Woman claims Seraphine is based on her, Riot says she’s not
A woman claims that the League of Legends character Seraphine was made in her likeness, a claim that Riot has since denied.
The allegation comes from a Medium post by “Stephanie Dorris,” titled The Problem With Seraphine, and through a Twitter thread. In the article, the writer alleges that a former Riot employee based the character on her likeness. She then proceeds to recount her relationship with the employee and presented evidence, including an academic writing she believes was the basis of Seraphine’s back story, on why she believes the character is based on her. The person Seraphine is allegedly is based on does bear a striking resemblance to the character.
Stephanie explained as well how she discovered the Seraphine character. She then discussed how the character has affected her enjoyment of the game, and the impact it had on her life, knowing that the character may, in fact, have been based on her.
Stephanie restrained herself from revealing the identity of the former Riot employee she’s referring to. Instead, she is seeking legal action towards Riot itself, a company which she believes is unfairly profiting off her likeness. Months leading up to the Medium post, Stephanie has been consulting with lawyers to discuss her legal options.
Riot responds, says allegations ‘lacks merit’
Stephanie’s lawyer has since sent Riot a legal demand letter. Riot responds by saying that her claim “lacks merit.”
Meanwhile, Seraphine’s lead designer, Jeevun Sidhu, hinted at Seraphine’s true inspiration, quoting his wife in a tweet.
Seraphine is a star that makes everyone around her shine just a little bit brighter. That was very easy for me to capture in her gameplay, since I get to shine brighter by being around @RiotWhiskies every day.
Thank you to my favorite person in the world for the inspiration. 🙂
— Jeevun Sidhu (@JeevunSidhu) October 29, 2020
Riot’s official stance is that Seraphine is not based on any individual person. They also clarified that the employee referenced by Stephanie has left the company more than a year ago.
Whatever may be the truth about this incident, Seraphine has been a very highly controversial figure. Her “usage” of a social media account to portray herself as a person with very real human emotions such as self-doubt and anxiety concerns Golden Guardians academy head coach Barento “Razleplasm” Mohammed, saying it “come[s] across as relatable is Sadge capitalism.” Fans also had an overwhelmingly negative reaction to her champion spotlight video.