On July 12, 2020, two of the biggest fandoms on the internet collided when K-pop soloist Lee “SUNMI” Sun-mi shared a picture of herself happily sporting a DWG KIA Heo “ShowMaker” Su jersey on Instagram.
This isn’t the first time League of Legends has intersected with K-pop in a big way. In fact, plenty of the world’s biggest K-pop stars are huge League fans. EXO’s Oh “Sehun” Se-hun became a shareholder of APE Sports, the parent company of the old League of Legends Champions Korea team, SeolHaeOne Prince (formerly APK Prince) and is a known ADC main. TWICE’s Park “Jihyo” Ji-hyo once shared that she enjoys playing League and prefers bot lane; she even considered organizing a match to play with TWICE’s fans.
These are only a few examples, but whenever a superstar from one of the biggest corners of the music industry gives a nod to the world’s biggest esport, fans rightfully consider it a big deal.
SUNMI’s support of DWG KIA (and ShowMaker) has certainly been a fun development, and luckily for fans, it doesn’t stop at a jersey. After DWG KIA won the 2020 League of Legends World Championship, ShowMaker and SUNMI met and created variety content together for the org. They hit it off instantly and shared plenty of laughs as SUNMI awkwardly tried to help ShowMaker take selfies and replicate over-the-top poses. As recently as Oct. 10, SUNMI released her newest song ‘Go or Stop,’ which was made to be the official anthem for DWG KIA at Worlds 2021.
SUNMI has done a lot to support her favorite team, but what if I told you there could be more to her super fandom than meets the eye? Bear with me here.
Since she released her hit single ‘Pporappippam’ on June 29, 2020, DWG KIA have always won the next tournament following a SUNMI song release.
SUNMI writes You Can't Sit With Us and drops it early August.
ShowMaker wins #LCK. https://t.co/vzAt9sqkNo
— Nick Ray 📝 #Worlds2021💥 (@AsherIsHere_) August 28, 2021
“Pporappippam” (보라빛 밤), DK win the LCK 2020 Summer Split
Pporappippam is the song that started it all. The upbeat electronic ballad is about falling in love; its Depeche Mode-esque hook commits to that “I’m sad, but also let’s dance” 80’s love song vibe that you (or your parents) might’ve been into.
SUNMI dropped the song a little under a month before her infamous Instagram post, which technically counts for two doses of the “SUNMI buff.” After that, DWG KIA not only won the LCK 2020 Summer Split Finals against DRX, but also the 2020 World Championship Grand Finals against Suning Gaming.
“Tail” (꼬리), DK win the LCK 2021 Spring Split
Tail rocks. Not only was it written by SUNMI, but she also arranged all of the choreography herself and the composition’s uniqueness shines through within seconds of watching the music video.
The song dropped on Feb. 23, only a few months before DWG KIA took home the LCK 2021 Spring Split title against Gen.G.
“You Can’t Sit With Us”, DWG KIA win the LCK 2021 Summer Split
You Can’t Sit With Us draws on Pporappippam’s iconic 80’s style and kicks it into full effect with more synths and a driving electronic bassline; it’s a full-on dance track.
A full-on dance track that blessed DWG KIA during the LCK 2021 Summer Split Grand Finals against T1 that is, spurring them onto a 3-1 victory. Once the song dropped on Aug. 6, DWG KIA were basically destined to lock down the title shortly after.
“Go or Stop”, ???
SUNMI’s latest drop is a blatant homage to the South Korean hopefuls, wishing them luck on their journey to usher in a new dynasty in competitive League of Legends. In line with the modern SUNMI sound, the song draws from classic elements of popular electronic dance/trance music. From its distinctly syncopated synth bassline to its edgy chorus that highlights the strength of SUNMI’s vocal and dancing skills, it’s a certified banger.
DWG KIA stands tall at the top of Group A with a legitimate shot at going very far in the 2021 World Championship. With the “SUNMI buff” in full effect, only DWG KIA can decide where the team’s run at Worlds 2021 will end.
Pop culture consumer and League of Legends thought-haver. Working on becoming a weirder person.