Project L is still a long way out, with only a few pieces of solid info out there for excited parties to scan over. There’s a hunger for updates, and plenty of speculation about what’s to be expected from the next big game from Riot Games.
As such, with a lot of variables up in the air, we’ve written up a list of five League of Legends characters we want to see show up in Project L. After thinking on the topic, many League characters have kits that translate clean into a 2D fighter, making the job of picking out ideal additions to the roster quite simple.
Our first pick is an obvious one, a character almost too perfect for a 2D fighter thanks to their bare-knuckle brawling kit in the MOBA. We’re talking of course about Sett, a relatively recent addition to the League cast with a variety of melee abilities that would translate beautifully to Project L.
There’s the obvious variety of jabs and enhanced punches that make the transition easy to imagine, but also Sett is one of the only champions that could be categorised as a grappler in the same vein as Zangief or Hugo from Street Fighter. If there were a direct comparison for what Sett could play like, fighter game fans could look to Miguel as a great comparison here. A quick look at his kit shows how exciting a street brawler style character can be.
Also, his ultimate is a jumping powerbomb. It’s like too perfect to not make it in as an all-or-nothing grapple leading to massive damage. Since there aren’t really many other characters that fulfil the role Sett does, it seems like a no-brainer, much like typical Sett players.
Here’s an interesting one. There’s a long legacy of certain characters making use of clones or delayed after-images for some slick combos in fighting games. Now, there’s a duo of characters that could fit this bill from League’s cast, but since Le Blanc is a ranged character with a moveset not easily transferable to Project L, that leaves Zed as our best bet.
A hugely popular assassin in League of Legends, Zed possesses a range of ranged and melee abilities alongside a shadow clone which he can teleport to. This clone, a major aspect of both his basic in-lane pressure and escape plan, is the main reason why we think he’d be a brilliant addition.
A clone opens up a lot of possibilities for a unique fighting game moveset. You could go with Mortal Kombat’s Noob Saibot style, where one character tags in their partner for devastating attacks and ambiguous mixups that test an opponent's defensive chops. Alternatively, you could go all the way and have the clone on screen as a permanent threat. We’re not talking Ice Climbers in Smash Bros, more like Yun’s Genei Jin super from Street Fighter 3 where the clones repeat the player’s attacks a few frames after they’re used.
There’s a lot of room for some interesting stuff with Zed. As one of League’s most recognisable characters, it’s an addition we'd love to see.
Maokai doesn’t get a whole lot of love, but we’d be so lost without him. The coolest tree in League of Legends taking his leaf and joining the cast of Project L could be perfect for those looking for a big body character with some tricky setups.
The secret to why Maokai’s a good fit? Saplings. In the game, these little guys are thrown down to apply a bit of pressure as they charge towards enemies. They can grow into larger buddies too, when thrown into bushes, making them an even great threat to those attempting to walk on Maokai’s turf.
If this doesn’t sound like the cornerstone of a big bruiser with some serious grounded pressure, I don’t know what does. In combination with a big ‘ol slam, a target dash to close the distance on other characters, and his ultimate root wave that would make for a great super move, Maokai seems like the perfect choice for a bruiser / rushdown hybrid.
If we were looking to other games for inspiration here, Gargos from the excellent Killer Instinct reboot is what we had in mind. An absolute monster in their own game, Gargos combines some oppressive attacks of their own with a wave of minions that make their way across the screen applying additional pressure. Up close, these minions can really mix up a blocking opponent. It’s tons of fun, we promise.
Okay, let's move onto the weirder picks. Jayce has risen in popularity quite a bit since the release of Arcane last year, and has a pretty nifty playstyle as a champion able to switch between ranged and melee at will. This opens the door to a fairly engaging fighting game character, one who is suddenly able to switch from poking at a distance to rushing down with his hefty hammer.
Now, with unique moves for both forms, this would likely make Jayce one of the more complicated characters present in Project L. But that’s totally fine considering Jayce is already one of the more difficult champions present in the MOBA. He’s a challenging pick, one that offers big rewards, but you need some of those even if Project L is lowering the barriers to entry present in other fighters.
There are plenty of fighting game characters that can seamlessly switch between staying at ranging to performing devastating combos. Games like Blazblue and Mortal Kombat have many picks that fill this role, but when it comes to stance switching your options narrow somewhat. Nightwing from the Injustice series is a great example of what we’re talking about, as their ability to switch between batons and staff changes up their playstyle significantly. You need some tricky characters in a fighter, and Jayce is a great pick for that.
Our last pick is also an ‘outside of the box’ pick, with a character that’s not an easy pick to imagine in a 2D fighter. Kindred is a ranged jungler, who primarily uses their bow to pick away at champions from a distance while their phantom wolf partner takes chunks out of anyone within their range.
Believe it or not, puppet characters that allow users to control two separate bodies do exist. Typically found in anime fighters, this lesser seen archetype is inherently complex. However, it provides a distinct twist on the typical keep away fighters you’d usually see, and as such would fill a special little spot in the Project L cast. For comparison sake, the most popular puppet character is probably Rosalina & Luna from Smash Bros, but if you’re a fan current big titles then Zato from Guilty Gear: Strive is another rad example. It’s all about pressuring from multiple angles for devastating effect.
Whether or not this kind of champion would fit inside the more beginner-friendly plan the folk at Riot Games seem to be aiming for is a big question mark over this pick, but if they are willing to include some more complicated picks then Kindred is one we’d love to see.
That wraps up our top five dream characters we’d like to see in Project L. If there’s a pick you’d like to see end up in Riot’s upcomer fighter, let us know below who and why they’d be a great choice. As long as it’s not Teemo.
For more Project L content, check out our feature on whether Project L has what it takes to make it big?