Riot Games aims to improve the League of Legends esports competitive scene by introducing a brand new 1v1 Showdown mechanic for the 2024 season.

It will be implemented during the regular season of APAC leagues Pacific Championship Series (PCS) and Vietnam Championship Series (VCS), adding an “element of skill to side selection.”

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Yes, you read that right. An actual 1v1 Showdown will take place between two pro players from both teams outside the actual best-of-three series to determine side selection for either game one or three.

A 1v1 Showdown during official LoL esports regular season matches? Count me in!

League of Legends Summoner's Rift map (top view)
Credit: Riot Games

The 1v1 Showdown will be adopted slightly differently by the two leagues.

The showdown decides the right-to-side selection for game one in PCS’ best-of-three series. On the other hand, it’ll determine the right-to-side selection for game three in the VCS.

The match will be played in the custom game mode “Showdown” with the following rules:

  • Players will take turns to ban three champions each
  • During the Pick Phase, both players will get to pick any champion, even champions already picked by their opponent, as long as it’s not banned. This means that a mirror matchup is possible.

The winner is determined once any of the following conditions are met:

  • First to 2 kills
  • First to destroy the enemy’s turret
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Credit: Funko Pop, ONE Esports
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Sudden Death is activated if the match runs beyond seven minutes. During Sudden Death, the winner will be decided once any of the following conditions are met:

  • First to kill
  • First to destroy the enemy’s turret
  • A Ring of Fire will begin to close in on the players every few seconds. If a player is defeated by the Ring of Fire, their opponent will be declared the winner

“We would like to stress that while we feel confident in this skill-based methodology for side
selection, this is still a regional test and we will not see this offering at global events or other
regions at this point,” Riot Games wrote.

“We will closely monitor the impact of this offering on both the competitive and entertainment aspects of our sport, and feedback from our fans, before looking to make adjustments accordingly,” the game developers added.

Lee Sin Funko Pop
Credit: Funko
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Why is side selection important in League of Legends?

Picking blue or red side always had an impact on pro teams due to how picks and bans are carried out. Another reason is due to the way Summoner’s Rift map is designed.

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Blue side always gets first-pick — where teams can prioritize and grab the most overpowered champion after the first round of bans — while red side always gets the last pick for a potential counter.

Traditionally, the higher seed gets to pick their side, but in 2024, Riot Games is exploring a skill-based
methodology, testing it out in APAC first.

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1v1 Showdowns were a staple during the now sunset offseason League of Legends All-Star event that took place yearly from 2013 to 2020. Fans got to see pros from various regions go head-to-head in a 1v1 bracket and band together in unconventional game modes.

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