League of Legends’ K-pop hit comes to VR game Beat Saber

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Popular e-sport League of Legends is unexpectedly heading to VR — in the form of its viral Korean pop single in the new rhythm game Beat Saber. The VR game is getting “POP/STARS” by K/DA as a song you can perform as part workout and part lightsaber Dance Dance Revolution.

It’s an unlikely mashup of two games that might take a little explaining. First off, the hit song “POP/STARS,” which features four of League’s deadliest women assassins, made headlines last month for being a quirky mix of catchy K-pop, augmented reality, and women being badasses. Many artists, some who declared they didn’t play League and didn’t know what K/DA was but simply liked the aesthetic, took their styluses to drawing the newly invented K-pop band over all the internet.

Beat Saber was made by a Czech-based indie studio called Beat Games. The game supports Windows and PlayStation VR. Like K/DA, it’s similarly gained popularity within the past month, as it formally came out on November 20th.

Interestingly enough, Beat Saber initially came out with a very limited selection of songs, most with names few had heard of. It’s added more titles over time, but the real draw comes from a fan-built level editor that lets you add any song into a community shared database.

Image: Beat Saber

Fans are way ahead of the official partnership though — a fanmade version of “POP/STARS” on Beat Saber was published on November 6th to YouTube, just three days after League’s parent company Riot Games released the song. The song is labelled Expert, meaning that beginner-level fans of K/DA will have a tough time working their way up. The difference is that Riot’s official Beat Saber level is infused with the colors of K/DA and features unique graphics, including notes of the song that are shaped like the claws of one particular League assassin. And the official version is available in every difficulty setting.

When asked if the idea for the partnership originated from the fans, the company said, “Riot started talking with Beat Games while POP/STARS was still in production,” adding that the fanmade Beat Saber level only “confirmed we had been on the right path.”