Mind-Flay, a look of horror stamped onto his face. Surely, there’s no way he survived such a gruesome fate… is there?
Absurd Durability? Or Many Demises?
That’s when League of Legends fans started noticing Helmet Bro’s past encounters. He can be seen here taking on the immense Malphite with some of his comrades:
And then in a more precarious spot with Sion:
Sure looks like an enormous, undead juggernaut about to stomp a mudhole into Helmet Bro as seen through Marrak’s point of view — judging by the shape of the helm outline, doesn’t it? That’s because it is — a fact confirmed by Riot in the League of Legends subreddit.
Alright, fine. Helmet Bro somehow survived that Sion-stomping by the skin of his gonads. People less resilient than Helmet Bro have gotten lucky in the face of death, right? The Kog’Maw splash portrays a scenario even more disconcerting though:
Oh no. Uh… where is Helmet Bro? Melted down by Kog’Maw’s caustic spittle, his still corroding helmet the only vestige of a valiant warrior who now serves as a meal in the “Belly of the Abyss”? Maybe. Or maybe he found safe haven at the last second in this cave near the Razorbeaks (who were also seen in the Kog’Maw splash), his helmet serving as the poignant reminder that though you may strike him down…
He’ll return to eat damage another day. Like this sneak attack from Talon:
Helmet Bro: The Animated Series
Helmet Bro’s insane imperishability isn’t limited to just Riot splash art and videos, though. Look at the sort of punishment he endures in Helmet Bro: The Animated Series (which is created in collaboration with Riot Games via Collab Community).
Rode over roughshod by Hecarim:
Forced to endure a poison gas cloud suffering from Singed:
Trounced by demon jester Shaco‘s “Shac-in-the-Boxes,” even after an Adam West inspired comic-book sound-effect laden daydream:
Tongue-Lashed/Devoured by Tahm Kench (NSFW warning for those not ready to see animated Marrak man-ass):
Blown up in a mushroom cloud by fellow helmeted Champion, Pantheon. (Fun tongue-in-cheek origin story for Pantheon, by the way.)
Have I missed any important Helmet Bro appearances?
Is he merely a generic soldier or an in-joke with an ironic following? Or a mighty hero with no beginning/no end that rises from the ashes like a metal-clad phoenix on the regular?
Should Riot make an official splash that depicts Helmet Bro triumphing over his adversary or being saved from the certain clutches of death — or would that delegitimize the long-running streak of Marrak’s endured hardships?
Would he be too powerful if he were made into a Champion?
Sound off in the comments. And #longlivehelmetbro. Shout out/special thanks to reddit user waaaghboss82 and his “Helmet Bro Respect Thread” for inspiration and the awesome phrase “Shac-in-the-box.”