Music Industry Digs Deeper Into Esports Culture

New partnerships that esports teams have struck with major labels like Universal and Warner Music show a burgeoning relationship between the esports and music industries — one that builds on an already strong culture of music within the competitive gaming space.

Universal has launched an initiative with Danish organization Astralis, which competes in Europe’s pro League of Legends competition, the LEC. That partnership kicked off with the debut of a song titled “To the Stars” performed by Danish artist Mattis, and the official music video was launched on Astralis’ YouTube channel. Warner Music chose to continue a relationship with the LEC itself for the third consecutive year, showcasing songs from its artists during a “Song of the Week” broadcast segment and providing music for use in both the LEC and European Masters broadcasts.

Riot Games, which publishes League of Legends, was a pioneer in making music an endemic part of esports. Songs from the likes of Imagine Dragons and Chrissy Costanza have become iconic esports anthems after their debut as official theme songs for the League of Legends World Championship. Riot even created an in-game Korean pop group, K/DA.

A number of musicians and producers also have invested in esports entities, from Scooter Braun (100 Thieves) to Post Malone (Envy Gaming).

These partnerships allow established music industry entities to ingrain themselves in the esports culture, which can lead to more authentic engagement and activation.


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