League of Legends and NewJeans Kick Off Worlds With New Worlds Anthem

Riot Games is currently hosting the League of Legends 2023 World Championship (also known as Worlds 2023) in South Korea. This tournament has brought the top 22 teams from across the world to compete for the legendary Summoner’s Cup. The League of Legends 2023 World Championship is the flagship event of Riot Games hosted every year, and this year is the 13th iteration of the tournament. The last time Riot Games hosted the League of Legends World Championship in South Korea was in 2018. To capitalize on the unique location of the event, Riot Games partnered with NewJeans, one of South Korea’s top K-pop girl groups, to create the Worlds 2023 Anthem, “GODS.”

NewJeans is composed of five members: Minji, Hanni, Danielle, Haerin, and Hyein. The group debuted on July 22, 2022. The group broke the record for the fastest K-pop group to hit one billion Spotify streams, and they also became the first female K-pop act to ever appear at Lollapalooza. The girls have partnered with brands like Levi’s, Coca-Cola, Apple, and LG Electronics.

Zoomph analyzed what was being said on social media leading up to the first day of Worlds 2023 to determine the sentiment around and success of League of Legends and NewJeans’ collaboration.

"GODS" Premiers on youTube

Riot Games made the decision to premiere the official music video of the Worlds 2023 Anthem “GODS” on October 4 at 2 PM KST via their League of Legends YouTube channel which boasts over 15 million subscribers. The initial announcement was posted on September 26 via X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram. The announcements alone received 7,292,197 impressions and 264,764 engagements, generating $271,104 in social value.

In the days leading up to the release of the music video, thousands of people began to wait for the live premiere of the video. Right before the premiere, Zoomph was able to capture this moment when a staggering 67,903 people were waiting for the premiere to begin. 

Near the end of the premiere, there seemed to be a peak concurrent viewership of 116,791 people.

Upon release, “GODS” had received over 7 million views and over 500,000 engagements within the first 24 hours. In the first 24 hours leading up to the premiere up until the 24 hours after it, the #Worlds2023 hashtag was used 16,606 times across X and Instagram. These posts accumulated into 83,799,834 impressions, 1,926,141 engagements, and generated $1,894,046 in Social Value.

In the days leading up to the first day of Worlds 2023, the Worlds 2023 Anthem had 25,420,272 views and generated $5,345,115 in social value.

The Leadup to Worlds

“GODS” peaked at #41 on October 5 on Spotify’s Global chart and marked League of Legends’ 3rd highest peaking song on the chart. (link) On October 17, the song debuted on Billboard’s Global 200 chart at #75.

To continue the hype involving Worlds 2023, Riot Games invited Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu, the star to whom the music video paid tribute, to watch the premiere of the anthem live. This event was later posted on the LoL Esports YouTube channel, accumulating over 180k views and generating $36,707 in Social Value.

The unofficial Day 1 of Worlds 2023 was on October 18. This day would begin Stage 2, or the Swiss Stage, of the tournament where the top 16 teams would participate. Stage 1, or Play-Ins, was held from October 10 to October 15, albeit with less viewership and fanfare.

The Streaming Impact of Worlds

This data is only reflective of the main YouTube and does not account for the multi-stream broadcast and the re-stream broadcast of the event.

Worlds 2023 started with a bang with 1,719,497 total live viewers, a peak concurrent viewership of 169,898, and an average concurrent viewership of 97,486. The stream was almost 10 hours long and generated $6,979,608 in Social Value within 24 hours of the livestream and VOD combined.

Comparing this with Worlds 22, which was hosted in the US, Riot Games saw a 1.82x increase in Social Value while also bolstering a higher live views count than the live views and VOD views count of the first day of Worlds 22.

An Example for Esports

Looking at these major metrics, the start of Worlds 2023 has been an amazing event so far. With over 70,000 mentions of the #Worlds2023 hashtag across X and Instagram, and millions of fans eagerly watching to see which team will be crowned the best League of Legends team in the world, Riot Games has set the stage for what a great esports event should look like.