Riot Games has stated that Seraphine, the latest League Of Legends champion, is not based on a woman named Stephanie, who recently argued that the character bears an uncanny similarity to her.
Writing on Medium two days ago, Stephanie documented the myriad similarities between her and new champion Seraphine. The blog draws attention to comparisons such as their looks, and also points out that the art the character makes is similar to the art she makes herself.
Stephanie wrote that a Riot employee said he would have a K/DA-related surprise ready for her birthday, and on that day “One of the only images of Seraphine from her official Twitter account that has a date was posted and dated on September 19th, the first day she (Serpahine) ‘worked’ with K/DA”.
Speaking to Tim Rizzo of Inven Global, Riot stated that Seraphine was “independently created by Riot Games and was not based on any individual including Stephanie.” They added: “We take all claims of misappropriation seriously and immediately investigated Stephanie’s allegations after receiving a legal demand letter from her attorney last month.”
Riot Game’s claim supports a tweet by one of the company’s character designer, Jeevun Sidhu, who stated on October 29 that Seraphine’s design was based on his partner.
Seraphine is a star that makes everyone around her shine just a little bit brighter. That was very easy for me to capture in her gameplay, since I get to shine brighter by being around @RiotWhiskies every day.
Thank you to my favorite person in the world for the inspiration. 🙂
— Jeevun Sidhu (@JeevunSidhu) October 29, 2020
This isn’t the first time that Seraphine has been embroiled in controversy. The company’s handling of the champion’s release campaign has been widely criticised, with some pointing out that the persona relies on recounting her battles with mental health and anxiety over leaving her job to cultivate a parasocial relationship with fans.
Stephanie has since responded to the Riot Games statement, saying that she does not believe that Seraphine is 100 per cent based on her, but states that if the similarities are true, her consent to use them was not given.
Stephanie’s legal name has been omitted during this article