Esports Glossary: Level 1

November 7, 2017 / by Kyle Teague

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As esports grows in popularity, keeping up with the terminology becomes an increasingly difficult task.

To help you stay informed, we've created a basic esports glossary. Some terms you may be familiar with, but some you almost certainly won't be. These terms will help you understand the esports world and how it operates. 

Ban - For tournament-style competitions, players and teams can strategically "ban" certain classes or champions, ensuring they won't have to run into an effective counter-strategy to their plans. This is an important part of setting your strategy for different games and is crucial in high-level play. 

Caster - When players are streaming their games (see below) casters provide commentary for the viewers at home. Similar to sportscasters, esports casters (also called shoutcasters for their enthusiastic delivery) add insights and help liven up the viewing experience. Most competitive games offer this service built-in.  

Clans - Clans are another name for teams. Clans can be pre-arranged before starting a game, or it can signify a group who cooperate once they are already playing. 

Cooperative Gameplay (CO-OP) - A popular style of play that requires players to cooperate in order to advance. The cooperation can be against other players or against characters within the game. 

Cross-Platform Play - The ability for players of the same game to play one another, no matter the platform. For example, a player on an XBox can play against a player using a Playstation.

First-Person Shooter (FPS) - A popular style of game that places the player "in the eyes" of the character, which offers a more realistic, personal experience. This style of game often revolves around finding different types of weapons to defeat enemies. Though popularized in home play, first-person shooters are a popular game genre in esports.  

Free to Play (F2P) - Games called free-to-play are available to be played initially for free, as opposed to having to buy the game. Many, however, require payment after a certain point or if the player wants to be competitive with the elites in the game. 

Managers - Esports managers take on similar job to sports or business manager. They run the back end of the team, so that the players can focus on the game. This includes everything from entering players in tournaments, managing public relations and negotiating player contracts. 

Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMO) - MMOs are the technology that allowed Role Playing Games (or RPGs, below) to increase significantly in popularity. They allow players to play online with one another, allowing for many more varied interactions than a game played on each player's console or computer alone. 

Matchmaking - Much like online dating, esports matchmaking is about matching up players. In the esports world, this means finding players with similar styles or skill sets. Groups can also be sorted based on maps or rule sets, and then the game's matchmaking function will try to find others of a similar skill level. 

Modification (Mod) - Modifications are an alteration to the base game, resources, or functionality. Mods are viewed as cheating and highly restricted, if not forbidden altogether.

Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) - These are games that are based in real-time strategy. The player is on a team competing against another team of players, with the goal, typically, to destroy the other team's structure or base. This style of game is also known as Action Real-Time Strategy (ARTS) and have become huge popularity of key MOBA game League of Legends. 

Player vs. Player (PVP) - A game style where two players go head-to-head with one another. 

Real-Time Strategy (RTS) - Real-time strategy games are based on using resources and units to defend yourself and/or defeat the other teams. As these games are played in real-time, players must be able to adapt and make decisions on the fly. 

Role-Playing Game (RPG) - A game in which a player must assume a character and interact with the game world with the assets of that character. Typically, these games are cooperative, and players must work together to complete tasks or quests. 

Screen Cheat - Looking at other players screen is called a screen cheat. Particularly in first-person style games, the point of view of each player is secret and can give other players an unfair advantage. 

Season Pass - Many games release downloadable content over time, in order to keep gameplay fresh and increase revenue streams. Season passes allow players to gain all of the additional content over a certain timeframe. 

Spamming - Many games and streaming channels offer chats and forum for game players to share tips and discuss the game. Spammers are players who post excessively, especially with posts that are profane or harassing.

Streamers and Streaming Sites - Part of the success of esports has been the demand consumers have to watch star teams and players competing. Streaming sites offer a gaming-specialized outlet for consumers to watch games and players to grow their brand and viewership. Other functions of gaming, such as casters and commenters, have grown out of streaming as well. 

Transfer - Each team must have a defined team at the beginning of any team games. However, players can transfer to different teams between matches or games.

Trolling - Similar to spamming, trolling is another way that gamers can negatively impact others. Trolls post a comment or other online communciation with the sole purpose of angering or upsetting someone else. 

Zoning - Zoning is a key gaming strategy aimed at keeping the enemy out of key areas. This can be done with skill sets or simply with bodies, by collecting a team in the area you want to control. 

Check out our blog in the near future for level 2! In the meantime, reach out to us if you have any questions or need some clarification and sign up for our esports newsletter.

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