An Eye on League of Legends' Vel'Koz

Pamela likes what she sees in League of Legends' unique new champion: Vel'Koz.
Pamela Horton reviewing Vol'Koz
Pamela Horton reviewing Vol'Koz © Marv Watson
By Pamela "Nera" Horton

At last! League of Legends will finally have a new AP mid lane champion in Vel’Koz - The Eye of the Void.

This tentacled Void creature has been the subject of discussion on Reddit and the forums since the beginning of January (Insert “I’ve seen enough hentai to know where this is going,” joke here.) But now the theories and ideas can finally be put to rest. With this champion now available on PBE, questions have been answered. Here’s a breakdown:

Vel’Koz League of Legends
Vel’Koz League of Legends © Riot Games

Creature Feature

I love the addition of creatures to the line-up of champions. There is only so far you can go with anthropoid characters in terms of originality. Vel’Koz’s concept is a breath of fresh air.

Vel’Koz’s backstory is rather mysterious. From what little we know, champions from the Void tend to either consume or destroy with no true lore or motive except for maybe pure unspeakable evil! So, basically he “learns” by “destroying” things.

Perhaps with Vel’Koz’s release we will get a little more knowledge of the Void instead of the “unspeakable” darkness whose “horrors are not meant for the minds of men.” That’s incredibly vague compared to the lush history that is written for the rest of Valoran. I have so many questions: Vel’Koz is gathering knowledge for what? Why does the Void want to take over if Voidborn can hardly stand the bright light of Runeterra?

Beautifully Drawn

Riot’s reveal splash art is refreshingly simple and plays down the complexity of the character on the Rift. Like the lore behind Vel’Koz, the art doesn’t say as much about the character. Let’s be honest though, the first thing your eye is drawn to is… the eye(s). He is a vessel for learning, so it makes sense his eyes are the most captivating part. But this one picture is to represent all that this character is.

Take Yasuo’s splash art for example: The howling wind, the face of deep sadness and contemplation, his hand always on his weapon ready to defend himself. You don’t have to read the lore to know his story. Nonetheless, Vel’Koz’s art is rendered beautifully and does a great job at making him look evil. Adding the glowing hues at the tips of his tentacles (in purple!) shows he’s about to get down with destroying. Oh… the lasers!

Vel'Koz Gameplay

Smooth Animations

The Great Eyeballed One’s animations are simply astounding. His motions are fluid and suit him perfectly and there appears to be no clipping and the transitional animations are smooth. In his auto attacks, he alternates blasts between all three of his tentacles instead of one or two repetitive motions. When his abilities are activated, the physical motion matches the power of the skill appropriately. The wind up for his W-ability is very satisfying to initiate and watch.

Vel’Koz’s animators could have taken the simple road and used his two front tentacles to attack and the back one to anchor, and I’m glad they did not. I had a good giggle when I saw that his joke animation is actually him juggling his eyeballs and popping them back into their sockets. You can’t be completely serious with every champion, there has to be some humor in there somewhere.

Vel'Koz Battlecast
Vel'Koz Battlecast © Riot Games

Visual Effects

The VFX given to his spells do so much to help show exactly how powerful this new champion is. They took notes on the Void abilities of other champions like Malzahar and Kassadin and amplified them with newer and better tech. The phantasmal purple and dark residual effects are more pronounced. It gives a sort of firsthand look to any potential changes that might be made if the Void-touched are reworked or relaunched.

Vel'Koz's Playability

Anybody on the Public Beta Environment (PBE) can tell you his kit feels nice and abilities feel hefty enough to do damage with fair cooldowns. His range appears to be a little short, and it’s even mentioned in his reveal that this will require him to be in the thick of team fights. Fortunately for Summoners who like an exit strategy, he has the crowd control ability to add a bit of utility to the package. His movement speed is average, so he’s not going to be the very best at sneaky roaming for ganks. I’m sure if you put Boots of Mobility on him he could make for a very intimidating roaming champ.

One of the most exciting prospects to me about Vel’Koz is trying to see how much versatility he can have in other lanes. As an avid Support player, I’m curious to see if he can up the ante in my support champ reserves. A champion with CC and poke usually has a good spot bot lane beside an ADC. AP supports are the bread and butter of my League of Legends experience. But if not as support, I look forward to having another reason to set up camp in mid lane and destroy things. You know, for science and learning.

Pamela "Nera" Horton is a California-based artist and avid League of Legends player with an interest in working in character development in video games. In LoL, she prefers to play support or in the top lane with Soraka, Riven or Teemo.

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