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Why K/DA Evolves League of Legends Culture

When one thinks of Riot Games, League of Legends is the first thing to come to mind. Whether it’s Summoner’s Rift, Poros, or the vast esports scene across three different games, League of Legends is popular. But what if I told you that League of Legends also brought up a chart-topping music group? You read that right: a music group. In 2018, Riot Games unveiled K/DA, a K-Pop band starring four of League’s most popular champions.

League of Legends Pop Group K/DA: Image Courtesy of Riot Games

Little did they know that the music video released would be viewed millions of times and streamed on Spotify even more. In 2020, Riot announced the return of the band, with an EP later in the year. So how did this band hit mainstream media?

K/DA skins for (L to R) Akali, Ahri, Kai’sa and Evelynn. Courtesy of Riot Games

Let’s take it back to the World Championships of 2018 in which Invictus Gaming became the first Chinese team to win the World Championship. Hours before, Riot dazzled audiences with a debut of PopStars to push their new K/DA skinline. What was not anticipated was a live show to top all shows with a performance that stunned crowds and worldwide audiences.

K/DA is composed of actual singers, who give voice to League’s most popular stars. American artists Madison Beer and Jaira Burns voiced Evelynn and Kai’sa while members of K-Pop group (G)-Idle Miyeon and Soyeon voiced Ahri and Akali. The live performance was incredible. But it was the aftermath that exploded.

Within 48 hours, the music video smashed records and was viewed more than 14 million times. As of September 13, the video has over 375 million views on YouTube and over 152 million plays on Spotify, an impressive feat for a video game company. 

The in-game skins are also popular. Most of the K/DA skins are the preferred choice for pro players (especially Akali.) And since K/DA’s inception, the music of Riot Games has been taken to insane heights. From exclusive deals with Spotify to the creation of True Damage for Worlds 2019 (which once again featured Soyeon on rapping) and further K/DA songs for 2020, Riot has taken music production to new levels.

Flash forward to 2020 and Riot’s recent release, a new K/DA single known as The Baddest. An extended play towards the end of the year has been teased, and many fans (myself included, I must admit) are eagerly awaiting more from this pop group.

jonah hill television GIF
Me, seeing this video.

Teasing a new album towards the social media blitz, one can only guess what’s next for the megastars of League of Legends.

Visual depiction of K/DA with potential new champion Seraphine (center.) Courtesy of Riot Games

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