Riot Games suing Vietnamese developer over Teamfight Tactics clone

Riot seeks $150K for every copyright infringement offense.

Draconic Dragon Dragonsoul Teamfight Tactics TfT Shyvana

Image via Riot Games

Riot Games is suing Vietnamese game developer Imba Network over its Teamfight Tactics clone. The California-based League of Legends studio filed a lawsuit on Thursday accusing Imba’s game, I Am Hero: AFK Tactical Teamfight, of copyright infringement.

According to a report from Polygon, Riot is seeking $150,000 for every copyright violation it has listed in the lawsuit, including copying paragraphs of character lore text verbatim and stealing character designs, among other offenses. It is also asking the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to prevent Imba from selling I Am Hero: AFK Tactical Teamfight and infringing upon the copyright of the League of Legends spin-off.

Lawyers representing Riot said they went one step ahead and sent a cease-and-desist letter to Imba along with an “extensive but non-exhaustive side-by-side chart of copied characters and gameplay elements.” According to the lawsuit, Imba responded to the letter by denying the copyright infringement.

Among many elements of the game, Riot laid out similarities in character designs and names, noting that some of the letters in their names have been switched around and the adjectives describing the characters were replaced with words that are synonymous to them. For example, Teemo from Teamfight Tactics is called Tomee in Tactical Teamfight and he’s called “The Hasty Scout” in comparison to the alliterative nickname “The Swift Scout.” Otherwise, Tomee’s character bio is exactly the same as Teemo’s.

According to Reuters, Imba’s spokesperson responded to the allegations in an email on Saturday denying the similarities between the characters, lore, and gameplay. They said that those elements in I Am Hero: AFK Tactical Teamfight differ from those in Teamfight Tactics, therefore Riot ignored the changes Imba made in its game.