Vi launched in League 9 years ago today

The Piltover Enforcer has forever changed the influence of League on the world.

Image via Riot Games

Nine years ago today, Riot Games released a champion that, at that time, the company did not realize would change the way League of Legends was interpreted in other forms of media. Today, fans celebrate Vi’s storied history within League and how her image has grown outside of the game.

Vi, the Piltover Enforcer, was released in League on Dec. 19, 2012. She was the newest addition to the growing pool of fighter-class champions, though her kit stood out as being much more suited for the top lane rather than her role as a jungler as we know her today. Her original Champion Spotlight even highlight’s Riot’s initial intention for her to be played in the solo lanes, though this stems from the lack of identity present within the jungle at the time.

Since her release, Vi’s kit has remained relatively the same. Her abilities and their effects are mostly the same, and she has never been in need of a rework—unlike champions like Ryze. Earlier this year, she received some extra attention by Riot, acknowledging some bugs and inconsistencies within her kit that made her viability in the jungle questionable. After those fixes, however, Vi’s play rates and win rates increased exponentially, thanks also in part to her debut in Riot’s first animated series, Arcane, around the same time.

Screengrab via Riot Games

Vi and her sister Jinx, two long-standing champions in League, served as the centerpieces of the story present within Arcane, depicting the struggles between Piltover and Zaun. This was the first opportunity for fans to see some of their favorite champions animated outside of animations that Riot releases for champions and events, with the company receiving critical acclaim for this major step. Season one of Arcane, consisting of three acts of three episodes each, currently has a 100-percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with season two already in production.

During the time of Arcane’s release, the champions featured within the show saw massive increases to their usage in-game around the world, with Vi quickly becoming a highly-contested jungler in combination with her recent bug fixes. The Piltover Enforcer’s play rate jumped to 8.4 percent, only trailing other meta jungle picks at the time such as Lee Sin and Xin Zhao. She currently has a 9.4percent pick rate and is sitting at the top of the jungle meta, according to League stats site

Although there is still some time before any information regarding Arcane’s season two is revealed, Vi has become one of the most popular characters in League thanks to her importance within the animated series. She, alongside her sister Jinx, helped successfully usher in a new era of League fans, and on her ninth birthday, we recognize how Vi has forever changed the future of League‘s ever-growing world and influence.