While most professional League of Legends players opt to keep a hold on the meta in order to be successful in their respective competitive regions, sometimes an unconventional pocket pick is enough to completely throw the opposing team off—especially when that pocket pick has a very low pick rate.
During Immortals’ week seven 2023 LCS Spring Split match against TSM, mid laner Bolulu opted for his patented Vel’Koz after Zoe had been taken away from him, aiming to surprise the players of the opposing side with a pick almost never chosen by any pro player.
While Immortals didn’t end up winning this game, Bolulu walked away with the most damage done between either team and a few memorable plays.
Vel’Koz has been a staple pick for Bolulu throughout his time in both the TCL and the NACL, though this is the first time the champion has been seen in the LCS since 2020 when Froggen opted for the champion and ultimately lost to TSM.
The Eye of the Void is Bolulu’s third most-played champion in his entire League career, sporting a 77-percent win rate across 26 games internationally, according to Oracle’s Elixir.
TSM had to quickly adapt to Immortals’ focus on keeping Bolulu’s Vel’Koz out of reach, which was made increasingly difficult thanks to the front line of Viego and Nautilus keeping the mid lane carry safely out of reach. On multiple occasions, members of TSM were disintegrated nearly instantly from an opponent they couldn’t even get close to—with even WildTurtle being 100-0’d by a Vel’Koz ultimate.
Bolulu acted as the biggest thorn in TSM’s side for most of the game, but was a particular nuisance for TSM’s top laner Solo, who struggled to act as a true tank with how much true damage the Eye of the Void was dealing per second.
It wasn’t until the later stages of the game that Solo finally gained enough stats that he could tank significant damage from Immortals, yet Bolulu remained a key threat.
It’s likely this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Bolulu’s Vel’Koz in North America, though with Immortals on the verge of not qualifying for the Spring Playoffs, we may not see it again until the Summer Split begins.