After three years, Riot Games suddenly jumped into the scene and decided to make some changes. While they have made many changes, the changes we are talking about are how they censored Evelynn’s Splash Art and Graves’s Cigar again – this is an issue that many players encounter across multiple regions.
Graves Quit Cold Turkey
While Graves’ was known for his cigar use, back in 2014, Riot made him quit cold turkey because the tobacco use laws are different from one region to the next. During this time, when players learned what they did to Graves’, the League of Legend community spoke out. Many were not happy with this decision.
For those of you who have been playing League of Legends long enough, we know you have witnessed a whole lot of changes. From individual champion rewords to the visual update, Riot seems to love making changes.
When a change occurs, Riot usually has a logical reason behind them, but then you have some changes that have remained a mystery. One of those mysteries would be Graves’ cigar.
When this new addition popped up, many thought it was cool because it matched Graves’ character and background. However, as soon as this cigar was introduced, it seems to have vanished overnight, and Riot never explained it. Was the cigar just a figment of our imaginations, or did Grave have one?
That Time Graves Got His Cigar Back
Do you remember that time Graves got his cigar back? After years of having his iconic cigar in the game, as we previously mentioned, it was removed from the game due to age restrictions and censorship in different regions.
Three years later, in 2017, Graves’ started his old habits again as Riot handed him his cigar. However, back in July of 2020, players began to notice something different about Graves…once again, he didn’t have his cigar in his splash arts. Is this something Riot Games snuck past us, or is it just an accident?
While the use of tobacco may be acceptable in the United States, the same cannot be said for other parts of the world, and this is something that Riot tries to tend to. When Graves’ got his cigar back, the community wasn’t sure of the reasoning but figured Riot had worked something out or the ratings in other countries may have changed.
The League of Legends community was so happy to see this, so when Graves’ popped up without his cigar again, everyone was a bit confused …and since Riot hasn’t made an official announcement, the confusion is still there.
Why Did They Steal His Cigar Again?
Digging through conversations from the past, RiotSilver (a Riot employee) had given a brief answer as to why the cigar was removed in the past (we’re sure this is the same reason today). The cigar had caused censorship problems in some countries.
The nature of a game tends to affect its rating. This means that when a game includes drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, it will be marketed to a higher age group and have a higher age rating. Whereas, if you were to remove all of that, it could be sold to teens.
Now, we know that League of Legends is aimed at young teenagers, so it would be a real nightmare if certain countries changed the game’s rating to 18+. If this were to happen, then many people wouldn’t be able to play the game, and in return, this would have a significant impact on the player base.
This is the type of risk that is just too high – Riot doesn’t want LoL to be censored in certain regions, and we don’t blame them. For this reason, they had to revert the changes and go back to the original Graves’.
Okay, so what about the cinematic? What didn’t Riot delete that and upload a new censored version?
The reason here is because the laws differ between the actual game and the external content like the cinematic trailers. Those splashes that are part of the core game are treated differently than external content. If you play the game, the cigar in Graves’ splash art will probably pop up at some point, even if you don’t want to see it. However, no one is making you watch those cinematic trailers, even though they are pretty cool.
Evelynn’s Splash Art Has been Censored
As if taking away Graves’ cigar wasn’t enough, Riot moved in and messed with Evelyn Splash art…they seriously censored that too. Mind you, in Asian servers; it’s common to come across censored splash arts because of the age restrictions and the risk of censorship. However, in western regions, it’s unlikely.
However, a player has pointed out that on the EUNE server, Evelynn’s Splash art has been censored, and Riot hasn’t given any reason behind this. You can also see the censored version in the collection cab.
Looking at Evelynn’s Splash art in the collection tab, it’s evident that it looks different. Her usual clothes have been turned into what appears to be a full one-piece. Before this censor, her tummy was bare. Sure, the reason they may censor someone like Eve is understandable, especially with League being mobile. We have heard that the Applestore doesn’t accept anything showing a single line of cleavage on a character. We know that when Riot designs their characters, they create them so that they’re acceptable globally.
Taking it to Reddit, we find that many players are starting to report that this issue isn’t just taking place on the EUNE server; it’s taking place on other servers. Some players see this censored version on EUW and NA servers as well – even I have noticed this issue on my client.
This isn’t something that the League of Legends community is pleased with. One played said, “Please stop applying Asian censorship in other servers.” Then, you have many players that believe this is an issue they have faced in the past.
This isn’t the first time Riot has messed with something in the game. Awhile back, they renamed the Mafia/Gangster skin line to Crime City. The Reason? It was because of a cultural sensitivity issue.
Despite it all, Riot has not popped their heads out and made any official statements regarding this censored issue. For all we know, it could be some bug, but it could also be intentional.