League of Legends Pride backlash prompts sharp Riot response

League of Legends fans are reacting to this year's Pride backdrop, and Riot Games is wasting no time shooting down the negativity.

League of Legends 2023 Pride Backdrop

There is no shortage of controversy when it comes to huge multiplayer games like League of Legends, and the current public reaction to the game’s Pride backdrop is no exception. With fans claiming that Riot’s support of queer players during League of Legends Pride is somehow being forced onto everyone or is “pushing an agenda,” it’s no wonder that the devs quickly clapped back at the bigotry.

Alex Quach, a producer at Riot Games, has spoken out in response to the controversy from select players following the unveiling of League of Legends’ 2023 Pride backdrop, and he was not messing around. The first question Alex responded to was about how to get the background, which he clarified “will be the new profile background when equipping the relevant icons during the event window.”

The second question covered, however, is the one generating the most buzz. When responding to criticism about why the team “changed” the identities of characters, Alex said, “We didn’t. You assumed straightness.” I love this clear, no-messing-around response.

His final reply ended the FAQ on a positive note. It covered whether or not the 2023 backdrop for League of Legends Pride includes all of the game’s queer characters, which he confirmed it does not, suggesting that we shouldn’t assume any characters left out are necessarily straight.

Game producer Alex Quach's response to the League of Legends Pride controversy

As a bisexual woman within the gaming community, it is always disheartening to see fellow players react to positive representation with such misplaced hatred. We love games, we are queer, and most importantly, we exist. Nobody bats an eye at the inclusion of straight characters, but one sign of same-sex attraction causes some fans to scream “agenda!”

I cannot fault Riot’s swift response to this current example of bigotry in the League playerbase. Those unaffected by these issues will never realize how much it means to some of us when we see strong representation in the biggest games.

While the situation continues to unfold, you can take a break from the drama and stress of it all by checking out some of our other favorite MOBAs that will be sure to get your blood pumping in a much more positive way. You can also browse around the most recent League of Legends patch notes to learn about Riot’s added buffs and changes.