Our favourite esports game titles offer more than just a thrilling game to play or a high-stakes competitive scene to follow.
They also give the more ship-happy segment of their fanbases character pairings whose romances they can ogle at and root for.
Lancelot and Odette (Mobile Legends: Bang Bang)
The pairing of Lancelot, the Perfumed Knight, and Odette, the Swan Princess, is probably the most iconic ship in Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) and for good reason. Theirs is a classic Romeo-meets-Juliet love story (but without the grisly ending), as Lancelot falls in love with Odette after she saves him from the brink of death and brings her to her home in the Swan Castle.
Gusion and Lesley (Mobile Legends: Bang Bang)
Another fan-favourite ship in MLBB is the pairing of Gusion, the Holy Blade, and Lesley, the Deadly Sniper. While they aren't romantically involved in the game's official lore like Lancelot and Odette, shippers apparently couldn't help but pair Gusion and Lesley together. Even though their love may not be canon, Moonton did throw Gusley shippers a bone by releasing Valentine's Day skins for both characters in 2019.
Rakan and Xayah (League of Legends)
The marksman and support duo of Xayah and Rakan entered League of Legends (LoL) in 2017, quickly becoming one of the most iconic champion pairings in the game. According to their shared lore, Xayah and Rakan first met in a tavern and their relationship started to blossom after a brawl there. The two are notably depicted together with combined wings, which references the one-winged Jian Bird from Chinese mythology that represents the unbreakable bond between two lovers.
Taric and Ezreal (League of Legends)
While the pairing of LoL champions Taric and Ezreal is far from canon, theirs is still one of the most popular ships in the game. The reason for their pairing doesn't come from the lore, however, but instead from how well the two champions synergise in the game. For example, the duo can pull off a tried-and-tested combo where Ezreal can blink to a target using Taric's stun. Apparently even just that was enough to get some shippers going.
Sven and Crystal Maiden (Dota 2)
There are no real romantic relationships between heroes in Dota 2's lore (unless you count Skywrath Mage's unrequited love for Vengeful Spirit), but the closest thing to it that Dota shippers get is the pairing of Sven and Crystal Maiden.
There really isn't much to this ship outside of a few voice lines when they meet allies that can come across as flirty, but Sven and Crystal Maiden is one of the classic carry-support combos in Dota since its earliest days. With that said, Sven and Crystal Maiden may now have to relinquish their title of the most popular ship in Dota 2 to Davion and Mirana, who are canon romantic interests in the anime DOTA: Dragon's Blood.
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