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Are there “pay-to-win” skins in League of Legends?

In the wide universe of League of Legends, some skins are banned at the professional level for different reasons. Some of these bans are centered on the advantages they can provide to players.

Over the years, League of Legends skins have become one of the most important components of the game. Through skins, Riot Games can generate revenue from a video game that has always been offered for free. Even some professional teams benefit from the revenue generated by the skins, as is the case of Fnatic, T1, or Invictus Gaming after winning the Summoner’s Cup.

Now, a priori, the skins do not suppose any advantage within the Summoner’s Rift since it is only an aesthetic component. However, some skins in the game are professionally banned due to their possible advantages.

Skins banned in esports tournaments

Some skins cannot be used in competitive games, as Free League Memes pointed out on Twitter. Professional players usually have many options for playing with skins, so it is not a problem. Playing with them, however, comes with a penalty because Riot Games considers them ineligible for competitive play. The causes are the following:

  • The vitality to buy the appearance
  • Giving players unfair advantages
  • Difficulty in visually appreciating animations or particles.

Although no paid skins exist in League of Legends, professional players have pointed out that some skins can provide slight benefits if used maliciously. The visual component is crucial in the competitive environment because seeing or missing a crucial game piece (such as Orianna’s ball) can affect a play’s outcome. Therefore, a game’s outcome must also be considered in light of the surrounding circumstances. Now, we tell you which skins have been banned in professional competitions.

Skins that will not be seen in competitions

  • Warwick Gray
  • Syndra Guardian Star
  • Hairy Fizz
  • Kog’Maw War Machine
  • DJ Sona
  • Elementalist Lux
  • Project Ashe
  • iBlitzcrank
  • Draven Draven
  • Heimerdinger Dragon Tamer
  • Sivir Pax
  • Riot Singed

In addition to the reasons mentioned above, spectators also become important when banning skins. While it is true that Riot does not allow limited skins temporarily to discourage their purchase, other options are meant to take care of the audience visually. As some Reddit users have pointed out, cosmetics like Lux Elementalist are banned as they interfere with the user experience by requiring much work from the video game in spectator mode. Technically, pay-to-win cosmetics do not exist, as they would not have been released otherwise. However, Riot Games would rather avoid any potential issues with those indicated above.

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