League of Legends is notorious for a lot of things: a steep yet rewarding learning curve, a sometimes less-than-cuddly community, making all the money and stealing all your friends and leaving you painfully alone/playing Heroes of Newerth, etc. And then, of course, there’s that other thing people don’t talk about nearly enough: shamelessly exposed, highly impractical female character designs. Yes, it’s fantasy. Yes, it’s fiction. It doesn’t matter; this stuff alienates people, and that’s a fact. But while calling out people who see women exclusively as chainmail bikini stands is important, there’s an equally key flipside to the coin: encouragement. So good on Riot for beginning to take baby steps in the right direction with Sejuani. Her gigantic boar, however, continues to parade about trouser-less, a picture of frolicking filth.
Here’s the basic idea behind the redesign, courtesy of Riot:
“Sejuani’s lightly-armored, skin-flaunting, fleshy apparel didn’t mesh with the idea of a dominating ice warrior. Now heavily armored atop Bristle, this visual rework clearly conveys the core of our concept for the champion. She’s powerful, capable of conquering the Freljord and leading the Winter’s Claw to victory.”
It’s a much appreciated change, but Sejuani’s leap forward doesn’t stop at simple looks. Modified skills have fairly substantially upgraded her range of roles early, mid, and late game. The full list of changes is available for your perusal here, but the general idea was to “add enhanced utility to her skills, allowing her to go head-on as a massive, tanky initiator. With a powerful armor-generating passive, a potent knock-up, AoE damage and slow to go along with a tweaked version of Glacial Prison, the Winter’s Wrath is now even more angry.”
Riot’s in the process of revamping quite a few champions, so it’ll be interesting to see where everyone ends up. Hopefully Sejuani sets the pace, although Karma‘s literal disrobing has me feeling somewhat doubtful. I mean, if nothing else, consistent internal logic is nice, no matter how ridiculous the setting. I don’t want to see everyone up to their eyeballs in parkas (with their eyeballs, in turn, donning smaller parkas of their own), but let me invest in a setting that makes sense for everyone – not just a lucky few.
Actually, it’d be pretty nice if that statement applied to the real world, too. Just saying.