League of Legends has a boy band now, 'a group of dynamic daredevils dedicated to unapologetic individuality and creative expression'

Here's the full-resolution Heartsteel poster, so you can print it out and put it up on your wall. (Image credit: Riot Games)

Five years after turning four of its characters into a pretend K-Pop group, League of Legends has a boy band now. The six-man group is called Heartsteel, and it features "re-imagined" versions of the LoL characters Ezreal, Kayn, Aphelios, Yone, K'Sante, and Sett.

"Heartsteel is a group of dynamic daredevils dedicated to unapologetic individuality and creative expression," Riot said in a press release so over-the-top I can't help but quote it directly. "Their mission is to blaze a path to success on their own terms. The group's personality and sound draws inspiration from modern music collectives, and a range of influences from across genres and eras, culminating in a bold, one-of-a-kind identity."

I respect the commitment to the bit, which is strong enough that each member—none of whom actually exist, remember, this is basically Jem and the Holograms for the new millennium—has a specific role within the band. 

I suppose that's not terribly uncommon for this sort of thing: Most cartoons have some sort of "leader/sexpot/brain/substance abuse guy/talking dog" hierarchy going on. Even so, it lands a little weird seeing it all laid out in such black-and-white terms.

Here's the roster, along with the real-life performers who will give them voice:

  • Ezrael (vocalist): Baekhyun, a member of the real-world K-Pop groups EXO and SuperM, and one of the top vocalists in the genre with nine million-selling records to his name.
  • Kayn (rapper, instrumentalist): Cal Scruby, an LA-based rapper known for his sports references and self-deprecating humor who has previously partnered with brands including the NFL, EA Sports, and Ciroc Vodka.
  • K'Sante (co-leader, vocalist): Tobi Lou, a "multi-talented artist" born in Nigeria and raised in Chicago, who fuses hip-hop, R&B, and pop with "undeniable melodies."
  • Sett (co-leader rapper): 0ZI, a star on the Mandarin music scene whose debut album earned six nominations at the Golden Melody Awards, where he also claimed the award for Best New Artist.

And a couple who I guess are more the strong, silent types:

  • Aphelios (instrumentalist, songwriter)
  • Yone (producer)

Heartsteel will drop its debut single Paranoia on October 23, and I have to admit that I'm eager to see what comes of it. I was very skeptical about K/DA, the pretend K-Pop group that Riot rolled out back in 2018, but its first single, backed by a stylish animated video, was a legit banger. Will Heartsteel duplicate that success? If I had to put money on it right now I'd definitely go with "probably not," but based on the precedent established by K/DA I'm willing to keep an open mind.

K/DA and Heartsteel aren't the only bands that don't really exist composed of League of Legends characters: There's also Pentakill, a virutal metal band that actually preceded K/DA, and True Damage, a hip hop ground that debuted in 2019. Frankly, neither of them did much for me.

Pop/Stars is still a banger, though.

Andy Chalk

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.