LoL replaces the voice of a cold-blooded killer with Tiny Tina – fans storm until Riot backs down

LoL replaces the voice of a cold-blooded killer with Tiny Tina - fans storm until Riot backs down

Riot Games has replaced the voice of the popular heroine Akali in League of Legends on the test server: instead of the established voice actress Krizia Bajos, Ashly Burch has now been hired in English. The actress voices Tiny Tina in Borderlands, Aloy in Horizon Zero Dawn and Chloe Price in Life is Strange. The change of voice was not clear to many fans.

What is this character Akali?

  • The rebellious assassin “Akali” is one of the most popular champions in LoL at all: It is a highly dangerous assassin that is mainly played in the midlane.
  • Akali is considered an extremely cool heroine in LoL because she fulfills a clear power fantasy: that of being an assassin who lunges at opponents at full risk and can finish off their enemies in seconds. Akali was part of the ultra-successful LoL band “K/DA”.
  • Akali’s voice also matched this fantasy: Bajos spoke Akali rather reserved and cool, with a touch of arrogance in his voice. Fans described Akali’s “old voice” as: cruel, angry and somewhat sadistic.

Akali will also receive a skin in the new Star Guardian event:

LoL: The popular Star Guardian event is back – teaser reveals release date

Riot is replacing the voice that has been voicing Akali since 2009 with one of the most iconic female voices in gaming

That was the change now: Riot Games has swapped Akali’s voice lines on the test server without much notice. The character was suddenly voiced by Ashly Burch. This is a well known voice actor in gaming. She is known for roles such as:

  • Aloy in Horizon Zero Dawn
  • Viper in Valorant
  • Tiny Tina in Borderlands
  • Chloe Price in Life is Strange
  • Mel in The Last of Us
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Burch is arguably one of the most famous, if not the most famous, voice actress in gaming.

Krizia Bajos has been speaking Akali since 2009: She is an American with roots in Cuba. The actress has voiced few “big roles” in video games.

Ashly Burch is extremely popular in gaming:

“Just sounds like Aloy from Horizon Zero Dawn”

This was the reaction of the fans: The fans weren’t that disappointed with the new voice, they just missed the old one too much to let it go now. In comments people said:

  • “The new voice is just too …. “Hollywood action heroine” moderate.”
  • “The voice is just like Aloy from Horizon Zero Dawn. Same speaking cadence and stuff. Probably the most colorless character in gaming, even though I like the game.”
  • “I like the original Akali. Her voice just fits better: it’s serious and intense. The new one is too sarcastic and blase for me.”

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Essentially, people are saying: the “new Akali” sounded like a heroine, while the old Akali sounded like a monstrous killer.

Hardly anyone really criticizes Burch in the comments. It seems that Burch is so present in video games that she now stands for “the typical female voice” in gaming – and the fans here miss the uniqueness that distinguishes the old Akali.

Here’s how Riot reacts: Riot has taken back the vote for the “base version” of Akali. For those who really want to hear Ashley Burch, she’ll be voicing the Star Guardian skin for Akali.

For the fans, the change of voice was no small thing, because for many, Akali is not just any heroine, but a figurehead of League of Legends. The thread on the topic quickly had 3,000 upvotes and over 900 comments on reddit.

What an important role Akali plays in LoL can also be seen in the band K/DA:

LoL: music video should sell skins, becomes a viral hit