We got our first glimpse of Camille in a comic last week, and the internet fell in love with her knife legs and hip-mounted grappling hooks. Now, League of Legends has officially revealed its next champion, and I can’t wait to get destroyed by her.
“I knew leading into it that I wanted to make a character that moved really well…to me, that’s where the starting point for Camille came from,” said Jeevun Sidhu, lead character designer for Camille, answering questions on a Twitch stream while a playtester ran the new champion through her paces. “I wanted to create a new signature type of mobility, so people would be like, damn, I wish I had that way of getting across the battlefield. And that was how the hookshot came to be.”
Hookshot, Camille’s E, fires a grappling hook that pulls Camille to a nearby wall or other piece of terrain. For a short window afterwards, Camille can then dash in a direction, stunning any enemies she hits and gaining some attack speed in the bargain. When chained properly, it creates a zigzagging pattern, carrying Camille around the enemy frontline and onto the fragile marksmen and mages in the back.
Camille’s main damage source comes from her Q, Precision Protocol, which applies a damage boost to her next attack. She can reuse this ability almost immediately after casting it, but if she waits an extra two seconds, it becomes empowered even further. “One thing I wanted to do was create a spell that had aspects of precision to it,” said Sidhu. “”So I was thinking, let’s have a spell where you have to play a timing mini-game that your opponent knows and that you know. It played into the arrogant aspect of her–she’s a really powerful, confident character.” That means the most successful Camille players won’t just play around the timing of their own abilities, they’ll play mind games with their opponents.
Fan reaction has been a bit worried about Camille’s strength, but Sidhu says there’s no cause for concern. “Understandably, people will feel like this character is overloaded,” he said on stream. “I know why you feel that way. But most of what she’s doing has a substantial amount of risk.” Her passive, which creates a shield based on the main damage type of the last enemy she attacked, is a great example of this. Marksmen and mages can protect each other from Camille’s assault by punishing her with whatever damage type she’s lacking in resistances to. She has to choose the perfect time to go in to remain effective; according to Sidhu, though, that’s part of the fun. “That was definitely an intentional choice we made,” he said on the importance of decision-making in her play. “The character we were making was like this secret agent—she’s very disciplined in practice, and she’s been into many fights.”
The most interesting thing about Camille seems to be her status as a fighter, not an assassin; she doesn’t have the same burst damage that characters like Rengar or Talon have. She may have lot of tools at her disposal—mobility, shields and a hell of a lockdown ultimate—but Camille still needs a few seconds to actually kill her targets. That means there’s a much larger margin for error on her part, and for quick-thinking counter play from the enemy.
To put aside questions of balance for a moment, Camille is a joy to watch. Her reliance on walls mean her path into a fight is never direct, but always angular or acrobatic. She can swing herself over ledges, appearing out of the fog of war to dance en pointe all over her ambushed target, and if she times her second Q properly, her final kick ends in a backflip. The last thing you see before your death screen, at least, is aesthetically stunning.