Greeting fellow summoners,
I’ve been working on this post for a few weeks now, but let me preface this with, these are just my opinions on this small subject matter. This isn’t calling anyone out, or insisting on change, it’s simply my view on how things could have been, and what I think would have been and improvement.
Important Update: I want to point out, that this not about sexualisation of character, this is not wanting to take away your breasts or skimpy outfits, not about skins or anything like that, it’s purely about their physical body shape. If I had images of each and every champion, outlined and naked, it would be perfect for the point I’m making, but alas, that is not to be.
I have nothing against there being an amount of slim, female champions, and even as a side point their sexy outfits and skins for many of the female champions (I own too many of them myself), it’s just the fact that there is very little beyond that which is my point. Riot Plz Geif Monsters, and more women who look as physically strong as they act.
Male Champion Design:
It’s fairly standard in most fantasy games for males to come in all shapes and sizes. Everyone defaults to male even when it’s either not obvious, or they don’t have a gender per-se.
Female Champion Design:
Not Unique to LoL, but I think because of the sheer volume of champions it shows a wonderful example of something that bugs me immensely. When designing a female champion, or fantasy character in general, the starting point is always the slim female archetype. The Sexy Cliché.
Anivia is the only notable character in all of this, for being the only non-human shaped character, besides the Yordles, who could easily be male but, yay for her.
Anivia is in deep contrast with our shape shifters, a type of champion unique to the females of LoL (I was surprised to see). Most bestial females share their time from being non-humans with being our sexy stereotype, because how else would you know they’re female right? I started with Shyvanas dragon form in the full bestial, until someone pointed out that the default skin, the dragon does actually have breasts, hah.
This is even seen in our three Yordles, all are the exact same shape and size, no variation beyond skin colour, unlike the males who have a large variation between them all, however there are a lot more of them so you could consider the sample size bias.
Also, Annie is the only champion who varies in age, it seems, and also Kayle has let us all down by ever taking her helmet off.
I’ve kept this diagram completely analogous to the male, but there are some more categories I could have created to highlight some more problems with the females, such as Obnoxious Large Female Characteristics. But I didn’t want to be accused of measuring males and females by two different standards.
How I think Champions should be distributed in this.
Right, let me justify some of these choices shall we. First off, I am in no way saying this is how it SHOULD BE, and that these male characters should be female, no, they’re just used as viable examples.
So, First of all, the shape shifters, I see no reason why Elise couldn’t be a full spider, maybe some flavour of awesome dryder possibly with two poses to keep that unique game-play, and the same with Shayvana, she’s a half dragon! Have her change into a full dragon, but from a more bestial base, rather than just being a re-coloured human standard!
Along with the other beasties, we have Nami, a bit of a disappointment really but she should have exhibited a lot more bestial combatant traits, claws, fins, and the like. Similarly Soraka, the Unicorn could have been more pony like! Renekton and Twitch, both decidedly unfeminine creatures could easily themselves be the females of their respective species, so many species in nature have the butch, broader, stronger halves being their females, and since they’re non-humans would have been great to see. Zyra, of the cabbage boobs, needs little said about how un-inspired she is with all that potential for crazy killer plant creature.
Similarly, someone like Moakai, being a tree, could easily be entirely without gender. It makes sense for Blitz to have chosen a gender, since he’s striving for an identity and has asserted such, but for Moakai who despises being animate and conscious, adhering to either labels seems silly. But I think having ungendered sentient creatures are a little stretch for the audience (oh no, my pro-nouns).
So, the humanoids. Would be great to see Riot being a bit more brave their body shape diversity for the human characters, we could easily see some Elderly characters. Karma with her unshakable poise and composure would make perfect sense as an older lady, Leblanc too, anyone as tricky as her that has lived to old age is bound to be a force to be reckoned with.
There are a number of female characters that are perfectly fine with being their Sexy Cliché, casters, weapon uses, rogues, sneaky assassins can all get away with it fine, being their little stick figures. None of them look physically powerful, but they’re not meant to be, they’re skilful, or weapon and magic users.
Then, there are the Butch, there are far too many powerful champions, and by that I mean hard hitting, strong, athletic, acrobatic females that are impossibly thin and petite for their role and back-stories. I’ll start with one of my favourite characters in the game Vi, giant metal gauntlets, that’s fine, but she can would barely be able to life the damned things, let alone run around all day with them raised as they are (It even specifically mentions in her backstory “her tiny hands,” *sigh*). Similarly Sejuni is pretty damned slim for someone that wields a ball and chain one handed, and rides bare back on a giant boar! (Where are her thighs!!)
Her, Sivir and Nidalee are both kinda guilty of supposedly being Amazonian styled women, but convey no strength in their body shape, why not have them are hulking brutes of women, even a size 14 would be nice to see around the place!
Similarly someone who runs around single headedly holding a great sword would be pretty built, with Riven, but when you account for the amount of acrobatics she gets away with, she’s dwarfed by that amount of metal. And Vayne, well, she’s just Van Hellsing with breasts.
Now, Morgana, she’s a fallen Angel, basically a creature of pure evil, imagine what you could do with that, proper demon nightmare fuel, something awesome and Diablo like would make a wonderful contrast to Kayle angelic persona! Not to mention how Kayle doesn’t have pointy ears now we can see and Morgana does, sisters eh?
Finally, we have literally no fully obscured characters, why not have Syndra transcending the living with her magical abilities be built more like Xereth, who would also easily have been anyone despite their shape now.
Additionally, Kayle, how you disappointed me, keep the helmet on, retain some damned dignity!
Thanks for reading, I’d love to hear your feedback.
TL : DR
I think feel Female champion design in LoL suffers, strongly, from an overwhelming fantasy cliché, they always adhere to the standard slim, sexy cliché. Whereas males get to be all sorts of beasties, giant monsters and cool, bad ass armoured guys.
Though I’m more airing a personal opinion, I think Riot could have done a better job, but I still love the game and a lot of champions.