We got Jinx'ed
So lets start with the good, though let me forewarn that while Jinx takes a step forward, the other foot is firmly planted in the past. Jinx is rumored to be Vi's younger sister whose life took the exact opposite direction as her law-abiding elder. So lets take a look at the splash art...
|I wonder how long it takes to do those braids.|
|Not sure why Jo is green here...|
What the Hel...
And here we see an example of a humongous leap backwards, albeit, and I won't make any friends at Hi-Rez here (but I did love Global Agenda!), which is saying a great deal for a game that is equal parts sexism and cultural appropriation. So Hel is the goddess of the underworld in Norse mythology and is likely where the Christian "Hell" gets its name. Previously her model involved a character that was divided literally down the middle between a fairer skinned form and ebon black skin, see below.
|Original splash art|
|The daughter of White Queen and Elvira|
But you know, at least she isn't wearing heels...
But sex SELLS!
I'm going to digress here briefly because this argument comes up whenever sexualization of a female character comes up. Lots of morally questionable things still work; genocide is a fantastic way to silence dissenting views but I am pretty sure most reasonable people would call it as reprehensible, dumping toxic waste into the nearest sewer sounds great but most consider it harmful. Just because something makes you a dollar does not mean it is ethical; in fact it's often the opposite.
Sex may sell to some, but do you really like the idea of being manipulated that way? I personally dislike the idea that developers or advertisers are trying to get to my wallet via my genitalia. Many other bloggers and writers have also commented on the message it sends to have exclusively sexualized female characters.
There is nothing inherently wrong with having sexy characters of both genders; but for female characters is it most often the rule, not the exception, and their attire, physical form, and presentation tend to undermine their credibility and legitimacy as "powerful" characters as opposed to objects presented for sexual enticement.
This case shows the dichotomous difference between the two company's philosophies in designing characters. League of Legends is making progress in expanding it's roster's diversity (with such additions as Lucian and the reworked Karma, now Jinx) albeit slowly and...reluctantly. While SMITE remains firmly in the early 2000's "Gamers are all teenage boys" camp. I fully understand the appeal of having sexualized female characters; I find them attractive too, but I am not the only demographic in gaming, and I think the negative effects on others far outweigh my own gratification.
* - Possibility of other GSM also occurred to me.