eSports Slang – A Complete List of eSports Terminology

Gamers tend to use a pretty specific jargon, and unless you sit deep in this community, it might be hard to understand them. That’s where we come in to help! We have prepared for you a collection of the most popular phrases from eSports terminology.

Benefits of Knowing eSports Slang

Even if you are not a gamer, knowledge of eSports slang may come in handy when, for example, your friends are heavily into these topics. You will hear some phrases from gaming terminology in real life, especially since this industry has been in the mainstream for a long time, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change.

And if you’re a gamer, learning some new eSports slang phrases can improve your in-game communication, leading you to win more games. It can also enhance your tournament viewing experience, as you’re more likely to understand casters and that mighty Twitch-chat.

esports Dictionary

Esports Dictionary

Here is an alphabetical collection of the most common phrases/abbreviations used in eSports and gaming communities in general. We’ve compiled as many as 80 of them, so there’s a good chance you’ll come across a term you didn’t know before.

A

  • ACE — Abbreviation for “All Clan Elimination.” Used when one player kills the entire opposing team
  • Aggro — Abbreviation for “Aggressive”. Often used as a term for an aggressive/fast playstyle
  • AFK — Abbreviation for “Away from Keyboard”
  • AH — Abbreviation for “Auction House,” which is a place where you can buy or sell in-game items
  • AoE — Abbreviation for “Area of Effect”. A way to specify skills that work for a specific area. Primarily used in Multiplayer Online Battle Arena games (League of Legends, Dota 2)

B

  • Backdoor — A term for a situation where one player attacks an enemy base while no one is there to protect it. Often used in Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (Dota 2, League of Legends) and Real-time strategy games (Starcraft 2, Warcraft)
  • BM — Abbreviation for “Bad Manners”
  • BO — Abbreviation for “Build Order”
  • Bot — A term for either a bad ed player or an artificial intelligence replacing the player

C

  • Carry — A term for the person who “carries” a team to victory
  • Casting — This term has two meanings. The first refers to the charging period before casting a spell or a skill, for example. The second relates to broadcasting; the person called “caster” is usually the tournament commentator
  • CC — Abbreviation for “Crowd Control” which is a set of skills used against the enemy
  • Cheese — A term for an unpopular and risky style of play that has little chance of being effective
  • Comp — Abbreviation for “Composition”
  • Cringe — An alternative term for embarrassment/shame
  • C4 — Alternative term for a bomb in Counter-Strike

D

  • DC — Abbreviation for Disconnect
  • DM — This term has two meanings. The first is short for “Deathmatch,” a game mode that a large portion of players treats as a warm-up. The second is short for “Direct Messages,” which might mean private messages on the platform you play on, such as Steam or Battle.net
  • DOT — Abbreviation for “Damage Over Time”
  • DPS — Abbreviation for “Damage Per Second”
  • Drop — An alternative to “give.” If someone says, “drop me an AK” in some First-Person-Shooter game, it means I want you to give them an AK-47 rifle.
  • DQ — Abbreviation for “Disqualified”

E

  • EU — Abbreviation for “Europe.” Refers to a dedicated server for European players
  • EZ — Abbreviation for “Easy”. Used when you’ve achieved something in a game without too much difficulty; often considered inelegant when used against an opposing team

F

  • F — Used to pay tribute when a player dies, or the team loses. This comes from the game Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, where during a funeral, you have options to pay tribute by pressing “F” on your keyboard
  • FB — Abbreviation for “First Blood”. Indicates the first kill of the round or game
  • FFA — Abbreviation for “Free For All”
  • Flaming — A term for the act of insulting
  • FPS — This can have two meanings. The first one stands for “First-Person-Shooter,” a genre of games like Counter-Strike and Call of Duty. The second is “Frames Per Second”
  • Frag — A replacement term for “kill,” derived from Quake.

G

  • Ganking — A situation in which a group of players kills another player’s character on the opposing team while having a significant advantage
  • GG — Abbreviation for “Good Game”. Usually used at the end of a match to thank your opponent for playing
  • GH — Abbreviation for “Good Half”. Used by players of FPS games (such as CS:GO) at the end of the first half
  • GLHF — Abbreviation for “Good Luck, Have Fun”. Usually used at the beginning of a game to greet all players
  • GZ / Gratz — Short for “Congratulations”

H

  • HQ — Abbreviation for “Headquarters”

I

  • IGL — Abbreviation for “In Game Leader”
  • IMO — Abbreviation for “In My Opinion”

J

  • Jebaited — Used when someone gets tricked. This is a reference to the “Jebaited” emoticon from Twitch.tv

K

  • Kappa — A reference to a well-known emoticon from Twitch.tv. Used to emphasize irony
  • KDA — Abbreviation for Kill Death Assist. It may also refer to the virtual K-Pop band created for the League of Legends (they’re called K/DA, and you can check out their music here)
  • KEKW — A reference to one of the Twitch.tv emoticons. Used to express laughter
  • Kobe — A term for a well-thrown grenade. It is a reference to the famous NBA player, Kobe Bryant
  • KQLY Style / KUKLI — A reference to former professional Counter-Strike player Hovik “KQLY” Tovamassian, who got banned for cheating. He is known for his famous “Jumpshot”, which you can watch here. Often used when someone performs an action that seems suspicious to us, and we feel that this person is using some kind of cheating software

L

  • L — Abbreviation for “Loss”
  • L2P — Abbreviation for “Learn To Play”

M

  • Meta / Metagame — A term for the most popular strategies in the game
  • Miss / Misplay — A term for a mistake/error made by a player.
  • MOBA — Abbreviation for “Multiplayer Online Battle Arena”. It’s a term for a game genre that includes titles like League of Legends, Smite, and Dota 2

N

  • N1 — Abbreviation for “Nice One”
  • NA — Abbreviation for “North America.” Refers to a dedicated server for American players
  • Noob — A term for a low skill/inexperienced player
  • NP — Abbreviation for “No Problem”
  • NPC — Abbreviation for “Non-Player Character”
  • NT — Abbreviation for “Nice Try”
  • O

  • OOM — Abbreviation for “Out Of Mana”
  • OT — Abbreviation for “Overtime”

P

  • PCW — Abbreviation for “Personal Clan War”
  • Pog / PogChamp / Poggers — A reference to the Twitch.tv emoticon. Indicates excitement

Q

  • QQ — It means “go quit” or “go cry”. In League of Legends, you may encounter “QQ15” or “QQ20,” which suggests exiting the game after the 15th or 20th minute

R

  • RJ — Abbreviation for “Rejoin”
  • Rotation — A term for rearranging players’/teams’ position on the map.
  • RNG — Abbreviation for “Random Number Generation”
  • RPG — Abbreviation for “Role-Playing-Game”. It’s a term for a game genre that includes titles like Witcher, The Elder Scrolls, or Cyberpunk
  • RTS — Abbreviation for “Real-Time Strategy.” It’s a term for a game genre that includes titles like Starcraft 2, Warcraft, or Age of Empires
  • Rush — A term for a dynamic attack on opponents without stopping too much, or simply an aggressive playstyle

S

  • Salty — A term for someone who is frustrated. Often used with the Twitch.tv emoticon “PJSalt”
  • Smurf — A term for someone who, despite their high level of skill, deliberately plays at lower ranks

T

  • Tank — A term for a player whose job is to take as much damage as possible to protect his teammates
  • TF — Abbreviation for “Team Fight.” It may also be short for the well-known League of Legends hero, “Twisted Fate”
  • TK — Abbreviation for “Team Kill”
  • Throw — A term for losing a match/round by making a simple mistake
  • TY — Abbreviation for “Thank You”

U

  • Ult — A term for a skill by which a player can make non-standard plays.

W

  • W — Abbreviation for “Win”
  • WP — Abbreviation for “Well Played”

X

  • XP — Abbreviation for “Experience”

Z

  • Zerg — A term for players/characters who attack with quantity rather than quality

Other

  • 2Head / 3Head — A reference to the popular Twitch.tv emoticon. Used to call someone not very intelligent
  • 5Head — Another reference to the Twitch.tv emoticon. Used to call someone above-average intelligence