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True Damage, League of Legends’ hip-hop group, explained

Confused? Here’s the skinny

Julia Lee (she/her) is a guides producer, writing guides for games like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Genshin Impact. She helped launch the Rift Herald in 2016.

To help celebrate the 2019 League of Legends World Championships, Riot Games has put out yet another music group: True Damage.

Riot Games has been making music and matching skins for League of Legends for years now. There have been metal band skins for a made-up group called Pentakill, k-pop-esque skins for K/DA, and now there’s a set of hip-hop skins for True Damage. While the skins are just paid-for cosmetics in the game, the music expands the game’s universe and makes these characters more relatable and interesting than they’d be as just a cosmetic.

Even people who don’t play League of Legends may have noticed that Riot Games has been hyping up True Damage on their social media platforms for weeks. With the success of Riot’s last music project, K/DA, many were curious as to what Riot was going to do to live up to expectations. As with last year, this new group is made up of fictional League of Legends champions, but they’re voiced by real-life musicians and celebrities. Unlike K/DA, this new group is a hip-hop group, not a k-pop group. True Damage is made up of five League champs, including Akali again from K/DA.

The group performed their single, “Giants,” live during the opening ceremony for the 2019 World Championship Finals in Paris, complete with pretty cool holograms to supplement the singers.

The group name, True Damage, is a term used in League of Legends. It’s the hardest hitting kind of damage, as it ignores any magic or physical resistances the victim has.

Who is in True Damage?

True Damage Akali spins a kunai will standing in front of her other members Riot Games

Akali, a.k.a the ninja with the sweet neon outfit from K/DA, returns yet again. K-pop group (G)i-dle’s Soyeon voices her yet again. She’s far from the center of the video, but Soyeon spits some serious bars as Akali this year, too.

Last year, Akali was the rapping member of K/DA, and fans took to her quickly. Her performance featured a scene where the lights went off and she wore a neon-painted outfit, glowing as she rapped in Korean and stole the show.

True Damage Ekko does some space and time manipulation Riot Games

Ekko, who is usually an inventor kid from the streets of Zaun — a dangerous and dark city in the world of League of Legends — really steals the show this year. He’s portrayed by two rappers, both of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse soundtrack fame: Duckwrth and Thutmose.

True Damage Qiyana sits on her diamond covered ring weapon Riot Games

Qiyana, an assassin who harnesses the elements in her huge ring blade weapon, is voiced by Latin American pop-star Becky G. Qiyana also has a special Louis Vuitton-designed outfit she wears in the video that players can grab as an additional skin in the game.

True Damage Senna reaches out to you Riot Games

Senna, a railgun-using support who spent a chunk of her life trapped in a demon’s lamp, is voiced by actress and singer Keke Palmer. She’s also happily married to her beau, Lucian, another League of Legends champion.

True Damage Yasuo stands over a turntable Riot Games

Yasuo, who is usually a samurai who can use his sword to command wind, is the group’s DJ. He has no spoken lines and does not have a voice actor. He still looks good, though.

Is this just a skin advertisement?

More or less, yes. All of these are now available as cosmetic skins in-game, for about $10 each. Ekko’s is a heftier $20, and Qiyana’s Louis Vuitton skin requires buying an approximately $10 pass and grinding a lot of games.

It’s clear that passion was put into this music project, so it seems a little wrong to just label this as a huge skin advertisement, but it definitely is one at its core.