Iran Hosting League of Legends Tournament, Female Champions Banned

Good news, Iran may finally be getting League of Legends. Bad news, at least most (possibly all) of the female champions are being banned from play for the country to accept it.

What do all the champions above have in common? They are all female champions from League of Legends, and all but two of them are banned in the upcoming tournament in Iran.

Efforts to get the game playable in Iran might finally be finding some success, but according to translated posts on Iran's World Cyber Games Facebook page, the female champions are going to be heavily banned for their revealing attire.

How heavily, you ask?

The only female champions in the game who will be playable are Annie and Anivia.

Admittedly, since the original post went up there has been a new one listing out Diana, Fiora, Karma(in her traditional skin), Kayle, Leona, Lissandra, Lulu, Lux, Nami, Quinn, Sejuani, Tristana, and Vayne as being under consideration for allowing into the tourney.

Riot Games is not famous for having the least sexualized characters in its game. People much less strict than the Iranian government have criticized many of the female champions for their 'armor' and similarity to one another.

My question is not about the right or wrong nature of the choice banning, which is Iran's right whether I agree with it or not, but what effect those bans will have on the game itself. Most games have six bans total; in this event players will be starting with 36 characters banned out, before ever making their own bans.

At the very least this list of banned champions drastically reduces the options for support champions by eliminating Sona, Soraka, Lulu, Zyra, Janna, Nami, Nidalee, Karma, Lux, and Morgana. That leaves Alistair, Blitzcrank, Thresh, Taric, and Nunu as playable supports. This means with six bans, it is entirely possible to see literally every support in the game (Zilean doesn't count) banned from play, leaving bot lane in a weird place.

It is entirely possible to see literally every support in the game (Zilean doesn't count) banned from play, leaving bot lane in a weird place.

Iran will need to invent its own meta, that is for sure.

While I would obviously prefer such a new meta to arise from the players themselves and not from hideously restrictive governmental requirements, it could actually force players to think in new ways. If Iran winds up with its own professional teams, whether or not they will be allowed to play in international events will raise a multitude of questions. Whether they can deal with the champions they never see and whether the rest of the world can deal with teams who have to redefine their own meta could make for some exciting gameplay.

What do you think the bans would do to League of Legends' metagame?

Featured Columnist

Writer, gamer, and generally hopeful beneath a veneer of cynicism.

Published Aug. 29th 2013
  • anon_4105
    Personally, I think Riot should leave the game as it is and let the Iranians ban it. By making changes to accomodate an overly restrictive regime, Riot are in effect supporting what the Iranian government does.
    I don't imagine for a minute that this alone will cause any social revolution to happen, but it all adds up. The Iranian government is just plain wrong and needs to hear it at every possible opportunity and this is one such opportunity.
  • Capt. Eliza Creststeel
    They're women not being subservient, that's enough for them to have issues.
  • Rothalack
    Master O' Bugs
    I could see Riot making skins for Iran players only or something. Wouldn't that be funny if all those champs were just wearing berkah's now and you wouldn't be able to tell which champ is which.
  • Dr Dre X
    But some of those champs are fully clothed. Leona is wearing armor, Lux is fully clothed.
  • Wokendreamer
    Featured Columnist
    Exposed faces, exposed hair, skin-tight leggings, there are any number of things in any of the outfits in question that people are capable of finding issue with.

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