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2XKO release date estimate, playtest, characters, and more

When the 2XKO release date arrives, fans will finally be able to face off in a 2D fighter with their favorite League of Legends champions.

Project L release date

When is the 2XKO release date? If you ever wondered what a League of Legends 2D fighting game would look like, you’re about to find out. Formerly known as Project L, 2XKO was confirmed as the game’s official name in early 2024, featuring the likes of Yasuo, Darius, and Jinx.

In the developer’s words, you’ll be able to “walk, run, dash, chain dash, jump, long jump, and super jump,” your way to victory. This means you can expect the gameplay in 2XKO to be similar to Marvel vs Capcom, rather than a slower game like Street Fighter. If you can’t wait to learn more about this League of Legends fighting game, here’s everything we know about the 2XKO release date so far. From trailers and gameplay to the champion roster, assist and tag system, netcode, and more.

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2XKO release date estimate

2XKO is set to launch in 2025 on PC, Xbox Series X|S, and PlayStation 5. There’s a possibility the game may launch in early access to allow Riot some time to balance the game’s roster and mechanics.

Initially teased back in 2019, 2KXO was first shown off in 2021. Despite making a great deal of progress, the game would “not be shipping in 2021 or 2022”, said senior director Tom Cannon. According to a development update from August 2022, the team was “finishing up [their] work on core mechanics” and moving on to building champions, social features, and competitive gameplay elements.

2XKO has been in development for a long time, going through several major changes like switching to a 2v2 tag team fighter. We estimate that the 2XKO release date could land before the summer of 2025. With EVO being the biggest fighting game tournament, there’s no doubt Riot will want to get its game ready to be played on the world’s biggest stage. Riot has confirmed it’s going to take part in Summer Game Fest which kicks off on June 7, so we’re hoping to hear more about the fighting game soon.

2XKO playtest sign-up

There have been Project L playtests in the past, but Riot has said you need to resign up to the 2XKO playtest to gain access again.

Here’s what you need to do to sign up for the 2XKO playtest:

  • Head over to the 2XKO Playtest survey page.
  • The survey will ask you a series of questions about yourself and your experience playing fighting games.
  • Once you’ve filled in the form, you have a chance to enter the next 2XKO playtest.
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2XKO trailers

Riot has posted a video on how to play 2XKO as the mechanics look very different from most traditional fighting games. 2XKO has gone through some changes over the years, but it looks as though Riot is finally happy with the core mechanics of the game.

At EVO 2023, 13 minutes of 2XKO gameplay was also shown. Four characters were playable in the demo including Ahri, Yasuo, Darius, and Ekko. The game can be played with two people, with one person controlling both characters on one team, but it can also be played with four people and one controlling each character.

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In February 2024, it was announced via the one-minute clip above that Project L would officially be called 2XKO, with some gameplay footage also showcased.

2XKO gameplay

Many of 2XKO’s core mechanics will seem familiar to 2D fighting game connoisseurs. Each champion is equipped with a set of attack abilities, which are linked to the champion’s current position (ground or airborne) and aim. Despite a focus on offensive combat, you’ll get an array of defensive abilities which seems to include counterattacks and a blocking skill. In the above Introducing Duo Play dev diary, it’s also confirmed that 2XKO is also a 2v2 team-based fighting game.

As explained in the first gameplay teaser, Riot is going for an ‘easy to learn, difficult to master’ formula. Expect a gradual learning curve, without the need to memorize a dozen combos before jumping in with a new character. At the same time, the developer intends to give 2XKO a competitive edge, with a high skill cap for expert players.

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2XKO assist and tag system

As explained in a ‘Basics & Tag’ developer diary video, 2XKO will be an “assist-based fighter game”, which means that the player chooses not one, but two champions to support each other in combat. This includes a ‘Point’ champion, the main fighter, as well as an ‘Assist’ character, who may swap in through a ‘tag’ system.

Riot Games has confirmed three types of tag action so far:

  • Assist Actions: unique character actions that are the “bread and butter” of the tag system. Even if your Assist is off-screen, this ability will call them to the battlefield. Holding this skill button will result in a more powerful Charged Assist Action.
  • The Handshake Tag: switches the Point and Assist character roles as long as both characters are present on the screen. The brief gameplay clip suggests that there’s hardly any cooldown for this ability, which may allow for a very fast quick-swapping attack sequence.
  • The Dynamic Save: calls in the Assist to interrupt your opponent’s combos, thereby saving your Point champion… Unless your Dynamic Save is countered.

Thanks to the Handshake Tag, it appears that every 2XKO champion will be able to fulfill either role, although some champions may be better suited to certain combat roles than others. Naturally, this means that strategic team-building is an essential part of 2XKO.

Project L release date: Allaoi concept art

2XKO roster

Time to answer our most pressing question: can we join the brawl as Jinx? The short answer is yes, we’ve already seen some of League of Legends’ most famous champions appear in 2XKO’s early gameplay footage, including Jinx.

Here’s the full list of confirmed 2XKO characters, with more to come:

  • Jinx
  • Ekko
  • Darius
  • Ahri
  • Katarina
  • Illaoi
  • Yasuo

While tweaked to fit the fighting game mechanics, early footage shows the 2XKO champions using moves that are reminiscent of their signature abilities in League of Legends. For example, Jinx can be spotted wielding familiar weapons, such as her Pow-Pow minigun. Give our 2XKO characters and abilities guide a read to learn more about all the fighters.

Likewise, Ekko can be seen manipulating time by using a ‘Chronostrike’ rewind ability, leaving an after-image of himself on the battlefield to move back to at a later time. And then there’s Illaoi, who was highlighted in the Basic & Tag video. Her early gameplay showcase unveils a brawny, “big body” character who uses tentacle attacks, just like her League of Legends kit.

Project L release date: Gameplay

2XKO netcode

As a competitive game, 2XKO’s netcode will greatly influence your gameplay experience. At the end of its first 2XKO video, Riot Games promises a highly responsive system that should be no different from playing offline. In short, it will use rollback networking enhanced by Riot Direct, its internal network. That way, if your opponent suffers from lag, it shouldn’t affect your experience.

2XKO news

Riot officially announced its League of Legends fighting game in 2019, but it was hardly a surprise; about three years prior, Riot acquired Radiant Entertainment, a team of fighting game experts. Radiant Entertainment has previously released a brawler called Rising Thunder, but the full release was canceled while the game was still in its alpha stage, as Radiant started working on 2XKO.

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Riot has confirmed that 2XKO will be free to play. According to Tom Cannon, the aim is to make the game accessible to anyone, regardless of their budget. 2XKO will most likely feature microtransactions to unlock cosmetics and new champions, just like in League of Legends.

The most up-to-date build of 2XKO is available at EVO Japan, giving players a chance to try out Illaoi for the first time. This build only features five champions: Illaoi, Yasuo, Darius, Ahri, and Ekko. There’s almost no doubt that Riot will be bringing 2XKO to EVO in America later this year, hopefully with the majority of the roster this time around.

Now you know everything about the 2XKO release date, why not check out our list of the best multiplayer games to make the wait a little easier? Alternatively, consider some of the best PC games of all time.