Riot Games receives backlash after Taliyah "whitewashed" in Legends of Runeterra

Images via Riot Games

Riot Games found themselves in hot water with the Legends of Runeterra community on Monday after an announcement meant to be exciting riled-up fans of the collectible card game.

Taliyah, the rock-slinging mage, was revealed as an upcoming champion card coming as part of the Empires of the Ascended expansion set to release in the upcoming weeks. Alongside her announcement was a teaser video that Riot put together and shared on the game's official Twitter account. In the clip, players got a look at what her card did, a level-up animation, the splash art used for the card, and even a couple of voice lines she has when played.


Almost immediately after the announcement went public, players flocked to social media platforms to share a common thought: Taliyah didn't look or sound right.


Based in Shurima, an arid desert, fans thought her card art looked a bit whitewashed for someone who spent that much time in the sun and appeared to be a bit darker in League of Legends' art and character models. Also, players thought her voice received the "Lux treatment" for the digital card game and didn't sound as authentic as in the popular MOBA. According to Riot Games, Taliyah was originally voiced by Erica Lindbeck.


Once player feedback began rolling in online, Riot Games acted quickly and issued a string of tweets addressing the matter. 


Although the game's development team was able to confirm that her changed art and voice wouldn't be ready by the time the expansion went live on March 3, the community applauded the quick decision making.

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