League of Legends is one of the most popular games on the planet, with 20 million people all over the world every single day and more than eight million people playing at any given time.
The League of Legends European Championship, LEC, is Europe’s most elite competition that plays host to some of the best players in the world.
Across the course of eight weeks, 10 teams battle it out to gain placement on a leaderboard, with the top six teams advancing into a play-off tournament.
As well as battling it out to become the winner of the Summer Split, during the Summer playoffs, teams fight to be one of the three teams selected to represent Europe at the World Championship later this year.
The playoffs are already underway, with Rogue and MAD Lions having already qualified for the World Championship and progressing to the top bracket semi-final, with Vitality eliminated from the playoffs race following a loss to Fnatic on Sunday.
If you’re watching your first League of Legends match, certain terms and phrases can be a little confusing but fear not; we have curated a list of key things you’ll want to listen out for while watching the play-offs to help bring you up to speed!
1 – CHAMPION
Before we even step onto the battlefield, players select their preferred Champions.
Champions are the characters that players control, with each champion having a unique skill set designed to help their team achieve victory.
There are many different types of champions, but most are designed to either deal damage to the enemy team or to support allied forces with beneficial effects and shields.
2 – THE NEXUS
Each team has a base that they need to defend, and the large crystalline structure in the centre of the base is known as The Nexus.
The ultimate objective of the game is to destroy the opponent’s Nexus and claim victory.
3 – LANES
There are three distinct lanes in League of Legends that run across the whole map; the top lane, the middle lane and the bot lane.
These lanes are named based on their place on the map, with champions spending a significant portion of their time in the lane, butting heads with the enemies that are trying to occupy the same space.
4 – TOWERS
Each lane has three towers that act as a barrier of defence between a team’s base and the enemy, firing powerful missiles at enemies that come too close.
As a team advances down a lane, they will have to destroy each tower to safely have a shot at damaging the enemy Nexus and ultimately win the game.
5 – MINIONS
No, not those yellow minions from the movies; these ones are red and blue! Minions are small creatures that spawn from each team’s base and march down one of the three lanes until they meet the enemy team’s minions and engage in battle.
Enemy minions can be killed by player-controlled champions, with the finishing blow netting the champion a set amount of gold that can be used to increase their power level with items.
6 – ITEMS
Items are a core part of League of Legends and are one of the primary ways that Champions look to get stronger as a match progresses.
Players will accumulate gold by killing minions, taking down enemy champions and structures.
The gold they receive can then be used in the shop – with one located in either team’s base – to purchase powerful items that increase the power level of Champions.
7 – THE JUNGLE
The Jungle is the area of the map that occupies the space between the lanes.
Inside the jungle lives powerful monsters that are more valuable than regular minions when slain. Usually, a team will have one player, known as the “Jungler”, who spends the majority of their game inside the jungle killing the monsters and assisting their teammates in small skirmishes in a process known as “ganking”.
8 – TEAM FIGHTS
One of League’s most basic principles is the Team Fight. It is exactly what it sounds like; a moment in the game when both teams collide on the battlefield to fight until one team emerges victorious.
Team Fights are often quick and chaotic, with spells, bullets, arrows and weapons thrown in all directions in order to come out on top.
The casters will often call out when they think a Team Fight will occur, so be sure to listen closely, so you don’t miss these pivotal moments!
9 – DRAGONS
Dragons, or Drakes as you may sometimes hear them referred to, are powerful monsters that grant a power-up to the team that slays them.
There are four types of elemental Dragons in League of Legends; the Cloud Dragon, the Mountain Dragon, the Infernal Dragon and the Ocean Dragon.
The team that is the first to slay four dragons in total is granted a permanent buff called the Dragon Soul.
After the Dragon Soul has been claimed, an empowered Dragon, called the Elder Dragon, will spawn with even more lucrative rewards available for the team that takes them down.
10 – BARON NASHOR
Baron Nashor is a fierce monster found in the jungle who yields big rewards for a team that is successfully able to take him down.
Upon slaying Baron Nashor, a team is granted a buff, giving extra attack damage, a power-up for all abilities and an aura that empowers nearby friendly minions.
Teams often get pulled into huge, explosive team fights around the baron area, and it is always a key battleground for teams to net an advantage.
There you have it! You should be fully equipped to navigate the key moments in any of the LEC Playoff games. So, feel free to pick a team and cheer them on as they battle for European glory this summer.
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