Home > LoL News, Riot News > Katarina skin drama

Katarina skin drama

December 12th, 2012 Leave a comment

If you’ve been on the official League of Legends forums or reddit recently you’d have no doubt seen the drama about the changes to the upcoming Katarina skin. As part of the upcoming range of Christmas skins, Katarina is set to get a new skin wearing a sexy Santa suit with antlers.

What’s the drama about you ask? It’s her recall animation.

Initially, her recall animation featured her pole dancing on a candy cane. This was however controversially removed, which has caused a bit of an upset to say the least, with many users boycotting the skin. Users claim that Riot is giving in to feminists by changing the recall animation. Morello stated that this was not the case.


I need to be clear about something here: the reason we’re removing it (and make no mistake, we are) is because there’s a lot of places where we’re happy to do that, as you guys have noticed, but this skin was not the right place for this sort of thing.

Nidalee has a spear, easily a pole. She’s also generally closely related to “hot night elf chick” and has some innate *** appeal to her – pole dance is awesome here.

Katarina in Reindeer ears with a pole dance is just off. It’s not about right and wrong, it’s not about sensitivity, it’s about “what makes sense with this content?”

If you want to think there’s some PC police that guide our hand, I can’t stop you, but do a quick search on our thoughts to the contrary of this (go look in the spider queen or Nami threads) you’ll find that we normally go forward with it when we believe it’s the right choice for the champ or skin. In this case, it’s just not.


Let’s take a look at two sexy female champions, using their bases as an example: Miss Fortune and Katarina.

Miss Fortune Over-the-top pirate hunter. Outwardly sexualized to a point of character definition. “****ty” personality, “hot girl.”

Katarina Deadly, sadistic dagger assassin. Sleek, quick and deadly. Shows cleavage and midriff to make attractive, but not seductive personality-wise. Keeps it sleek and quick – not a lot of adornment.

These characters are both really sexy from a proportions and clothing standpoint (equally so in a lot of ways). However, Miss Fortune’s base should blast you with sexuality and never conserve on it – it’s important to everything she is designed to be.

Katarina is generally sexy as an aside, not as a primary motivator. She’s a cool assassin either way, having her be hot just makes her generally more visually appealing. Sexiness is secondary to cool.

You can do the same thin on Kitty Kat Katarina and the Christmas Katarina skin. Kitty Kat Kat is “that ****ty costume on Halloween” start to finish. Christmas Kat uses more Christmas tropes overall, and that tends to be the theme – it has sexiness because Katarina is sexy overall, but it’s a secondary theme. High Command Katarina is the same in this regard (though more serious).

We may disagree, and that’s OK, but this is the evaluation type we’re talking about here. Maybe we sold “sexy” more than intended, maybe it’s the read from the animation itself overall, but it’s secondary to the character – not primary. Sexuality is more primary on Nidalee too (which is why we didn’t change her pole dance on the rework).


Needless to say, not everybody was convinced by his explanation. After 39 red posts in the thread the idea still persists that it was changed due to the rising pressure from feminist sections of the community to change the recall animation. Even those that were originally convinced by Morello’s argument may well have changed their mind when they saw what the animation was replaced with. Because…well, see for yourself.

Lacklustre would be a nice way to describe this animation. It also certainly does not fit the theme well, and as that was the reason that Morello cited for the original animation being removed it has angered people even further. In a somewhat positive note for Riot, they’ve at least dispelled the recent feeling that money comes above everything else by sticking to the decision to remove the animation which will no doubt lose them skin sales.

What do you think of this whole mess? Post your thoughts in the comments below.



Categories: LoL News, Riot News Tags:
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsE1Hx7y_5A natural appetite suppressant

    Excellent beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your web site, how could
    i subscribe for a blog web site? The account helped me a acceptable deal.
    I had been a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided bright clear idea

  • ChloeSmith22

    before I looked at the bank draft of $8500, I didn’t believe that my mom in-law was like they say actualy making money part time from there pretty old laptop.. there dads buddy has done this 4 only about 21 months and resantly cleard the debts on their house and purchased a great new Renault 4. we looked here, Great60.comCHECK IT OUT

  • Tim

    @AryAtari: So you’re saying everyone is in the League of Legends for a reason? And the most obvious reason for the men appears to be that they’re good at fighting, while the most obvious reason for the women appears to be that they’re super sexy… And people can’t see a problem with that?

    The problem is that it tells men they achieve worth through what they can accomplish, while it tells women that they achieve worth through their physical appearance or sexual attractiveness.

  • secondbest

    Seen gragas?

  • Azuka

    this reason to change the recall animation is so made up and ridiculous. Kitty Cat Kata was exactly the same type of sexyness which you trying to deny right here.
    And then riven and her bunny costume? please how does this one fit riven any better than the pole dance fits Katarina? Like holy shit try to read your own statement before you post it. its just flat out stupid and inconsistent.
    Giving in on critics that female champions are to sexualized in general isn’t a bad thing to do and if you want to keep it more family appropriate from now on. but just dont pretend like you always felt that way and try to just dumb people with some made up stories about how katarina isnt ment to be sexy, cause that really pisses people off!

  • srsly

    Omg.. You can’t actually be serious. I’m pretty sure this point has been brought up already. Would you rather Riot make a bunch of calorie-challenged women part of the (let me remind you) League of LEGENDS? Tell me, how many plus size women do you think join the army (any army), and stay plus size? If you really think women who aren’t fit belong on the battlefield, you are sorely mistaken. Also, if you were designing the game instead, and you were making male characters– I imagine you would be making them all overweight or ugly right? Because we would be alienating all the (admittedly) unfit male players right? Because that would be fun to play. Because that would be visually appealing. Oh wait no it wouldn’t. It’s a game. You’re supposed to enjoy it. Not feel self conscious afterwards. And honestly, why does making a sexy female character suddenly become a malicious act? Are you competing with Miss Fortune?

  • ivotedontheyoloban

    Femnazi’s suck. That aside, even if you’re removing the first recall animation, the new one is horrible.

  • Bonzaki

    Morello are u serious? Why did u do something like this? WHY!?

  • AryAtari

    You will still pay the same you pay for a skin without any animation unless it’s a legendary skin. @Dat Guy

  • AryAtari

    I find the discussions in this page stupid. So what if the female champions are over-sexualized? So what if most of the male champions have a body builder figure? They’re in the LEAGUE OF LEGENDS for something. There’s no appeal in just having to see a fat female champ running around & killing people, I find it stupid that most imbeciles who play the game complain about this now when the game has had sensual champions from the START, Katarina & Ashe being two of those & were of the first ever released. So please, all I see are women who are butthurt because they will never look like this. & what if it doesn’t have great recall animation?
    Since when has the recall animation mattered at all?

  • Dat Guy

    People wanted to buy that skin with that recall animation, it does matter when you are purchasing a product.

  • Jimmy

    Pretty sad that people are this bothered about the change. Seriously, what’s wrong with you all? It’s a free game, and no one is forcing you to buy the skin. Let Riot release the skins the way they wanna release the skins, and then you decide if you wanna buy it or not. It’s as simple as that. I’m gonna buy it, and I’m gonna buy the Ziggs and the Fiddle skins aswell. They’re all awesome. Merry christmas, and a HAPPY (not bitching) new year.

  • brian

    I did not say or imply that at all. I don’t like either animation. Way to miss the point of my post entirely.

  • dommy


    i know right. every time they come out with a bearded veigar skin i get really upset that my facial hair wont grow that long.

  • lolwut

    @brian Lol you think the new animation where she just stands there and hits a candy cane is better? Doesn’t fit with her at all, she should at least tear it to shreds.

  • Vagor

    Consindering that most champions don’t even have a recall animation, i don’t see a problem here. I think both animations dont exactly fit the character, but i’m not buying a skin because of that Animation.
    Most of the gametime you are in fight and not recalling. So the fight animations and basic look of a skin should be more important.

  • asaad

    I was looking forward to buying tis skin, now i dont think i will.
    the new recall animation is silly childish and DOES NOT fit with kata – stand in place – poof slice – delay – fall. so anticlimatic, the complete oposite of pentaqueen :D

  • brian

    Great comment. People care because “feminist” has generally negative connotations in our culture. Oh my God, how dare Riot CAVE to PRESSURE from FEMINISTS (because feminist = extreme radical hippie that hates men, duh!) !!!

    No, a lot of people didn’t like the poledancing bit because it’s shoehorning sexuality into a part of the game that doesn’t make any sense. As Morello conceded, it doesn’t fit Katarina’s character at all, and it just looks…DUMB. I guess Riot was afraid that if there’s not a girl with huge boobs doing something sexy on the screen every 30 seconds then little teenage boys won’t buy their skins as much. Glad they realized they don’t HAVE to do that.

    People are tired of female video game characters being grossly and ridiculously oversexualized mostly because that kind of imagery (which is everywhere, of course) gives impressionable young men and young women screwed-up ideas of what an attractive woman is supposed to look like. Sure, make the characters look pretty, but do they have to have boobs bigger than their head and waists smaller than their neck? It’s fairly unhealthy, mentally, for everybody and it just looks ridiculous. GIS “Rob Liefeld” if you want some extreme examples.

    I hope people can see where we’re coming from when we express that we find this stuff kinda tasteless. It’s hardly “radical” feminism or anything. I think most of the backlash to Riot’s change is teenage boys who are absorbed in the misogynistic cultures of Reddit, 4chan etc. They have to lash out at anything perceived as WOMEN WHINING ABOUT SOMETHING, then make a sandwich joke, because if they don’t they’re totally a fag, bro.

  • Decimo

    Derp the freaking losers that post on reddit :d

  • Sir Kevinus

    I’m sad to see this change. :(

  • CynicalEffect



    Will put both replies in one post.

    Yes, you already mentioned a chunk of those, but it still doesn’t change the fact that they are indeed exempted. As for Soraka, I don’t know anybody who’s ever looked at her and gone “That’s sexy” which is the most accurate way of telling if a champion is sexualised. As for Lux, I just flatout disagree. She is fully clothed in all but one of her skins. Yes, her boobs are in view on new default splash, but I wouldn’t say it’s the focal point. AS for Sejuani, my bad. I was just looking through a list of champions and only remembered the boar part…I genuinely forgot what she looks like. Says a lot about her play rate.

    As for Pantheon being my only example, that’s simply not the case. It’s just the most obvious case. I’ve heard that some girls find Ez/TF sexy with others finding Garen/Trynd sexy. Admittedly, the list is still a lot shorter, but still.

    Honestly, I probably have the most neutral view possible here as I’m actually asexual. :p

    I honestly don’t get what the whole fuss is about in general but I just wanted to encourage more discussion on my article.

    Thanks for the comments guys!

  • Somehowsideways

    I rather disagree that it isn’t as common as it is made out to be as you suggest. Sure there are some non-sexualized women in the game, but look back at the splash art of a number of those champs. Furthermore, a number of them have sexualized skins.

    Your response to this is that there is one male champ with a sexual skin. Wow. One. That solves that problem.

    But really, I don’t think that we should go for the “let’s make it fair by giving women sexy male skins” approach.

    Instead, let’s ask them what they want to see skin/champion wise. If they want an evolving stripper Twisted Fate skin who sheds cloths down to a speedo, cuffs, and a coller, similar to ezreal’s evolutions, then make it. If they want Riot to make female champions who look like actual human beings with normal dimensions who doesn’t make a big deal about how she doesn’t look like she came from an anime, why not just do it?

  • Anonymys

    @CynicalEffect Annie’s a child and Anivia’s a bird, and I mentioned them both already.
    When they redid Lux’s art they put her in a position that literally has her shoving her boobs out as a focal point.
    Fiora’s original skin is pretty okay, despite the skintight body suit.
    Irelia I exempted already.
    No one plays Karma but I’ll exempt her for now. However, she’s getting a visual remake when they remake her abilities so we’ll see what that does.
    Leona I already mentioned.
    Riven is debatable.
    Shyvana I already mentioned.
    Orianna is a robot based on a little girl so she’s kind of exempted the same way Annie is.
    I spoke about Yordles already.

    And for the last two you’re surely joking. Soraka was just remade and now her tabard covers a bit more skin, but not a whole lot more. Sejuani is supposed to be a tank, who’s from the coldest place in Runeterra, but she wears a fur bikini. C’mon now.

  • CynicalEffect

    To the people posting about no sexualised male skins, may I please point you in the direction of Pantheon.

    Obviously it goes without saying that a much higher % of female skins are, but it’s not all one way stuff.

    Also, as for female characters that are not sexualised, there’s Annie, Anivia, there’s Lux, Fiora, Irelia, Karma, Leona, Riven, Shyvana, Orianna, Trist, Soraka, Sejuani.

    It’s not as common as people are making it out to be.

  • Taric

    I´m voting for a slutty male skin for a change. Not that I´m gay, but it´s not fair to all the ladies playing league of legends. Give them some love to!

  • Somehowsideways

    If you had the opportunity to create a sexualized skin for a male hero, what would you make?

  • Anonymys

    @JamosDeYamos Oh, I’m just bored. I can’t play LoL and eat dinner at the same time.

  • Shaboopie

    If you think that MF is the hotter character, give her the skin and pole dance recall animation. YOUR MOVE RIOT.

  • JamosDeYamos

    @Sarru Those are both still MALE fantasies.

  • JamosDeYamos

    @Anonymys I appreciate what you’re doin’ friend, but it’s probably not worth the effort. Read my earlier post. Srsly not worth the effort.

  • JamosDeYamos

    Can we stop trying to appease the 14 year old boys their every whim? So they want you to keep a stripper dance for one of their main champs. So they live all day on LoL Reddit and can’t stop griping because you took out some needless garbage that demeans one of your few “strong” female characters. WHO CARES? THEY even don’t. They’ve already moved on to the next thread. The good thing about their rage is it’s huge, and the end of the world and completely fleeting. When Riot releases responses like this it makes me wonder whether dealing in a product has turned them into their target audience. THESE KIDS DONT NEED TO BE APPEASED. They need to be ignored until the next patch comes out and they can whine about black cleaver nerfs.

  • Sarru

    Male characters are power fantasies, female characters are sexual fantasies, but patriarchy don’t real at riot.

  • Anonymys

    @Raithwal I’m not denying that. Still hoping for that Lady Gragas skin, and I promise I’ll never, ever think her boobs are anything other than just and glorious.

  • Raithwal

    @Anonymys Don’t worry, we’ll always have Gragas. His boobs are bigger than most of the over sexualized females’ breasts any way.

  • Anonymys

    Also, to put it out there, I feel kind of bad for the guy folk, too. A bunch of your champions are intensely muscled with incredible facial hair, and that’s silly, too.

  • Laurel

    So glad it’s gone. Made no sense with Kat’s character, and makes me proud of Riot as a company. Alienating women by making 90% of the champions strip-tease flawless identical women is not the way to run a company, game, or society. Believe or not, these are all related and affect each other.

    Someone made a good point about Leona being a badass armored woman – true! And she was marketed as this strong independant tank woman “who don’t need no man” like it was something brand new and out of the norm. Pfft. Try to empathize here; if every single representation of your gender was an unachievable sexualized caricature, you’d get bored of it too.

  • Anonymys

    @Anon Most girls have issues regarding their own body, but that’s not what I’m discussing here. =)

  • Anonymys

    @Raithwal Elise who’s practically wearing a latex bodysuit and Shyvana who’s wearing “armor” that amounts to a bikini and boots.

    Annie would probably not be a usable example were she not a child, but Anivia I will give you wholeheartedly. She’s one of the few female champions who isn’t sexualized.

    And don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not trying to say there shouldn’t be any sensuality in the game. Eve, for example, is a great character – her theme literally is about being seductive and luring men to their deaths with her body, and her art fits that. She’s mysterious and sexy and deadly.

    I’ll also grant that there *are* female champions who really aren’t overdone sexually – Irelia is one, Annie is another, Anivia as you said, and most, if not all, of the Yordles (unless you look at fan art, amirite).

  • Anon

    trying to label Diana and Leona as sexualized… and the way to talk about their supposed physiques under their armor

    seems to me that you have issues about your own body

  • Raithwal

    @Anonymys There is, though. Sorry those were the only two female characters that came to me off the top of my head and I actually play. You have Anivia who’s a female cryophoenix, Annie a little girl, Elise who’s a Spider/Spiderwoman, Shyvana’s turns into a dragon. But hey if you want a true amazon in there, even better.

  • John

    How is any of leona skins sexualized.

  • Anonymys

    @Tilr I can’t even take this comment seriously, since you listed
    Cass, Elise, Eve, and Nami as champs who don’t have “ginnormous [sic]” boobs. Are you kidding?

    Eve is easily THE MOST sexualized character IN THE GAME. How about you don’t post while high?

  • Jessica

    The only “fat” human looking male champ in the game is Gragas. All the others have ridiculous bodybuilder physiques, so maybe we should bitch about that too.

  • Anonymys

    @Raithwal Don’t get me wrong, I love Diana and Leona both – they’re fun to play, their lore is great, and the art is good. But they both are still slim, gorgeous women with big boobs and tiny waistlines, even if both are covered by armor (in the original skins, anyway, because both champs have very sexual skins available).

    It’s like when Riot said the new champ, Vi, was going to be a big, bulky, bad ass chick. Have you seen her? Yea, she’s tall, and she has big fists, and also wide hips, a tiny waist, and big boobs.

    I just want some true variety.

  • dhagura

    Next patch women wont have big boobs xD

  • ydoc

    ITS A GAME PEOPLE! I do not see why people are trippin out, who cares its not real life. Well maybe it is to some of you now that i think about it.

  • http://magesplane.blogspot.com/ MathMage

    They made the new recall animation in, what, two days? Small wonder it looks rushed; it WAS.

    Also, the author of this article using ‘feminists’ like a dirty word irritated the hell out of me.

  • Tilr

    I like how you say there are 2 choices of females, yordles with small boobs, and everything else with ginnormous boobs. here are the counter arguements in classic skins
    Anivia, Annie, Cassiopeia, Diana, Elise, Evelynn, Fiora, Irelia, Karma, Kayle, Leona, Lux, Nami, Orianna, Riven, Sejuani, Shyvana, Soraka, and lastly Vayne.

    A few have a “sexy” holiday skin, but that is the fun of the game, research your skins before making an assinine comment. thank you and have a nice day.

  • GaoShiki

    They didn’t, it was on the public beta environment server. i.e. not actual release.

  • John

    People is really stupid nowdays.

    They react to sensuality, charm and seduction like its some kind of sin or something.

    Of course, there are some explicit boundaries a game should never cross, but this case is pretty simple, cmon.

  • Jessica

    People like to bitch about how “overly sexualized” every single female character in this game is. Let’s see.. Diana, Orianna, Vayne, Lux, Irelia, Karma, Riven, and current Nidalee. They may have some “sexy” skins but their defaults aren’t sexualized in the slightest. Nearly every “human” male in this game has over-exaggerated muscles and perfect bodybuilder-esque physique. But that’s not meant to be “eye candy”, but rather immerse men into “what they wish they could be”. Get over yourself, feminists. It’s a bunch of hypocrisy. Not to mention you like to whine and bitch about how you should be able to breastfeed in public or go topless if you want to, because “breasts aren’t JUST for sexual purpose, that’s not their main function.”

    So get over it, some champs have some big ol’ titties. What’s the big deal? It reeks of insecurity.

    As for Riot, there was obviously a reason they put it in there in the first place – obviously they thought it was fitting for the theme. Just wish they would be honest about why they actually took out the animation. Regardless, pole dancing or no pole dancing – the new animation sucks.

  • Winirion

    What i have to say: I absolutely wanted this new skin mostly because of the new cool recall animation which makes it different from the other skins. But now i am not going to buy this skin. Better keep my other katarina skin and buy something other. Because the skin itself is not so great…


    then why the hell did they release this skin in the first place…??..RIGHT? RIGHT?…gosh riot..stupid

  • LordFrz

    Enough with the skins, give me some new freakin maps!!!!!!!


    the why the hell did they release this skin then…??..RIGHT? RIGHT?…gosh riot..stupid

  • Raithwal

    @Anonymys What about Diana and Leona? They’re fully clad in sensible armor and are badass to boot.

  • Dashy

    Well… The first thing I thought when I saw the poledance animation was “wow, this reminds me of Nidalee’s”. I’m not exactly happy about the change, but I’m not sad either. The new animation is cool enough, I guess.

  • Estafreak

    The old animation was just not right for her it didn’t make any sense…

    1: Kat is a ruthless killer, not a stripper.
    2: Where the fuck does the candy cane pole come from?!
    3: New one is better, So stop bitching what is done is done, if you don’t like it then you don’t have to buy then skin. Goodnight, Happy New Year, and Merry fucking Christmas.

  • Christopher

    Morello is stupid.

    should have kept it the original animation.

  • Fireboi

    I honestly did not like the old animation because of the animation itself, not what it “stood for”..

  • http://www.twitch.tv/vexonlol Vexon

    Well, if you’re gonna change the skin recall animation, give us at least something worth buying, this new animation is just not good at all, i agree with the boycot on all degrees.

  • http://50wordstories.com Tim

    I hate how incredibly oversexualized the game is. The more of this crap they remove, the better.

  • Charles-William

    I think they gave in to the pressure but can’t back up since if they do, it would be proof and they will lose credibility. So I don’t think we are going to see that animation back.

    I hope they learned about it and they will stop backing up as soon as someone will whine for stupid reasons.

  • Anonymys

    I’m not a feminist, but the animation did bother me a bit, mostly because I’m just tired of every female character in LoL being, first and foremost, a sexual object (despite whatever Morello says). Yes, it’s a game with a primarily male audience – most MOBAs and MMOs are, so this concept of “every female character must be incredibly sexualized” isn’t likely to disappear soon, but I just want some variety.

    Think about it. We have all sorts of male character types – fat Gragas, incredibly buff Tryndamere or Olaf, skinny boys like Ezreal, and tons of non-human, male characters, like Cho or Nocturne. How much variety is there among the female characters? Pretty much two types – Yordles, who have small boobs, and everyone else, whose boobs are ginormous.


  • willy

    there are enough cliches dont ruin the female characters im glad its been removed

  • GaoShiki

    I think that “Waaah, feminists,” is really more of a “Waaah, why are there other people who dislike what I like?” Holy shit, even if they were right about Riot buckling because of ‘feminists,’ so? ‘Waah, people who find poledancing disrespectful and uncomfortable to watch are taking away my six seconds of poledancing in a game designed around actual gameplay, not a striptease.’ It’s not even that fucking titillating, nor is the game designed for titillation, why the fuck do you people care if it’s removed for the sake of making other people comfortable?

  • multi

    Pretty sad really, they definitely should redo the backing animation again if that is what they think is appealing to the main characteristic of the champion. Sadly I love kat too much to pass up an opportunity on a new skin though. Q_Q