Vel’Koz has seen a slight resurgence in the 2020 World Championships. As the meta has turned towards more mages in the mid lane, the one-eyed monster from the Void has seen some play at the event. Mid laners have been forced deeper into their champion pools and are also searching for a counter to Lucian. The champion has only seen sporadic professional play since its introduction in 2014 and has appeared in just 77 professional matches this year.
Because Vel’Koz has been pulled out by both Tim “Nemesis” Lipovšek and Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon in the knockout stage, it seems like a good time to look at the history of the champion and how it has fared over the many metas and seasons of play in League of Legends.
The eye of the void did not debut in a professional match until season 5 in the LPL. He was piloted by Yoon “Zero” Kyung-sup in a loss to OMG in the LPL. The champion was only picked four times that season and did not register a win in any of those games. In season 6, Vel’Koz was more of a niche counter-pick, only seeing the rift a handful of times but not becoming prevalent in pro play until some time later.
Season 8 was when Vel’Koz fully broke into the professional scene. As that season’s meta and play style developed around flexing picks between multiple positions, strong laning, and control mages, Vel’Koz became a regular in most regional leagues. He was also a decent counter into a more popular pick at the time, Ryze.
That season he registered his highest presence ever, with teams picking or banning the champion in 5% of games worldwide. Thanks to his flexibility between mid lane and support roles, Vel’Koz was a strong option for teams building poke compositions or looking to dominate the early laning phase on the bottom side of the map.
But that would be the champion’s lone highlight year, as his presence across the world would dip in both seasons 9 and 10.
This season, Vel’Koz has a 2.8% presence across the world. He has been mostly picked in smaller regional leagues, not showing his face in any of the big four regions except for one game in the LCS and eight games in the LCK.
The three best Vel’Koz players are all mid laners who own the most games and the best overall record on the champion. The best win rate is actually held by two players: Lee “Kuro” Seo-haeng and Onur “Bolulu” Can Demirol, as each have a 75% win rate in 12 total games played. Both players have an absurd KDA on the champion, Kuro is at 10.2 while Bolulu stands at 8.2.
As for the player with the most total games on the champion, Lee “Crown” Min-ho takes the cake with 16 games along with a 62% win rate and a 3.5 KDA.
Vel’Koz has always been a fringe pick in professional play. The champion is strong in most metas that revolve around Mages, but has always been hampered by his immobility and general lack of play. Not many people actually play Vel’Koz, and the pros that do pull him out have either a deep champion pool or see him as a good counter for other more popular mage champions. While he has been pulled out at the 2020 World Championship, do not expect Vel’Koz to make any additional appearances unless teams want to test the limits of the current mid lane champion pool.