It is no secret that League of Legends is a massively popular online game. Drawing in an approximate 115 million monthly players across the globe, a large increase from last year’s average of 75 million monthly players, its cultural impact continues to expand. For those who are just getting into League, a game of this size and popularity will have a lot of nuances that can’t possibly be explained in-game through a chat function, requiring more than just loading screen tips to understand.
The game needs a resource to help list and explain key terms, phrases, and slang that are important to know as you tackle the Summoner's Rift. Something to help new and old players alike. Something that can explain both common and niche terms in the game. The game needs an official glossary of some sort, maybe.
Unfortunately, there is no such resource for League’s key terms and phrases, something arguably needed for an online gaming community this large. So here are 20 terms, phrases, and words that all LOL players should know, some of which are general gaming terms and the rest very specific to League of Legends:
Tilt vs. Truth with KayPea
We put League of Legends streamer KayPea on the hot seat to find out what gets her tilted and what speaks her truth. Not sure what tilted means? Stick around, KayPea is about to explain.
Did lag ruin your game?
Lag is a noticeable delay between an input (pressing a button, clicking on something, etc.) and the action your champion takes. It can make your champion feel like they’re moving slower than the competition, like you’re always a step or two behind everyone else. Lag can ruin games from a consumer’s point-of-view, where a game slowing down to a halt drains the fun out of the moment entirely.
An ADC (or Attack Damage Carry) is usually in reference to the marksman class, a long-ranged carry who goes into the bottom lane with a support and plays in the back during fights. Some marksmen fall into this term even though they do the same, or sometimes more, magic damage as they do physical (think Kaisa, Kogmaw, on-hit Varus, etc.). The term is often used interchangeably with bottom laner, which can sometimes be mage classes that get flex picked into an off-role. In these cases, people often refer to the bottom laner as an APC (Ability Power Carry) which just means a magic damage dealing carry.
Jungler never ganks?
A term used when you haven’t seen your team’s jungle in a little while while the enemy laner and jungler are pressuring to tower dive you. A term also used when the jungler camps bot side all game and ignores top lane entirely. While it isn’t uncommon for this to happen, this is a term you’ll often only hear from salty players (usually top laners) when they lose lane 1v1 or 2v2 on their own.
A tower dive is when multiple players go after an enemy player while they are under the protection of their tower, ignoring the damage it deals while trying to juggle the turret’s aggro and kill the opponent all at once. This is something that shouldn’t be attempted unless the enemy is very low on HP, you and your team are well coordinated, or you’re just so strong that you can ignore the turret’s damage anyway.
Twitch chat knows best?
Twitch chat can be very polarizing, with some liking it and others disliking it enough to turn it off every stream. Streamers, in particular, can view Twitch chat differently depending on their community or the game’s community. This term is in reference to how easy it is to be Captain Hindsight when you are a viewer and not the person playing, criticizing them for their choices or mistakes.
This term means to tell someone how to play a game and where to go while not actually being the one in charge. The person backseat gaming often wants to be the one playing instead of the person in control. While backseat gaming isn’t something that affects everybody who plays videogames, as an audience is needed, it is something that affects a majority streamers and content creators.
This is when a laner slows down a minion wave’s push by influencing which minions attack which minions. This requires strategically last-hitting minions (only attacking them at the last second for the gold) so that you can keep the enemy laner stuck in one position. The purpose of this is to both place the enemy laner in position for a potential allied gank or to simply to keep them out of range for XP and gold from killion minions.
Area of Effect (AoE).
A term used for the area in which an attack or ability reaches and covers. An AoE ability can hit multiple targets and is often considered very powerful and even game changing ability, where chaining them together perfects creates the fabled wombo combo.
All Random, All Mid (or ARAM) is a gamemode where there is only one lane, champions gain gold faster, level up faster, and everyone starts at level three, so fighting can begin immediately. It’s a more chill gamemode where both teams take turns losing fights and taking towers until one team wins a big fight and pushes for the victory shortly after. The games are much shorter than the ones in Summoner’s Rift and don’t require nearly as much focus, as minions kills and cross-map players are not important. Sometimes one team is just blessed with better champions and stomps the enemy team within 15 minutes.
This means to choose a champion before your enemy laner does. This can be very bad if the enemy picks a counter to your champion, so blind picking is often something considered risky unless the champion you choose is insanely OP. Blind picking can also be useful when choosing a strong flex pick, forcing the enemy into picking a counter that may or may not be useful or letting a powerful blind pick go unpunished.
Trash talking in all-chat?
All-chat is the function you use to speak to all players, enemies and allies alike. It’s not uncommon to see people trash talking or flaming in all-chat when things don’t go their way, they get disrespected by their opposing laner, or someone on their team feeds a lot of kills and tower gold away. Riot Games regularly dishes out chat bans to trash talkers and flamers who use this feature liberally.
Flash on D.
This is in reference to debate of whether or not to play your summoner ability ‘Flash’ on the D or F keys. While this has mostly devolved into a meme at this point, some debates pop up every so often about whether you should play with Flash on D or F. An interesting thing of note is that the top Korean pros play with Flash on F while the top LCS (NA) pros play with Flash on D. Additionally, the greatest LOL player of all time and three-time world champion, T1 Faker, plays with Flash on F. When asked about his opinion on Flash on D or F, Faker compares those who play with Flash on D to those who enjoy mint chocolate.
This is the Recall function all players have that allows them to instantly return to their base after standing still and channeling the spell for a total of eight seconds. You can access this by pressing the Recall button right by your champion’s portrait or just by pressing the B key on your keyboard. Any damage or displacement will cancel the recall and will require them to start the process all over again.
This is a popular meme in PC gaming because of the trend to give hardware the ability to change colours, be it mice, keyboards, headsets, GPUs, and even mousepads. The trend got so ridiculous that gaming gear companies started releasing things with an RGB function just for the sake of it. The term means Red Green Blue and is used in many areas, but functions as a meme specifically to PC gaming.
Creeps (and CS).
This is a term to count the amount of lane minions and jungle monsters a player has killed. This is important to keep track of because it is a direct way to compare how the laners and the junglers are stacking up against each other. A higher CS/min score usually means you won lane, unless you lose a bunch of early 1v1s. In general, about 15 minions is worth the same amount of gold that a solo kill is.
1-3-1 and 1-4.
There are terms that go hand-in-hand with split-pushing (pushing multiple lanes as a team). 1-3-1 is a setup where three teammates push mid while the other two push top and bottom lanes. This tactic works well if both players in the solo lanes have their Teleport summoner ability ready. 1-4 is similar, but it has four members pushing mid (usually to set up vision around map objectives) and one pushing a solo lane, with the goal of drawing attention to the person who is alone so that the other four teammates can trade the kill for an important objective, tower, or inhibitor.
EU > NA.
This is a phrase that has been synonymous with Western LOL since Europe’s world championship win in season 1. For the majority of this game, Europe has been a league or two ahead of North America and recent events will back that up with Europe making world finals two years in a row in 2018 and 2019 and semis this year in 2020. North America, on the other hand, struggles to make it out of the group stages most years.
This is a rating system used in many games (including chess) to determine a player’s skill relative to the general playerbase. Those with higher ELO have a better chance at making it pro. A term used often with ELO is MMR or Matchmaking Rank, though it is important to note that these two can be different things entirely.
Getting your penta stolen.
One of the worst feelings in the game is popping off in a team fight and hearing the announcer call out a triple kill followed by a quadra kill just to have a teammate land the final blow and steal all your glory. A penta kill is when you kill the entire enemy team before any of them respawn, something that doesn’t happen often. No such in-game achievements exist outside of your rank, so penta kills are always a beautiful thing. Getting a penta kill is the ultimate ego boost and gives you a lot of bragging rights, so getting it stolen from your own teammate is one of the biggest forms of betrayal that exist in LOL.
This means to enter a bush, the enemy jungle, or the Fog of War without vision of the enemy team. The risk this poses is great, but can also provide a lot of great, relevant information to your team if you ward the area and set up vision. But facechecking often comes with its disasters, as most LOL players can attest. Weigh the risk before you decide to check that bush and decide whether or not you can even take that fight if things go sour.