So, this has been bugging me for a pretty long time, but I can't help but notice the lack of diversity Riot has had in terms of how their champions have looked. They are all white. Hear me out, there's nothing wrong with being Caucasian or European descent. I'm merely on this forum to point out the lack of racial diversity, which I find problematic and stupidly boring. I am an art student, and I can't help but feel that all these champions who are white are made due in part because of the following reasons:
A) White skin tone is easy to make, so it's a bit of a convenience thing.
B) The Riot artists went to design schools and depending on their education, they were only taught about white masters nd the models that came in for the observational drawing were mostly white. Art education for the longest time and to this day is still very Euro-centric. I'm not blaming them on how they were taught, but now's the time to realize it and fix it.
C) I get that Riot is also a company, and companies also want to sell a product, so within being safe, they go with doing "easy" appearances and skins.
An example would be Lux, Ahri, and Illaoi. Lux came out in 2010, Ahri came out in 2011, and Illaoi came out in 2015. Ahri and Lux have a slim body figure, very girlish personalities, and people use them a lot in the game. It is due to these traits, that Riot keeps on milking out skins, but they are milking them out due to convenience for both design wise and for money. I'm not going to say that Riot artists don't work hard or creatively for their jobs, but the amount of Lux and Ahri skins that are teased and released are ridiculous. You can't deny that making a skimpy tight outfit for a slim character is not difficult. Moreover, Ahri was made when the Korean servers came up and she is the femme fatale mascot team girl in Korea. Her recent KDA skin just further proves how much they use her as a marketing tactic. Now, I'm moving on to Illaoi who has been released four-years ago and she does a great job top, disrupting the enemy, and great for late game especially with her ult. Despite her usefulness in the past four years, she only has 3 skins. Her default, Void Bringer (with her release), and Resistance which just came out recently in 2018. I remember Riot reached out to the league community for our opinion and we would vote on which 3 draft Illaoi skins would look best for her, and they acknowledged the fact she has been lacking skins. This was great and I'm elated Riot reached out to their community. However, going back to Lux and Ahri as my examples, their body types are slim but Illaoi is the only female who has a very muscular and traditionally unfeminine appearance and personality, which makes her totally bomb. Unfortunately, it is due to her body type that makes designing skins for her so difficult, but that's where the fun and creativity should come into dish out a unique and cool skin for a champ such as Illaoi.
D) I can count people of color champs on my hands and there's 143 champs in total. I'm breaking them down by gender, too. I also provide the fraction amount with its rounded percent.
Male: Lucian, Ekko, Yasuo, Yi, Shen, Zed, Lee Sin and Xin Zhao (8 total)
Female: Ahri, Akali, Illaoi, Irelia, Karma, Taliyah, Nidalee (Sivir and Kai'sai?) (7-9 total)
Male of color: 8/143~ 5.60%
Females of color: 7/143 or 9/143 ~ 4.90% or 6.30%
In total: 15/143 or 17/143 ~10.50 % or 11.89%
As for white champions...
Female: Ashe, Sejuani, Annie, Caitlyn, Camille, Cassosopiea, Orianna, Riven, Sona, Syndra, Vayne, Vi, Dianna, Leona, Elise, Fiora, Jinx, Katarina, Kayle, Morgana, LeBlanc, Lissandra, Lux, Janna, Miss Fortune, Zyra, Quinn, Xayah, Zoe, and Neeko. (30 in total)
Male: Braum, Darius, Draven, Corki, Ezreal, Tryndamere, Garen, Gragas, Twisted Fate, Zilean, Graves, Jarvan, Varus, Swain, Talon, Taric, Jayce, Jhin, Pantheon, Gangplank, Olaf, Vlad, Urgot, Udyr, Kayn, Rakan, Pyke, and Sylas (28 in total).
White females: 30/143 champs~ 20.98% of the champ select is white females
White males: 28/143 champs~ 19.58 % of champ select is white males
In total: 58/143 ~ 37.06% of the champ select is white.
*Note: I put Sivir and Kai'sai in parentheses because they are from Shurima, inspired by Egypt or the Middle-East, and Egyptian people are olive toned and Kai'sai is pasty because she was in the Void her whole life and didn't face the sun until her late teens. However, she's still white-passing.
*Note: I also excluded Yordles, and Shadow Isle champs (because they are dead and don't have recollection of who they were for the most part), monsters/ creatures, masked champs like Victor, and champs that have colorful skin colors such as Evelyn, Soraka, Shyvana because I don't want to extrapolate or presume.
Overall, Riot needs to include more people of racial diversity. I personally feel making characters who are white has become an easy tactic to release a champ. Moreover, a white or eroticized Asian character and their skins (*ahem Ahri) come about due to marketing tactics to be safe and it's easy to design them at this point. Personally, appearance wise, all the champs have been white and are starting to look the same so I am not seeing any creative or artistic thinking when it comes to these champs on their physical appearance. Their kits are cool, but their abilities and physical design are still supposed to be in sync and tell them which region they are from in the League universe. It's starting to become predictable and an easy tactic to release a champ. I know Riot has great creative people and I hope your talents aren't being wasted on making same bodied, and same skin-toned characters for your career there. Challenge yourselves or provide people of color at your workplace to help with the design of a champ of a different body type and ethnic race. It truly is ridiculous to only note that there are two black male champs, 1 presumably Indian champ, a girl of middle-eastern/ Egyptian descent, Nidalee who I see as Brazilian, and a whole bunch of Asian characters that are made due in part of historical orientalism and Asian fetishization that happens today. Just look back at your champ select Riot and ask yourself, what's lacking design wise? Ask us?
I, personally speaking, won't mind a kick-ass Black or Southeast Asian female character inspired, which is something new and these communities in real life are underrepresented. Do more gross looking girls, do more less masculine men, create men who are not the warrior-type, create more champs with prosthetics (Urgot), create champs with disabilities, create champs that are unappealing but fun for both genders, create champs that don't have gender/ identify with one. Create something new. Surprise us.
I feel as though the kits have been the priority as of late for the recent champ releases (Zoe, Kaisai, Pyke, Neeko, Sylas,) have been all human (for the most part, and the appearance becomes second, thus having a homogenous champ select. Whatever the case, Riot, please make your champs more interesting and less homogenous in terms of body-type and race. I've been playing your game for a long time, and I'm personally disappointed at the designs as of late as an art student and as a female.