June 23, 2021, 10:26 PM

Viego’s pro debut: How the Ruined King has stacked up

Viego’s pro debut: How the Ruined King has stacked up
Viego artwork credit to Riot Games
By Zakaria "Zagron" Almughrabi
League of Legends saw the release of Viego, the much-anticipated Ruined King himself, on January 22, 2021. After 14 specific bug fixes and numerous undocumented ones, Viego has finally made his competitive debut four months and 12 days later. This massive time gap has built up even more hype for seeing Viego on the big stage. We’re now between two and three weeks into the four major region’s Summer Splits. How has The Ruined King stacked up so far and what can we expect for Viego in the future?

Pick Ban Priority

Overall, Viego has seen high levels of pro presence. His average pick-ban priority is 57.2% among the four major regions. This number is also weighted down by the LCK who are an outlier at 30.9%. The LEC are topping the Viego charts at 71% presence, making him their eighth most important champion so far in Summer. NA and CN have 62.2% and 64.8% presence rates respectively. Despite the high presence rates, Viego isn’t oppressive in pro play. Even in his highest priority region, he has only been banned in six of 25 games. The LPL is the only region where Viego has been banned more than picked. He is also very evenly chosen on both sides. Of Viego’s 63 total games, 30 have been on blue side with 33 on red side.

Where does Viego go?

As of Patch 11.12, Virgo is effectively a triple flex between Mid, Top, and Jungle. Three weeks into the Summer Split, Viego has a total of 24 Top games, 11 Jungle games, and 26 Mid games. NA, EU, and KR all play him primarily as a Mid and Top laner. Only China has more than a single Jungle Viego game played. Patch 11.13 included a nerf to Viego’s sustain off of lane minions and a buff to his ganking mobility and crowd control, which could change how the three other regions perceive him.
The LPL is the only major league that frequently plays Viego in the Jungle at the moment. Image credit to the LPL.
The LPL is the only major league that frequently plays Viego in the Jungle at the moment. Image credit to the LPL.
As for now, most regions prefer the solo lane style of Viego. The higher gold income and solo experience allow the Ruined King to scale up to his full carry threat potential easier. Viego pretty much goes into whichever matchup he likes more, so there are very close numbers between Mid and Top. LCS and LPL have more Mid games, while LEC and LCK have more Top games.

What is Viego played with?

While Viego isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of pick, he still fits into a couple of compositions. Teams often draft Viego with other strong melee champions. The exact champions vary based on region as each one prefers different picks. In the LCS and LCK, Nocturne is a frequent supporting pick. Sett is also common between LCK, LPL, and LCS. Gwen and Akali are regular pairings who can provide magic damage. Rumble and Udyr also have a bunch of Viego partnerings, but that is mainly because of the smaller Jungle champion pool.
These pairings allow for two main compositions for Viego to support.
The first is a skirmish heavy fighting composition. Combined with the raw engage power of Sett and Nocturne or the team fight ability of Rumble, Viego can hop into the fray with his team and get the resets he needs. While picks like Gwen and Akali can provide assistance on this front, they also provide another play style.
Sett is one of Viego’s most frequent partners in battle. Their two-man diving power is nearly unrivaled. Image credit to Riot Games.
Sett is one of Viego’s most frequent partners in battle. Their two-man diving power is nearly unrivaled. Image credit to Riot Games.
When paired with powerful solo lane threats, Viego can be played in a 1-3-1 composition. There are few picks that can take Viego on in a straight 1v1. When you add another side laning threat to the mix, Viego and company can pull opponents all over the map. Lee Sin, Gangplank, and Gnar all have games with Viego as a result.
Whenever these powerful melee picks can’t come through, Viego can be paired with mages and enchanters. NA and EU like to pick Orianna Mid with a Viego Top for their wombo combo potential. Besides Orianna, Lulu and Karma have also been tried in Support, Mid, and even Top. Giving Viego an enchanter can turn him into an unstoppable fighting machine.

What are the best and worst picks against Viego?

Viego’s unique kit stealing mechanic makes him very interesting to pick. A big chunk of your impact comes from being able to get resets with his ultimate and passive in order to keep rolling through fights.
Between 67 and 72 unique champions have been played so far in the four major regions. Viego has fared fairly normally against the bulk of them, but there are some clear outliers. Since it is still early in the Split, we’ll only be looking at picks with a 40% win rate margin or more over four games minimum.
Viego seems to fare well against Leona and Kai’Sa. Both of these picks have decent presence across all regions, so their total games against Viego are quite high. Leona and Kai’Sa are both reliant on being able to see Viego to hit their crowd control and damage. The Ruined King’s untargetability from his Mist makes it difficult for them to land their abilities.
Akali has also struggled quite a bit against Viego. Her play pattern of diving in on someone doesn’t work well when Viego can turn back on her with a stun and burst her down. Additionally, allowing Viego to Possess Akali makes it incredibly easy for him to turn fights and clean up with her loaded kit.
On the other side, the Supports of Tahm Kench, Nautilus, and Alistar all crush Viego’s hopes and dreams. Tahm Kench’s ability to gobble up Viego’s target and deny his reset is frequently fight losing for the Ruined King. Nautilus also doesn’t really mind Viego’s Mist that much. His hook hitbox is so big it will likely hit anyways. If Viego ever comes out of his Mist, a Depth Charge shuts him down for the rest of the fight.
Xin Zhao is one of the most interesting picks on this list. The Sentinel of Demacia is understandably a very strong duelist in the early game. Viego has a hard time standing up to Xin before he gets items. However, Viego should be able to outscale Xin Zhao and take over the game eventually. The problem is that Xin Zhao can also stop Viego later on without fighting him. The ability to sweep Viego out of a fight with his ultimate is denial on par with a peeling support. This full game dominance has Xin Zhao sporting an insane 88.9% win rate against Viego.
Xin Zhao has been Viego’s Kyptonite. He's won eight of nine meetings between the two. Image credit to Riot Games.
Xin Zhao has been Viego’s Kyptonite. He's won eight of nine meetings between the two. Image credit to Riot Games.

Which teams play Viego and how good are they?

Overall, 30 of the 47 major region professional teams have played at least one game of Viego so far. Eleven of those teams have three or more games under their belts.
It should be noted that NA and EU play best-of-one, while CN and KR play best-of-three. The LCS and LPL also started their Summer Splits a week earlier. As a result, LCS has 45 games played, LEC has 25, LPL has 88, and LCK has 55. It makes sense that G2 is the only European team to hit the three games mark, but DAMWON being the only Korean team to is indicative of the region’s low priority on the pick.
Only three of the teams on this list have a negative win rate in their Viego games. Similarly, only three of these teams have negative overall win rates. Europe’s G2 Esports and China’s FunPlus Phoenix and Rare Atom are both among the top performers in their regions so far in Summer. Liquid, LGD, JDG, and DAMWON are all in the middle of their tables.
The two “worst” Viego playing teams come from North America. FlyQuest and Golden Guardians are the bottom two teams in the rankings. Interestingly, two of FlyQuest’s three wins came with Viego. Immortals and LGD have also earned 50% or more of their wins with the Ruined King on their side.
Lastly, FlyQuest and Rare Atom are the only teams who have played Viego in all three of his roles. Considering that they are a combined 5-2, even with FlyQuest being a bottom-table team, having the ability to triple flex Viego is definitely beneficial.

Who are the best Viego players?

A total of 42 players have taken Viego for a spin so far in the Summer Split. Excluding players with only one game brings that number down to 14. Let’s look at the top five Viego performers from this list.
The two most impressive profiles here have to be those of Xiye and FoFo. Xiye’s 8.23 KDA over three games is incredibly hard to sustain. As for FoFo, he is keeping a high CS per minute stat while also having 83.9% kill participation as a mid laner. Kanavi is the sole Jungler listed here. He is sporting a nice 78% KP with understandably lower KDA and CS numbers.
Revenge and Wunder are the only western players with an above 33% win rate over two or more games. This is interesting because aside from one Caps Viego game to forget, these two have played all of their teams’ Viego. Not having the propensity to flex the pick makes him much more vulnerable in the draft but they still do well regardless.
IMT Revenge currently has the most competitive Viego games of any player in the world. Image credit to espat.ai.
IMT Revenge currently has the most competitive Viego games of any player in the world. Image credit to espat.ai.
To briefly talk about single-game performances, plenty of players have had one amazing Viego game that puts them at the top of the stat sheets. FLY Josedeodo, FNC Bwipo, and FPX Tian all have a great Jungle Viego game. Their 11.0, 10.5, and 12.0 KDA games respectively are three of the four best Viego performances so far. OMG Creme’s Viego game ended with an 18.0 KDA, 9.33 CS/M, and 78.3% KP.

Conclusion

Viego’s professional debut has been a long time coming. His triple flex pick status has caused his global presence to rise to 57.2%. While Viego is currently more favored in a solo lane, his viability as a Jungler will be on the rise in the coming months. Many champions have been tried both with and against Viego to varying success. Certain teams have also adopted Viego more than others. It is clear that Viego will be a staple of the competitive meta for the rest of the Split and possibly into Worlds.

Live / Upcoming Matches

LeagueTimeTeams
TTR
CommunityTrackLoL
Thursday, January 27, 2022, 8:00 AM
8:00 AM
LSB
KT

554

1659

50%
50%
28%
72%
Thursday, January 27, 2022, 11:00 AM
11:00 AM
T1
NS

2584

1728

50%
50%
59%
41%
Thursday, January 27, 2022, 8:00 PM
8:00 PM
PNG
LBR

1375

1454

100%
0%
58%
42%
Thursday, January 27, 2022, 9:00 PM
9:00 PM
PNG
KBM

1375

1488

100%
0%
48%
52%
Friday, January 28, 2022, 8:00 AM
8:00 AM
HLE
DK

966

2274

0%
100%
31%
69%
Friday, January 28, 2022, 11:00 AM
11:00 AM
KDF
BRO

998

942

100%
0%
52%
48%

Live / Upcoming Matches

LeagueTimeTeams
TTR
Thursday, January 27, 2022, 8:00 AM
8:00 AM
LSB
KT

554

1659

Thursday, January 27, 2022, 11:00 AM
11:00 AM
T1
NS

2584

1728

Thursday, January 27, 2022, 8:00 PM
8:00 PM
PNG
LBR

1375

1454

Thursday, January 27, 2022, 9:00 PM
9:00 PM
PNG
KBM

1375

1488

Friday, January 28, 2022, 8:00 AM
8:00 AM
HLE
DK

966

2274

Friday, January 28, 2022, 11:00 AM
11:00 AM
KDF
BRO

998

942

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