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There is also a free non-rotating champion rotation for all summoners below level 6.
Ten champions are available for free play at any given time. Usually, each set of champions are 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 Monday, September 13.
The European (EU) rotation is generally aligned with the United States (US) rotation.
Next week's champion list is usually released on Monday between 5pm-10pm PST.
New champions were occasionally placed into the rotation for the week in which they were released. However, this changed with Urgot, who was released on August 24, 2010, and 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", 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.
Since the release of Fiora, 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, Alistar can be played as a tank 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 attributes 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:
- Assassin: 15
- Fighter: 36
- Mage: 28
- Marksman: 19
- Support: 12
- Tank: 16
Every champion is in one of these champion "epicness pools".
Every champion is in one of these champion tier "pools".
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 Yorick and Poppy are the only champions removed from the rotation due to this reason. Tristana and Alistar have also been removed, likely due to Riot's ongoing promotion which makes these two champions free by following their Facebook and YouTube accounts. In the past, Twitch, Evelynn, and Karma were removed from the rotation prior to their reworks. In the past, champions that were removed from the free rotation were also removed from the sale rotation, but this is no longer the case.