Ask Riot

Ask a question about League or Riot, and we’ll try to answer it. Answers go live every other Thursday at 1:30 pm (PT)

What do you want to know?

Something went wrong. Try asking again.

Thank you for submitting a question!

Next Article

/dev: Rocking on the Rift

Guitar riffs, following inspiration for Eclipse Leona, behind-the-scenes videos, and new sheet music.

Hello everyone, this is ProtoShredanoid from the Riot music team with the next installment of sheet music and dev blog music madness. Along with releasing some guitar-focused sheet music sketches and raw behind-the-scenes clips, we’d like to talk about the highly personal process of following inspiration and how it blossoms into a full piece of music.

Inspiration can manifest itself unexpectedly and comes in many forms. The initial seed could come from something profound like a dream, concert, movie, piece of artwork, etc., or from something as simple as a rhythmic faucet drip, chirping crickets, a quirky pitched pattern in someone’s laugh, a conversation with a friend, or even the universe itself. It could come from literally anything! (I’m guilty of being inspired by all of the above.)

Once we have that initial seed of inspiration, we need to water it and help it grow. If there is any one takeaway from this blog, it should be, “Never underestimate your raw inspiration.” No matter what it is, tend to it and be prepared to help it flourish. For me, I capture most of my inspiration with (and express it on) the guitar, which leads me to…


This piece started with a very simple pattern on guitar.

Eclipse Leona intro guitar pattern:

Eclipse Leona intro guitar pattern

This initial figure, or shall I say “seed,” resonated with me. The key of B major along with the open B string pedal on guitar have a bright quality, which feels like Leona. B major is generally considered a very sharp and bright key, and to me it sounds like a super saturated hue of yellow (“pitch to color” could be an entire post by itself!).

Now that we have a figure that feels good and we’ve nurtured our initial inspiration, it’s time to find an instrument that could help further create a sonic identity for Leona. (In other words… let’s turn that tiny sprout into a towering tree.)

Personally, I feel there is something spiritual about the hang drum. Maybe it’s all of the images I’ve seen of hippies and cool dudes with dreads playing it—or maybe it’s just me? Either way, perhaps one could imagine the Solari of Mount Targon using melodic, hang drum-like instruments to connect with the Cosmos and Aspects. The hang drum also has a very metallic quality, which feels fitting for Leona’s shield and armor. It also feels more weighty and stronger when compared to the glassy textures that we normally associate with instruments used for Targonian music. Because Leona is such a tank, this strength and heaviness seems very appropriate.

Eclipse Leona intro pattern on Hang Drum:


Next we add some variation to our pattern with piano and harp, add high-register celeste to further connect us to the Cosmos (it is Eclipse Leona, afterall), and add some organic fantasy magic elements to represent the power of the sun that Leona wields.

Eclipse Leona intro with above mentioned instrumentation:


Now that we have something that’s starting to sound like a piece of music (or to follow the metaphor, looks like a tree), the inspiration process snowballs. Our little sketch inspires us to hum a melody (sung by Lisa Thorn in the final version, who voiced the original Diana theme), add rhythmic figures, design big brassy braams, and build into full traditional orchestra. The snowball effect eventually leads us into an entirely new section for the second half of the piece, signifying the power of the Moon.

None of the above would have happened if we did not trust our initial seed of inspiration and tend to it. While this process will surely vary from person to person, I feel the underlying message remains the same: Never underestimate your raw inspiration.

The initial idea for the Moon section came late at night, floating around the Moon. We felt a calm, cool, darker, more folkloric section would contrast the Sun melody and balance the piece.
Eclipse Leona guitar tablature

And now it’s time for more sheet music. For the first time, we’ve got something a little special for the guitar players: tablatures. There’s also a full orchestral score for Snowdown 2017, just in time for the holidays. Since we’re focused on inspiration today, we also included a brief look at the initial inspiration for each of these pieces.

We’ll be back next year with more sheet music and more insight into composition at Riot. Happy holidays everyone!


Odyssey – Welcome Aboard (click to download the guitar tablature)

For the main Odyssey theme, the team wanted a cool bluesy/indie garage-rock feel. We ended up sticking with this noisy, raw rock guitar riff which got the musical ball rolling. Bust out the fuzz pedal for this one!

Odyssey main guitar rif:



Pool Party 2013 (click to download the guitar tablature)

The goal for both Pool Party songs was simple: A lot of fun, a bit of chill, and a pinch of the dangerous, turbulent side of the Rift. Plug in a tele, add some spring reverb and GET PITTED! Fun fact—both Pool Party pieces were performed live by a misfit band of Rioters.


Pool Party 2018 (click to download the guitar tablature)

The goal for both Pool Party songs was simple: A lot of fun, a bit of chill, and a pinch of the dangerous, turbulent side of the Rift. Plug in a tele, add some spring reverb and GET PITTED! Fun fact—both Pool Party pieces were performed live by a misfit band of Rioters.


Aatrox (click to download the guitar tablature)

Ancient, dark, ritualistic orchestral-metal. We used odd-time and syncopated rhythms along with less used “forgotten” harmony (Bb Locrian natural 6, which is the 2nd mode of Ab harmonic minor for all of the theory nerds out there) to establish the sound of the ancient Darkin Blade. This one was played on an 8-string tuned down a half step to F.



Snowdown 2017 (click to download the whole score)

Being so close to the holiday season, we felt it would be fitting to end this post with the full score to last year’s Snowdown music. Snowdown 2017 had a “bad santa” theme, so the thought behind this piece was “a little bit of naughty mixed with some nice.” This piece also started as a simple guitar melody sketch which was then brought to life by live orchestra.

Next Article

Narrative Recap: 2018 and Beyond