Although design-wise there is no clue that Maokai is an Oriental character like Šablóna:Ci. His name follows the Mandarin Šablóna:W scheme like Šablóna:Ci (while Šablóna:Ci name is of different scheme). The official Chinese vendor translates his name as 茂凯 which literally means "lush (vegetation)-triumphant".
The rune spiral that is on Maokais' ult is the same rune that is attached to Šablóna:Ci chest.
His /dance is a reference to the Harlem Globetrotters.
Maokai shares a place with Šablóna:Ci in having the highest base armor of any champion at level 18 (90 armor).
Maokai is a tree from the Twisted Treeline that has become animated. He despises the existence that was thrust upon him as he felt it was a corruption of nature and so fights as a soldier of nature.
Maokai despises humans and their chaotic use of magic.
Although Maokai and Šablóna:Ci have different attitudes regarding their being brought to life, Malphite stated that he is "...proud to call the Twisted Treant my ally", suggesting that these two elemental champions get along quite well despite their differences.