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This major K-pop group is teaming up with League of Legends' K/DA

K-pop girl group Twice is joining the ranks of "the baddest": Twice will be featured on virtual group K/DA's upcoming EP. The nine-member group is contributing to a song on the first mini-album from K/DA, which is bankrolled by Riot Games and named after a League of Legends term that stands for "kills deaths assists."

The K/DA Twitter account released an official poster of the new EP, All Out, which includes five songs featuring different musical collaborators. One of the songs, "The Baddest," was released as a single on August 27 featuring Soyeon and Miyeon of (G)I-dle, Bea Miller, and Wolftyla. The other songs are: 

  • "More," with Madison Beer, Lexie Liu, Jaira Burns, Seraphine, and Soyeon and Miyeon of (G)I-dle
  • "Villain," with Madison Beer and Kim Petras
  • "Drum Go Dum," with featuring Aluna, Wolftyla, and Bekuh Boom
  • "I'll Show You," with Twice, Bekuh Boom, and Annika Wells

If you're into League of Legends, you'll know K/DA. That's because the group was created in 2018 by Riot Games as a way of generating buzz at the League of Legends World Championship Finals opening ceremony. Basically, the company transformed League of Legends champions into pop idols named Ahri, Kai'Sa, Evelynn, and Akali, with different musicians lending their voices to the fake characters. Of course, you could buy cosmetics and skins for these characters in-game, which added another dimension to the group's creation. K/DA's debut "POP/STARS" soon became a viral hit, attracting LoL players, K-pop fans, and members of the LBGTQ community. The official music video has more than 380 million views on YouTube. And the group even has a fictional backstory.

Over the years, several singers have voiced different members of K/DA. Soyeon and Miyeon have played Akali and Ahri, while Beer and Jaira Burns provided English-language voices and played Evelynn and Kai'Sa. For "The Baddest," Bea Miller and Wolftyla provided voices for Evelynn and Kai'Sa, although Miller clarified in a tweet that she was not a new member of K/DA. 

It's likely that some of these singers will keep their roles for this new release, although Riot Games has not specifically noted which roles are being played by whom. In fact, it stated in a press release, as reported by Polygon, that, "Artists featured in 'The Baddest' and the rest of the songs on the upcoming EP will be collaborators, allowing K/DA to welcome a much larger roster of amazingly talented musicians to join them in their comeback." The company confirmed to Polygon that all nine members of Twice will be involved, although it's not certain how they'll fit into the mythos of the four K/DA characters. 

Considered one of the most prolific female Korean pop bands currently on the scene, Twice is older than K/DA by about three years. The group was created on a reality TV show and has put out ten albums since 2015. According to Time, the only K-pop acts with more views on their music videos than Twice are BTS, Blackpink, and Psy of "Gangnam Style" fame — all of whom are household names internationally. The young women of Twice are big in Japan, attracting 210,000 attendees during a dome tour that included five concerts. That makes their inclusion in this album a pretty big deal.

It's no mystery why Twice might want to be involved. Plenty of K-pop stars are video game fans, since gaming is a big part of the Korean subculture, and the members of Twice are no exception. One of them, Jihyo, has publicly declared herself a fan of League of Legends. The 23-year-old star was introduced to the game by Twice's fan group, which is called Once. And in a cover interview with Allure in May 2020, she called League of Legends her happy place.

"I'm always tense and cautious about how people see me. But when I'm playing online games, I can feel the truest to myself," she told the magazine through an interpreter. "Nobody can judge me through [the screen]. That's why I feel most comfortable." She has also said that she wants to play with the members of Once someday, even though she calls herself a "terrible player."

Twice joins additional talents like Lexie Liu, a Chinese singer and rapper who has been named "China's Rap Queen," and Bekah Boom, a singer and songwriter who has co-written songs for Blackpink. (G)I-dle, where Soyeon and Miyeon have their roots, is a major K-pop band that writes its own music. This level of star power involved puts K/DA solidly in supergroup status, bringing together some of the most exciting international musicians out there today. That's quite a coup for a virtual, video game-inspired group that's just two years old. 

K/DA's debut EP, All Out, will be available for streaming on Nov. 6.