Riot Games Announces Lil Nas X As League “President”

Lil Nas X sits at a gold desk in the Riot Games office.

Business enterprise. Numbers.
Screenshot: Riot Games / Kotaku

Forgetting that it’s not April Fool’s Day, Riot Games has just announced that two-time Grammy Award-winning artist Lil Nas X is the president of League of Legends.

Although the publisher announced it via an actual press release, in reality Riot Games of course did not hire the pop music icon as president. Although the publicity stunt didn’t stop Riot Games and “Lil Nas Xecutive” from having fun in a goofy, redubbing YouTube announcement video Leaguethe official Twitter account of “LoLNasX“, the pop star will indeed be heavily involved in League of Legends‘ approaching 2022 World League Championship.

League of Legends

According to the press release, Lil Nas X’s upcoming song, “STAR WALKIN’,” which he is scheduled to perform live at the Worlds opening ceremony on Nov. 5, will serve as the official anthem for the event. In addition to lending League his music, Lil Nas X helped co-design a prestige skin for the game’s new K’Sante character, Nazumah’s Pride. The skin will be released worldwide on November 3 and will be unlockable until November 14.

Riot Games’ YouTube video with Lil Nas X is pretty entertaining, with scenes of the pop star sitting on a golden throne, workers handing out phones that play his new track, and underlings gawking at how apparently just saying you’re something – like the president of League– this can be done automatically. But make no mistake, the video game company’s attempted satire ignores its real, heartbreaking business practices.

Read more: Inside the culture of sexism at Riot Games

In December 2021, Riot Games has agreed to pay a $100 million settlement in a sex discrimination lawsuit levied against the company in 2018, in which a former employee alleged that the company fostered a “male-first” environment.

Last April, a Riot employee compared his work to “Russian roulette” when the company decided to drop not only its vaccine and mask mandates, but also the requirement that unvaccinated employees undergo regular covid testing. This, at a time when the number of covid-19 cases continued to rise

And, of course, this is the company where a leader actually had to resign after making hateful comments about George Floydwhose killing by Minneapolis police sparked the new BLM protests of 2020.

While it’s literally fun and hilarious for Riot Games to promote its upcoming esports extravaganza featuring a music and social media icon of Lil Nas X fame, its promotional video on YouTube is deaf to the actual working conditions that the business has grown. .