Lil Nas X is president of League of Legends now, whatever that means

Lil Nas X as president of League whatever that means.
(Image credit: Riot / Lil Nas X)

Lil Nas X, the rapper and singer best known for Old Town Road, is now the president of League of Legends. You didn't misread that and, no, I don't understand what the president of LoL busies themselves with either. Lane maintenance? Jungling permits? Microtransaction regulation?

Nevertheless, starting with the 2022 League World Championship, Lil Nas X will apparently be creating "explosive musical moments, an ingenious League champion skin, and a spectacular live Worlds performance for the 180+ million monthly players and fans in the League universe."

First: 180+ million monthly players is an incredible number, though do bear in mind this includes League of Legends itself, then Teamfight Tactics, Legends of Runeterra, LoL: Wild Rift (the mobile version) and the singleplayer RPG Ruined King: A LoL Story. Still, having almost 200 million monthly players is mind-blowing.

This is, to put it mildly, something of a marketing masterstroke. Lil Nas X is as savvy as they come when you're talking about online dynamics and virality (he began his career thinking he'd become an influencer before switching to music), extraordinarily popular (eight million Twitter followers), and completely meme-happy.

He's also got a proven track record in games, having previously collaborated with Roblox on a concert that was watched by 33 million players. There was also a game that tied-in to one of his songs which, well, wasn't very good.

Lil Nas X has now temporarily renamed himself PRESIDENT NASIRATI on Twitter, and has begun sending Good Tweets about the new position.

See more

Riot has in turn renamed the game's official account LoL Nas X (again, very good), and begun sharing parts of the collaboration, which will include a new song called Star Walkin' which will be the tournament's "anthem".

The artist is currently answering questions online, and has clarified that "there will be 2 music videos 1 from league and 1 from me." There was also this rather amusing answer to someone who asked why certain lyrics were changed from a snippet preview of the song: "the original hook sounded ass tbh, that and a bit of the verse were the only changes."

"I felt like it was time for me to try something new," writes Lil Nas X. "I’ve left my mark on pop culture in so many ways, and now it’s time to take on the world of gaming. I will be the greatest President of League of Legends, of all time. Also I’m going to make the best Worlds anthem of all time and put on the biggest, coolest, sexiest Worlds in the history of all Worlds! STAR WALKIN’ is the only song anyone is allowed to listen to from now on. Swag fr!"

The song debuts on September 23, just before Worlds kicks off on September 29. After this, the new LoL champion K’Sante the Pride of Nazumah gets the prestige skin designed by the rapper on November 3. This is not purchaseable: Players have to earn 2000 'Worlds 2022 tokens' over the tournament via various means in order to bag it.

Finally, Lil Nas X will take the stage at the Chase Center in San Francisco at the Worlds Opening Ceremony leading into the World Final on Saturday, November 5.

Riot is brilliant at marketing its products, and this is yet another example. Obviously the job title is a bit of a joke, and everything's being played for laughs, but Lil Nas X is a hype-creating machine. More broadly, League of Legends has never looked in ruder health, and collaborations like this certainly don't hurt.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."