Riot Games announced the start of the season of Pride yesterday to celebrate and support LGBTQIA+ players and communities within all of the company’s games. It’s a great event that features various rainbow-colored icons, player cards, and other game aspects across titles like League of Legends, VALORANT, Legends of Runeterra, and Teamfight Tactics.
But members of the League community have brought attention to the fact that in Riot Turkey’s announcement, the event doesn’t mention pride at all and fails to talk about the LGBTQIA+ community. Instead, the page calls the upcoming event the Color Festival, which is apparently being held to “celebrate the different colors of spring.”
Many people have raised concerns over the possible censorship of the Pride movement in the country, especially due to the stances that the Turkish government has had on the general LGBTQIA+ community.
Last December, for example, BBC Turkey reported that government advertising regulators announced that LGBTQIA+ and rainbow-themed products sold online must be advertised as being for ages 18 and over because exposure to such products “may affect the development of children in a negative way.” League currently holds a teen/PEGI 12+ age rating.
Turkish players also shared screengrabs of Riot Turkey’s response to their complaints about the event’s name change. The team members from Riot all responded in a similar fashion, saying that the name of the event and icon was chosen as the closest meaning by professional translators and that the name was decided entirely by those translators.
Update May 19 2:24pm CT: Riot has sent a statement out in response to the article, saying, “Our top priority was making sure players could access this content in as many places as possible. To comply with local laws that meant changing labels for some of the regions in which we publish. We hope in the future we’ll be able to celebrate with Pride globally.”
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