Riot Games Shows its True Colors: Is LoL Copying Dota2?

League of Legends just released their newest champion in Hwei, whom fans quickly pointed out was eerily similar to one of the most iconic Dota2 heroes in Invoker. Fans of Dota2 were quick to make fun of Riot Games for not having a sense of originality. Is LoL copying Dota2’s concepts to get an advantage over their competitors? We need to take a look at how this champion release shows the true colors of League of Legends!

Hwei vs Invoker

Since DotA (Defense of the Ancients) came out way before League of Legends was even created, the fans of the game have a solid claim over champion designs and concepts. It is not untrue that many champions in League of Legends share a similar gameplay with Dota2 heroes. However, Riot Games made it a point to create original champion designs and with their game release 2-4 champions yearly, they quickly outgrew the allegations of simply copying Dota2 hero concepts.

Hwei: The Visionary | Champion Trailer - League of Legends
It’s literally Invoker from Dota2?

However, the allegations of LoL copying Dota2 returned when Riot Games announced the release of their new champion – Hwei, the Visionary – who strikes a close resemblance to Invoker in terms of gameplay. Even though Riot Games was careful to make sure there are major differences in the two characters, their kits are essentially the same. While LoL fans claim that having the same gameplay doesn’t always mean it it is directly copied, it is hard to argue against the fact that they virtually work the same way.

Invoker and Hwei both don’t have any active abilities that have any relevant effects. The way they work is that they use combinations of their basic abilities to create one basic ability. Both champions are considered high-difficulty champions since players need to memorize a large list of basic abilities that each have different effects. In additional, players will need to learn how to combo these basic abilities together for maximize damage output or utilization.

Invoker unleashing his magic - LoL copying Dota2
The OG Invoker

While the abilities of both Hwei and Invoker aren’t all completely the same. There are some abilities that are literally 1:1 clones of each other. This makes it difficult to argue that Riot Games didn’t at least take a bit of inspiration from Invoker’s model before creating Hwei. However, Riot Games isn’t really a company who cares too much about people comparing the two games. There’s a reason why that might be the case.

Is LoL Copying Dota2’s Champion Roster?

The short answer would be no. However, there is no doubt that Riot Games is taking inspiration from various popular video games when designing their champions. The developers have been open about using various video game characters as inspiration for creating some champions. While the vast majority of the current champion roster came from original concepts, it is also true that there is a relevant number of champions that were inspired by other characters.

Hwei manipulating paint using magic - LoL copying Dota2
Is Riot Games copying Dota’s hero roster?

Of course, we’re not arguing that Hwei is an imperfect clone of Invoker. That may as well be the case since they both have so much similarities that it’s difficult to make an argument on why that’s not true. Using the concept of a character from one game and incorporating it to their own is a trait that ALL game companies share. Even if they are not aware of it, they’ll most likely be taking one character from another company by using the same gameplay design.

League of Legends is Dota2

Younger generation Dota2 or League of Legends may not know that both games share the same ancestor. Dota2 was created from a Warcraft III mod known as Defense of the Ancients. The developers who created this mod eventually broke away from the team and joined the upcoming company called Riot Games who was trying to develop an online multiplayer version of the mod that would be available for a larger audience. This would begin the LoL vs Dota2 rivalry.

People need to understand that Dota2 also broke away from the original DotA because it wasn’t recognized as a standalone game. Without updates to Warcraft III, DotA was doomed to be stagnant. That’s why Valve bought out the rights and team behind DotA and created Dota2 which was recreated with new characters. They were unable to use the proper names and races from the original Dota because those belonged to the Warcraft franchise by Blizzard.

Hwei's ability combos explained in an infographic - LoL copying Dota2
They share the same history!

LoL copying Dota2 isn’t exactly an accurate statement since those who created DotA who are now part of Riot Games also have shared rights to the creation of the game’s assets, which includes its characters. Those who originally worked on the game may not have a hands-on contribution to the game nowadays but having shared ancestry means that same characters that existed before both Dota2 and LoL is basically fair game in terms of who can use their concepts.

For those players did not know about the shared origins of both Dota2 and LoL, you may notice big similarities like the names of Rylai and Guinsoo being used in items. These are people who contributed to the creation of the original DotA mod and are tributes to their contributions to each game. The original creators probably wouldn’t like accusations of LoL copying Dota2 or vice versa. However, it is the gaming community and toxic channels like controversial Reddit pages that fuel the fire.

Will Valve Sue Riot Games?

Valve will most likely not take any legal action against Riot Games about anything. Hwei has enough variation from Invoker that it can be considered a completely different non-stolen asset. For the fans, it’s undeniable that these characters are virtually the same but there’s a lot more things to take a look at when it comes to legal technicalities. LoL copying Dota2’s asset straight up has never been the case.

Hwei surrounded by crystal roses - LoL copying Dota2
There is no battle to be fought here

Even if Valve does take legal action against Riot Games, it’s extremely difficult for them to win the case. Video game lawsuits have never gone well for big companies. For example, Riot Games has already filed a lawsuit against Moontoon, who blatantly and shamelessly stole assets from League of Legends but still lost despite a lot of solid evidence. Valve might not be interested in spending a large amount of money for a losing battle.

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