League of Legends is really onto something.
Following the much-buzzed about successful 2018 launch of the game’s first virtual girl group called K/DA, originally voiced by Madison Beer (put your cans up, fellow Beercans!), Jaira Burns and Miyeon and Soyeon of (G)I-DLE, Riot Games developers very smartly decided to lean in on the hype and chart success of the group’s debut single and take the “POP/STARS” to the next level – with some new faces.
Given that the group is not actually real – it’s a Hatsune Miku / Gorillaz / Studio Killers situation – the voices of the members (individually, they’re League champions Ahri, Akali, Evelynn and Kai’Sa) are easily interchangeable, as demonstrated by their eventual return in 2020 with “The Baddest,” the pre-release single from their newly announced debut EP, All Out, due out on November 6.
Beyond just the new track, Riot’s already gone utterly wild with building out the girl group’s backstory – there’s even a whole e-magazine full of “interviews,” fun trivia features and photos of the group.
The group’s social media, like any massive K-pop group on the scene – from BLACKPINK (very clearly strong inspirations for K/DA) to BTS – is full of endless teasers for songs and music videos to further drum up anticipation for the group’s debut EP. There’s even an official lightstick. (And, already, plenty of cosplay options and at-home K/DA decor.)
As of Friday (October 16), the detailed track list for the EP reveals that even more popular names are in the queue as honorary K/DA members.
“More” features the return of original K/DA stars Madison Beer and Jaira Burns, as well as Chinese rapper Lexie Liu and Seraphine, a brand new pop star character from the game, voiced by Jasmine Clarke, who has her own entire virtual Internet presence and original music already, as well as covers, including t.A.T.u.‘s “All The Things She Said.” (Yes, I’m deeply overwhelmed by all of this too.)
“Villain,” meanwhile, features Madison Beer yet again (we really won, Beercans) and the appropriately evil-minded Turn Off the Light pop belter herself, Kim Petras.
“Drum Go Dum” promises to go off from the title alone, as well as its participants: the almighty BLACKPINK scribe herself Bekuh BOOM, Wolftyla and Aluna, hot off the release of her excellent solo debut.
“I’ll Show You” ties together the tight 5-track set, boasting an equally enviable cast: the unstoppable “TT” troupe TWICE, who have already found innovative ways to bring themselves to their ONCEs virtually in concert this summer, Bekuh BOOM and rising singer-songwriter Annika Wells, who’s gotten placements with BTS, The Jonas Brothers and Eric Nam, among other superstars.
Selfishly speaking, K/DA is literally all of the things I enjoy put into a blender: League of Legends, K-pop, girl groups, cross-cultural collaborations, and the spectacle of an over-the-top pop star campaign.
Really though, K/DA genuinely is such an exciting project to watch unfold and expand from afar. The names involved in this project are also thrilling, and in totally unexpected configurations. It’s all a gaymer pop nerd’s dream come true.
Will this global pop star-filled release cause K/DA to crack the charts even harder this time around? Sure seems likely. GLHF, IRL girl groups.
This EP is featured on the MuuTunes Spotify playlist.
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Photo credit: Riot