Riot Games’ Upcoming LoL-based Fighting Game Will Be F2P

Fighting games are famous for being a competitive genre in the video game scene. We have the likes of King of Fighters, Street Fighter, and Tekken, with more than a decade of history and polish. But there are also some new challengers in the foray, such as Melty Blood: Type Lumina, DNF Duel, and Blazing Strike.

With EVO (Evolution Championship Series) underway for 2023 and arcades making a comeback in the FGC (fighting game community), you can argue that now is the best time to get into these kinds of games—but there’s one problem. Fighting games are known for their brutal difficulty—not because of their mechanics but because of their players.

If you’ve ever played an online match in a fighting game, whether casual or ranked mode, it’s easy to get bulldozed by most players in the community. It’s not just because they’re fast at pushing buttons but also because they have years of experience.

This leads to newer players feeling intimidated by the idea of going into a fighting game in the first place. Luckily, everyone will start from scratch with Riot Games’ upcoming fighting game, Project L. Plus, since it’s free-to-play, you only need to create a LoL account.

Also read: How to Report Players in League of Legends?

Riot’s Goal to Branch Out

League of Legends is one of the most popular MOBAs, with only DOTA 2 being its “true” competitor. You’d think Riot Games would stop there, but no—they want more. In 2019, the company revealed its plans to branch out to other gaming genres.

Thanks to that, we have Valorant, Teamfight Tactics (which you’ll need a League account for), and the soon-to-be-released Project L. Riot even released a mobile port of LoL with League of Legends: Wild Rift. And let’s not forget the absolute eye candy of a series they released on Netflix, Arcane.

A Tag Team Fighting Game for Everyone

Project L will be a tag-team 2D fighting game where players will take control of a pair of characters from League of Legends. But make no mistake, you don’t need to be an active player of League of Legends or have knowledge about it beforehand to play Project L. If we compare it to other fighting games, Project L looks like it follows the same pacings as a handle of Street Fighter titles. However, with the tag mechanic in play, you can expect it to “feel” more like Dragon Ball FighterZ or the Marvel vs. Capcom games. 

From the looks of it, it’s shaping up to be a fun and accessible game from Riot Games. They haven’t announced or revealed anything substantial yet when it comes to the movesets of the characters and whatnot, but we can expect more information when Project L is nearing its release.

Going F2P: Good or Bad?

As we’ve said before, Project L will be free-to-play; this was confirmed by Tom Cannon, the Executive Producer and Senior Director of Project L. He announced this via a Twitter video, stating that whatever form of monetization made by the team would ultimately be “respectful for your time and wallet.”

Cannon also confirmed in that video that his team is currently working on Project L’s core game mechanics and has already moved on to features like social systems, competitive play, and designing champions.

Now, whenever we hear that microtransactions will be present in the game, it’s typical to feel like everything would go downhill. We’re undoubtedly skeptical of how “respectful” Riot will be when inserting “optional” content that you can pay for.

Should they implement it well enough that it won’t get in the way of thoroughly enjoying the title, we’ve got an excellent fighting game in our hands. If they keep all the characters available for everyone (save for a few exclusive ones that can be purchased as DLC), then Project L can skyrocket in popularity.

Also read: How to Uncap Your FPS in League of Legends?

More Details Revealed: Illaoi Joins the Fray

In the same Twitter video, Tom Cannon briefly teased a character in the works: Illaoi. You might’ve heard of Illaoi, a League of Legends champion released about seven years ago. In Project L, the prophet of the Great Kraken uses the Eye of Gear to tear the souls of her opponent’s bodies.

Cannon described Illaoi as a spiritual leader that’s both powerful and charismatic. Having big, powerful attacks means that Illaoi has a larger hitbox to work with, but it also means that her dominating presence will yield a slower movement. Much like in the MOBA game, Illaoi in Project L fights with the tentacle god, Nagakabouros, by her side and her giant totem.

Also read: Who is Mel in Arcane?

Project L Release Date

There’s no official date yet on when Project L will be released. In November 2021, during the Arcane event, Riot Games explained that the fighting game was far from done and unlikely to be finished in 2023. For now, we know that Darius, Ahri, Illaoi, Katarina, Ekko, and Jinx will be part of Project L.

There’s no word precisely on who or how many we can expect to join the roster. Hopefully, we’ll hear more news about it and a possible release date in 2023. 

Make a League of Legends account beforehand if you’re interested in playing Project L when it drops!

In the meanwhile, check out our article on LoL vs Dota 2.

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