SM Entertainment’s fourth generation K-pop girl group aespa, which is releasing its first mini-album “Savage” next month that features a collaboration with Hayley Kiyoko, will perform in the opening ceremony of the first ever League of Legends: Wild Rift SEA Championship 2021 on Oct. 3.
aespa, whose members include Karina, Giselle, Winter, and Ningning, gets its name from “avatar, experience and aspect” — meaning experiencing a new self and a new world through an avatar. Which seems to make this collaboration a match made in heaven.
“Over the past two years, Riot has quickly ramped up to be more than just a video games company. We have been increasingly active in the music space, with our virtual bands K/DA and Pentakill both releasing new EPs over the past year. Esports fans are no stranger to our music efforts either, with MNL48 opening the Wild Rift SEA Icon Series Summer Super Cup earlier this June. We are now thrilled to announce aespa’s showcase for the Wild Rift SEA Championship Grand Finals and we hope to continue delighting fans across the region with the highest quality of entertainment,” said G. Justin Hulog, general manager of Riot Games Southeast and Taiwan, in a press statement.
Debuting last year as SM Entertainment’s first new girl group since introducing Red Velvet in 2014, aespa is dominating music charts with their hit single “Next Level”, which they will perform in the opening ceremony.
Presented by ESL Mobile Challenge, Wild Rift SEA Championship 2021 will see eight teams competing for the lion’s share of the US$200,000 prize pool, as well as two coveted slots to the Wild Rift Global Tournament in November.
The eight competing teams include representatives from five different regions, namely Buriram United and EVO Esports from Thailand; Team Secret from the Philippines; MBR Esports from Indonesia; One Team and Flash Wolves from Taiwan; and SBTC Esports and Divine Esports from Vietnam.
The Wild Rift SEA Championship 2021 is part of the Icon Series, Riot’s official mobile esports circuit in Southeast Asia, Taiwan, and Hong Kong for League of Legends: Wild Rift. The league is organized through a close partnership between ESL Asia and Riot Games SEA.
The tournament is presented by ESL Mobile Challenge, part of the ESL Mobile ecosystem, a global esports program aimed to provide opportunities for aspiring gamers to showcase their skills and springboard their esports journey in the booming mobile games market.
“ESL has always placed players and fans at the heart of our tournaments and events. We aim to create spectacles that entertain, and the launch of ESL Mobile in Asia combined with Wild Rift’s SEA Championship 2021 are milestone events that require truly memorable experiences for fans throughout the world. So we’re excited to unveil aespa in the opening ceremony and bring their thrilling performance in Korea to our viewers, setting the tone for what will surely be an epic finals,” said Nick Vanzetti, Senior VP of ESL Asia-Pacific Japan.
The Wild Rift SEA Championship 2021 broadcasts will be in English, Tagalog, Bahasa Indonesia, Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Thai, and Cantonese. Broadcasts will begin at 12:30 PM GMT+8, with the first match starting from 1 PM GMT+8. The matches will also be live on Twitch, Facebook, and YouTube on Riot SEA’s official channels as well as on the official partners’ broadcast channels. You may visit the official event page for updates.