Yuumi has become the most banned champion at Worlds 2021, surpassing 40 bans as debates as to whether League of Legends’ feline champion is broken continue across the internet.
Yuumi has become the pick-or-ban champion of Worlds 2021, with 12 picks and 42 bans across the 57 main stage games in Iceland so far.
Such a high ban rate at the professional level is the embodiment of a player base sentiment that has plagued the champion throughout the 2021 season.
‘Yuumi is broken’ debate continues
Ever since Yuumi was introduced in May 2019’s 9.10 patch, the champion has been met with fierce criticism from the League of Legends community.
A small blue cat who flies around on an open book, she’s a unique support champion. Her primary mechanic involves attaching herself to another character and buffing them through her other abilities. Her passive, ‘Bop N Block’, gives healing and mana restore, as well as a shield that is transferred to the other champion if she is attached to one. Her ‘Zoomies’ gives healing to either herself or her attached champion.
Players have criticized Yuumi for being the inherently passive nature of her kit, calling her a ‘non-interactive’ champion. However, recent patches have also led players to declare her too “broken” to even be viable. The last time she was ‘nerfed’ was February 2020’s 10.3 patch. Since then, the champion has received four buffs, including one in the 10.3 hotfix that reverted the nerf.
Two of the buffs have come during the 2021 season, also known as season 11. In the May 11.10 patch, Yuumi’s ‘Prowling Projectile’ ability received a significant damage increase. In the September 11.18 patch, Bop N Block received a four-second reduction to its maximum cooldown time. The buffs have turned Yuumi into an incredibly potent champion.
Yuumi’s reception at Worlds quickly snowballed, especially when the competition reached the main group stage. During the Play Ins stage, she was banned four times in 38 matches, for a presence rate of 11%.
Since the start of the group stage, Yuumi’s presence rate has skyrocketed to 95%, with 12 picks and 42 bans. While her win rate across those 12 games is only 50%, her 42 bans are the highest across all champions. The next most-banned support is Leona at 18 bans.
The rejection of Yuumi on the game’s biggest and most visible stage has led to the reigniting of debate within the wider League community as to whether she really is ‘broken’.
Yuumi in major regions this year – 14 picks, 12 bans.
Yuumi at Worlds Groups – 12 picks, 39 bans.
— Medic (@MedicCasts) October 19, 2021
“There is some fundamental champion design flaws if most of analysts, casters, pros and fans truly despise the un-interactive gameplay with Yuumi” read the title of an anti-Yuumi Reddit post on r/leagueoflegends that garnered nearly 5100 upvotes.
YouTuber Tobias Fate released a video on October 18 that highlighted the vast amount of healing and shielding Yuumi can do in the late game, and PSG Talon’s support Ling ‘Kaiwing’ Kai Wing even told Chinese publication Pentaq why Yuumi was a champion to be feared.
“Yuumi is so strong is because of its passive, it is just its passive. Yuumi’s passive is broken” he said.
With a possible 30 games left at Worlds, Yuumi will not be able to break the record for most banned champion in Worlds history. That benchmark stands at 119, set by Pantheon at Worlds 2019.
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However, the rest of the League of Legends scene is starting to catch up with Worlds. Data from LoLalytics shows that Yuumi currently holds a 43.01% ban rate amongst Diamond II players or higher.
Until Riot addresses their magical feline issue, it is safe to assume Yuumi will continue to be denied time on the Rift at Worlds, and remain the hot topic of conversation within the League of Legends community.