Millennial gamers and bettors may take for granted that some people don’t know the lingo of the esports world. But there are entire generations of seasoned punters for whom this new landscape of terminology and tech can be confusing.
In this alphabetical list, we’ll explain some of the more common and confusing terms found in esports gaming today.
Don’t give up on esports just because it seems new and foreign. It is the fastest-growing betting industry in the world today. Experts forecast it will grow massively over the coming years both in terms of participation and gambling. You are at the dawn of a bright, new age for competitive gaming and betting, so learning these phrases now will future-proof you.
BM – This is an acronym for bad manners, used when players are bad-mouthing each other during a game or playing less than fairly.
Bo1, Bo3, Bo5, etc. – An acronym that simply means best-of-one, best-of-three, best-of-five, and so on.
Buff – An increase in a player’s character abilities within a game setting. Buffs can be short term or permanent, for instance, when an upgrade is made to the game and then characters receive buffs from the game designers.
Build – How you choose to build your character or other item through in-game selections. You can build to be a more attack-minded player, a more defensive player, or to perform a specific role within the game.
Carry – A player protected by his teammates, so he can deal the largest amount of damage to opponents.
Cooldown – The period of time after you use a special weapon or ability in a game during which it is unavailable to use again.
CS:GO – An acronym for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, a first person shooter and hugely popular esports game.
Drafting – Also called Picks or Bans, this pregame time features a team or individual selecting its characters and banning certain characters or maps for their opponents.
Dota 2 or DOTA 2 – An acronym for Defense of the Ancients 2, a popular multi-player online battle arena game.
Double elimination bracket – A tournament format where teams can afford to lose one game in the playoff stage of the tournament. After a loss, they drop into a losers bracket, where they will have one final chance to play through to the grand final against some of the other losing teams from the tournament.
Farm or Farming – This is the process of earning virtual money in a game. This is usually achieved by killing automatic targets rather than more difficult human opponents.
Frag or Fragged – One Frag is the equivalent of one kill in game in which that’s the objective.
FF – This is an acronym for Finish Fast — used by esports gamers to indicate they feel they can win the game very quickly now. It can also be used by losing players to ask the winning team to finish the game quickly.
Flaming – A term for abusing other players in the game chat, either by text or verbally through a headset and microphone.
FPS – An acronym for first person shooter game, such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
GG – A “good game” message sent to an opponent after a match.
GLHF – An acronym for “good luck; have fun” — often texted before a game.
Inting – Possibly the worst sin in esports, this is when one player is intentionally (int-ing) trying to lose the game. This is an ultra-rare occurrence in top-level esports.
Jungler – A player or character whose primary role is to attack non-playing characters and provide support for teammates. League of Legends has a specific Jungler role on each team.
KDA – An acronym for “kills, deaths, assists.” This stat functions as a summary of how a match played out.
LoL – Shorthand for League of Legends. This multi-player battle arena game is one of the most popular esports games in the world. Not to be confused with “laugh out loud.”
MOBA – An acronym for multiplayer online battle arena games, such as League of Legends or Dota 2.
Nerf or Nerfed – When a character or item is weakened by an update from the developer.
Noob – A derisive term for a new and unskilled player.
NPC – An acronym for “non-playing character — an opponent generated by the software rather than controlled by another player.
Rush – A tactic whereby players attack their opponents quickly in hopes of catching them off guard.
Salty – This phrase describes a player who is particularly angry, upset, or vocal about something occurring in the game.
Shotcaller – The name given to the player who devises a team’s main strategy.
Shutout – When a team or individual defeats an opponent without their opponent scoring a single point or kill against them.
Single elimination bracket – A tournament structure in which losing teams have no second chance to progress and are out.
SCII or SC2 – An acronym for StarCraft II, a popular esports space strategy and battle game played by individuals.
Stream or live stream – The internet broadcasts video and audio from an esports event via computer, tablet, or smartphone.
Tank – A character or player who is very difficult to kill.
Twitch – One of the leading live streaming services in esports, also referred to as Twitch TV.
Ultimate – A character’s most powerful ability is called the Ultimate, often shortened to Ulti.