When is the Project L release date? If you ever wondered what an all-out League of Legends champion brawl would look like, you’re about to find out. Project L is the work-in-progress title of an upcoming 2D fighting game featuring the likes of Ahri, Darius, and Jinx. In the developer’s words, you’ll be able to “walk, run, dash, chain dash, jump, long jump, and super jump,” your way to victory.
If you can’t wait to learn more about this League of Legends fighting game, here’s everything we know about the Project L release date so far, from trailers and gameplay to the champion roster, assist and tag system, netcode, and more.
Project L release date speculation
Unfortunately, the Project L release date hasn’t been officially confirmed yet. Back in 2021, senior director Tom Cannon said that despite making a great deal of progress, the game would “not be shipping in 2021 or 2022”. According to a development update from August 2022, the team was “finishing up [their] work on core mechanics” and moving on to building champions, social features, and competitive gameplay elements.
While that doesn’t give us any guarantees, it doesn’t seem too far-fetched to expect a Project L release date announcement sometime this year.
Project L trailers
Project L doesn’t have an official trailer yet, but you can find a gameplay compilation in Riot’s first Project L development video, starting at 0:57. Set in Runeterra, the same universe as League of Legends, the gameplay footage shows several beloved LoL champions throwing punches at each other in the midst of a heated battle. Unlike its parent game, this first glimpse at Project L reveals a more cartoon-like 2D art style.
Project L gameplay
Many of Project L’s core mechanics will seem familiar to 2D fighting game connoisseurs. Each champion is equipped with a set of attack abilities, which are linked to the champion’s current position (ground or airborne) and aim. Despite a focus on offensive combat, you’ll get an array of defensive abilities which seems to include counter attacks and a blocking skill.
As explained in the first gameplay teaser, the Project L developers are going for an ‘easy to learn, hard to master’ formula. Expect a gradual learning curve, without the need to memorise a dozen combos before jumping in with a new character. At the same time, the developers intend to give Project L a competitive edge, with a high skill cap for expert players.
Project L assist and tag system
As explained in a ‘Basics & Tag’ developer diary video, Project L will be an “assist-based fighter game”, which means that the player chooses not one, but two champions to support each other in combat. This includes a ‘Point’ champion, the main fighter, as well as an ‘Assist’ character, who may swap in through a ‘tag’ system.
Riot Games has confirmed three types of tag action so far:
Assist Actions: unique character actions that are the “bread and butter” of the tag system. Even if your Assist is off-screen, this ability will call them to the battlefield. Holding this skill button will result in a more powerful Charged Assist Action.
The Handshake Tag: switches the Point and Assist character roles as long as both characters are present on the screen. The brief gameplay clip suggests that there’s hardly any cooldown for this ability, which may allow for a very fast quick-swapping attack sequence.
The Dynamic Save: calls in the Assist to interrupt your opponent’s combos, thereby saving your Point champion… Unless your Dynamic Save is countered.
Thanks to the Handshake Tag, it seems that every Project L champion will be able to fulfil either role, although some champions may be better suited to certain combat roles than others. Naturally, this means that strategic team-building is an essential part of Project L.
Project L roster
Time to answer our most pressing question: can we join the brawl as Jinx? The short answer is yes, we’ve already seen some of League of Legends’ most famous champions appear in Project L’s early gameplay footage, including Jinx. Here’s the full list of confirmed Project L characters, with more to come:
While tweaked to fit the fighting game mechanics, early footage shows the Project L champions using moves that are reminiscent of their signature abilities in League of Legends. For example, Jinx can be spotted wielding familiar weapons, such as her Pow-Pow minigun.
Likewise, Ekko can be seen manipulating time by using a ‘Chronostrike’ rewind ability, leaving an after-image of himself on the battlefield to move back to at a later time. And then there’s Illaoi, who was highlighted in the Basic & Tag video. Her early gameplay showcase unveils a brawny, “big body” character who uses tentacle attacks, just like her League of Legends kit.
Project L netcode
As a competitive game, Project L’s netcode will greatly influence your gameplay experience. At the end of their first Project L video, Riot Games promises a highly responsive system that should be no different from playing offline. In short, they will use rollback networking enhanced by Riot Direct, their internal network. That way, if your opponent suffers from lag, it shouldn’t affect your own experience. If an opponent quits during a match, Project L’s netcode will also determine who gets to win (and it’s not the rage-quitter).
Project L news
Riot officially announced their League of Legends fighting game in 2019, but it was hardly a surprise; about three years prior, Riot acquired Radiant Entertainment, a team of fighting game experts. Radiant Entertainment has previously released a brawler called Rising Thunder, but the full release was cancelled while the game was still in its alpha stage, as Radiant started working on Project L.
Riot has confirmed that Project L will be free to play. According to senior director Tom Cannon, the aim is to make the game accessible to anyone, regardless of their budget. This probably means that Project L will feature microtransactions, perhaps to unlock cosmetics, new champions, or both.
Now you know everything about the Project L release date, why not check out our list of the best multiplayer games to make the wait a little easier. Alternatively, consider some of the best PC games of all time.