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Lil Nas X’s Sudden ‘League of Legends’ Presidency Has Been a Gift to Us All

Nothing but respect for MY president.

Okay nerds, it’s time to exfoliate, slut yourselves out, and start serving ass, because your new Gamer President demands it. Behold, our new lord and savior of League of Legends: Montero Lamar Hill, a.k.a. Lil Nas X.

That’s right, the Boy Wonder himself is your new King. I mean, President. But he may as well be your King, the way he’s going to install new mandates into your precious League of Legends—such as finally making Udyr completely nude!!!

Heh, nah, it’s just a publicity stunt. But a fun one, and one I can wholeheartedly get behind. After spending so much of my early college days being forced awake by my stoner neighbors shouting while playing League, I resolved myself to not touch this franchise with a ten-foot pole. But our favorite “industry baby” might just change that. After all, he’s clearly having fun with this.

For another thing, of course he’s giving the rest of us something to nosh on, by way of a new meme format:

Ultimately, though, in case you’re wondering “Okay but why?,” this is part of League’s ongoing annual tradition of collaborating with pop stars to perform an original song at the game’s World Championship (this year in Mexico City, beginning on September 29th). The song in question is called STAR WALKIN’ and will release in full this coming Friday, September 23. Judging from what we’ve been given so far, it’ll be a bop, and in typical fashion, he’s having a blast promoting it, as well as enjoying what fans have to say about it.

Of course, we can acknowledge that while this collaboration is incredibly fun and fresh, there’s probably an element of damage control behind this whole thing on Riot’s behalf. We all know that Riot Games has been the subject of multiple controversies since 2018, when investigations regarding gender discrimination and sexual harassment bore unsavory fruit. Since then, they’ve been under continuous scrutiny by the public, and have been called out for all manner of transgressions, including but not limited to continuing to provide services to Russian consumers once the war against Ukraine began.

Bearing that in mind, I can’t help but feel like this particular collaboration is a way of Riot trying to save face. Lil Nas X is incredibly popular amongst the the queer Gen Z crowd, and that particular crowd also happens to be one of the most critical when it comes to Riot. As well as this, couldn’t help but notice the “Sophia” character in the first video most likely served a narrative purpose: to make us see the supposed “inner workings” of the game studio and think, Ah, so they really ARE trying to be more inclusive of women!

Ultimately, actions speak louder than words, and I hope that Riot will continue to try to implement actual positive change, instead of allowing pop stars to do all their positive publicity for them. Either way, Lil Nas X is gonna get that bag, and it’s always fun to see beloved pop stars interact with the public in creative ways.

What will truly be interesting is to see how one particular corner of the public—the League fans—will react to all this down the line. I already anticipated some snot-nosed know-it-alls were gonna leave some snotty, know-it-all tweets about this situation, and they did, of course they did, just like horses eat grass and dogs sniff ass. But The Verge posed an interesting question, which is “How will they react to the song itself?” The song’s got “n-words” up the woozah. That Championship is gonna be full of “politically incorrect” white boys. It’s gonna be a Thing.

I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see. The one thing I know for certain is that I have nothing but respect for MY president.

(featured image: Riot Games/Lil Nas X’s Twitter)

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Madeline (she/her) is a staff writer with a focus on AANHPI and mixed-race representation. She enjoys covering a wide variety of topics, but her primary beats are music and gaming. Her journey into digital media began in college, primarily regarding audio: in 2018, she started producing her own music, which helped her secure a radio show and co-produce a local history podcast through 2019 and 2020. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz summa cum laude, her focus shifted to digital writing, where she's happy to say her History degree has certainly come in handy! When she's not working, she enjoys taking long walks, playing the guitar, and writing her own little stories (which may or may not ever see the light of day).