Games

League of Legends song released in contract breach as “it’s a banger”

British artist Simon Rosenfeld has released a League of Legends song named ‘Heroes’, which, he claims, was supposed to be the official anthem of the 2021 League of Legends World Championships. A soaring anthem akin to that of Imagine Dragons’ ‘Warriors,’ Rosenfeld claims that LoL developer Riot Games instead shelved the song to make way for pop music behemoths PVRIS and Lil Nas X, who provided the soundtracks for the 2021 and 2022 MOBA event respectively.

Rosenfeld has been working in the esports scene since 2018, producing music for Enter Records (a Universal sublabel) that’s partnered with ESL. Having made “a small name” for himself, he claims that Riot approached him to produce the 2021 League of Legends Worlds song. Having spoken exclusively with PCGamesN, he clarified to us that Riot made no legally binding commitment on its part to release the song at a specific time, and essentially exercised their right not to use it when the opportunity came to work with better-known artists.

In Rosenfeld’s eyes, the decision was a result of “PVRIS matching Riot’s strategy of wanting to attract a more mainstream audience (PVRIS write their own songs, I guess they wouldn’t sing Heroes, I don’t know if the song was ever mentioned to them) and COVID restrictions slowly getting more lenient (so no more need for a remote team, they could get their local team back into offices).” Rosenfeld says he and his team were informed that Heroes would be deferred indefinitely, for reasons of mainstream audience appeal, on a call in late 2021. After that they “didn’t exchange again regarding the song.”

2022 rolled around, and the song was still nowhere to be seen. Instead, Riot’s now-iconic partnership with queer icon Lil Nas X led to the controversial STAR WALKIN’, a track that has split the fanbase down the middle for simply not being ‘hype enough.’ “Seeing the direction they took with STAR WALKIN’, I assume [Heroes] is not getting released, which is why I’m releasing it myself,” Rosenfeld told us.

When he first attempted to release it himself, he received a takedown request on Soundcloud. PCGamesN has seen the email, which reads “it looks like your track ‘Heroes (feat. Myla) by BLMD’ might contain or be a copy of ‘Heroes (feat. Myla)’ by BLMD, which is owned by WLTD Entertainment under exclusive licence to Riot Games in certain territories.” A second image shows that the song was promptly removed from Rosenfeld’s Soundcloud.

“WLTD Entertainment is my own company,” he explains. “I created it in 2020 when I was residing in London for this contract with Riot Games to be effective. I am appalled that a song that my own company owns but licences could be taken down.” Companies House shows the company is registered to Rosenfeld.

Rosenfeld fully acknowledged to PCGamesN that “Riot has upheld their side of the contract, and we have been financially compensated for our work as agreed on”; that “the contract in itself didn’t mention Riot having to use the song in any way, it was all mostly verbal”; and that releasing the song himself would constitute “an obvious breach of contract” (PCGamesN has not seen the contract).

He is choosing to do so anyway because “it’s a banger”, and “I feel like this is my duty after all my team’s hard work”, as he stated in a TikTok post that blew up in League communities last week. “We are fortunate to be in a situation where we are paid for our work, I just wish the industry was more honest with their workers,” he concludes.

Heroes has been released via “a separate artist profile and channels under the alias BLMD to get the song out so our main artist profiles won’t get damaged if it does get taken down in the end. The song is available on all platforms. We haven’t gotten any strike as of yet.”

PCGamesN is in contact with Riot Games for a statement regarding Rosenfeld’s claims. As further information is revealed, we’ll update this post to keep you up to date.

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