League of Legends (LoL), commonly referred to as League, is a 2009 multiplayer online battle arena video game developed and published by Riot Games. Inspired by Defense of the Ancients, a custom map for Warcraft III, Riot's founders sought to develop a stand-alone game in the same genre. Since its release in October 2009, the game has been free-to-play and is monetized through purchasable character customization. The game is available for Microsoft Windows and macOS.
As of April 2021, there are 155 champions available to play. Over the course of a match, champions gain levels by accruing experience points (XP) through killing enemies. Items also increase the strength of champions, and are bought using gold, which players accrue passively over time and earn actively by defeating the opposing team's minions, champions, or defensive structures. In the main game mode, Summoner's Rift, items are purchased through a shop menu that is only available to players when their champion is in the team's base. Each match is discrete; levels and items do not transfer from one match to another.
League of Legends was announced October 7, 2008, for Microsoft Windows. Closed beta-testing began in April 2009. Upon the launch of the beta, seventeen champions were available. Riot initially aimed to ship the game with 20 champions but doubled the number before the game's full release in North America on October 27, 2009. Although the game's full name was announced as League of Legends: Clash of Fates, the subtitle was dropped before launch.