Behind the Anticipation, Activations and Anthem with Riot Game’s Carrie Dunn – Spotify
Every fall, League of Legends fans from all over the world come together for the greatest moment of the year in esports: the world championships. The month-long competition, starting October 5 and ending November 6, 2021, is an overview of the game’s top contenders – and it all starts with a major tournament-worthy musical moment.
This year, Spotify and Riot Games bring a all-new Worlds Anthem digital experience to fans with music-inspired activations and elevated audio experiences throughout the tournament. The fall of the world anthem is League of Legendsgreatest musical moment, and this year the anthem will be “Burn it all” by PVRIS.
The fan experience includes:
Digital Experience of the World Anthem: Dive even deeper into this year’s global anthem with the stories around the pros, creatives and music featured. The digital experience allows fans to explore the region clubhouses featured in the 2021 World Anthem, including in Shanghai, Seoul and Berlin, and check out tracks curated by League of Legends advantages such as ShowMaker and JackeyLove. Some site visitors will also have the option to generate their own Spotify Worlds 2021 playlist customized to the music they like when browsing clubs. The microsite is accessible in all markets where Spotify is available on computer as well as on mobile.
League of Legends Official Playlist: Organized by the professional League of Legends teams representing their regions at the world championships this year, this playlist highlights each team’s playstyle and song that suits them best. This understand :
Exclusive weekly podcast: Hosted by Travis Gafford and Emilie Rand, Flaw reaction is a Spotify-exclusive weekly podcast that covers the biggest stories from League of Legends competition every week, keeping fans up to date with all the Worlds news this year. Log in during the competition for special hot episodes. The official playlist, Flaw reaction, and more can be found in the League of Legends Center, available exclusively on Spotify.
Behind Worlds every year hides an exceptional team of creative individuals who help make every decision, including the creation of the Worlds Anthem music video, a story in itself. Such a person is Carrie Dunn, Marketing and Creative Director, Riot Games. For registration spoke with Carrie about the choices behind the song, sound and video, as well as what Worlds means to her.
Another year, another World Cup and another World Anthem. What contributed to the sound, lyrics and story of this year’s “Burn It All Down” by PVRIS?
For the 2021 Worlds, we are really anchored in this idea of ”make / break”. It’s the dichotomy of the Worlds that makes the competition so irresistible; for every resounding victory, there is a crushing loss. To build the future, we must be ready to break with the past. We have taken this to heart, both in the stories we tell and in the way we choose to tell them.
For the lyrics of the World Anthem, we wanted to tell the story of someone who felt out of place in the stereotypical box of a ‘hero’s appearance, action, or thought. – to examine what it feels like when precedents and expectations become exclusionary or confinement. And then follow our protagonist as she rises against this company – she finds her strength and stops trying to fit into the old systems. Instead, she chooses to “burn it all down” and create a better world. It’s a tough journey, not without bruises, sweat and tears, but in the end it’s exhilarating and triumphant and worth it.
The sound of the world anthem came from the heart of this story. He sounds like “breaking the past to make the future”. It begins with a foot firmly anchored in the past; these contemplative piano melodies are intentionally designed to evoke ancient hymns. We wanted the fans to think they knew where this song was going. Then, as we get into that chorus and our protagonist decides to “burn it all down,” we leave the past behind. We enter the explosive, energetic, modern chorus that cannot be contained.
We are entering the second decade of the Worlds. The biggest curse of success is the fear of innovation. But at LoL Esports, innovation has always been in our DNA. So this hymn acts like a promise; we will always be ready to break the past to make the future.
Tell us a little more about the song, the visuals for the music video and how the artist was chosen.
From the moment the initial nugget of the song’s concept formed, PVRIS has been a constant reference in our team. She was our muse as we explored both the lyrics and the soundscape. Vocally, we needed someone who could channel both emotional vulnerability and explosive power. She was the whole package. And it had to be, because when we contacted her, she was wildly excited about the project. From the moment she entered the studio with our team, the energy was flowing. There was a real passion for song and history. It was a perfect partnership.
The music video visuals are the other, very important side of this whole piece. Again, it all started with “make / break”. I looked at the landscape of LoL Esports around the world and saw a sport on the brink. Our first decade was over, and the second decade was waiting to be written. Some of our biggest names were retiring and a new generation, so eager to make their mark, was rising. And I knew that was the visual story we had to tell in the clip.
So we created the “Make / Break Society” – an underground society with secret clubs in parts of the world. The metaphorical manifestation of the very real rising generation of our sport, intended to show how they are constantly working to grind, push, test, experiment, evolve our sport into a new era. All this so that they can break the past and build their future.
What is the power of Worlds to bring together players from all over the world? Why is this so important?
The worlds do only bring together players from around the world. It’s a cultural moment that makes everyone realize that gambling is so much bigger than a game. It breaks boundaries – living in expressions of sport, music, fashion and entertainment. Worlds is that uncontrollable force that doesn’t fit in one box; that’s what makes it so exciting. On any given day, you never know what’s going to happen next.
And of course, the Worlds are the height of competition. These pros from all walks of life, with all kinds of personalities and stories, come together at the most important moment. You never know who will rise or who will fall; who will do, or who will break. The only guarantee is that five icons are about to rise in real time before our eyes, cementing their place in history.
This year, Spotify and LoL have put together a whole new digital experience that delves even deeper into the new Worlds Anthem music video by expanding the stories around the pros, creatives, and music featured. What can fans expect?
The world we created for the clip was too rich to convey in just a 3:20 movie. We had an unprecedented number of pros in the film, these tailor-made regional clubs and a deep history. Everything literally couldn’t fit. So we partnered up with Spotify to create a rich digital experience where fans could step in and explore this world.
In the Spotify digital experience, you can explore the LEC, LCK, and LPL pavilions, immersing yourself in pro heroes, key storylines, and all the fun Easter Eggs. You will also be able to follow the process of creating our Anthem, with quotes and behind the scenes videos with PVRIS, our songwriter and composer. And of course, there are some awesome glimpses of the artwork and design process for the characters, pavilions, and fight scenes.
What’s your favorite part of the world tournament? How should fans tune in?
Is it a scam to say that my favorite part of the Worlds is’ what’s going on right now? The World Championships are so compelling because the format is constantly changing as the tournament progresses. It’s this story that moves quickly, each with something different to offer. What I’m going to say is. . . to do not miss the finals. We have some nice surprises planned.
Tune in to Worlds, live from Reykjavik, Iceland at lolesports.com, and stream the official League of Legends Spotify playlist below.