Riot Games launches HEARTSTEEL, the latest addition to its roster of virtual artists

Video game developer Riot Games has unveiled yet another virtual panel presenting reimagined versions of League of Legends champions who blur the lines between the realms of video games and music.

The new group, called HEARTSTEEL, consists of Ezreal (vocalist), Kane (rapper, instrumentalist), Aphelios (instrumentalist, songwriter), Yone (producer), K’Sante (co-leader, vocalist) and Sett (co-leader, rapper). .

Like previous virtual bands, Riot Games will continue to collaborate with real musicians to create HEARTSTEEL.

Baekhyun, a member of the South Korean-Chinese boy band EXO, will be the voice of Ezreal. Mandarin singer-songwriter ØZI will be the voice of Sett, Nigerian artist Toby Lou will be the voice of K’Sante, and Los Angeles rapper Cal Scrooby will be the voice of Kane.

The virtual band is about to release their first single PARANOIA, on Monday (October 23). The music video will be available on YouTube via League of Legends channel.

Commenting on the launch of HEARTSTEEL, Maria Egan, Head of Music and Events at Riot Games Entertainment, said: “Riot’s virtual artists have become some of the most innovative and beloved music moments for our players.”

“HEARTSTEEL is a strong collaboration between all of our talented creative teams and some incredible new artists.”

Mary Egan Riot Games

“Fans have been discussing the idea of ​​an all-male group for a long time, and we are very excited to bring this fantasy to life. HEARTSTEEL is a close collaboration between all of our talented creative teams and some incredible new artists. The vision of HEARTSTEEL is a supergroup of like-minded musical souls that is greater than the sum of its parts—a philosophy that our community embodies every day through their dedication to our games.”

HEARTSTEEL represents the latest addition to Riot Games Music’s roster, continuing the developer’s foray into the virtual artist space since 2014, when Riot Games introduced Pentakill, a virtual heavy metal band.

The six virtual members of Pentakill – Karthus, Kayle, Mordekaiser, Olaf, Sona and Yorick – serve as promotional figures for the game’s skins. The group has achieved huge success on streaming, especially with hits such as Bringing light amassing 40.4 million Spotify plays and 37 million YouTube views.

Riot Games also collaborated with musicians to create Pentakill. Notably, drummer Tommy Lee of Motley Crue contributed to the recording of Pentakill’s second album. Grasp of the Immortal which reached number one on the iTunes metal chart in 2017.

In 2018, Riot Games introduced the K-pop girl group K/DA, which included singers Madison Beer and Jayran Burns, as well as I-dle members Miyeon and Soyeon. Debut single K/DA Pop stars has reached 321 million Spotify streams to date and nearly 3 million monthly listeners on the platform.

A year after the launch of K/DA, Riot Games introduced hip-hop group True Damage with in-game skins for the characters Akali, Ekko, Kiana, Senna and Yasuo. The real-life musicians behind True Damage, including Becky G, Duckwrt, Keke Palmer, Thutmose and Soyeon, performed a live performance of their debut song. Giants at the 2019 League of Legends World Championship, performing alongside holographic images of their avatars.

Giants has amassed over 135 million streams on Spotify, with the band attracting nearly 565,000 monthly listeners solely for the track. The song also surpassed 200 million views on YouTube.

Riot Games’ music division is forging partnerships with artists “who can take players’ global experience to the next level through music, live events and IP expansion,” the company said.

To date, Riot Games Music has curated a catalog of over 750 songs, including nine original esports anthems, for the annual festival. League of Legends World Championships that collectively generated billions of streams via DSP.

These anthems have been performed by artists such as Lil Nas.

Riot Games Music has also formed Sessions, a creator-focused music project that is accessible to everyone “without fear of copyright infringement.”

The launch of HEARTSTEEL comes as Riot Games continues to strengthen its presence in the music industry. In 2018, the company partnered with digital music services company FUGA to provide global digital distribution (excluding China and South Korea) of its entire music catalogue. League of Legends.

Two years later, Riot Games signed a multi-year partnership with Spotify, making the latter the official audio streaming partner for League of Legends Global esports events: World Championship, Mid-Season Invitational and All-Star Event.

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