League of Legends Showdown Arrives: Thoughts and Strategy

I have to admit that I didn’t remember that Riot announced they would be cycling in new game modes. That’s right, All for One will not become a permanent feature just yet. Instead, All for One will get rotated out for assessment and we get to try out Showdown – a new 1v1 and 2v2 mode that will, I believe, use the Howling Abyss map.

The rules for the new mode are going to be the same rules that we saw at the all-star game, or that most of you probably use when doing duels. The winner of the showdown will be whoever gets first blood, first turret kill or is first to 100 cs. In 2v2’s it will be the first team to two kills, first turret or first team to a combined 100 cs.

For those of you who like to suicide in Arams when your health gets low and you want to back doing this in Showdown will count as a kill for the other team. You will, however, be allowed to back and shop whenever you want. This is exactly the same type of game mode that Riot used during the all-star game, the only difference appears to be that it won’t use the map that they made specifically for the all-star duels.

My first thoughts on this new game mode were the ones I usually have whenever Riot introduces a new game mode – what have you done for threes lately? Seriously, they have this perfectly amazing map and game mode that remains unbalanced and open for tons of changes to make it better. What does Riot do? Removes the word “beta” from the map title, calls it good for preseason Twisted Treeline changes and proceeds to develop a whole new game mode that also isn’t focused on 5v5 play.

Uh Riot, I thought you said the reason you weren’t working on threes was because 5v5 was supposed to be the main draw. Now you’re going and developing even more game modes involving fewer combatants? How about we just clean up threes some more first.

As you can tell…I’m quite a big fan of the Twisted Treeline. But then I thought about it a bit. Why do I like threes? Because it lets you queue up and play a game with fewer people. Once I realized this I quickly decided that 2v2 and even 1v1 will probably be decent simply because it now allows you to queue up with even fewer people and still have a full team. Any game mode that allows me to have fun while keeping me clear of random ragers is ok in my books, and that alone will drive me to try out this game mode.

Otherwise, it doesn’t sound like Showdown will be introducing anything really unique to LoL. Outside of the smaller teams and new rules to win the game everything else remains the same. I’m curious to see if it will be blind pick or if there will be bans. Based on All for One my guess is that it will be blind pick, which could lead to a lot of mirror matches. Some champs are just better at fighting 2v2 than others.

It would be interesting to see a draft pick scenario with picks and bans. The problem with it I could see developing is that the actual pick and ban phase could end up being longer than the actual match itself. I’m just not sure if it’s worth doing picks and bans for something like this that should draw its strength from quick games and small teams. What could be interesting is randomized 2v2 where you don’t get to pick your champ…

I know some people might not think there’s much thinking involved in a 1v1 or 2v2 match up, but that isn’t true. I have had the pleasure of partaking in a 2v2 tournament in the past, and there’s actually a fair bit of strategy involved. Do you go for the farm with ranged damage and decent disengage spells? Do you take heavy damaging ranged champs and go for a turret push? Or do you take that Elise Jarvan comp and go for the early all in?

1v1 also has a surprising amount of considerations, though it relies more heavily on the champs you pick. Some popular duelists that you often see in 1v1 are Caitlyn (great range and poke), Vayne (godly damage) and Nunu (incredible early damage and sustain). One of my personal favorites is Teemo. His damage and poke are very strong, and his blind allows him to trade very well with other ranged attackers. He is one of the few ranged champs who can consistently out duel Vayne in single combat.

But what summoner spells do you run? What are your first items when all you need to worry about is the opponent in front of you? Like I said, a surprisingly large number of things to consider – if you’re playing to win!

Oh and if you’re looking for some champions to play in a 2v2 setting I highly recommend Annie. To be fair, I can’t think of situation in which Annie is bad right now, but she is particularly decent in a 2v2 situation. She can push waves, stun both of your opponents and farm/poke safely with her massive auto attack range. I have even built her as an AD/AP hybrid to start the game just because she can pump out so much safe damage with her auto attacks.

Basically, unless you are going for a pure “let’s go all in and kill them team” consider using some of the champs that have long auto attack ranges. Champs like Varus, Caitlyn, and Zyra give you a lot of flexibility in how you play out the game. This is especially good when you can’t see what your opponents are picking.

Unfortunately there is no set release date for Showdown, but expect it to be showing up sometime towards the middle of the month. Until then, practice with your friends, prep your strats and get in your last few games of All for One. Oh, and if they ask, be sure you tell Riot exactly how I said All For One could be made better 😉


3 thoughts on “League of Legends Showdown Arrives: Thoughts and Strategy

  1. The problem is that 3’s is still a ‘serious’ mode. It has its own map, its own balancing (as few and far between as that is), and its own detailed strategies and guides. These rotating maps are aimed at a more casual demographic. People who like League, but don’t like Summoner’s. People who like Summoner’s, but need to unwind. I believe these are market-driven decisions.

    Which is a shame, because 3’s and even Dominion have been left out in the cold. If Riot were to get another hit like ARAM, a mode where they literally have to do nothing for people to still enjoy playing it, then what can we really expect for the serious modes not named Summoner’s Rift?

    Less players, less care, and a good excuse to scrap them.

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