Exclusive Interview with Elisa Giorgio: Behind the Fiery Voice of Smolder

Smolder is the latest Champion released for League of Legends. The little dragon is already creating quite a stir in Summoner’s Rift! We caught up with her Italian voice actor Elisa Giorgio to find out what it’s like to work with Riot Games on their most popular MOBA.

Our interview is translated from the original Italian.

elisa giorgio smolder interview esports-net

Hi Elisa, could you tell us about your career path and how you became a voice actress?

Elisa: Sure thing! So I actually started my journey as an actress when I was just 14, doing theater. I stuck with it for years and after finishing up my university studies, I decided to dive into the world of dubbing and voice acting. I figured, why not channel my acting skills into something that focuses more on the voice and microphone, you know?

What are the roles you’re most proud of so far?

Elisa: Oh, gosh, there are so many… I could say almost all of them! When it comes to TV series, Saray Vargas from “Vis a Vis,” played by Alba Flores, and Princess Anne in “The Crown,” portrayed by Erin Doherty, will always hold a special place in my heart. They’re both Netflix series. As for anime, I’m really proud of my roles as Maki Zenin in “Jujutsu Kaisen,” Baby Five in “One Piece,” and Yor Forger in “Spy X Family.” In terms of movies, I absolutely loved voicing the character played by Emily Ratajkowski in “Lying & Stealing.”

How does it feel to lend your voice to a character in a globally popular and beloved game like League of Legends?

Elisa: It feels absolutely amazing! I can truly feel the warmth and appreciation from gamers worldwide, especially from women who find Smolder cute and endearing. While I’ve never played LoL myself, I’m well aware of its worldwide fame through my agency, Imacrew Agency, which also manages various gaming figures such as streamers, cosplayers, and event organizers. So being part of that world is just awesome!


Is this your first time voicing a video game character? If not, what other characters have you voiced before? And what’s your favorite?

Elisa: Actually, I’ve worked on quite a few video games. For example, I’ve lent my voice to characters in recent titles like Mortal Kombat (Ashrah), Spiderman 2 (Scream/Venom), Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (Toka), and Final Fantasy XVI (Mid). Oh, and I also voice the main character in Hogwarts Legacy (the female version), which is definitely a standout role for me, considering how much I adore the Harry Potter universe.

Can you talk us through the interview/audition process for getting your role as Smolder? How hard was it to land a voice job with Riot Games, one of the biggest game developers in the world?

Elisa: For this particular product and character, there wasn’t a traditional casting process. Instead, I submitted a vocal sample as an audition, tailored to meet the specific vocal and emotional requirements outlined by the production team. If my performance resonated and fit the character’s profile, I would be confirmed for the role.

While there wasn’t a direct casting call, it was definitely a complex process that took several years to land a role in a Riot Games video game. Needless to say, I’m overjoyed with the outcome!!

How was your experience working with Riot Games and how did you prepare for the role of Smolder? Were you given any direction on the type of voice they needed for the Champion?

Elisa: Working with Riot Games was incredible, especially because they provided videos for us to dub over, which added depth to the process. Typically, video game dubbing involves only the audio part, so having these visuals was immensely helpful. They helped me understand the atmosphere and character expressions better. This experience was similar to dubbing Deadlock, the character I voice in Valorant.

As for preparing for Smolder, we typically follow the intentions of the original language. In Smolder’s case, there wasn’t much room for doubt! It’s like portraying a spirited, mischievous child, sometimes capricious and whiny, yet tenderly terrified of their mother. These were the directions I received, but I also drew inspiration from the original language to capture all the nuances.

Smolder English (Original) Voice

Smolder Italian Voice

What have been the major challenges in voicing Smolder, or any character for a video game, and what did you enjoy most about voicing Smolder?

Elisa: Well, for Smolder specifically, the challenge was maintaining that “childlike” voice without letting my adult side interfere. Generally, the challenge in video game dubbing is sustaining vocal energy for hours and staying true to the character—especially since there’s no video to guide us, only our imagination. However, despite the challenges, it was an absolute blast! While vocally demanding, it was incredibly rewarding to embody a real child’s mindset, which is quite different from my own as an adult woman. But that’s what made it so beautifully light and enjoyable!

How long is the process of recording the voice lines?

Elisa: It varies depending on the number of lines needed, based on the amount of game content produced by the parent company in various batches. It could be as few as 10 lines one time and as many as 500 the next. But either way, it’s all part of the fun!

smolder voice actrice elisa giorgio interview esports-net

What role do you believe voice acting plays in gaming, and what advice would you offer to aspiring voice actors interested in entering the gaming industry?

Elisa: Voice actors, regardless of language or nationality, truly become the heart of the video game, much like the soundtrack. While games rely heavily on visuals, it’s the vocal and musical elements that captivate and leave a lasting impression, often without receiving enough credit.

For those aspiring to venture into gaming voice acting, patience is key, given the industry’s competitiveness and the lengthy production timelines. As the gaming industry achieves a quality comparable to cinema, immersing oneself in playing various video games in their native language is crucial to learning from seasoned professionals!

Now that you’ve given your voice to a character in the game, would you ever like to try playing League of Legends?

Elisa: Absolutely! While I’m not exactly a pro at online games, the allure of immersing myself in the world of LOL as Smolder is irresistible! The fiery spirit of Smolder definitely ignites a desire to give it a try. Who knows, maybe I’ll surprise myself and pull off some epic moves!

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