Ten terminologies you need to know when playing League

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Over the past decade, League of Legends has skyrocketed in popularity due to its local and international tournaments. The growing player base has developed certain ways of talking about the game using specific words to describe in-game situations or actions. If you are a casual player, knowing what these words are will help you understand the game better.

There are numerous League of Legends glossaries found online, but here’s a list of the most common terminologies you have to know when playing the game:


In League of Legends, the backline is the farthest area in a team fight where ranged champions usually position themselves. This means that marksmen and mages are considered backliners since they can deal damage from a distance. Additionally, the backline is the safest space for squishy champions to be in because they are far from melee attacks.

Despite the backline being a safe zone for ranged heroes most of the time, players should still be careful where they position themselves since there are champions who are incredibly mobile and can close the distance between them.


The Baron, short for Baron Nashor, is the strongest neutral monster in League of Legends who first appears in the 20th minute of the game. No champion can face the Baron solo regardless of how many key items they already have, which is why killing the monster requires an entire team to make it quick.

If your team successfully kills Baron Nashor, you will receive the Hand of Baron buff. It will increase your attack damage and ability power but reduce your recall timer.


Cheese refers to unorthodox or highly risky strategies, combos, or champion lineups used in a game. There have been multiple cheese picks and moves in pro tournaments, leading to huge payoffs if the expected moves have been executed perfectly. But for most players, cheese picks and moves become mere blunders.

Some examples of cheese include using certain champions outside of their assigned lane despite the apparent disadvantage from the opponent’s lineup and/or the champion’s own abilities.

Counter gank

Ganking means ambushing an enemy champion with two, three, or all members of a team. This implies that a counter gank is a response by the teammates of a champion being collapsed on by the enemy team.

Creep Score

Originally a term from Dota 2, creep score means the number of enemy minions you obtained gold and EXP from each minute. Make sure you make the killing blow on each minion to get that gold and EXP and get a high creep score.

Having a high creep score means you farm more efficiently than the opponent and you get better items earlier than usual. Improving the creep score is usually a priority in the first 10 minutes of the game since it is quite difficult to kill an enemy champion in the early game.

Crowd control

Crowd control refers to effects that affect the movement and positioning of champions, reducing their ability to fight. Examples of crowd control include stun, slow, or forced movement. Crowd control effects are usually added to abilities that deal damage but there are some abilities that are designed the other way around.

Crowd control abilities are usually given to mages and support champions to make up for their lack of mobility and better help teammates during team fights.


Drake is a powerful monster that spawns in the fifth-minute mark of the game. There are four different types of Drakes: the Cloud Drake, Mountain Drake, Infernal Drake, and Ocean Drake. Killing any of those Drakes grants your team different buffs.

Six minutes after a team has killed their fourth Drake, the Elder Dragon spawns in the Drake pit. This is a stronger monster who grants a team the Aspect of the Dragon buff when killed. This buff allows champions to deal true damage to enemies and execute them when their HP falls below 20%.

Laning phase

The laning phase is the part of the game where players focus on securing lanes by killing champions, clearing minion waves, and/or destroying towers. In League of Legends, the laning phase is usually done between the first 10 to 20 minutes of the game where players are busy boosting their creep scores and strengthening their champions.

Rift Herald

The Rift Herald is another powerful monster that spawns on the Baron pit before the 20th minute of the game. It will drop the Eye of the Herald when it is killed, allowing the champion who picked it up the ability to summon the Rift Herald which then attacks the nearest opponent’s tower.

It may only spawn up to two times per game. The Rift Herald will respawn in six minutes if it is killed before the game’s timer shows 13:45. It usually despawns 15 seconds before Baron Nashor appears.


Zoning refers to the act of keeping opponents at a distance to prevent them from gaining gold and EXP. It may pertain to using area of effect abilities that inflict crowd control or temporary barriers that impede enemy pursuit. In some cases, zoning can be done simply by dealing more damage to your opponent, driving them away before they get killed.

There is also a zoning strategy where you go to an area with multiple patches of bush and hide in one of them. That way, the opponent will think twice about pursuing you as they will be cautious of being ganked.

League of Legends is a complex game filled with multiple scenarios happening at a time. Fortunately, the community has certain ways of narrating details about the game to make it easier to talk about it. Getting better at this game involves understanding what certain terminologies mean, and reading this list is a good idea to know what’s going on in your game.

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