Riot Games revealed that Aatrox was chosen as the next champion to receive a Victorious skin due to his high presence rate in professional League of Legends.
“Aatrox had a 92 percent presence in the Summer Split, with a high presence in ranked,” Riot Beardilocks said. “He also had a 99 percent pick/ban in last year’s Worlds, the highest of any champ.”
Additionally, Beardilocks added a link to Riot’s official statement on how the Victorious champion is chosen. But it seems like the primary reason for the decision to move forward with Aatrox was because of his relevance.
Aatrox’s relevancy is largely uncontested. He’s remained a priority pick in the top lane for the past year thanks to his ability to win and take extended trades. A few months ago, his ultimate, World Ender, was changed so Aatrox would no longer revive at any point. Despite this, he’s still picked and banned professionally—albeit with a much lower presence rate of 16 percent at Worlds. But his presence during the current Worlds shouldn’t dampen Riot’s reasoning considering the developer has to plan for the skin months in advance.
Although Riot’s statement is understandable, fans still have qualms with this decision. Several users mentioned that the choice isn’t the issue, but rather the design isn’t up to par and looks too similar to Justicar Aatrox.
“Justicar looks more ‘Victorious’ than the Victorious Skin,” one user said under Beardilocks’ post.
Fans are also concerned that other lanes, primarily support and ADC, are heavily underrepresented in the Victorious skin line. Morgana was the last support to receive a Victorious skin, which was released five years ago in 2014 when she was a highly-contested mid pick rather than a support. As for ADCs, Sivir is the only traditional ADC to have a Victorious skin, which came out in 2015. The top lane, however, received a skin fairly recently in 2016 when Maokai was announced as the Victorious champion.
Regardless of the controversy behind appointing Aatrox as this year’s Victorious skin, Riot is sticking by its decision based on the impact he’s had on the meta this year and last.