In 2018, the League of Legends World Championship opened in stunning fashion, thanks to an augmented reality concert from a virtual K-pop group called K/DA. The video for the virtual group’s first single, “Pop/Stars,” currently has more than 360 million views on Facebook, and K/DA inspired its own niche of fandom. Now, in the lead-up to this year’s World Championship, the group is back with a new single called “The Baddest.”
You can check out the song in the lyric video above (it has lyrics in both English and Korean), which embraces something of a new sound. The virtual members of K/DA remain the same — it’s made of League characters Ahri, Evelynn, Akali, and Kai’Sa — but the talent behind them has changed. This time around, real-world K-pop stars Soyeon and Miyeon are joined by American singers Bea Miller and Wolftyla.
In addition to the song, the group will also be releasing an EP later this year with what is described as “a wide breadth of artists” featured as collaborators. Each character also has a new look which, presumably, will be available as an in-game skin eventually, much like what happened after K/DA’s first music video.
Music continues to be a big part of the League experience, particularly when it comes to the game’s annual tentpole esports tournament. At last year’s event in Paris, a virtual hip-hop group called True Damage put on a three-song set with the help of holographic technology. (The virtual bandmates also had clothing designed by Louis Vuitton.)
The 2020 edition of Worlds will take place in Shanghai starting on September 25th, with the championship match — and presumably another eye-catching opening ceremony — to be held at the Pudong Football Stadium on October 31st.
And speaking of opening ceremonies, despite taking place in an empty arena, the Chinese League of Legends Pro League put on an impressive display ahead of its summer championship game today: