The popular video game League of Legends has an impressive list of songs to accompany their World Championship promo videos. Through these music videos, the online fantasy battle arena game gives us long-awaited glimpses into the pasts of our favorite game characters, or champions. Year after year, these songs mix champions’ stories with themes of ambition and achievement, yet they never get old. League stepped up its game with its latest music video, “GIANTS.”
Here are four League of Legends songs that will get you in the mood for conquest:
4. “Legends Never Die” — The Struggle For Greatness
They’re written down in eternity. League of Legends’ song “Legends Never Die” shows how determined individuals who strive despite hardship become remembered as immortal legends. The music video portrays the entrance at the 2017 League of Legends World Championship as a player enters the stadium. It then demonstrates the story arcs of champions: the archeress Ashe, the martial artist Lee Sin, and the warrior Garen.
On a dark snowy landscape, Ashe, carrying a bear with a bow and arrow fastened across her shoulders, climbs a mountain against cold winds. She practices shooting in a dead forest, but she misses her catch and cuts herself. Nevertheless, she aids herself again and continues to practice until she can slice falling icicles with the precision of her shots. Not to mention, her crystallized, illuminating bow is astonishing.
The Fight For Victory
Meanwhile, when Lee Sin removes his red cape, we see him practice his routines and parkour, misstepping on a tall pillar and falling off. He then begins intense practice in a forest to train himself to master his balance and power.
In Garen’s story, the music video regresses to medieval times as Garen brandishes a sword and shield in a battle. When his legion collapses, the enemies enslave him, as shown when he excruciatingly pulls large stone statues by heavy chains. Determined, he leads an uprising, pushes through enemy lines as a juggernaut and cutting down enemies within his range. When an arrow pierces his shoulder, he cooly brushes it off and charges into the playing field dotted with thousands of enemies. This scene then fades into the brightly lit World Championship stadium at the beginning of the video.
The transition between Garen’s battle charge to the stadium creatively linked this theme of ambition from the champions in the game to the players aspiring to become legends. This League of Legends song had an earnest, prophetic tone, and I thought this music video points out how we often gloss over the obstacles legends face in order to reach the mastery by which we remember them. This is characterized by the lyrics, “Every time you bleed for reaching greatness. Relentless you survive.”
3. “RISE” — References To Worlds In League Of Legends Songs
The music video of “RISE” opens on a barren wasteland covered with the debris of war, including medieval flags and swords. Black crows caw in the background, the League champion, Ambition, seems to have flashes of realization, and fast-paced beats build the hype for the music video. Ambition climbs a steep mountain, persists through strong winds in the fields, and journeys through different landscapes.
Ambition most notably encounters the 2015 World Championship winner, Faker, designated by his red SKT1 jacket and glasses. In one iconic scene, Faker snaps a book closed with one hand, and a surge of magical energy spurts out from the book. The rune book contains a Korean inscription that translates to “The Unkillable Demon King’s, fundamental guide to winning Worlds” and the image of broccoli, a reference to how Faker iconically ate broccoli after the 2015 World Championship because a fan claimed his hair looked like the vegetable. Faker then channels the power form the rune book to destroy his enemies.
The League of Legends song, “RISE” is a very triumphant song that gets your adrenaline rushing, which is noted by the repetition of the loud chorus, “Prove yourself and RISE.” I thought the music video also utilized a beautiful contrast of colors in its different terrains and battles with characters, from the electrifying purple lightning among the dark fields to the frigid, snowy mountainous region.
2. “POP/STARS” — The First League Of Legends Song By A K-pop Group
“POP/STARS” was the first debut single of the the virtual K-pop girl group, K/DA. The catchy electropop song features four skins from League of Legends: Akali, Ahri, Evelynn, and Kai’Sa. The League of Legends song’s music video launched with a scene in which Korean rapper Soyeon, who provides the voice of Akali, stands on a speeding train, wearing a purple jacket with a golden dragon design on the back.
I thought Soyeon’s badass rap was striking in this music video, as she raps: “I’m a goddess with a blade. See me and soon you’ll be dead, come on shout my name. Loud, loud, loud loud. I could take it to the top. No I don’t need your help, because I am a bad gal, gal gal.”
Winning You Over
The music video portrays Evelynn as a femme fatale. A giant version of herself, she dresses sophisticatedly in bright pink shades and a purple feather wrap. Casually, she lies on her side and plays with a toy-sized sports car.
While the other champions are strongly fantastical from the start, Ahri’s elegance, like a peacock presenting its feathers, takes longer to be visible but becomes unexpectedly alluring. She ordinarily sits on a washing machine. However, she later displays her gem-like cat tail as she casts a love spell, transforming the laundry room into a bright pink illusion and enticing viewers to be sucked into the vortex of the next scene.
I personally enjoyed how the music video transforms, in one beat, into a bright color pop with neon spray paint. The explosions of color and the moving transitions later in the music video were also aesthetically pleasing. While the group dance was powerful, I especially liked Akali’s powerful poses with her double rave sticks.
1. “GIANTS” — The Rise To Conquer The World (Championship)
If Soyeon was a badass in “POP/STARS,” she was a queen in “GIANTS.” The League of Legends song “GIANTS” was sung by the virtual hip-hop group, True Damage, that was formed by Soyeon from K/DA. The song marks the group’s determined beginnings to to conquer the world, much like “giants” awoken from sleep.
The music video is set in a fast-paced urban city filled with bright sky-scrapers at night. Thutmose, who voices the character Ekko, sets the song’s tone with his composed rap, “I’m a god better ask if you don’t know. Homie better put your pride aside. I’m a Benz you’re more like a Volvo. Your best looks like my worst. Synapses fire and burst.”
The scene transitions to Qiyana who sits on a glowing ring that is lowered into the floor of a palace with shimmering pink lights. She is portrayed as a hip, poised fashionista wearing gold bands and earrings, a short light blue puffer jacket, pink bra top, and sparkly blue military boots. Meanwhile, Senna, in her electric blue hair tips and red wrap, exudes a bold fighting spirit.
I thought Duckwrth’s rap line, “What is your winning scheme? I got a giant team. Big as my self-esteem” was addicting, and his unique rap built a lot of hype in the song.
Not only was the rap remarkable (in its disses and feel), but the song was also a multilingual masterpiece, including languages such as Spanish and Korean. The music video has a futuristic, funky game feel, and I liked the transitions with the glitch disappearances of characters. The aerial view of the champions on the globe and gazing at the Eiffel Tower was a work of art. I thought this was the best of League of Legends songs because both the song and rap were well executed. As in the other music videos, the colorful graphics were astonishing.
Rising To Become “GIANTS”
League‘s songs not only inspire motivation, but they also build hype for gamers to strive, as their favorite champions did, to become legends. Each of its music videos features distinct graphic designs and music genres, and the message of ambition consistently reaches across all language barriers. “GIANTS,” with its multilingual mastery and trendy style, shows how League, like the champions portrayed in the music video, is ready to conquer the world.