League of Legends

When Did League of Legends Come Out?

Are you wondering when League of Legends first went live? We have the answer and a bit of its history below.
Are you wondering when League of Legends first went live? We have the answer and a bit of its history below. / Riot Games

Are you wondering when League of Legends first went live? We have the answer and a bit of its history below.

League of Legends is one of the most popular games in its genre. It is a multiplayer competitive cornerstone to the point where it's difficult to find someone who hasn't heard of it—especially with Riot Games' release of the narrative Netflix series, Arcane. Netflix, alone, has drawn several potentially new fans to the world of Runeterra with many wondering: when did all this start, anyway?

Here's when League of Legends came out.

League of Legends Original Release Date

League of Legends was originally published on Oct. 27, 2009.

Like other multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBAs), League was designed as a spin-off of "Defense of the Ancients"—a custom map that originally appeared in Warcraft III. On the map, players would pick and pilot champions and race to capture each others' base across the map.

Riot aimed to create and publish its own take, which it successfully developed for previews in 2007. Unfortunately, the game found little success until the developers struck a deal with Tencent the following year. League launched on Windows machines as a free-to-play title with 40 champions to start. It wouldn't receive Mac OS compatibility until four years later in 2013.

Unsurprisingly, some of the champions it launched with or were added that same year are also among the most iconic on the roster. This includes:

  • Warwick
  • Teemo
  • Taric
  • Singed
  • Heimerdinger
  • Cho'Gath
  • Annie
  • Amumu
  • Ashe
  • Nidalee
  • Ryze

Arcane's protagonists Vi, Caitlyn, Jinx, Ekko, Viktor, and Jayce were added in December 2012, January 2011, October 2013, May 2015, December 2011, and July 2012, respectively.

There are currently 157 champions available to play at the time of writing. The latest release is Vex, the Gloomist, who debuted in September 2021. She is one of only four champions who made it into League that year with the others being Viego, Gwen, and Akshan.