Esports Glossary
Know Your Esports Terms

A-Z A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Z
Game Play

Ace

When one player kills the entire opposing team.

Game Play

Aggro

Refers to either a style of play where you play more aggressively, aiming to cause more pressure than your opponents, or the mechanic in some games that causes non player characters to attack players i.e. to take aggro.

General

Analyst

An expert that has a deep knowledge of specific esports title, the teams involved and current strategies. An analyst tends to feature on a panel.

Game Play

AoE (Area of Effect)

This is usually a spell or attack that hits anyone standing in its vicinity.

Game Play

Auto Attack

An action that typically costs no resources, it’s enabled by pressing a particular button or mouse click to make the character automatically attack its target over and over again.

General

Ban

An action that occurs during the draft stage of an esports event, teams determine which heroes/champions/characters they don't want the other team to play in that match.

Game Play

Blind

A Crowd Control move where the character cannot attack or use abilities respectively; aka Silence

Game Play

Blink

Also know as a Flash; is a form of movement where a character disappears and reappears a short distance away.

General

BM (Bad Manners)

Used when players are insulting each other in game.

General

Broadcast

A stream or video that showcases an event or match, and generally is live.

Game Play

Brush

These are areas of the map that block vision of a particular area. Players can usually stand in the area to remain hidden from the enemy, unless there a ward or spell has revealed vision. If an enemy player also steps into the area, any opposing players in there will be revealed.

Game Play

Buff

This can refer to a power increase given to a character, either temporarily mid-game or permanently as part of a developer content update.

Game Play

Build

When a character or base is improved through items, abilities or other upgrades. Sometimes focused on different areas, such as attack damage or defense.

Game Play

Burst damage

When a lot of damage is dealt in a small amount of time.

Game Play

Bye

Where a team does not participate in the first round of a tournament, and is given a direct pass into the second round.

General

BYOC (Bring Your Own Computer)

Used when people are encouraged to bring their own gaming device to a LAN event to take part in competitions.

Game Play

Carry

When a player is protected by the rest of the team in order to deal the most damage to the opponents.

General

Caster

The gaming term for a commentator in a live event. aka a Shoutcaster.

General

Casting

This has two definitions. In game, it is the period where an ability is being charging up before being used. Secondly, a term used to describe someone casting aka commentating an esports match.

General

CC

Used to describe when abilities limit control of a character.

Game Play

Channel

An ability where the character casting it cannot perform any other actions during the spell’s casting animation.

Game Play

Cheese

A playstyle that revolves around using unknown, cheap or non meta mechanics or characters to gain an edge over the opposition.

General

Circuit

When referring to esports, a word used to discuss all the events in that year.

General

Clan

A team or group of professional players that compete together in an esports title.

Genre

CoD (Call of Duty)

A popular first person shooter.

Game Play

Comp

A specific group of in-game characters chosen to form a team. This can be specialized with certain goals in mind.

General

Console

A piece of technology that is used to play games other than a Computer. It is primarily used to talk about an Xbox or PlayStation.

Game Play

Cooldown

This is the period after using an ability in which the ability can not be activated again.

Game Play

CS (Creep Score)

The amount of non-player characters players have defeated in the game. These are usually weak easy-to-kill minions.

Genre

CS:GO (Counter Strike: Global Offensive)

A popular First Person Shooter.

Game Play

Cubby

A cut out of a wall, or small nook where someone can wait for an enemy to cross their path.

Genre

CWL (Call of Duty World League)

This is the primary League for Call of Duty esports.

Game Play

Denying

When a player uses a character to stop an opponent from attacking non-player characters, or when your character protects friendly characters so your opponent cannot.

General

Diff (Difference)

Describes when the enemy team has an advantage – i.e. healer diff means that the enemy healer is better than the other. 

General

Discord

A digital distribution platform used by gamers to communicate with voice calls, video calls, text messaging, media and files in private chats or as part of communities called servers.

Game Play

Dive

Used when a character moves aggressively into an unsafe position, such as where they are outnumbered or where the enemy is heavily defended, usually to pick up a kill or score

Game Play

Double Set-up

When two players, usually defenders, stack the exact same spot to try and overwhelm the enemy peeking.

Game Play

DPS (Damage Per Second)

Used to describe a character that is predominantly a damage-dealer.

General

DQ

Stands for disqualified.

General

Draft

Certain esports titles have a period before a match where two or more teams pick players for their team.

General

Drafting

The period before a game where both teams will decide which characters they will play and which characters they will ban from the game; aka Picks and Bans.

General

Elo System

A matchmaking system that uses players stats and performance across games to determine a rating. If they win a game, their elo rating goes up, and if they lose, their rating goes down.

General

Esports

Defined as electronic sports involving video games that have a professional competitive scene.

General

F2P (Free To Play)

Instead of making money on upfront purchases, the game publishers provide the entire game for free with optional in-game purchases to enhance the playing experience.

Game Play

Farm

The act of acquiring virtual money throughout the game, normally by killing neutral targets to amass a high creep score.

Game Play

Feeding

When a character dies repeatedly to the same enemy or team. This normally results in the enemy being more powerful than the rest of the players in the game, and can result in them being labelled fed.

General

FF (Finish Fast)

A way to tell the other players in the game that you think you can finish the game now. Also can be used as a way of admitting defeat by asking the opponents to finish fast.

General

FGC (Fighting Game Community)

An umbrella term to cover everyone interesting in any of the fighting game titles. Popular games include Tekken and Streetfighter.

General

Fighting Game

Traditionally 1v1 violent combat based game. Much like a boxing match, players control a fighter and try to knock each other out various using combinations and special moves.

Genre

First Person Shooter

Combat based games viewed through the eyeline of the character you are controlling.

General

Flaming

The act of harassing other players, usually via in-game chat.

Game Play

Fog of war

An area of the map which is hidden from view. This is normally due to your character being too far away or if their view is obstructed

Genre

FPS (First Person Shooter)

A genre of games which include the likes of Overwatch, Call of Duty, CSGO and Battlefield.

Game Play

Frag

An alternative term for picking up a kill in-game.

General

Freemium

A game that is free to play up until a certain point, but to unlock addition levels/maps you will need to pay.

General

Game Developers

The people that construct the game from start to finish.

General

Game Publishers

The people/companies that are responsible for marketing and selling the games.

Game Play

Ganking

The act of surprising an opponent, typically from behind, and aiming to take advantage of them while they are unprepared.

General

GG (Good Game)

This term is used after a game to acknowledge that a game was well contested from both teams.

Game Play

Glass Cannon

A type of character who provides a large amount of damage while being fragile.

General

GLHF (Good Luck Have Fun)

Normally said at the start of a match to your team or opponent.

Game Play

Gold advantage

Commonly used to show which team has the most gold in a game, casters will refer to this after team fights or objectives to give the viewers an idea of how important they were. In certain games, gold can be spent on acquiring new items or powers.

General

Grassroots

The beginner level of esports tournaments. This is where most players will generally start out and then climb up the various levels.

Game Play

Griefing

Playing with the intent to annoy or anger other players.

Game Play

Harass

A strategy which involves staying at range and dealing small amounts of damage to your opponent over time, forcing them into a disadvantage; aka Poke

Game Play

IEM

IEM stands for Intel Extreme Masters, this is s series of international tournaments for multiple game titles held countries around the world.

Game Play

Initiating

The act of starting a fight/gank.

Game Play

Inting

Short form for intentional. Used when somebody is intentionally feeding the enemy players or intentionally trying to lose the game. The verb is to ‘nt.

General

Jersey

The official t-shirt an esports team wears at an esports event; it contains sponsors and organization logos.

Game Play

Juke

Used when you trick your opponent to move or attack in a direction away from yourself. It can also be used to describe baiting someone into an attack or move that misses.

Game Play

Jungler

A character who focuses on attacking neutral NPCs and providing support for their team. Jungling is the act of clearing an area or jungle of NPCs, while occasionally ganking the enemy players.

Game Play

Kappa

A popular emoticon on the Twitch streaming platform, usually used to convey sarcasm or a joviality

Game Play

KDA (Kills, Deaths and Assists)

A typical in-game scoreboard.

Game Play

Kiting

Used when a character is moving away from a character who is chasing them while staying at a relatively safe distance.

Game Play

Knockback

A Crowd Control move is where the character is pushed back or moved somehow.

General

Ladder

Another way of saying leaderboard. A basic competitive structure that allows people to be able to climb or drop in relation to their space on the ‘ladder’. 

General

LAN (Local Area Network)

Generally people hold LAN parties and events to allow gatherings of people to come together on a network and play multiplier games together.

Game Play

Laning

This is a term used in MOBA games to describe the process of moving down a particular lane in order to farm, push and engage with the enemy players. It’s usually in the early and middle portions of the game where characters are focused on gaining gold/experience for later on in the game.

Game Play

Last Hit

When your character deals the killing blow. In some games this provides a bonus to the gold and experience acquired from an NPC (non-player character).

General

League

Refers to the title game of League of Legends.

General

LoL (League of Legends)

A popular Multiplayer Online Battle Arena.

General

LOL (Lots of Luck)

Normally said at the start of a match to your team or opponent.

General

Meta

A common word used across various esports meaning; the most dominate strategies, card combinations, champions/heroes and builds in online multiplayer games. The Meta changes when game developers provide in-game updates and patches.

General

Microtransactions

Refers to small in-game purchases that either enhance the experience or cosmetics in a game title.

Game Play

Minions

A common term for non-player characters. Aka Creeps

Genre

MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game)

type of video game that combines elements of role-playing games (RPGs) with the gameplay of multiplayer online gaming worlds

Genre

MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena)

It’s a type of game that the likes of Dota 2, League of Legends, Heroes of the Storm, Vainglory and Smite fall under.

General

MVP (Most Valuable Player)

Normally voted for by casters or other players, but it is the player that has shown they are invaluable to the team throughout a match or tournament.

Game Play

Nerf

When a character or item is weakened by the developers in a content update, usually for being too strong.

General

Networking

A way that you can build up contacts and relations with people in the industry. Companies host networking events, but you can also reach out to people on your own accord.

Game Play

Noob

Describes a player that is new to a certain game title.

Game Play

NPC (Non Player Character)

These are characters in a game who are controlled by artificial intelligence rather than humans.

General

Objective

Refers to certain goals or targets in a game which provide an advantage to your team, such as a destination, a tower to destroy or a large neutral monster that provides a buff or other benefit to your team.

General

Observer

Someone who controls the in-game cameras for esports broadcasts. You can have one observer, but you can also have multiple capturing different angles of play.

General

OCCG (Online Collectible Card Games)

Similar to traditional collectible card games. Players collect, trade and battle using a vast range of strategies and card combinations.

Game Play

OOM (Out of Mana)

A term used to tell other players that you cannot use your abilities.

Game Play

OP (Overpowered)

A term used to described a item/character/skill in a game that is too strong and needs to be changed/nerfed.

General

Organization

Refers to an umbrella company that houses teams over multiple game titles.

Genre

OW (Overwatch)

A character-based first person shooter, each character has unique skills and abilities as well as a weapon.

General

OWL (Overwatch League)

This is the primary North American competition for Overwatch.

General

Panel

Before and after an esports match a group of experts will discuss all aspects of the of the match.

Game Play

Peel

Used when you are aiming to save one of your teammates. This is usually done when a character stops fighting their current target and instead uses their abilities to help their teammate.

General

Pick

Occurs during the draft (see Draft definition) stage of an esports event, teams pick which heroes/champions/characters they would like to play in that match.

General

Ping

Latency of a player is how fast they can send a command to the game and have the game (or its server) display what happened. Read our article on all things Ping, Latency and Lag!

Game Play

Prize Pool

The total amount of money that is to be split amongst the winners of a tournament.

General

Pro

A professional esports player.

Game Play

Proc

Used when an ability/item with a random chance activates.

Genre

PUBG (Player Unknown Battle Ground)

A popular shooting game where players start with nothing and have to search the map finding guns and killing each other,

Game Play

Push

Split pushing is the act of focusing on dealing damage to your opponent’s base/towers. Normally this is used to split your opponent’s resources between your character and the rest of your team. Pushing is also a term used to command a team or players to attack or move forward to a particular area.

General

PvP (Player verses Player)

Used to refer to a game that has an element of fighting against other players online.

General

QQ (Go Quit, Go Cry)

This is normally used as an insult against angry players. It’s commonly mistook as a pair of crying eyes.

Game Play

Recall

When a character uses an item/ability to teleport to their base/another part of the map.

General

Region

Esports competitions/leagues tend to group countries based on geographical locations (North America, South America and Eastern Europe etc.).

Game Play

Rekt

A colloquial word used to described the act of beating someone with ease.

General

RNG

Stands for random number generation. This is used when a game has an element of randomness included in it, for example Hearthstone.

Game Play

Root

A Crowd Control move when a character cannot move but can still use abilities.

Game Play

Rotation

Term used to describe a team’s movement from one area of the map to another. It can also be used as the optimal order in which abilities should be used.

General

RPG (Role-Playing Game)

A game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. These are usually adventure style games which a large element of character progression

Genre

RTS (Real-Time Strategy)

Games where players control entire armies rather than singular characters. These are played through birds eye view allowing the player to have a complete oversight of the terrain, buildings and units they control.

Game Play

Rush

An action or style of play where you or your team attack the opponents quickly before they can defend.

Game Play

Salty

This is a term used to describe a player who is particularly agitated, upset or annoyed at something.

Game Play

Scrim

A practice match between two teams, and are generally used to prepare for an upcoming fixture.

General

Setup

Can have two meanings in esports. The first being what you use to play games on (PC, Console), and the other being the space of time at the start of a match where the teams can prepare to begin – generally referred to as the setup phase. 

General

Shotcaller

Refers to the player who decides what tactics will be used during the game. In short, they call the shots.

Game Play

Shutout

When a team prevents the opposing team from scoring or winning a round.

Game Play

Skillshot

An ability which follows a path manually directed by the player.

Game Play

Smoke

An ability/item which limits the opponent’s vision.

Game Play

Snowball

When a player or team has become more powerful than their opponents can deal with at that time.

General

Spectating

An outside perspective watching a match whilst it is taking place. In some games you can spectate your team when you die, or others can come in and watch the match without being a player.

General

Split

Refers to a specific part of a season – for example our Champs has a Winter Split and a Spring Split.

Game Play

Stack

A group of players playing together, or the act of keeping your team/units very close together to hide from your opponent better. It can also be used to describe a particular effect stacking multiple times, for example if an item proc increases your attack speed by 2% and can stack, after five stacks your attack speed will have risen by 10%.

General

Strat (Strategy)

A term used to describe a play style that is used in a game.

General

Stream

A live video broadcast on a platform (the most popular being Twitch).

General

Streamer

Used to describe someone that plays games and shares their screen online so others can view them playing. This is a massive aspect of the gaming community. Popular streaming platforms include Twitch, Facebook and YouTube.

Game Play

Stun

A Crowd Control move when a character is unable to act or move.

General

Support

A term featured in various esport titles; it refers to a play style that is very self-sacrificial for the good of the team.

General

Talent

an have multiple meanings in esports, but the main one being the people involved in a production or stream (casters, observers, producers). They can also be referred to as on-screen talent and is just a way to describe those involved. The other meaning can be used when talking about players.

Game Play

Tank

A term featured in various esport titles, it refers a play style that is very aggressive. A type of character that is used to absorb large amounts of damage and aims to shield other team members. 

General

Team

A team refers to the group of professional players that compete together in an esports title.

General

The International

Dota 2's main event, it traditionally occurs in August every year. It holds the record for the highest tournament prize pool.

Game Play

Tilt

When a player is playing badly or without confidence, usually due to anger or frustration, they are on tilt or tilted. This term comes from the tilt feature in pinball.

General

Title

Refers to a game e.g. League of Legends is an esports title.

General

Tournament

A competition or series of competitions between a variety of individuals/teams for a prize.

General

Toxicity

Being unpleasant to other players in a game through voice or match chat. This is looked down upon in the industry, and can result in bans if people are found to be toxic. 

General

Trash Talk

Insulting another players gameplay or abilities. This is also looked down upon in the industry, and can result in bans.

General

Twitch

The most popular streaming platform for gamers; focused on video game live streaming, including broadcasts of esports competitions.

Game Play

Ultimate

A character’s most powerful ability. It,s normally on a long cooldown and is often referred to as an ulti.

Game Play

Vision

How much of the map your character or team can see.

Game Play

Wards

Consumable items that are used in the fog of war to gain vision of a particular area.

Genre

WCS (StarCraft II World Championship Series)

This is the premier circuit for StarCraft II.

Game Play

Zerg

A method of play involving early and cheap aggression.

Game Play

Zoning

When your character uses aggressive tactics to force an opponent to leave an area. Normally this is used to give your team an advantage by holding a more safe area.