Ten champions are available for free play at any given time. Usually, each set of champions is available for one week, beginning on Tuesday. However, there are exceptions to this; for example, if Riot Games is releasing a major patch or new content, they will often schedule the new rotation of champions to coincide with the patch release.
Riot also occasionally shifts the rotation date to avoid rotating on US holidays. Because of this, week 9 of Season 1 began on Tuesday, September 7, rather than Monday, September 6 (which was Labor Day in the US). This resulted in a short week, as the next week started on schedule on Monday, September 13.
The European (EU) rotation is generally aligned with the United States (US) rotation.
Next week's champion list is usually released between 5pm-10pm.
New champions were occasionally placed into the rotation for the week in which they are released. However, this was changed with , and it is generally understood that new champions are held out of the free rotation temporarily out of respect for the players who purchased them early. After that, the new champions were free to play on the second week after they were released., who was released on August 24, 2010, was not placed into the free rotation until September 7. Riot Games has stated that their policy is to "allow players to preview all champions eventually"
Since the release of, however, new champions have been free to play on the third week following their release.
Each champion is listed in the schedule along with a champion type (mage, tank, etc.). However, many champions can be played in different ways depending on the items, runes, and masteries the player chooses. (For example, can be played as a tank, melee DPS or mage). The types listed in the rotation schedule are not meant to dictate how the champion is played, but to provide a very quick and simple overview of what kind of abilities the champion has, so that players who are new to the character are not overwhelmed.
Every champion is in one of these champion type "pools". There are 6 champion type pools:
- Fighter: 34
- Assassin: 17
- Mage: 25
- Carry: 18
- Support: 14
- Tank: 11
Every champion is in one of these champion "Epicness pools".
Every champion is in one of these champion tier "pools".
- Tier 1 (260 RP): 0
- Tier 2 (585 RP): 0
- Tier 3 (975 RP): 0
Some champions are excluded from the rotation because of balancing issues, although these have to be severe enough to warrant a full rework on the character. Currently the only champion removed from the rotation is, however, and were also removed from the rotation prior to their reworks. Champions removed from the free rotation are also removed from the sale rotation.
- Champion Rotation Schedule (Pre-Season One)
- Champion Rotation Schedule (Season One)
- Champion Rotation Schedule (Pre-Season Two)
- Champion Rotation Schedule (Season Two)