LoL Glossary: Detailed A-Z Guide for 2020 Beginners

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25 June 2020

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If you are new to League of Legends, or if you’ve been playing for a while now but it sometimes still feels like the other players are speaking Klingon, you’ve come to the right place.

What does CS mean in LoL? What does GANK mean in LoL? If questions like these are bothering you, don’t worry, you are not alone. There’s a lot of people out there who are looking up these terms. It’s no wonder, because those letters mean absolutely nothing to a layman. There is even an official LoL Wiki. That is why we created a LoL glossary that covers all the basic terms you need to know.

There are so many slang terms and acronyms, not even experienced players know them all. Hey, did you know that even those guys were confused newcomers once? 

In this glossary, we will focus on the must-know League of Legends terms only. As you play on, you will learn those that are used less frequently.

LoL Terminology: A Must-Know List

Remember, in-game communication will be one of the key factors for your team’s success, so let’s start, from A-Z. If you are looking to solve a mystery of one specific term, use the Ctrl+F function to navigate quickly. 

A

AA – Auto Attack 

It is also known as a basic or standard attack. This is a champion’s ability to attack a target that always causes damage. The name auto attack comes from the fact that it does not require you to click for each attack. It is important to note that Auto Attack does not have a cooldown and depends on your attack speed.

ARAM – All Random All Mid

A game mode in which no player is able to choose a champion. They are picked randomly, and play in one lane only (mid lane). It is usually played in Howling Abyss map. 

AD – Attack Damage

It shows the amount of physical damage you have from your items and champion stats.

ADC – Attack damage carry

Also called marksman, A type of champion that will deal a lot of damage in the match, mostly through auto attacks. Usually ranged, high AD damage dealers but are really vulnerable and easy to kill.

AFK – Away from keyboard

The player is no longer active on the computer or is not controlling the champion at the moment.  

AP – Ability power

Amount of magic damage you have from your items and champion stats.

AoE – Area of Effect

Describing attacks, abilities, or spells that can affect more than one target at the same time. 

Autofill

Getting a position you didn’t queue up for. For example, you queue up as “Top” and “Mid”, but then you get assigned as a “Support”. That happens because positions have to be filled by equally skilled players, no matter the popularity of each position. 

B

B – back

Retreating from the direction to get away from the opposing team, often a command. For example: “Let’s b, this is bad”. 

It can also mean returning to base to recall.

Balance

Riot attempting to make the game as fair as possible through constant changes and updates such as buffs and nerfs applied to champions, items, runes, the map, etc.

Baron

Baron Nashor. A neutral monster that appears in Summoner’s Rift at 20 minutes into the game. Killing this powerful monster will bring Hand of Baron buff to the team, providing the team with a lot of ability power and attack damage, while simultaneously empowering allied minions.

Base

A part of the map where the nexus, inhibitors, and the shop are placed. 

BG – Bad game

Something players write when they are not happy with how the match ended.

Blind pick

Players pick a champion without the opponents knowing which one was chosen until the beginning of the game. Furthermore, unlike draft pick, it has no Ban phase.

Blue (buff)
A temporary buff you will receive after killing a champion that had an active blue buff. This buff can be obtained by killing Blue Sentinel in jungle. With blue buff, a champion gains increased mana regeneration (or energy regeneration) as well as cooldown reduction. 

BOtRK
Short for Blade of the Ruined King, a finished item to buy in the game.

BT
Bloodthirster, abbreviation.

Buff
Any kind of positive effect, improving a champion’s performance. Buffs are done through game patches, official game modifications. This term is opposed to a “nerf”.

Burst
A champion causing a big amount of damage in a really short time. It can be done by an attack or using an ability. It is the most valuable type of damage. “Syndra has massive burst damage!” 

c

Camp

To repeatedly gank the same lane in a short period of time. It can also refer to a spawn location of jungle monsters.

Carry

A player whose contributions “carry” the team to win the game. It can also be used for a champion that was weaker at the start, but becomes more powerful as the game progresses.

Champion pool

A list of champions to choose from that fit the player and his playing habits. 

Cooldown (CD)

A period of time a champion has to wait to re-use an ability, item, or rune. It can be affected by Cooldown Reduction, which can be used to shorten this time. 

CC

Crowd control. An abbreviation that refers to certain effects the other team may have that will make moving and fighting more difficult.  If “they have CC” that means the opposing team has spells or abilities restricting your movements.

Creeps

Minions or monsters that can be found in lanes or jungle. By killing them, you gain experience and gold.

CS 

Abbreviation for Creep Score. The number of creeps (minions and neutral monsters) your champion has slain. The more “last hits” you make, your Creep Score increases. 

d

Dive
Trying to kill a target which is located under his turret, a high-risk area. Usually performed by multiple members of the team to share the turret aggro in between them because of the high damage from the turret.

DoT – Damage over time
A single ability, effect, spell, or attack that will do a lot of damage over a certain period of time. It is done at intervals called “ticks”, doing damage until it reaches total damage. A good example of this kind of ability is Teemo poison.

DPS – Damage per second
The amount of damage a champion or team can deal in one second time. 

Double buff
Having blue and red buff at the same time. 

Dragons (Drakes)
Powerful neutral monsters that spawn in Summoner’s Rift dragon pit, placed in the lower right side of the river alcove. 

e

Early game
Also called the laning phase. It usually refers to the first 10-15 minutes of the game when everyone is in lanes. When a tower goes down, it is usually the end of this phase. 

Elder Drake
A dragon that is more powerful than the others. Due to that, multiple champions have to secure as fast as possible. 

ELO
A numbered system that ranks the player based on his skill level. 

ELO HELL
A certain rank that is so hard to get out of, it seems impossible and frustrates the player. 

f

Farm (farming)
A champion’s action of killing creeps (minions and neutral monsters), in order to gain gold and experience, while avoiding fights with the enemies. 

Facecheck
To walk in a bush or fog of war without vision to see if there’s an enemy champion hiding inside. It is a risky move because it leaves you exposed to an unsuspecting threat. “Why did you have to face check?”

Fed
When a champion gets overpowered after killing multiple enemy champions, getting ahead of the enemy team in levels, gold, or kills.

FF
Short for forfeiting, that means surrendering the game. “Guys I think we should FF!”

Focus
Prioritizing damage to a particular target. 

Freeze
Holding the wave of minions at a certain position in your lane that works in favor of your team. It is usually performed when setting up a gank. 

g

Gank
To unexpectedly come into a lane and ambush the enemies, trying to catch them unprepared. It has to be surprising to manage to get a kill and is usually done with more champions. 

“Top lane is MIA, probably coming in for a gank!”

To explain, a jungler or a top laner can gank mid lane for a 2vs1 fight. 

Glass cannon
A term for a champion that is made high in damage, but obviously lacks defense, making him easier to kill. This kind of ability set is done mainly to build an offensive champion while sacrificing survival skills. 

GG
Abbreviation for “good game”. It can also be used in an ironic matter when things are going badly. 

i

Inhib
An abbreviation for an Inhibitor. Three structures situated in the base, behind the towers. When an Inhibitor gets destroyed, the Nexus starts to spawn super minions throughout that lane. Every team has a total of 3 inhibitors.

Insec kick
A play tactic in which a champion attempts to get behind the enemy in order to then knock them back to his allies’ position, making them more vulnerable. It was popularized and called after an ex-pro player named inSec on “Lee Sin”. 

j

Juke
Trying to dodge the enemy’s abilities. Making a move that will fool and deceive the enemy to avoid getting killed. It is usually done by purposely going in an unexpected direction.

Jungler
A role in the League of Legends that is not linked to a specific lane and has the flexibility to assist in other lanes and farm jungle camps instead. Champions can level up by killing monsters in the jungle and then try to unexpectedly attack enemies inside their lanes. 

k

Kill lane
A strategy of winning a lane by combining champions with the intention of finding kills,  in contrast to playing passively. 

Kiting
Gradually getting away from the enemy and still attacking, while avoiding their abilities at the same time. 

KS – Kill steal
When someone else does most of the work to kill the enemy, and another player takes a kill. It is frowned upon and considered as taking credits from your teammate. It can happen either on purpose or accidentally. 

Kill secure
When it is not clear if the carry will be able to give a kill, and you make sure the enemy is killed as soon as possible. 

l

Lane bully
A champion that is especially strong and harasses the enemies in the lane phase. Their main advantage is their ability to take a kill and put pressure on a lane early in the game. 

Laning phase
The early period of the game in which players mostly stay in their lanes and farm to get as much gold and experience as possible.

Last-hit
The killing blow that ends a neutral monster. As a result of last hitting, you get provided with gold and experience.

Late game
The game phase in which champions are built and have reached the peak of their abilities and power potential. This phase typically begins 30 minutes into the game.

Leash
Assisting a Jungler from your team by damaging a monster and making a distraction.

m

Main
The favorite champion of a player he plays most of the time. Every player has one. 

Marksman
Has the same meaning as ADC or Ad Carry. A champion that can deal high damage in an auto attack. 

Meta
A strategy, style of playing, or champions that are considered best at the moment. Some say it is an acronym for ‘most effective tactic available’. Generally speaking, it is used to describe picking champions, items, and teams.

MIA
Missing in action. When the enemy in your lane is no longer visible and can be anywhere. This means for everyone to be more careful. Some other terms that are used for the same situation are MISS and SS.

Mid Laner
A role that spends the laning phase in the middle lane. The role has a lot of impact in the middle of the map.

n

Nerf
A change caused by official game updates (patches) which makes some in-game aspects (champions, items, or skills) less powerful than before. This term is the opposite of a buff. 

o

OMW
Shortened for “On my way”.

OTP – One-Trick Pony
It refers to a player who knows to play well with one certain champion only. He is highly specialized and superior when it comes to playing with that champion. 

OOM
An acronym for “Out of mana”. When a champion is out of mana, that means he is unable to cast his abilities due to a lack of mana and can only provide auto attacks.

OP
Short for overpowered. 

Overextending
A champion who is going too much forward into the enemy territory and. This puts them at high risk, especially if they are going in without vision. Consequently, the champion usually gets caught out and outnumbered by an enemy team.

p

Pathing
The route the player will take across the map on his way to the desired location. It is usually used referring to describe Jungler’s moving. 

PBE
An acronym for Public Beta Environment, a test league server. In PBE, players get the opportunity to try out upcoming and unreleased content, features, and other game experiments that may be released in the future. 

Peel
Protecting your ally or carry, by reacting to an enemies’ attack. Peeling is usually performed for your ADC/APC with crowd control and abilities on enemy frontline champions.

Poke
Dealing damage to enemy champions from a distance. This kind of assault can be done with an auto-attack, a skillshot, or a targeted long-ranged ability. 

Proc
To activate a certain effect. 

Pull
Attacking a Dragon and pulling it out to a position closer to you

Push
Clearing the lane of minions using auto-attack and other abilities, pushing a wave of minions to the enemy’s turret. Usually performed after killing an enemy laner in order to make them lose minions to their own turret. 

PvP
Abbreviation for player versus player. A game with no bot champions.

q

Q

QSS
Abbreviation for the item Quicksilver Stash.

QQ
Looking like a pair of crying eyes, QQ is used to indicate that a player is complaining about something. 

r

Ragequit
When a player got frustrated while playing and left the game early. 

Red
Also known as Red Buff. It refers to Crest of Cinders, a buff you gain after killing the Red Brambleback. 

s

Scaling
How much a champion’s efficiency increased during the game. A champion scales by getting items or experience and is becoming stronger during a match. Every champion is designed to scale differently, faster, or better in the match. 

Scrim
Short for a scrimmage, a practice match between two teams competing against each other in a friendly game, preparing for a tournament. 

SS
See MIA. This term is used primarily in Europe. 

Single-target
Attacks, effects, spells, or abilities that can only do damage to one specific target. It is the opposite of AoE.

Skill-shot
An ability that is aimed at one direction, as opposed to projectile abilities. However, it does not guarantee a kill.

Skill matchup
A matchup in which no champion is obviously stronger than the other, making the outcome depend on the player’s individual skills.

Smartcast
When an ability, spell, or effect can be used with one click only, casting it at the same moment.

Smurf
An additional League of Legends account a player can create to be able to play in a lower rank while owning another main account. Players can recognize a smurf account or use the word as a compliment: For example: “Are you smurfing?” would mean you are playing unrealistically good for that rank.

Snare
A crowd control ability that causes the enemy target to stop casting movement commands or activate blinking or dashing spells. It is, however, still able to use abilities and attacks. 

Snowball
When a champion gets better and bigger, building on small advantages until they become hard to stop. 

Split-push
Performed on a bot/top lane in mid-late game usually by one champion to put pressure on multiple lanes at once.

Squishy
A champion whose defensive stats are low, which makes him hard to defend from an attack and easily killed. 

Support
Champions that build on experience, giving gold to their teammates. Their main role is to support the team and create advantages.

Sustain
A champion’s ability to stay in the lane and stay healthy, without the need to go back to the base. 

Sweep
Clearing a vision area by using a Sweeper or a Control Ward.

Synergy
Often used by commentators of the game broadcast, describing how well certain champions, teams, or items work together in a match.

t

Tank (tanky)
A champion that is able to take a lot of damage without getting killed. They typically have good stats in health, ability kit, and/or items. Malphite is a good example of a tanky champion. 

Top laner
A role, champion or player that spends most of the laning phase in the Top lane. Some of the typical features of this role are 1v1 fights, isolation, and split pushing. 

Tower hugging
Staying under the tower to stop enemy from killing you if your lane goes in the wrong direction or if your champion is weaker in the early game and you just wanna farm it out. For example “I will tower hug from now on since their jungler ganked me 2 times”.

Toxic
A type of player that intentionally acts offensively or negatively.

TP
Short for Teleport. 

Trade
When two enemy champions trade damage. This happens mostly during the lane phase. 

Troll
A player who disrupts the game for amusement.

True damage
A kind of damage that ignores all defensive abilities such as armor or magic resist. 

u

Ult – Ultimate ability
The ultimate, most powerful ability a champion owns. It is not available when you start playing, but after leveling up to level 6. It can be used in a phrase such as: “Save ult for drake”, telling a player it would be best to save his ult for the upcoming teamfight at dragon pit.

v

Vision control
Controlling the area of fog of war with vision or control wards. It also means sweeping and clearing enemy vision in order to gain priority at certain objectives.

Vision score
Measurement of vision game contribution.  It shows how much impact vision had in the game. Every team’s goal is to have a higher vision score and vision control than their opponent. 

VOD
Short for Video on Demand. Usually a match replay.

w

WP – Well played
A fair phrase of complimenting players after a game.

Ward
If there is no vision in an area of the map, a ward is an item that will provide it for a certain amount of time. It does so by removing the fog in an area. Warding is based on a trinket system, allowing the player to pick between several trinket types. The most common source of vision in League of Legends is from Warding Trinkets. 

Wave management
A game strategy of setting up minion waves offensively or defensively in a way you can keep the wave under control. Instances are Freezing, Slow Push, Fast Push.

z

Zone
Zoning means using your champion’s powers and abilities or locating strategically to prevent an opponent from getting closer. By pushing him away, you can prevent them from gaining gold and experience. 

Final Thoughts on League of Legends Terms

If you successfully made it to this part, that means you are ready to play or watch a LoL game and understand what’s going on a bit better.

The more you see and use these League of Legends terms, they’ll start becoming more natural and you’ll start using them in everyday language.

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