Last night, League of Legends developer Riot Games revealed its long-awaited Worlds song. Tradition dictates that every year, the studio release an absolute banger to accompany its annual championship tournament. This year the tune is titled ‘Phoenix’ and, while it’s pretty good, American fans have noticed a glaring omission.
For as long as I’ve been watching League of Legends esports, the game has been dominated by teams from four regions: Europe, Korea, China, and North America. In the song Phoenix, representatives of three of those regions’ best teams have to battle against their personal demons to help them triumph in the tournament. EU goldenboy Caps represents MSI winners G2, last year’s Chinese winners, Invictus Gaming, are represented by Rookie, while three-time champion Faker stands in for Korea. North America, meanwhile, is nowhere to be seen.
Now, it’s fair to say that while NA hasn’t had massive success on the international League of Legends stage, there’s decent buzz around first seed Team Liquid in particular. Not letting the region on the hype train at all seems a little harsh, particularly when last year’s song, Rise, offered cameos to a whole host of hopeful teams.
Given that NA has already triumphed over the EU this tournament (Splyce beat Unicorns of Love to qualify for the main tournament in yesterday’s Play-In final) perhaps Riot’s been a little unfair. The tournament begins in earnest on Saturday as Fnatic faces SK Telecom T1.