League of Legends Zaun Full Lore Breakdown

Though it’s one of the most inhospitable environments to live in, Zaun has also given us a host of beloved champions and an animated Netflix show, Arcane.

zaun city lore lol
zaun city lore lol

League of Legends is filled with rival regions, such as Demacia and Noxus, Bilgewater and the Shadow Isles, and the ones that have become famous recently, Zaun and Piltover. Now, we dive into the history of these two cities, their animosity, and what their stories have recently produced in the League of Legends universe.

What is Zaun in Arcane and League of Legends?

According to both League of Legends lore, and Riot’s hit Netflix show, Arcane, Zaun is an undercity filled with filth, poverty, corruption, and crime. It’s a hubbub of activity for anyone on the run from the law, as well as those such as Singed, who would rather have the law not looking over their shoulder.

League of Legends - Zaun

Quite a lot of champions have originated from Zaun, with all of them being a product of either their environment or the champions that live within, as is the case with Jinx and Warwick. The City of Zaun currently holds 12 League of Legends champions, with Zeri and Renata Glasc being the latest ones:

  • Blitzcrank
  • Janna
  • Jinx
  • Zeri
  • Vi
  • Renata Glasc
  • Viktor
  • Dr. Mundo
  • Ekko
  • Singed
  • Zac
  • Ziggs
League of Legends - Zaun

The toxic environment of Zaun has such a nature that it mutates the citizens living there. Such is the case with one of the newest champions in LoL, Zeri. Her abilities are electrical and magical in nature, giving her a spark surge when she gets emotional. However, where Ekko’s time-warping abilities come from technology, Zeri was born with hers, and like a certain jelly-natured jungle champion, Zeri uses her to fight crime. It certainly helps that her abilities make her so overpowered to make her one of the best ADCs in the game, currently.

Are Piltover and Zaun the same?

In League of Legends, Zaun and Piltover represent two sides of the same coin. While Zaun and Piltover are two different cities, their close proximity makes them, practically, one and the same. Which they once were, a long time ago.

League of Legends - Piltover

That is, of course, when one only takes their geographical locations in mind. Culturally, Piltover and Zuan couldn’t be more different. Where Piltover is a leading region in Riot’s League of Legends universe when it comes to progress and innovation, Zaun is the seedy underbelly that even the pirates from Bilgewater don’t want to visit. Of course, their respective positions are tied via their shared history, and Piltover is not as virtuous as it makes itself to be, while there is humanity to be found in Zaun that is absent in most of Runeterra.

Why is LoL Zaun called Zaun?

The foundations of Zaun are ancient ones, going back three thousand years in the past before even The Enemy Aatrox waged war on Runterra.

Arcane - Zaun

The original name of the city is unknown, but it is speculated it was originally called either Kha'Zhun or Osha Va'Zaun, with the name being shortened to Zaun over time.

Why is Zaun so Poor?

Originally, what we today know to be Zaun, used to be a prosperous city port of the Shuriman Empire, the empire where one of the hardest champions in the game to play, Azir, comes from. The ruling tribes of the said city tried to dig a canal between the two ends of the city, to allow ships to pass through and have them pay exorbitant fees. However, this endeavor went horribly wrong, causing earthquakes to ravage the land, and poisonous gas to make the place nigh-uninhabitable.

Arcane - Zaun

Not wishing to live in such a toxic wasteland, the nobility moved upwards and founded what is today the city of Piltover. With their wealth, they have used and oppressed the remnants of the city of Zaun, which had no other choice but to turn on itself to try and survive. The combination of all of these factors is why Zaun is such a poor city.

The City of Zaun is not a place filled with happiness. Likewise, its inhabitants live in constant fear of the roving gangs and in servitude to powerful chem barons. However, even with all of this, the camaraderie between its citizens and the humanity they cherish can be rarely found in the City of Piltover, Riot’s City of Inventions, with its gilded exterior.

It’s a shame then that, while playing League of Legends, whether you are playing a meta mid-lane champion such as Viktor, or a powerful support Renata Glasc, one of Zaun’s chem barons, their character does not shine through and they are only pixels on a screen.