Footballer Edgar Davids scores in legal battle over League of Legends skin

Dutch former footballer Edgar Davids has slammed a dunk on League of Legends developers Riot Games in the legal arena. Davids claimed that his likeness was inspiration for the footballing ‘Striker’ costume sold for gunslinging LoL character Lucian and he should be compensated for it, and a Dutch court agreed. Eurogamer report that Riot Games must now calculate how much money the skin made in the Netherlands, then the court will decide how much Riot owe Davids in damages.

Davids, who played for teams including Ajax and Juventus as well as for the Dutch national team, looked unique on the field with his angular protective goggles and dreadlocked ponytail. For reference, let’s turn to the authority on footballers: a Panini sticker album.

(This sticker from the 2000/2001 UEFA Champions League album would cost you 40p at SportsWorld Cards, were it in stock.)

The Striker skin for Lucian, who usually wears a long coat over armour, is one of several footballing skins released in 2014 ahead of the World Cup. Davids’ case pointed out a tweet from a member of Riot Games which called him the inspiration for Striker Lucian. Davids’ lawyer asked Riot to stop using his likeness in December 2015, then Riot filed a defense in April 2016, and off to court they all went.

The court agreed that Davids had the right to protect his image, a right which is more important than Riot’s commercial interest in selling a skin.

15 Comments

  1. Atmey says:

    What next? copyright dreadlocks and sunglasses?

    • Xocrates says:

      By that logic I can plagiarize entire books because the individual words aren’t copyrighted.

      • rasko1nikov says:

        Exactly. Like, it’s blatantly Edgar Davids. Kinda picturing a scene where he walks in one of his nephews playing LoL, says “what the hell is going on in here?”, and then his glasses fog over with rage/steam as his eyes meet Bizarro Davids.

    • drinniol says:

      Little different in this case – the developer admitted the skin was based on his likeness.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      You know how many footballers have worn any kind of eyewear on the pitch? Regularly? It’s basically just Davids.

  2. Freud says:

    Edgar Davids was a midfielder and not a striker.

    • Luckz says:

      Edgar Davids was a defensive midfielder, but the League character Lucian is an attack damage carry, whose power fantasy corresponds more to a Neymar than a Makélélé.
      Besides, in an Americanized view of football, only the goalscorer on the scoresheet has a standout role in the sport.

  3. xvre says:

    I love this game to death, but I honestly can’t defend it when it comes to their skin inspirations. Maybe it’s the Chinese overlords (Tencent) that call these shots. Here are some examples:

    Definitely not Bruce Lee:
    link to leagueoflegends.wikia.com

    Definitely not Bane: link to leagueoflegends.wikia.com

    Definitely not Ghost Rider:
    link to leagueoflegends.wikia.com

    Definitely not Star Wars:
    link to leagueoflegends.wikia.com
    link to leagueoflegends.wikia.com
    (this one launched during the hype around The Force Unleshed)

    Definitely not Sailor Moon:
    link to leagueoflegends.wikia.com
    (they have an entire line of these)

    Definitely not Lemmy & Slash:
    link to leagueoflegends.wikia.com

    Definitely not Sub-Zero and Scorpion:
    link to leagueoflegends.wikia.com
    link to leagueoflegends.wikia.com

    • Gothnak says:

      Hey, do you have permission to share all those, they are copyrighted by Riot Games you know…

      :).

      • Cederic says:

        Lucky that he didn’t share them, and instead linked to a third party site.

        Surprising though that they didn’t just get in touch with Edgar and ask for his approval. He may have asked them for cash but since that’s now going to happen anyway plus legal fees..

        There really aren’t any other well known footballers that look quite like that, so it wasn’t even subtle.

  4. Arathorn says:

    Was the original article Google translated into Dutch and then back into English? The wording is a bit … particular.

    • Flopper says:

      Like this line? I read it like five times thinking is my brain broken? This doesn’t make sense.

      “Eurogamer reports that Riot Games must now calculate how money the skin made in the Netherlands, then damages will be decided.”

  5. fuggles says:

    Unless he had a rival line of mmorpg skins I don’t see how this people can claim damages?

    Incidentally RPS, other outlets have included the tweet from riot in which the state it’s inspired.

    Also, no article on skaven being confirm in whtw2?

    • Thesword says:

      He has a right to his image – he has a unique look and can prevent anyone from using his unique look to sell things without his permission. To get his permission he almost certainly would have asked for a fee; His damages are the fee he would have been paid for use of his image, but hasn’t been paid.

      He’ll also likely get legal fees and some extra, as if the Riot only have to pay his exact damages then theres little incentive for them to stop – they can look at it as either definitely paying someone their image fee, or maybe paying someone up to their image fee after the court case.

  6. Glentoran says:

    Come on now. There can be absolutely not doubt whatsoever that that is clearly Edgar Davids.

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