What does it take to build a League of Legends champion?


Vi 0

PCG: What do you like about Vi?

AB: Vi was my first character so she has a special place in my heart. The thing I love about Vi is how thematically resonant she ended up being: from her art, to her voiceover, to her story, to her gameplay kit. She’s this aggro punk who’s going to get in your face and beat the crap out of you: that’s what’s going to happen, so get used to it. She’s the bad cop: she’s the one who busts down a few walls and breaks a few jaws to get the job done.

PCG: What compelled you to work on this character?

AB: It was the art, honestly. Paul Kwon made some beautiful art for Vi. He had a full body shot of her looking all aggressive with her gloves, but the piece of art that sold her was this bust shot of her: she looked so cocky, and she had a lollipop in her mouth but it looked like a cigarette. I saw that up on the wall and was like, can I work on that character? I get that character.

PCG: Were there any interesting challenges building Vi?

AB: Vi was actually a very smooth process compared to all the other characters I made. The art surrounding her was so clear that there was never a question in anyone’s mind what she did or what she felt like. It was so easy, at least by the time I started. Back in the day, when she was being concept arted, she was much more contentious: she had roller-skates and stuff.

The hardest part about Vi was how she feels to play against, because Vi’s ult does not have counterplay: Vi clicks on a guy and he’s just stunned. So the difficult part has been balancing Vi so that she’s in a state where she’s fun, exciting and still feels like Vi, but still tolerable to play against from an opponent’s point of view. You can’t stop her getting to you, it’s all about what you do after she gets to you: that’s where the counterplay is. Limit her movement speed, limit her upfront burst potential, things like that. When Vi gets too strong it gets really nasty to play against her, so we need to maintain who she is, but also make sure she's still fun.

Vi Concept Art

On the next page: there's an Ekko in here.

Shaun Prescott

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.