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New Project L Info Details Plans For Esports

A banquet held in Japan by Riot Games has given us some new details about the upcoming fighting game - Project L.

For the first time in months, new details about Riot Games' anticipated fighting game, Project L, have emerged. According to FGC stalwart, Bruce Yu-lin “GamerBee” Hsiang, Riot is expecting to have a robust esports plan but not at the cost of alienating whatever organic community comes from it. Alongside many other tidbits of gameplay information, this marks the most we’ve learned about Project L since last year.

The Plan For Esports

Through a Chat GPT translated post, GamerBee described what he learned at a Riot hosted “banquet” in Japan. One of the largest pieces of info revealed Riot’s plans for Project L’s esports:

“There will be a Pro Esports environment, and some may worry that official tournaments will displace community events. Therefore, there will be a limit on official tournaments and community tournaments can use “L” to organize events,” Gamerbee says.

This means that Project L is potentially gearing up to fall right in line with the rest of the FGC structure. Instead of coming in with a full blown publisher-run circuit, Riot seems to be planning a more measured approach where TOs can play the game without fear of legal action against them. They continued to state that they will allow Project L to be played in events alongside other games, freeing it up to take mainstage at EVO or CEO. Gamerbee also shared that the developers of L are more concerned with making sure “players are satisfied with the game and then focus[ing] on building an esports environment.”

Also, Riot says that they will not focus on massive prize pools but instead hopes to “make players become stars because… players can earn more through endorsements and sponsorships.” Riot says that they will also not prohibit players from playing other fighting games while participating in Project L events. This is also par for the course in the FGC, but not as common in other esports.

The F2P Foundation

Plenty of details about the game’s structure were revealed during this event, which did not allow video, as well. The first of which is that the game is confirmed to be free-to-play. This could mark a massive shift in the FGC as very few games in the genre are free, let alone ones from top flight developers. It is also confirmed that Riot plans to keep the game as a live service (in the same vein as League of Legends and VALORANT) and will constantly update the game as opposed to releasing sequels.

The online structure for Project L is also confirmed to be built on the existing League/VALORANT infrastructure. So player-to-player communication will go through localized servers. This should cut down on lag and bad connections during matches. Riot also said that they would be working closely with Playstation to bring the game to consoles with “the same input lag across all platforms”. This is also the first time we’ve heard of any specific platforms the game is coming to.

Let’s Get Ready To Fight

Gamerbee shared a ton of new findings about how the game is actually played. The 2v2 structure of Project L remains, but there will still be two rounds per match. Which is a departure from most tag-based games where the match is over once both or all three fighters on a team are eliminated.

The battle system also is a bit more clear, with Gamerbee saying there will be three attack buttons (light, medium, heavy) and directional inputs for special moves. He also states “There won’t be any moves that require directional input commands, as all moves will be button+direction combinations.” This continues to build on what we saw from Riot’s first reveal about Project L, where we saw a command system that was more like Power Rangers: Battle For The Grid than Marvel vs. Capcom. Riot also said that combo strings will be shorter than other Vs. games. As Gamerbee notes “...players will be rewarded for difficult combos, but they (Riot) do not want combos to be too long and make the losing side feel hopeless or uninterested.”

There is also talk from the development team on if there should be a “comeback mechanic” within the game. Many tag-based fighters have these in place where your final character can activate boosts to become more powerful. Marvel vs. Capcom 3 introduced this as X-Factor and Dragonball Fighters has a similar mechanic called “Sparking”. Riot also says they might poll players in the future specifically on this topic.

Lastly, Gamerbee reports that there will not be a “cooldown” system in Project L like there is in Rising Thunder and Granblue Fantasy: Versus. Riot says they did not want to add in cooldowns because “depriving players of their actions is a bad thing.”