League of Legends' female characters wear revealing outfits—too revealing for Iranian hardliners. And thus, too revealing for an Iranian eSports tournament.
According to Iran's World Cyber Games Facebook page (via LoL Forums), the tournament has banned female League of Legends characters. They were banned to comply with Iranian customs.
The following League of Legends characters (or "champions" in LoL lingo) have apparently been banned: Ahri, Akali, Ashe, Caitlyn, Cassiopia, Diana, Elise, Evelyn, Fiora, Irelia, Janna, Karma, Katarina, Kayle, Leblanc, Leona, Lissandra, Lulu, Lux, Miss Fortune, Morgana, Nami, Nidalee, Oriana, Quinn, Riven, Sejuani, Shyvana, Sivir, Sona, Soraka, Syndra, Tristana, Vayne, Vi, and Zyra.
So... that's pretty much all of the game's female characters, no? This is essentially like removing half the pieces from chess. These characters are essential to gameplay and strategy. Banning them completely changes the game.
These characters, however, are currently under consideration for tournament play in Iran: Diana, Fiora, Karma (only traditional skin), Kayle, Leona, Lissandra, Lulu, Lux, Nami, Quinn, Sejuani, Tristana, and Vayne.
The Facebook post listing the specific banned female characters has since become unavailable. The League of Legends forums still have a translation of the Facebook post.
In the comments of this now deleted post, WGC Iran wrote that if they don't comply, limitations would be put on the event, and organizers could even be forced to can the event.
However, there is still a WGC Iran Facebook post mentioning how the tournament organizers must follow the rules of Iran regarding League of Legends and that they are working with the government to find a solution.
Reza Babaei, the WCG Iran event coordinator, told Kotaku that the event organizers have been talking with the Iranian government for the past two months. The government agreed to permit tournament play of LoL, a game that, according to Babei, is "banned" in Iran, but only under certain conditions.
The tournament is scheduled to take place between September 12 and September 16. However, Babaei said organizers are still in talks with the government, so that's only if everything works out.
WCG Iran told Kotaku it was an official World Cyber Games tournament, while the LoL Forums are calling it "unofficial." Kotaku is following up with WCG.com.
Unofficial LoL Tournament In Iran Doesn't Allow Players To Pick Most Female Champions [League of Legends Thanks, Sang!]
To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.