The newest League of Legends World Championship anthem, “STAR WALKIN'” by Lil Nas X, debuted on Sept. 22.
As with previous anthems, the song was accompanied by an animated music video. In it, pro players like Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in and Marek “Humanoid” Brázda face off in the streets of San Francisco, where the Worlds 2022 finals will take place.
Initial online reception appears mostly positive. Fans of Lil Nas X and League of Legends alike were quick to listen to “STAR WALKIN'” and share their support.
STAR WALKIN HAS BEEN ON REPEAT SINCE RELEASE pic.twitter.com/tDFtc1hfdU
— Marius 💜 STAR WALKIN OUT NOW 💫 (@nasmarianax) September 22, 2022
me in class streaming star walkin pic.twitter.com/ewX6Srvz7W
— prantø (@notpranto) September 22, 2022
Comments and tweets quickly pointed out the unfortunate attention drawn to CoreJJ, who will not be attending Worlds as Team Liquid did not qualify. This isn’t the first time a Worlds anthem music video has highlighted a player that would not be going to Worlds; these mishaps occasionally occur because production on the music video begins long before Worlds qualification.
As a reminder for people wondering why CoreJJ was highlighted in STAR WALKIN' – work starts on these kind of videos MANY months ago.
They'd have had to pick the NA rep early on into the year, and TL seemed really likely to make Worlds when the squad was formed.#Worlds2022
— Isaac CB (@AzaelOfficial) September 22, 2022
When it comes to criticism leveled at the song itself, the main talking point has been the fact that “STAR WALKIN'” doesn’t “feel” like a Worlds anthem. While most listeners don’t dislike the song, some say that it feels more like a Lil Nas X song and less of Worlds song.
Past Worlds anthems have received a lot of praise for being the “hype” song that introduces the tournament and builds momentum heading into the first matches. Some have said that this is where “STAR WALKIN'” falters. Although it’s a good song, it doesn’t build anticipation for the matches.
ok so star walkin is a good song but terrible worlds song, man
— nik (@nikisundefined) September 22, 2022
This year Worlds song didn't get me as hyped as usual🥲
— Marcin Jankowski (@G2Jankos) September 22, 2022
I'm not gonna pretend like i'm some Music genius. But to me it feels like a Lil nas X Banger, but not a worlds songs.
I'm a sucker for the orchestral music mixed with screaming, with buildup into heavy hitter drop kinda music for worlds.
Story telling didn't do it for me
— Mikkel "Guldborg" Guldborg (@GuldborgReal) September 22, 2022
The song has only just released and likely the discourse will shift as the tournament begins. Lil Nas X’s live performance of “STAR WALKIN'” may also change attitudes towards the song depending on how it’s received.
One thing is certain, the song’s release has already led to heaps of memes created by the community to celebrate the newest Worlds anthem.
star walkin pic.twitter.com/c6U7mtpyMq
— League_Italia (@league_italia) September 22, 2022