'Arcane' Theories: Is Ekko the Firelight Leader in Act 2?

‘Arcane’ Theories: Is Ekko the Firelight Leader in Act 2?

Warning: Major 'Arcane' Act 2 and Act 3 spoilers ahead
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The highly-anticipated Act 2 of the animated League of Legends series “Arcane” premiered overnight on Netflix and got fans talking right off the bat. One of the earliest scenes in Episode 4 introduces a new Zaunite gang called The Firelights, led by a mysterious masked hoverboarder. This introduction quickly gave us one of Act 2’s most burning questions: Is “Arcane’s” masked Firelight Leader none other than League of Legends champion Ekko?

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We looked into the lore (and everywhere else) to find out.

Intro to Act 2 of ‘Arcane’

Episode 4 of “Arcane” begins with a significant time jump from the end of Act 1. Viewers are immediately taken to Piltover, where we learn how some of the biggest Act 1 characters have developed.

Heimerdinger is still 300-some years old and pretty much the same furry dude we saw earlier. On the other hand, Jayce’s character has evolved completely. He is now the golden boy of Piltover, famous for his work in Hextech advancements.

Caitlyn has become an officer in the Enforcer corps, while the show makes it a point to demonstrate that Viktor, who is still working with Jayce, has grown more sickly.

Viewers are then taken to a scene at an airship loading dock, where several of Silco’s goons are bringing a large shipment of Shimmer into Piltover. Shimmer is the same purple fluid that was concocted by Singed in Act 1 and used to transform Deckard and Vander.

The Firelight Leader brings his gang to Piltover to destroy Silco's Shimmer before Jinx stops them.
The Firelights and their leader arrive in Piltover to destroy a large shipment of Silco’s Shimmer. | Provided by Netflix

The Firelight gang flies into Piltover

As the Shimmer shipment is received, a gang of masked Zaunite hoverboarders crashes the party. The gang, called “The Firelights” and led by a character in a green cloak, immediately gets to work on trapping Silco’s goons and attempting to destroy the shipment. A skirmish ensues and it looks like The Firelights are winning, but the tide of the battle turns when Silco’s henchmen are rescued by Jinx. The character formerly known as Powder is now older, more murderous and equipped with an arsenal of guns and explosives.

Jinx kills several of The Firelights — one who very closely resembled her sister, Vi — and drives the rest away.

The Firelights then reappear at the end of Episode 6, the final episode of Act 2, when Vi and Jinx are reuniting. Once again, the Firelight Leader is prominent throughout the scene. The gang ultimately kidnaps both Caitlyn and Vi and lifts a refined Hextech crystal that Jinx had stolen from Jayce. None of The Firelights featured in the scene have their masks removed.

All this raises the question: Who exactly is the Firelight Leader?

Is Ekko the Firelight Leader in ‘Arcane’ Act 2?

One of the things that immediately stood out about Act 2 of “Arcane” was that we were shown the progression of every League of Legends champion featured in the first act, except one.

The League champions we saw in Act 1 were Vi, Jinx, Ekko, Jayce, Caitlyn, Viktor, Heimerdinger and Singed. While the show alluded to others, these were the champions that were either mentioned directly or named in the subtitles (Singed). All of these characters re-appeared in Act 2, except Ekko.

We strongly believe that the reason we didn’t see Ekko was that he was behind the mask of the Firelight Leader. And there are several hints that led us to that conclusion.

Hint 1: Both Ekko and the Firelight Leader have a fascination with watches and clocks

Is Ekko the Firelight Leader in Act 2 of Arcane? The character used an intricate watch.
The Firelight Leader used an intricate pocket watch on multiple occasions throughout “Arcane” Act 2. | Provided by Netflix

When first introduced in “Arcane,” Ekko was working on a clock in Benzo’s shop. In the League of Legends game, Ekko also holds the title of The Boy Who Shattered Time. He has a strong fascination with clocks and can even manipulate time itself.

In Act 2, we saw the Firelight Leader using an intricate timepiece on multiple occasions.

Hint 2: Ekko’s bat, scarf and pants

Ekko and the Arcane Firelight Leader both have a red scarf, green pants and use a bat for a weapon.
Both the Firelight Leader and the League of Legends champion Ekko wear a red scarf around their neck, green pants that wrap at the knees and use a bat as a weapon. | Provided by Netflix and Riot Games

Among the more obvious hints that tie Ekko with the Firelight Leader are the costume pieces. Both characters wear a red bandana as a scarf around their necks. Both wear green pants that wrap at the knees. And both characters use a bat as their primary weapon of choice.

The biggest difference between the two characters is, of course, the white mask. That leads us to our next hint.

Hint 3: The Firelight Leader’s mask

Ekko used a mask similar to the Firelight Leader's when he spied on Vander and Grayson in Act 1 of Arcane.
The younger Ekko had a peephole hidden within a mask in Benzo’s shop that he used to spy on Vander and Grayson in Act 1. | Provided by Netflix

The most noticeable thing about the Firelight Leader is a cracked, white and gold mask worn throughout Act 2. While it’s impossible to tell who is behind it, the mask itself could be a hint.

During Episode 1 of Act 1, we saw the younger Ekko head up to an attic area above Benzo’s shop. He then proceeded to spy on a conversation between Vander and Enforcer Grayson. Those that remember that scene may recall a set of three masks that Ekko had a peephole hidden within. These masks, while not direct copies, look very similar to those worn by The Firelights.

Furthermore, Ekko’s official champion splash art in the game (pictured above) depicts the character wearing a mask on his right knee. That mask looks quite similar to that of the Firelight Leader.

Hint 4: The hoverboard

However, there is one thing Ekko doesn’t have in the League of Legends game that the Firelight Leader does, and that’s a hoverboard. Nevertheless, that hasn’t prevented Ekko from being tied to hoverboards throughout the larger Riot Games universe.

Back in early 2020, Riot released a trailer for the Legends of Runeterra card game on YouTube. The title of the short three-minute clip was “Tales of Runeterra: Piltover and Zaun | ‘True Genius'” and featured Ekko using a piece of Heimerdinger’s tech to build a prototype for what would eventually become a hoverboard.

Speaking of Legends of Runeterra, one of Ekko’s followers in Riot’s card game is Shomi, the Dropboarder. If the name didn’t give it away, Shomi uses a hoverboard. The two characters even have voice lines about the board when interacting.

Hint 5: Ekko voice actor, Reed Shannon

But the biggest giveaway of all here is in the cast list. The credits after both Episode 4 and Episode 6 show that the Firelight Leader is played by Reed Shannon. This is the same actor that played Ekko in the Tales of Runeterra trailer we discussed above. If that wasn’t enough, Shannon will also voice Ekko in the upcoming Riot Forge and Double Stallion game, Conv/rgence, where he is the main character.

With all of the above clues, as well as several other hints in the series (like the Firelight Leader preventing a Firelight member from killing Vi, or the gang stealing the Hextech crystal that could create Ekko’s timewinder gear), we believe there is a very high likelihood that the Firelight Leader will be revealed as Ekko in the upcoming Act 3 of “Arcane.”

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Taha Zaidi
Pizza. Music. Baseball. Wrestling. Netflix. If society thinks it's a waste of time, I'm probably addicted to it. Also, I write about stuff sometimes.