Riot’s New Fighting Game Project L Enters Playtesting This Weekend

by in League of Legends | Apr, 23rd 2021

Of all the Riot projects currently ongoing at the company, the one we know perhaps the least about is the upcoming fighting game, Project L. All of that could be set to change very soon as it’s been revealed that Project L is about to enter playtesting this weekend with various fighting game pros invited and set to attend.

Riot’s Doing Project L Testing Behind Closed Doors With Focus Groups

Of course, Riot has not commented on this playtesting publicly, ostensibly because they are not ready to show it off to the world just yet, but do want professional player feedback. This sort of feedback has been invaluable to companies like Capcom in the past for their fighting games, as we saw with games like Marvel vs Capcom Infinite during its development.

According to a new report from Jun Lee, these playtests will be taking place April 23 through April 25 in the LA area. Riot sent out surveys about fighting games and invited people in for an in-person playtest.

The tests will take place Friday, April 23, from 4 to 10 PM, Saturday, April 24, from 12 PM to 6 PM, and April 25, from 12–6 PM. Unfortunately, it does not sound like these tests will be streamed, nor will the footage be released from them.

This was done completely randomly, it seems, and not done with influencers or fighting game pros in mind, at least for this one. The original survey noted that playtests could be happening throughout the middle of May as well, so people that received the survey could still be invited to a future date. Given that playtests such as these are going on, Lee went on to warn viewers that fake leaks are likely to be rampant, and with Riot’s heavy NDAs, it’s unlikely that anything will leak from these playtests.

Why Is Project L so Important to the FGC?

Riot’s Project L could represent a huge paradigm shift in not only the way that fighting games are played, but it could also represent a reason for fighting game players to play on PC over consoles at long last. For far too long, the fighting game community has been somewhat limited compared to its brethren in other esports genres by the kinds of sponsors that could reasonably expect returns when funding events. Since these games were played on consoles, it shuts out an entire sector of PC sponsorship that otherwise might have helped propel the FGC to the same kinds of heights other games saw throughout the 2010s. While there was some progress made, there would have been much more bleed over if this hadn’t been the case.

It also could be the rise of the GGPO netcode system in the mainstream FGC. Riot’s fighting game division is headed up by the Cannon brothers, who created the GGPO rollback netcode system, which Fightcade runs on to this day. Given that netcode has been one of the fighting game community’s biggest concerns, as well as Riot’s efforts to streamline the way data is routed for their games across the US’ frankly embarrassing internet infrastructure, this could make for one of the smoothest online systems ever seen in a fighting game.

While developers have been somewhat keen on making rollback a priority now, as with Guilty Gear Strive, it remains to be seen whether or not the online will function better than something like a Riot fighting game.

Also, given the Cannon’s experience with Rising Thunder and creating a fighting game that’s truly accessible to casual audiences, combined with the League of Legends IP, we could see a game that rivals or even surpasses the popularity of mainstays like Street Fighter.

With this playtest now in the cards, it’s possible that we’ll see an official reveal from Riot on gameplay from Project L after they’ve had time to gather more feedback from players.


Leave a Reply