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“Sandstorm” is a 1999 trance techno song by the Finnish electronic music producer Darude. Upon its release, the song instantly gained mainstream recognition and continues to remain relevant as a pre-game “pump-up” track before sporting events and background music for a wide range of videos hosted online, most notably during live-streamed sessions of the multiplayer arena game League of Legends (LoL) on Twitch.
“Sandstorm” was released in Finland on November 15th, 1999 by 16 Inch Records. In 2000, Darude released a music video for the track in which he is shown wearing headphones while witnessing two people chase a woman carrying a mysterious case (shown below).
On May 15th, 2010, YouTuber treefrogs67 re-uploaded a video of a man playing “Sandstorm” on a toy trumpet which has been originally uploaded by the youtuber fireandicernice at first(shown below, left). On November 8th, Redditor infobrains submitted the video to the /r/WTF subreddit, where it garnered upwards of 900 up votes and 80 comments prior to being archived. On April 19th, 2011, YouTuber wananshi uploaded the video “Cyclops Senpai”, featuring scenes from a Japanese adult film accompanied by “Sandstorm” playing in the background (shown below, right).
On June 12th, 2013, Redditor amnbassist submitted a screenshot of a “Sandstorm” lyrics page from the Pandora music app to the /r/funny subreddit. Prior to being archived, the post accumulated more than 1,100 up votes and 15 comments.
On July 24th, the LCS Highlights YouTube channel uploaded a LoL gameplay video in which player TheOddOne completes a quadra kill while listening to “Sandstorm” (shown below). The same day, the video was submitted to the /r/leagueoflegends subreddit where it gained over 1,900 up cotes and 200 comments. Afterwards, users on the video streaming service Twitch began falsely identifying any background music as “‘Sandstorm’ – Darude.”
On November 22nd, Urban Dictionary user Faker-senpai submitted an entry for “Darude – Sandstorm,” citing TheOddOne’s stream as the origin of the meme on Twitch. On November 25th, Redditor Orion66 reposted the toy trumpet “Sandstorm” video to the /r/videos subreddit, where it gathered upwards of 4,500 up votes and 240 comments in the first three months. On November 28th, Darude performed “Sandstorm” live at the Dreamhack Winter 2013 computer festival (shown below).