Riot’s fighting game based on the League of Legends franchise, codenamed Project L, will be a 2v2 tag-based fighter with a twist: Players will have the option to control both characters, tagging them in and out as they see fit, or play on a team with another player in four-player (or three-player) matches. Project L’s creators call the system Duo Play, and in a new video, they explain how the mechanic works.
Project L game director Shaun Rivera likens Duo Play to tag-team wrestling. “One player controls the champ on stage, and the other waits offscreen for their teammate to find the right moment to tag them in,” Rivera said. The system has been “designed from the ground up to encourage teamwork,” Rivera added. It will support 1v1, 2v2, and even 2v1 matchups.
Riot’s League fighter will have a complementary mechanic called the Fuse system. “Before the game starts, each team can choose to customize how their champs play together,” Rivera said. “With fuses, you can choose between powerful synergies that change up your Duo Play style and really allow player expression to shine.”
One of those fuses, 2X Assist, “allows your team to throw out two assists back to back,” Rivera explained. “Instead of just one with each champion having two assists, and some of them being chargeable, there is a lot to discover,” he said, “but you can always change your fuse for the next match to find out what feels right.”
Riot devs showed off the new system in a four-player match featuring three of Project L’s confirmed characters, Darrius, Ekko, and Ahri, which you can watch below.
Project L isn’t the first fighting game to feature four-player 2v2 matches, with games like Tekken Tag Tournament and Mortal Kombat 11 offering team-based battles for more than just two players. (Riot’s Fuse system also sounds similar to Capcom vs. SNK 2’s Grooves system, but you can’t fault the studio for borrowing from the best.)
Attendees at next week’s Evolution Championship Series, better known as Evo 2023, will get a chance to go hands-on with Project L, executive producer (and Evo co-founder) Tom Cannon announced. That playable demo will feature four Champions — in addition to Ahri, Darius, and Ekko, Riot has previously confirmed that Jinx, Katarina, and Illaoi will also be part of Project L’s roster.
Project L was first announced in 2019. The fighting game is being developed by former members of Radiant Entertainment, the studio behind the canceled free-to-play fighting game Rising Thunder. Last year, Riot confirmed that Project L will be free to play, with “respectful” monetization.