One LoL jungler has exploded at MSI 2023—and the bans are quickly starting to pile up

This one is packing quite the punch so far in London.

Image via Riot Games

Only 14 jungle champions saw play at the League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational Play-In Stage between May 2 and 7, but one, in particular, has emerged head and shoulders above all others: the Piltover Enforcer.

Vi entered MSI as one of the most contested League champions across the four major regions, involved in over 90 percent of the draft (picks or bans) in playoff matches across the LPL, LCS, LEC, and LCK, according to pro play stats page Leaguepedia.

This form continued into last weekend’s Play-Ins. Vi emerged on Sunday with a chart-topping 92 percent pick-ban rate—not just in the jungle category, but across all 71 champions that were contested in London in the opening week.

In her eight games on the Rift, Vi came out ahead 5-3 to record a positive win rate. It was the third highest of junglers behind Nidalee and Maokai (75 percent, four games played). Her 15 bans prevented her from otherwise dominating the most picked charts, with Viego (10) and Wukong (nine) pipping her there.

But where Wukong’s nerfs from League Patch 13.7 hit the champion hardest, Vi appears to have remained relatively unaffected. Performances at MSI have proven Wukong has fallen a long way from the highs of late 2022, with the Monkey King emerging with just a single win—courtesy of GAM Esports’ Levi against Movistar R7— from the nine matches where he appeared, according to Games of Legends.

Vi’s specific changes in 13.7 saw her Q, Vault Breaker, and her E, Relentless Force, scale later into the game but at a loss of base damage per level, in what was an attempt to reduce her outgoing damage whilst still remaining incredibly tanky.

This change has worked, to a degree; Vi’s damage output compared to her positional peers was far lower across the first MSI weekend compared to numbers throughout each region’s season split, with the champion taking more of a backseat in terms of damage.

Otherwise, her build remains untouched compared to previous patches. Solo queue and professional item builds match that of past events: a clear Mythic pick of Divine Sunderer into Black Cleaver and Guardian Angel, before exploring options against certain opponents such as Maw of Malmortius, according to Pro Build Stats.

Golden Guardians’ River and Bilibili’s XUN both piloted her to two wins each at MSI, with the latter recording a loss against River’s AP Gragas.

As MSI’s junglers adapt to 13.8 and an ever-changing meta, Vi seems to be proving the comfortable fallback. We’ll see if her numbers hold up when MSI resumes on May 9.

About the author
Nicholas Taifalos

Aussie Editor for Dot Esports. Nick, better known as Taffy, began his esports career as a commentator, switching to journalism with a focus on Oceanic esports, particularly CS:GO and Dota. Email: [email protected]