Seraphine, the musical superstar champion from League Of Legends, is back in the spotlight again, owing to one woman's claims that the character was directly based on her.
Stephanie shared her story in a post to Medium last night. She describes a brief relationship with a Riot Games employee, with whom she bonded over a love for League Of Legends. In screenshots of their communication, "John" allegedly conceptualised ideas for skins for her favourite character, Ahri, that would look like Stephanie. Furthermore, when she visited him for a tour of Riot Games' studio, he had apparently shared her essay about the realms Piltover and Zaun amongst the team, and also gave her portraits by Riot Games artists of herself as Ahri. She thought this was "strange" owing to the fact they'd only known each other for three months, and had only met in person twice.
"John" also insinuated that he could influence the direction of KD/A, the fictional pop group of League Of Legends, because he knew a lot of people on that team. In games, he would often say "we have to put that in" to Stephanie's jokes and suggestions while playing. He was keen for Stephanie to voice act for another "top secret project," but their relationship ended not long after her visit to Riot Games. The two went their separate ways, according to the woman's post, and things were relatively normal for twelve months.
Upon Seraphine's reveal (which coincided with Stephanie's birthday), she realised that her brief relationship with "John" might have actually affected one of the biggest games in the world. "As soon as I saw what she looked like and realized she was going to be a League champion, I started scrolling through her accounts, completely freaked out," said Stephanie. "My worries only grew and my heart sank more and more with every post." As shown in photos from Stephanie, a lot of Seraphine's poses and post match up to those of the real life person. Her sketches, her cuddles with her cat, her hairstyle, her name, and even her features could be argued to be a copy of Stephanie's.
All in all, she explained that the situation of Seraphine and her similarities has been "violating," and that random strangers send her the character to point out the resemblance. However, she admitted that there is "no way to conclusively prove" that Seraphine was inspired by Stephanie, and that her issues lie with Riot Games, and not with the man she used to date. "It's a quaint idea, but when you think about it more closely, the idea of a marketing team in some office in Los Angeles trying to sell a product by coming up with the most ~relatable~ and marketable things to tweet out of the account of a 'girl' who coincidentally looks like me, and talks like me, and sounds like me, and draws like me? It just makes me sick," she summarised.
The company itself has supplied a statement responding to Stephanie's claims. "Seraphine was independently created by Riot Games and was not based on any individual," said the studio. "Additionally, the former employee [Stephanie] is referring to left Riot more than a year ago and was in a department and role that has no input whatsoever into the creative design process." It also confirmed that legal action has been taken on the part of Stephanie and her lawyer, and that Riot Game is yet to hear from her and her lawyer regarding this case that "lacks merit." It's certainly a strange story, and we'll keep you in the loop when we know more.
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