Riot shows off a new character for Project L, its free League of Legends fighting game

Riot Games’ upcoming League of Legends-themed 2D fighting game will be free to play and will include the League champion Illaoi as one of its playable fighters, the studio announced in an update on Monday.

The game was announced in 2019 under the codename “Project L,” and details are still relatively light — Riot hasn’t provided an official release date or even a release window. But in Monday’s update, Riot did share a very detailed explanation of what’s involved in bringing Illaoi, who has been playable in League of Legends for years, into Project L, and it’s interesting to read about how the team thinks about adapting a League character into a fighting game.

Some concept art of Illaoi
Image: Riot Games

The news that Project L will be free to play is notable but not too surprising; Riot’s smash hits League of Legends and Valorant have each been free to play from the beginning. But the early popularity of WB’s free-to-play fighter MultiVersus shows that there’s an appetite for big-budget fighting games that are free, and if Riot can bring it over League and fighting game fans to Project L when it finally releases, the studio could have a big hit on its hands.

Riot promises that the Project L team will share another update “before the end of the year.” The studio shared an early look at the game in November, including some gameplay footage. Project L is just one of Riot’s many expansions of the League of Legends universe, which also includes the hit Netflix show Arcana and a League of Legends RPG.

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