In August, we announced a new partnership with Riot Games, paving the way for a whole new world of League of Legends-inspired content. Now fans of the game can enjoy an official League of Legends Hub, exclusive and original podcasts, and of course, elevated music moments, like a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the highly anticipated Worlds Anthem.
The Worlds Anthem serves as the hero song of the year for League of Legends players and viewers alike. It’s released alongside a bespoke music video and is then performed during the World Championship, setting the tone and celebrating the big event. This year’s song, “Take Over,” was created in collaboration with Jeremy McKinnon of A Day To Remember, MAX, and Henry.
The creation of the Worlds Anthem, music video, and making-of video was no simple task: The process from initial kickoff to launch of the music video took just under a year. You can check out the teaser below and find the video exclusively in the League of Legends Official Playlist on Spotify.
We spoke to Matthew Manarino, Senior Creative Director, Esports at Riot Games, about the making of the song and video.
How was the approach to this year’s Worlds Anthem different from previous years?
This year, the way we approached Worlds as a whole was to make sure it felt like an evolution from the past. The 2020 season marked the start of our second decade of Worlds and we want fans to feel that shift into our next chapter. So when we started work on the anthem, one of our main challengers to the composers and songwriters was, “How do we make this feel like an evolution of the tried and true rock anthems we’ve produced in the past while maintaining the spirit and the feeling that makes a Worlds song a Worlds song?”
Why was the theme of “Take Over” chosen for this year?
“Take Over” represents our ambitions for the future of League of Legends, esports, and Worlds. We don’t want to just be the biggest esport in the world—we want to be the biggest sport in the world. “Take Over” is a call to action for us and everyone involved with Worlds to move forward fearlessly. We want our pros and teams striving to take over their regional leagues and then the Worlds stage, and we want League of Legends players striving to take over their individual games.
How does the video tie into the theme of “Take Over?”
The video follows one player’s journey of taking over as a member of the next generation of esports superstars. Our main characters must defeat pros from the past years in order to take over as the hero of the next generation.
There are two characters in the music video. Who or what do they represent?
Both of our characters were developed to represent fans of League of Legends. They are anyone who strives to take over in their personal journey, both in and out of the game. Our main character is a young man from Shanghai who is a courier with dreams of one day becoming a League of Legends pro. Our other character has a very similar background; however, she has a bit of a tougher, competitive edge to her.
What was the inspiration behind the story in the music video?
The story is kind of a twist on the idea of learning from the best of previous generations. Our main character fights through a gauntlet of previous World Champions, but when he gets to the “final boss” he finds himself overburdened with artifacts from his previous fights. To truly “Take Over,” he has to drop those artifacts and just rely on the experience he has gained to continue propelling him forward.
This year, Worlds is that moment for us. We’re acknowledging and appreciating the past 10 years, but ultimately starting fresh for the next 10, with the intent of reaching even greater heights.
Stream “Take Over” below.