Iran has decided to ban a majority of the female champions in League of Legends from being played in the WCG 2013 Game Festival.
According to the official rules (which are in Persian) the following champions are all banned from Competition:
Ahri, Akali, Ashe, Caitlyn, Cassiopia, Elise, Evelyn, Irelia, Janna, Karma, Katarina, Leblanc, Miss Fortune, Morgana, Nidalee, Orianna, Riven, Shyvana, Sivir, Sona, Soraka, Syndra, Vi, and Zyra.
The debate still rages whether or not to allow Diana, Fiora, Karma(traditional skin only), Kayle, Leona, Lissandra, Lulu, Lux, Nami, Quinn, Sejuani, Tristana, Vayne in tournament play.
The reason for the blanket bans can be traced back to the Iranian governments Islamic roots. In order for the tournament to be considered legal, tournament organizers are required to ask for the governments approval to have the event. This means the decision lies with the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance a.k.a the “Ershad”.
Apparently the Iranian government is enforcing the religious practice of forbidding the exposure of a woman’s body other than hands and feet. Considering that Fiora and Vayne are on the maybe list, it makes me wonder if they’ve actually seen all the skins, Headmistress Fiora and Heartseeker Vayne anyone?
One other curious rule revolves around Annie. While not at all sexually depicted, in order to play Annie, players must lower their headset volume.
It is noteworthy to mention that this is Iran’s first participation in the World Cyber Games. However, their progress forward in society (and certainly their progress competitively) has surely been hampered by this decision.
The question now is, will Iran demand Riot enforce the decision for all teams participating in the event? Surely not, but I can’t imagine Iran would ban these champions from play only to allow them to be playable by other teams while in a match with Iranian players. What do you think will happen?