Riot responds to allegations over League of Legends Smolder animation

After being accused of tracing a League of Legends animation, Riot Games has since responded to the artist, offering to "make it right."

Riot responds to allegations over League of Legends Smolder animation: A cute dragon with red scales, blue trims, and flaming horns smiles cheekily into the camera in a mountain area

January 12, 2024, 05:00 PT: Riot Games has issued an apology to the animator, offering to “make it right.”

Riot Games has been accused of using the animation behind the ‘Dancing Toothless’ meme to create its own version featuring new League of Legends champion, Smolder. In response, the artist has asked “who do I invoice?” Riot has since responded, offering to “make it right.”

On January 11, Riot Games’ UK, IE, and Nordics account posted an animation of new League of Legends champion Smolder having a little boogie on the Rift. Stylized like the age-old ‘Dancing Toothless’ meme, the post has pulled almost 5 million views at the time of writing, with 19k retweets to boot.

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The tweet, however, is devoid of any accreditation. This has led Cas van de Pol, the Dutch artist who created Dancing Toothless, to quote the tweet and ask the MOBA‘s developers “who do I invoice for this?”

The animation is very similar to the first Dancing Toothless variation in the video above, with van de Pol’s video having been uploaded five days ago.

As a result, Riot’s tweet now has a ‘for context’ box (pictured below), which claims that “the animation is a trace of another made by the artist Cas van de Pol. No credits were given and no permission was asked before posting this animation.”

Van de Pol’s tweet, however, has garnered over 113k likes at the time of writing, with over 10k retweets. Comments are largely in their favor.

An image of a cartoon dragon dancing on League of Legends' Summoner's Rift blue spawn

Riot has since responded to van de Pol, writing “hi Cas, we’ve missed a few steps by not including you in the process around the creation of this piece, and we apologize for it. We’d like to make it right. We’ve dropped you an email to discuss.”

Riot responds to allegations over League of Legends Smolder animation: Riot Games responding to an image of a dancing dragon

PCGamesN has reached out to Riot Games and van de Pol for comment on this matter and will update this story if we hear more.