The woman named Stephanie claimed that Seraphine, a new League of Legends character with a similar appearance and name, was based on her. At the heart of his claim is his brief relationship with a Riot employee in 2019, an employee he believes to have taken details from his likeness and life for the fictional KD / A pop star.
Riot denies the claim. In a statement, Seraphine was mentioned as independently created by Riot Games and not based on any individual. Additionally, the former employee mentions that he left Riot more than a year ago and was in a department and role that contributed nothing to the creative design process.
Stephanie shares a screenshot of the text messages and tells moments from a brief affair with “John”, a name the former Riot employee used to hide her identity. Stephanie says they met face-to-face with John twice and played League of Legends for three months in 2019. During this brief relationship, John allegedly came up with ideas for skins for Ahri, his favorite League of Legends character. When he visited Riot’s headquarters in Los Angeles to visit him, he also gave him artworks that Riot painters portrayed him as Ahri, which he thought was odd given how briefly they knew each other. Additionally, he says he is hinting that John might influence the KD / A project.
Shortly after Stephanie’s visit to Riot Headquarters, she canceled her plans to see John and told him she was moving too fast. At that point, he finished things and he wrote that he prevented me.
Arriving in September of this year, Stephanie was reminded of something John said in 2019: A K / DA surprise will occur on her birthday. On that day, a picture of Seraphine was posted on the character’s Twitter account to announce that he was working with KD / A. It all seemed to Stephanie more than just a coincidence.
The pink-haired character looks like Stephanie and poses with a cat in pictures similar to the photos Stephanie sent with her cat in 2019. Stephanie also notes that the character’s drawings are similar to her artwork, and says she wrote an article about her that the character originated from the League of Legends regions Piltover and Zaun.
From her description, it appears that Stephanie didn’t like any of Seraphine’s likeness to her. He expresses that I felt too gross to play one of my favorite video games.
One challenge to Stephanie’s claim is that a Riot employee can make a credible claim that she is the inspiration for Seraphine. On October 29, Riot senior designer Jeevun Sidhu tweeted that his partner, a Riot employee who went online to Riot Whiskeys, inspired Seraphine’s personality. The whiskeys, whose hair was also dyed pink, shared a photo of him dressed as Seraphine on September 28. Stephanie accepted the tweets, saying she didn’t believe Seraphine was relying solely on her. He also pointed out that the claim that Seraphine is based on someone else is contradictory because Riot claims that Seraphine is not based on any individual.
Still, the tweets seem like a tough handicap for Stephanie’s case, as Riot’s claim that the employee in question hasn’t worked with the company for more than a year and has no influence on character design.