Now, before ya'll flame me cuz "there's only two genders", hear me out.
Riot has always been kinda on the "Social Justice" side of things, at least in their own way (most of the time).
It stands to reason that, one day, we're going to have a Champion that exists as representation for non-binary gendered people. I personally think that's all but an inevitability.
So... Uh... Why wasn't Neeko?
The shapeshifting character seems like the *perfect* candidate for a character that has a more fluid sense of identity, and if Riot was ever going to make a non-binary character, Neeko seemed like the *perfect* way to do it without it feeling like "pandering".
I mean the very nature of a character who changes their form at will would mean, no matter how you feel about the whole gender thing, that they're just sort've "genderfluid" by default. They constantly shift between sexes/genders, that's just the nature of their abilities.
So since we're almost for sure going to get a character to represent that community of people one day, why wasn't the character who could do that without it being a "pandering" issue utilizing that fact?
I mean let's be honest, there wasn't really a reason to retcon Varus into being a couple o' gaybois except to have some legitimate representation for the homosexual community. I think most of us can agree Riot wants to make sure people feel "there's a champion for everyone to identify with". So it stands to reason that a genderfluid or non-binary character is going to happen *eventually*.
So why wasn't the character who's *perfect* for that made into that, instead of being another "attractive girl cuz she's a mage"?
I'm legitimately curious. I can't imagine it wasn't brought up by *someone* at Riot HQ during her development process, so I'm wondering if maybe some Rioter out there is willing to shed some light on why the decision was made to make the character who literally constantly shifts physical forms have a fixed sex/gender. It seems like a gross oversight to me and I'm wondering what the reasoning was to not embrace that opportunity.
I'm not hugely opinionated on the whole non-binary gender issue, I'm talking about this purely on the grounds of "this seems like a silly waste of potential purely from a business and world-building standpoint". I'm not non-binary myself, I'm not sitting here saying "WTF RITO Y NO REPRESENTATION UR SUCH BIGOTS". This is me saying "I think we can all agree it's gonna happen *one day*, and this character would've been perfect for doing that without delving into the whole social issue can o' worms".
What's the deal Rito? This feels like a hugely wasted opportunity to me. I personally think it would have added a lot to Neeko's character and frankly don't really see how a creature that just *naturally* constantly shifts sexes would have strong attachments to a specific one.