Esports games and communities can often use a lot of insider terminology. If you’re new to a game or esports as a whole, this is going to get confusing. No one seems to explain what these phrases mean, and It gives the impression that esports are more complicated than they are. That’s where this esports glossary comes in. This is all of the terms about esports or esports betting that you might see and need some help to figure out:
Esports themselves have plenty of jargon specific to them! These words aren’t tied to any specific games, but they come up a lot in esports. They deal with the different tournaments and stream structures that you’re going to see.
To start with the basics, esports itself isn’t fully clear. It means electronic sports. This can feel a bit old-fashioned, which is why esports is typically what we shorten it now!
These are some more esports-specific terms that you might not know the meaning of:
- Bo1/Bo2/etc – This means ‘best of’. Bo1 would be best of 1 match, Bo3 would be best of 3. Whoever wins this amount first wins the match.
- Casters – This is the word for presenters of an esports stream. What they are doing is casting, which has another meaning in-game. If it gets confusing, we’ve defined the other term in our in-game esports glossary below.
- Circuit – This is the term for a collection of events in one game. A circuit can be made up of multiple tournaments that usually have an ongoing score that carries over. There can be multiple circuits in one game with events organized by different groups.
- Double Elimination Bracket – This is a bracket with a winners’ tier and a loser’s tier. If you lose in the winners tier, you move down to losers and get another chance against lower-ranked teams or players. The loser’s bracket winner faces the winner of the winners’ bracket.
- FF – It’s said when players think they’ll have a quick game, it’s usually a brag. This one means fast finish.
- GG – Good Game.
- Invitational – This is an event where all of the competitors have been invited to the tournament specifically! As opposed to a competition where players have won their slot at lower ranking tournaments.
- Major – A Major is a term for a big tournament, one usually of good importance to a game. Typically, it’s one with a decent prize pool with events below it that determine which players have to go through first.
- Minor – This is another type of event. It’s usually a smaller one!
- MVP – Most Valuable Player.
- Picks – This is where teams or players select characters or even stages that can be eliminated. Bans are also used in these situations. It’s common in fighting games or games with a large roster of maps.
- Single Elimination Bracket – This is a single bracket style for a tournament. Teams face each other and the loser gets knocked out entirely. The winner goes on. This is quicker and harsher than a double elimination bracket.
- Shotcaller – A player who can decide ‘which shots to take’, and call them out. Basically a player with some strategy input.
- Strat – Short for strategy.
- Stream – This is a live stream or broadcast of a game or event.
- Twitch or Twitch TV – A live streaming platform.
Esports-specific games pop quite a bit, but there’s plenty of terminology that comes up in wider gaming too. These are terms that you’re going to see a lot of in esports. They deal with the games played competitively, but they’re not esports specific. Lots of gamers who don’t watch competitive games use these terms too.
These are some of the gaming terms that you’ll need to know in an esports glossary:
- Aimbot – This is usually in reference to cheating software. Specifically, bots that auto-target for you faster and more precisely than most humans do. However, people use it just to indicate general cheating.
- AFK – Away from Keyboard. This means you’ve stepped away from your PC and won’t be responsible.
- AoE – This stand for Area of Effect. It’s an attack that affects players over a whole area.
- Aggro – This term is short for aggression, usually an aggressive type of play.
- Build – It is a loadout used or the set of attributes used by a player. It can also be the area that a player focuses on in a game.
- Buff – This is a boost to a character’s effectiveness in a patch. It can be dialing up their powers or just them going up in the meta.
- Carry – When a player or ability can take the burden of a team and ‘carry them to a win’, or a less embarrassing loss.
- Casting – In some games, this is when a player uses a particular ability.
- Comp – Short for competitive.
- Cooldown – This is a timer that limits your use of specific abilities or weapons. You can use an ability, they may have a 30-second cooldown on using it again.
- DPS – Damage per Second.
- F2P – F2P means free to play. It’s a game that lets you play for free. Usually, there are optional transactions that support the game.
- Farming – Killing enemies in high numbers, farming their drops or XP.
- FPS – First-Person Shooter. It could also mean frames person though, so pay attention to context.
- Frag – This can mean getting kills or an objective. Frag grenades are an item in a lot of games, so it can be used in that context as well.
- Field of View – The angle or range of vision you see. In an FPS, it gives you a wider view as if your eyes are stretched around your head. Often used in high-level games.
- Fog of War – This is a mechanic in some games where your visibility is limited over enemies.
- GG – Good Game! It’s basically become ‘goodbye’ in some games.
- Glass Cannon – A character with strong attacks but low health. They hit hard, but are easily taken down.
- Griefing – Deliberately trying to annoy or sabotage an enemy player. A form of trolling.
- Health – Units that define your health in a game.
- HUD – Head-up display. It’s the interface and other icons over the top of your screen.
- KDA – Kills, deaths, and assists. This is part of the stats from a player. In esports, it’s useful for watching a player’s performance.
- K/d – Kill-to-death ratio, or the number of times a player got kills averaged out by their number of deaths.
- Lag – This is where a game stutters due to a poor internet connection.
- Laning – In MOBAs, it is when players head down one lane of the map. Lanes exist in shooter maps, but the terminology is different there.
- Meta – This is short for the metagame. It’s a shorthand to talk about the balance of the game. It’s become a term for what’s currently at the top of the metagame. If a character is overpowered, they are ‘meta’. Whereas ‘The Meta’ is the metagame.
- Nerf – The opposite of a buff, this is where something or someone is reduced in power or utility.
- Noob – A beginner player, usually meant insultingly if they lack basic knowledge of the game.
- NPC – Non-playable character.
- OP – Overpowered.
- Pay to Win – This is a term for free-to-play games that give a competitive advantage for a purchase. This isn’t a popular one, it’s usually used as an insult to a poorly designed game.
- Push – This is where players apply pressure to enemies.
- PvP – Player vs Player, against other actual people.
- PvE – Player v Environment or enemies, against AI or the game itself.
- QQ – The opposite of GG, go quit. It’s usually considered rude.
- Salt – This is a term used to describe when someone is angry over something that’s happened or bitter. They’re salty.
- Squishy – In a lot of games, this means that a character easily takes damage or has low health. It’s similar to a glass cannon, but with different strengths.
- Tank – This is a character or role that has a lot of health and can soak up damage.
- Throw – When a player purposely loses the game or gives the enemy an advantage.
- XP – Experience Points.
- Zoning – This is to use aggressive tactics to move the enemies around and take control of the map space. You can ‘zone’ enemies into a particular position that’s more advantageous.
Game and Genre Abbreviations
A bit part of an esports glossary has to be the esports games themselves! As a shorthand, these are mainly talked about as abbreviations rather than the full name. Usually, you just get the initials of the game, it’s the same for genres. This can get confusing!
Sometimes the abbreviations of games aren’t entirely clear! Here are some examples:
- CSGO – Counter-Strike Global Offensive
- CoD – Call of Duty
- DOTA – Dota 2
- LoL – League of Legends. Also called League
- OW – Overwatch
- PUBG – PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
- R6 – Rainbow Six
- RL – Rocket League
- SF – Street Fight
- SSB – Super Smash Bros. SSBU is Ultimate and SSM is Melee.
- SC/SC2/ SCII – StarCraft II
- TF – Team Fortress 2
- WoW – World of Warcraft
- BR – Battle Royale
- FPS – First-Person Shooter
- MOBA – Multiplayer Online Battle Arena
- MMO – Massively Multiplayer Online
- RPG – Role-Playing Game
- RTS – Real-Time Strategy
- TBS – Turn-Based Strategy
- TPS – Third-Person Shooter
- TCG – Trading Card Game
Those are all of the main terms you’re going to run into when looking at esports and esports games. This esports glossary should cover everything you need to know to get up to speed with competitive gaming.