Viktor hasn’t had a great year in the League of Legends meta, as he’s generally and consistently remained a fairly subpar mid lane selection. But, as often happens in League, when he couldn’t work out in the mid lane, players tried him out elsewhere.
He was taken to the top lane, and it seems he’s found himself a pretty cozy home up there. The strange pick of Viktor top started out as most of these things do—a few high-profile players were trying him out, and soon, he became an actual viable strategy in the land currently dominated by Urgot and Aatrox. He was even locked in at Worlds by Korea’s Afreeca Freecs, although that wasn’t a terribly incredible showing.
Afreeca’s Kim “Kiin” Gi-in, who’s probably their star player and considered by many to be one of the world’s best top laners, locked it in twice. Afreeca was 3-0 swept by C9, though, so it clearly wasn’t super amazing. Kiin’s first Viktor game ended with a depressing 2-4 record, but he ended the second Viktor game 4-3. His impact on the game was obviously felt more for Viktor’s second appearance.
The reason Viktor works so well against meta titans like Aatrox and Urgot is his build. He gets enough AP from his Hex Core that he can afford to build the Iceborn Gauntlet in lane. This gives him incredibly tankiness against those pesky high-AD meta champions, a ton of mana and cooldown reduction for spamming, and the passive slow ability works very well with his kit.
Since there are plenty of Aatrox and Urgot picks at Worlds, being two of the most-popular picks of the tournament so far, there’s a good chance Iceborn Viktor makes another appearance on the big stage.