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A Glossary of Esports Terms

This is just a small sample of the many terms and phrases you might encounter in the world of esports, as new terms are constantly emerging as the industry continues to evolve.

A to Z of LOL


Ace – When a team kills all of the enemy team’s players at once.

AFK – An abbreviation for “Away From Keyboard,” meaning a player is temporarily away from their computer.

Backdoor – A tactic where a player sneaks into the enemy base to destroy the nexus or other key objectives.

Baron Nashor – A powerful neutral monster that spawns on the map and provides powerful buffs to the team that kills it.

BR: Stands for “Battle Royale,” a type of game where a large number of players compete in a last-player-standing style match.

Burst damage – A type of damage that is dealt in a short amount of time, often used by assassins or mages.

Carry – A player who consistently performs well and helps their team win.

Caster – Short for “shoutcaster,” a commentator who provides play-by-play and analysis during a match or tournament.

CC: Stands for “Crowd Control,” which refers to abilities that can disable or hinder an opponent’s movements or actions in-game.

Cleanse – An ability that removes crowd control effects, such as stuns or slows, from a champion.

Dive – A tactic where a team aggressively engages the enemy team, often focusing on their carry or squishy champions. Or a tactic where a player or team rushes into the enemy team to try and kill key targets.

DPS – Short for “Damage Per Second,” a measure of how much damage a character can deal over time.

Draft – The process of selecting which champions or heroes will be played by each team in a match.

Draft phase – The part of a game where teams select which champions or heroes they will play, often with the goal of creating a balanced or synergistic team composition.

Elo rating – A system for ranking players based on their win-loss record and the strength of their opponents.

Engage – A tactic where a team initiates a fight with the enemy team, often using abilities or crowd control to start the fight.

Esports Organization – A company that manages professional esports teams and players.

Execute – When a player kills an enemy with low health, often using an ability that deals damage based on the enemy’s missing health.

Fall back – A command or tactic where a team retreats from a fight or objective to avoid losing more members or giving up the objective.

Farming – The process of killing enemies or neutral creatures in the game to accumulate gold or experience points.

Flanking – A tactic where a player or team attacks the enemy from the side or rear, often catching them off guard.

FPS – Short for “First-Person Shooter,” a genre of games that includes titles like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Overwatch.

GG – An abbreviation for “Good Game,” used as a polite gesture at the end of a match.

Gank – When one or more players ambush an enemy player or team.

Gold lead – The amount of gold a team has over their opponent, often used as a measure of how well they are doing.

Harassment – Repeatedly attacking or damaging an enemy player to weaken them or force them to retreat.

Inhibitor – A structure that protects the enemy base and must be destroyed before the nexus can be attacked.

Juggernaut – A type of champion that has high damage and survivability, often relying on melee attacks and crowd control to dominate their opponents.

Jungle – The area of the map between the lanes, where neutral monsters can be killed for gold and experience.

KDA – A statistic that stands for “kills, deaths, and assists”, often used to measure a player’s performance in a match.

Kiting – A tactic used to keep an enemy at a distance while dealing damage, often by moving backwards while attacking.

LAN – Short for “Local Area Network,” a setup where players can compete against each other in person.

Lurking – A strategy where a player hides in a specific area of the map in order to catch the enemy team off guard and ambush them.

Macro – The larger-scale strategy of a team or player, often involving objective control and map positioning.

Meta – The most effective strategies or character picks in a given game at a given time.

Micro – The smaller-scale strategy of a team or player, often involving individual character mechanics and decision-making.

Mind games – A tactic where a player or team uses deception or misdirection to trick their opponents and gain an advantage.

Minion – AI-controlled units that spawn periodically and move down the lanes towards the enemy base.

MMR: Stands for “Matchmaking Rating,” a number used to measure a player’s skill level in a game and to match players with opponents of similar skill levels.

MOBA – An acronym for “Multiplayer Online Battle Arena,” a genre of games that includes League of Legends and Dota 2.

Nerf – When a character or ability is weakened or made less effective by developers.

Neutral creep – A non-player character on the map that can be killed for gold and experience, but does not belong to either team.

Neutral objective – A non-player-controlled objective on the map, such as Baron Nashor or Dragon, that can be contested by both teams.

Objective – A location or goal on the map that provides an advantage to the team that controls it, such as a tower, inhibitor, or dragon.

OGN – An acronym for “Ongamenet,” a South Korean television network that specializes in esports broadcasting.

OP – An abbreviation for “Overpowered,” meaning a character or ability is too strong.

Peel – A tactic where a player or team protects their carry by preventing enemy champions from reaching them.

Pentakill – When a player kills all five members of the opposing team in quick succession.

Poke – Dealing damage to an enemy from a distance, often with spells or abilities that have long range.

Pop-off – When a player has a particularly strong performance in a game or match.

Power spike – A point in the game where a champion or team reaches a significant increase in strength, often due to a completed item or level up.

PUG – An abbreviation for “Pick-Up Game,” meaning an impromptu match with players who aren’t on a team together.

Push – A tactic where a team aggressively attacks the enemy team’s structures and objectives, often using the advantage of a previous team fight or objective control.

Roaming – A tactic where a player leaves their lane to assist teammates in other areas of the map.

Roster – The set of players on a team.

Rotation – A tactic where a team moves to another location on the map to gain an advantage or objective.

Scrims – Short for “Scrimmages,” practice matches played by professional teams against each other.

Skillshot – An ability that requires precise aim and timing to hit an enemy, often in the form of a projectile that can be dodged.

Skin – A cosmetic item that changes the appearance of a character in the game.

Smurf: A term used to describe an experienced player who creates a new account to play against lower-skilled opponents.

Snowballing – When a player or team gains a significant advantage early in the game and uses it to increase their lead.

Spawn – The point on the map where players start at the beginning of a match.

Split push – A tactic where one or more players split off from their team to push a lane and apply pressure to the enemy base.

Squishy – A term used to describe a champion or hero that has low health and is therefore easy to kill or “squish” with a few attacks or abilities. Squishy champions are often played in roles that deal a lot of damage but are also vulnerable to being killed quickly, such as the mid lane or the AD carry.

Streaming – When a player broadcasts their gameplay live on the internet.

Stomp – When one team dominates the other, often resulting in a quick and decisive victory.

Sustain – The ability of a champion or team to heal themselves or stay alive for longer periods of time, often through abilities or items.

Teamfight – When multiple players from both teams engage in combat at the same time.

Tilt – When a player becomes frustrated or angry and their performance suffers as a result.

Trade – When two players exchange damage or abilities, often with the intent of gaining an advantage over their opponent.

Ult – Short for “Ultimate,” a powerful ability that can only be used after a certain amount of time or under certain conditions.

Ultimates – Powerful abilities that can only be used once every few minutes, often with the ability to turn the tide of a team fight or take an objective.

Utility – The ability of a champion or team to provide support and assistance to their team, often through crowd control, healing, or buffs.

Vision – The ability to see what is happening in a certain area of the map, often gained through wards or other vision-granting abilities.

Vision control – The process of placing wards or other objects to gain information about the enemy team’s movements and objectives.

VOD – Short for “Video On Demand,” a recording of a match or tournament that can be watched at any time.

Wombo Combo – A term used to describe a coordinated set of abilities used by a team to win a team fight.

Vision – The ability to see what is happening in a certain area of the map, often gained through wards or other vision-granting abilities.

Zone control – A tactic where a champion or team controls an area of the map, preventing the enemy team from entering or contesting objectives.