Skip to main content

Riot releases a new song for the 2019 League of Legends World Championship

Audio player loading…

Every year, Riot puts out a song for the League of Legends World Championship. (Imagine Dragons actually did the 2014 song, Warriors, which I single out mainly because that's the only artist involved in any of them that I recognize.) Today it continued that tradition with the release a new song for the 2019 Worlds called "Phoenix," featuring performances by Cailin Russo and Chrissy Costanza.

(Correction: The post originally said that last year's Worlds song was Pop/Stars by K/DA, but that's not actually the case: It was Rise, featuring The Glitch Mob, Mako, and The Word Alive. Nonetheless, Pop/Stars is such a stupidly catchy K-pop track that it's still stuck in my head and will probably be there when I die, and so I'm going to continue to use it for comparison purposes. Don't try to bring me down (down down down down down) over it.)

The video begins with a ride on an abandoned train, perhaps a tip of the hat to Pop/Stars, but it's a very different sort of track: A slower, quieter, more downbeat Eye of the Tiger for the esports scene. It also features appearances from real-world pros including Faker and Caps, who are either fighting off a viciously nasty fungal infection or are confronting their insecurities and fears as they pushing to reach, and surpass, the pinnacle of their chosen profession. I'm thinking it's probably the latter, but I haven't really been hip to the music since about 1993 so I don't want to over-commit to anything.

My tragic unhipness notwithstanding, I will say that I don't think this track is quite up to the level of K/DA's 2018 release. It's suitably heroic, which fits with the overarching theme of previous songs and the Worlds in general, but it's painfully on the nose—"You gotta conquer the monster in your head and then you'll fly—Fly, Phoenix, fly"—and the slower tempo lacks the in-your-face hype of the irresistibly upbeat dancer. It's a good song, just a bit more down (down down down down down, oh no it's happening again) than I expected.

The 2019 League of Legends World Championship play-in stages concluded today. The action will resume on October 12 with the beginning of the Group Stage. The full schedule is here (opens in new tab), and if you like lyrics, we've got that, too.


What are you willing to lose?
You cover your wounds, but underneath them
A million voices in your head that whisper, "Stop, now"
Another twist of the knife, turn of the screws
It's all in your mind and it's fighting you
Arm yourself, a storm is coming
Well, kid...
What you gonna do now? 

It's your reflection looking back to pull you down
So are you gonna die today or make it out alive?
You gotta conquer the monster in your head and then you'll fly
Fly, Phoenix, fly
It's time for a new empire
Go bury your demons then tear down the ceiling
Phoenix, fly 

And now you're playing with matches, come out of the ashes
Underneath you, a million voices in the crowd they're screaming, "Stop, now"
Well let 'em swallow their pride, you're turning the tide to true believers
Got them in the palm of your hand, you're playing God now
What you gonna do now? It's your reflection looking back to pull you down 

So are you gonna die today or make it out alive?
You gotta conquer the monster in your head and then you'll fly
Fly, Phoenix, fly
It's time for a new empire Go bury your demons then tear down the ceiling
Phoenix, fly

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.