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Wave and Riot Games Bring Virtual Metal Band Pentakill to Online Stage

Wave x Riot Games
Courtesy Photo

A preview of the upcoming Pentakill show.

Despite being entirely virtual, Pentakill has reached the top 10 of Billboard's Hard Rock Albums tally and topped charts on iTunes.

Virtual entertainment company Wave has turned artists like The Weeknd and John Legend into avatars to perform virtual concerts. Next, the company is working with a band whose members are avatars to begin with.

That would be Pentakill, the chart-topping virtual heavy metal band created by games publisher Riot Games for its flagship title League of Legends. Today (Sept. 1), Wave and Riot Games are announcing a partnership that will begin with an immersive virtual concert from Pentakill on Sept. 8 premiering their new concept album Lost Chapter.

Dubbed Lost Chapter: An Interactive Album Experience, the event was directed and produced in collaboration with global production studio The Mill. Audience members will be able to engage with the band and each other through live chat and voting, see themselves live onstage alongside Pentakill and influence the performance in real-time. The album will arrive on streaming services following the show.

"Riot Games is an ideal Wave collaborator as they have been an innovator in using music and emerging technologies to build and extend their worlds beyond games," Wave COO Jarred Kennedy said. "Wave has sat at the intersection of music and gaming since its inception, and we’re excited to work with Riot to help shape the future of virtual performance."

The Los Angeles-based Wave has hosted more than 50 virtual concerts, called "Waves," with artists like Dillon Francis, Alison Wonderland and Tinashe, where artists perform as avatars in imaginative virtual settings. The company names Warner Music Group an investor and China's Tencent Music Entertainment a strategic partner.

Meanwhile, Riot Games has been steadily making inroads in the music industry. In July, the company debuted Riot Games Music, a music label arm that will release projects from virtual stars including Pentakill as well as hip-hop group True Damage and K-pop girl group K/DA. The label's first official release was Sessions: Vi, a collection of music for gaming streamers to use in their videos without having to worry about copyright strikes.

Having released two albums, I: Smite and Ignite and II: Grasp of the Undying, Pentakill has reached the top 10 of Billboard's Hard Rock Albums chart, topped the iTunes metal and rock charts and scored features with metal musicians like Tommy Lee, Nine Inch Nails alumnus Danny Lohner and Noora Louhimo of Finnish band Battle Beast.

"Wave is a great partner for us as we continue to expand our music efforts," Riot Games Music head Toa Dunn said. "We aim to push the envelope in storytelling and virtual artistry, and strive to break new ground in the virtual world for gamers and music lovers alike."

Lost Chapter: An Interactive Album Experience premieres on Sept. 8 at 4:30 p.m. EST at wave.watch/pentakill.