Hey everybody, do you know what I haven’t talked too much about on this blog lately? politics in videogames. And do you know where the best place to talk about politics in videogames? Iran.
Specifically their recent announcement to ban all female League of Legends champions, except for the child champion Annie, from competitive play. (The source can be found on the WCG official rule book which can be found here, the entire document is Persian so you might want to consult Google Translate)
In the past Riot has always tried to comply to each region’s cultural differences, in China for example all of Karthus’s skins has his cowl’s shadow mask his skeletal face because the Chinese culture have great respect for the dead and they frown on the idea of zombies or raising the dead.
But today, as some of you might be glad to hear, I am not going to be talking about the policy itself or the historical/political background that lead up to the decision to change their tournament rule book.
Instead I want to focus on the impact it will cause with for future professional WCG League of Legends matches with a most of the female champions banned from playing. In my travels on the internet I stumbled upon a very nice article by Noah Kantrowitz that breaks down the gender ratio in the current roster of League of Legends champion.
That means that about 34% of the player pool is gone and in a game that puts a lot of emphasis on champion picks, counter-picks, and banning other player’s favorite champions this could be disastrous to the Iranian League of Legends end/metagame. Imagine if out of the blue, and in mid-season no less, a region of the world banned 6 out of the 18(33.33%) Pokemon types from all of their tournaments or they removed more than a fifth of the colors cards from the Magic the Gathering card game, it would completely skew all future games for everyone
In the competitive games I just mentioned, game developers takes great strides to make sure that everything in their games interacts with everything else in the way as it is intended, especially when there are legions of players theroycrafting the best possible way to get a competitive edge over the enemy team. To create a sudden widespread power vacuum in the game could prove dangerous for the state of league of leagues in the nation of Iran and internationally if any of these Iranian e-athletes face off against other professional players outside of Iran.
Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays