Ahri Ban Rate Skyrockets as LoL Fans Protest $500 Skin

The new Risen Legend Ahri skin features a sleek design and signature Faker-themed red flame motifs.
The new Risen Legend Ahri skin features a sleek design and signature Faker-themed red flame motifs. / Riot Games

Update 6/20/2024: Ahri's ban rate has now reached 23.9% according to League of Graphs

Riot Games took a brazenly controversial approach to celebrating its first hall of fame inductee and fans have expressed their frustration in whatever way they can. Since the reveal of the game's first-ever $500 cosmetic bundle, some players have begun to ban Ahri, arguably reducing the value of the skin by preventing purchasers from ever actually using it.

With the release of League of Legends patch 14.12 (the patch that brought the Ahri skin into the store), Ahri's ban rate immediately soared to over 14%, up from a 9% average for the last month according to op.gg.

In a recent post leading up to the patch, Riot attempted to defend the price tag by citing its potential to bring revenue to its esports ecosystem, but fans seem largely unconvinced by the argument.

According to LeagueofGraphs, Ahri's ban rate is at its highest point since 2022, reaching the third-highest spike since the champion's release in 2011.

Premium skins have impacted the League of Legends meta in the past, but typically have a greater impact on champion pick rates rather than how often the character is banned. The game's first legendary skin, Pulsefire Ezreal, famously brought the champion back into the minds of pro players and had a direct impact on the ADC meta at the 2012 League of Legends World Championship.

In this instance, however, outraged gamers are trying to go beyond the usual "vote with your wallet" approach to expressing displeasure with a developer's decision.

While many in the community are celebrating this unique form of collective action, even attempting to get the #BanAhri hashtag trending on Twitter/X, others are unconvinced it will have any impact compared to the ROI for Riot's bottom line.

For now, Riot seems to be committed to its pricing, and it will be a full calendar year before we see how this backlash impacts future Hall of Legends skins. Of course, as many fans have pointed out across social media, the next hall of famer is unlikely to move units the way the most famous player in esports can.


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Trent Murray

TRENT MURRAY

Trent has covered esports since the birth of the LCS. He also led content strategy and served as Senior Writer for The Esports Observer and Sports Business Journal, and worked on the development team for Rushdown Revolt.