Monday, November 23, 2020
Home Entertainment K/DA Leaves Audiences Wanting More

K/DA Leaves Audiences Wanting More

Year after year, the League of Legends World Championship final opening ceremonies increasingly astound fans. From massive dragons descending on stadiums to champions performing alongside their real-world singing counterparts, it’s safe to say that the event is always a spectacle. Considering the great limitations imposed by quarantine, this year’s ceremony still delivered as virtual K-pop girl group K/DA returned to the stage with their newest song “More.”

K/DA debuted two years ago with their hit single “Pop/Stars,” a special project inspired by South Korea’s (the location of 2018’s Worlds tournament) K-pop. This song was an unexpected crossover between reality and the League of Legends universe. Sung in both English and Korean, the song stars American singers Madison Beer and Jaira Burns as well as Miyeon and Soyeon of the K-pop group (G)I-DLE. Each member provided her voice for a K/DA member: Beer sang for Evelynn, Burns sang for Kai’Sa, Miyeon sang for Ahri and Soyeon sang for Akali. “Pop/Stars” release accompanied in-game cosmetics and a live performance that featured both the singers and K/DA characters, who performed on-screen through augmented reality.

The group finds its appeal in the uniqueness of each member, both as a character and a playable champion in the game. Every character has her own charm, whether it be Evelynn’s diva persona or Akali’s rebellious nature. Their complementary dynamics shine confidently in each performance and song, and their latest comeback, “More,” is no exception.

As the featured single for their first and newest mini-album, “All/Out,” “More” adds style to K/DA’s songlist with its heavy electronic pop sound. Reuniting the original quartet, “More” also introduces the new League of Legends character Seraphine, voiced by Chinese singer and rapper Lexie Liu. 

Fittingly, the music video for “More” is a visual feast and just as hard-hitting as the song itself. Each visual element shines by showing great attention to detail as the colors pop with glamor. The members are decked out in their chromatic “All/Out” stage costumes, which are faithful replications of their new in-game cosmetics. 

K/DA’s growth shows the wide breadth of possibilities available to Riot Games and other companies. Though not the first virtual idols to take the world by storm — reputations usually reserved for Vocaloids, especially Hatsune Miku — K/DA has become one of Riot Games’ most noticeable assets. Even without the League of Legends context, a large number of people, despite never having played the video game, recognize and sing along to the group’s hit songs.

“All/Out” stars multiple collaborators, a sign of K/DA’s growth as a formidable music group. The first song released, “The Baddest,” has both Miyeon and Soyeon reprising their roles as Ahri and Akali, but Bea Miller and Wolftyla join the spotlight as Evelynn and Kai’Sa respectively. Other featured artists include Kim Petras, Aluna, Bekuh Boom, Twice and Annika Wells for three other songs: “Villain,” “Drum Go Dum” and “I’ll Show You.” These three songs are theorized to be “solo” songs for Evelynn, Kai’sa and Ahri.

As artists, the group’s growth is shown through the three upcoming solos, which K/DA’s official Instagram account has been greatly foreshadowing. Each member has shared a snippet of her story before joining K/DA, developing the group’s real-world presence as artists. 

Photo provided by K/DA @KDA_MUSIC/Twitter.

Riot Games did an excellent job of forming a K-pop group and keeping it as an ongoing project despite the demands of maintaining current and creating new video games. Two years after K/DA’s debut, the group now has an upcoming mini-album, an official fanclub named “Blades” and even a lightstick.

The true spotlight for this comeback, however, belongs to “More,” which proves that this comeback is packed with style and substance. Luckily for K/DA’s Blades, the group still has “All/Out” coming this Nov. 6, the mini-album that will surely give fans the “more” they have been waiting for.

Beatrice Malvar is an Entertainment Intern for the fall 2020 quarter. She can be reached at bmalvar@uci.edu.