Understanding The League of Legends Roles 

League of Legends is quite possibly the most popular esports title in the world; it has continued to help pave the way for esports globally and finding your preferred League of Legends role can be difficult. The game is played by over 100 million active users each month, and the annual World Championships continues to break viewership records year after year. League of Legends is often referred to as “LoL” and whilst the game is quite complex and takes time to learn, it is well worth the grind.

If you are reading this, you are probably newer to League of Legends and want to gain some understanding about the uses each of the playable characters, known as ‘Champions’, have in the game.

Basics Of LoL

Before diving into the individual roles, it’s worth quickly covering how the game is played out. League of Legends consists of a five versus five format, player out a map that is consistent each and every game. The map has different lanes and jungle areas, which is where different champions and roles have advantages. Below is an overview of the map to help you keep familiar.

The map is split across Top Lane, Mid Lane, Bot Lane, and the Jungle. The League of Legends meta is always changing and adapting, meaning there will be changes to who the best champion options are for each role, but champions are designed to fit the needs of required roles around the map. For each role we breakdown, there will be options provided for the meta picks at the time of writing.

LoL Map

The Attack-Damage Carry (ADC) Marksman Role

When you’re new to the game, this is typically the easiest role to learn and is arguably the most fun role to play as a more casual player. Typically referred to as ‘ADC’, meaning Attack-Damage Carry, this acts as the Marksman role in League of Legends. This role is all focused on putting out the main form of physical based damage across the team.

ADC champions often deal out the largest amounts of damage to all on the opposing team, with an exception being the tank based champions, which we will focus on later in this guide. There is a massive trade-off here, as although the ADC can deal out heavy amounts of damage, they are also typically the weakest champions on the team. This means if you get caught out as the ADC on your team, you could quickly die.

Thankfully, the majority of these ADC based champions are “ranged”, which means you aren’t required to get up close and personal to deal damage. It’s because of this extreme power but weak nature that the ADC character is paired in the Bot Lane alongside the Support role that we will look at next.

Here are some examples of the current meta ADC champions; Tristana, Miss Fortune, Ashe, Swain, Vayne, and Jhin.

The Support Role

As mentioned, the support role goes hand in hand alongside the ADC in bot lane. The core aspect of this role is essentially to protect and, funnily enough, support the ADC. As the game progresses and more team roams emerge, the support can assist others in the team; however, in the early stages of the game, it’s very much a process of helping to carry the ADC as they level up and become more of a threat to the enemy.

With the support role, you will often have to give up your own life in order to prevent the ADC from dying, as well as sacrificing the final hitpoints on minions and try and push the gold towards the pocket of the Attack-Damage Carry player. It’s worth noting that champions that have been designed to act as Supports will be provided with crowd control effects like slows, snares, stuns, knock-ups, and more. These can all be used to help control a minion wave and aid your ADC to killing a member of the enemy team. Finally, the Support role is crucial in providing vision across the map for the team, so whilst everyone hates spending gold on wards, you have to bite the bullet.

Here are some examples of the current meta Supports champions; Morgana, Zilean, Janna, Leona, Lulu, Seraphine, Nami, Thresh.

Breaking Down The Mid Lane Role

Whilst the mid laner champions are typically based around ‘Ability-Power Carry’, unlike the ADCs’ they don’t often have this role name abbreviation applied or used. This role is focused purely on the middle lane on the map for the majority of the game. It will eventually hit a point in the game where the mid laner can roam; however, winning that mid lane battle is incredibly vital towards the teams overall success.

After the ADC, the Mid Lane player is expected to dish out the second highest amount of damage on the team. Winning mid lane opens up several different opportunities to your team when it comes to attempting to close out the game. You will need to have good map awareness to execute this role well, as you are at risk of getting ganked (flanked) from both sides.

Thankfully there is often a good chunk of versatility when it comes to mid lane champion options; here are some of the recommended current meta picks; Annie, Galio, Kayle, Malzahar, Fizz, Viktor, and Ekko.

Roaming The Jungle Role

With there being just three lanes on the map and five players on each team, it’s easy for the lanes to get crowded. It’s because of this; a player is designated to roaming the Jungle on the map, completing little objectives to build gold along the way and ultimately aiding to build map positioning for themselves and the team. With just one player on each team adventuring through the jungle, of which there are two substantial areas, there are many windows of opportunity to be found and gain an upper edge.

Those in the jungle world can collect experience and gold without having to worry about sharing it with their teammates. There is lots of roaming involved with the Jungler role, and this is to help support your teammates. Naturally, the jungle player will move from each camp in the jungle, killing creatures for the experience (XP), and will have to pass through parts of the lanes to get to each stage. It’s during these crossovers that the Jungler could aid the respective lane player(s) secure an objective or kill and then get back to roaming their own little world.

Right now, there are many meta Jungle picks; Nunu & Willump, Amunu, Rammus, Udyr, Graves, Hecarim, Kha’Zix, Kayn, and Vi.

League of Legends Roles

Looking At Top Lane

Finally, we have the Top Lane, and this is where your bruiser and tank-style champions come into their own. There is a considerable amount of variation available to the top laners in regards to champion options, but typically a ‘Tank’ champion is the choice of preference. These champions are designed to take the brunt force of damage coming from the enemy team without dying.

The playstyle of the top lane also has plenty of variances available, often though it’s dependent on the team’s overall goal. A top laner could choose to stay in their lane for the majority of the game and just try to push through to the enemy’s base, or they could make the decision to lane swap with a member of their team or start roaming to help win other respective lanes.

Here are your meta top lane options at the time of writing; Kayle, Teemo, Malphite, Maokai, Wukong, Shen, and Darius.

League of Legends Roles Conclusion

Hopefully, this quick guide has helped to give you some quick fire information to help you along your journey of starting League of Legends. Remember, the game has a long learning curve and requires a good chunk of practice to start playing well and understanding all the mechanics and aspects of the game.

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