League of Legends is known for its orchestral music that many fans enjoy while playing the game. Riot Games has experimented with virtual bands and technology-focused spectacles before. In 2014, the company created a fictional metal band called Pentakill with League champions Karthus, Kayle, Mordekaiser, Olaf, Sona, and Yorick. The act’s debut EP Smite & Ignite cracked the Billboard Top 40 and hit number one on the iTunes Metal and Rock charts. Three years later, a second album called Gasp of the Undying appeared with cameos by Motley Crue founding member Tommy Lee and Nine Inch Nails alumnus Danny Lohner and Noora Louhimo. I will be discussing music in League of Legends, as well as how lol honor levels and rewards work.
Music in gameplay
Riot’s approach to virtual bands is a tad unconventional. Many ‘live’ concerts, including those for virtual pop singer Hatsune Miku and Splatoon’s Squid Sisters, do not show the people who are lending their voices to the characters. It is an obvious move: Why break the illusion for an audience that is so keen to immerse themselves in it? Riot, however, is more than happy to show the human half of its fictional acts on stage. Like Gorillaz, one of the earliest and most famous virtual bands, the developer is almost coaxing viewers to Google the real-life performers and find out what else they have produced. The League of Legends community loves the game’s characters and is, therefore, more likely to listen to an experimental track than if it randomly queued up on Spotify or Apple Music.
Gameplay and increase in popularity
The free-to-play MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) was released in 2009, an eternity ago by modern video game standards. Its popularity and cultural relevance have remained steady through countless smash-hit video game launches including Overwatch, Fortnite , and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Still, League of Legends is considered an ‘old’ video game and needs to find new ways of attracting younger players. Riot is constantly adding new champions and game modes such as Teamfight Tactics, which is based on the popular Dota Auto Chess mod. The developer has also poured money into its esports program, launching multiple domestic leagues with household name sponsors including Nike, Mercedes-Benz, and Shell. However, the game has since risen in popularity due to many places being in quarantine, this has shown a steady rise in gaming.
It is no surprise, then, that the track has exploded online. The official music video, animated by The Line (the studio worked on the Gorillaz “Humility” music video and the Super Turbo Atomic Ninja Rabbit internet stunt) currently sits at 7.8 million views. The live performance from the World Championship, meanwhile, has 1.6 million views at the time of writing. These numbers have undoubtedly grown over the past few days and solidified the band’s position in weird internet culture. Riot is not the only one creating virtual bands, but it’s arguably the closest to launching and, more importantly, maintaining interest in a Gorillaz for gamers.