Most MOBA games are known for having a pretty high entry-skill level. League of Legends is not an exception. Selecting the right play role, as well as having a proper understanding of the particular action course, is vital for successful team play.
Currently, there are 148 champions; each of them has a specific playstyle and item build, as well as strengths and weaknesses- which can be confusing even for an experienced player.
Those who have played a couple of matches, as well as players with dozens of victories to their names, sometimes fail to understand what is and isn’t suitable to do for a particular role. In this article, we will try to give structure to your vision of the game, divide champions into groups based on their role in the match, and give you a better understanding of which hero could fill a specific position in a game.
Table of contents
- Lanes and Positions in League of Legends
- What Are Lol Roles?
- How to Choose LOL Champion Roles
- Top Laner
- League of Legends Mid Lane
- ADC Lane
- League of Legends Lane Meta
- Get Better with Gosu Voice Assistant
Lanes and Positions in League of Legends
League of Legends roles derive from the structure of the map. Although there are several play modes in the game, the main one is Summoner’s Rift. It features three lanes - top, middle and bottom – as well as a good amount of jungle creep camps. Each one implies its own specifics in order to provide a competitive laning – competing with the foe’s champion of the same kind. Further in the article, we are going to specify League of Legends positions for each lane, taking into consideration the nuanced guidelines.
What Are Lol Roles?
League of Legends has five main roles. All of them differ according to the preferred playstyle and specific functions on the map. Their strengths are divided in the following ways:
- Top and middle laners fight in 1x1 encounters (their name corresponds to the name of the lane of operation),
- ADC and Support meet the enemy on the bottom lane
- Jungler – the remaining player - explores the jungle and aids any allies’ lanes.
You must note that sometimes you will have to wait in line in order to play the desired position.
How to Choose LOL Champion Roles
Ranking up in a particular role requires a deep understanding of its specifics. It’s not the best idea to stick with one role at the beginning of your LOL journey.
Traditional sports require role aggregation according to some specific skills and physical parameters (for example, heights of players in basketball or volleyball). Criteria in terms of gaming start from acquired techniques (for example, some are good at farming, while others in strategic thinking), as well as personal preferences.It’s vital to try all positions for yourself or, at least, learn the basics about them. Champions are divided into roles in order to deliver a successful teamplay, which is accomplished by covering weak spots for each other. You need to take into account a goal to be achieved while choosing a champion role. For example, if you like to farm minions, it’s better to go for ADC rather than Support.
The primary goals of a top laner are breaking the enemy lines in team fights and creating space for your team by split pushing. Basically, this role is isolated from the others: most of the combats are 1 vs. 1. Probably the only times when the top fights back-to-back with allies are Baron battles and end-game team fights.
Although it means that you aren’t always going to receive help whenever you need it, there are several benefits to the loneliness:
- You have the potential to gain a lot of gold and experience from the lane.
- You won’t be as vulnerable to attacks from the jungle as a mid laner.
You shouldn’t try to become the main source of damage to the opposing team. The top laner’s responsibility is to apply pressure on fragile enemy heroes (such as a marksman or the mid laner) in order for them to run away from you. And this is how the victory is gained: when your carry stays in position and deals damage while your foe’s carry tries to get away from you.
Pick an independent champion with good survivability. It’s important for a successful split push, which significantly pressures the whole enemy team when applied correctly. The best champion types for this position are the tank, the bruiser, and the split pusher. It’s a good idea to select a hero with good crowd control and tankiness: after leaving the top lane, you will find yourself in a fight on a front lane. A reasonable champion pick for this role is, for example, Ornn, Garen, Malphite, or Darius. There are plenty of practical guides on how to climb as a top laner.
If you’re wondering how to play top lane, take a look at some tips from Cloud9’s starting top laner, Licorice. He covers such aspects as ward placement, winning tactics, the most suitable Summoner Spells, etc.
Supports operate in the background, assisting the other roles. They don’t score a high level of kills, yet they still fulfill a critical function: facilitating the allies’ game, particularly the ADC. Although it may seem rather boring, the existence of the performing support results in a competitive advantage.
This role encompasses champions of very different playstyles - from fragile healers and mages to full-tanks. Some are excellent shields yet generate little to no threat, while others have the power to solely kill an ADC at the cost of no buffs or healing. For example, an enchanter is a typical support: it’s good at healing, shielding, and buffing up its teammates. Impressive performance is guaranteed in the laning phase due to the ability to sustain the carry even from far away.
If you want to focus on destroying an enemy bot lane, pick a champion with a good poke ability. For example, Xerath can deal tons of high-range damage.
How to Play Support
Although the support playing tactics highly depend on the particular chosen champion, three main duties await you at the Summoners Rift:
- You must always make sure that your marksman is alive, at full health, and buffed with as many positive effects as possible. Heals, shields, crowd control, and taking a hit yourself are the potential ways to accomplish the mission. Some champions – like Blitzcrank or Brand – even have the capability to go and kill bullies.
- The support is responsible for providing vision for teammates. Superior intel can become a determining competitive advantage in battles. Use any means to gain as much vision as you can before a team fight starts, and, at the same time, remember to clean enemy wards.
- It’s a good strategy to prioritize harassing foe’s ADC from the early game. Make sure that their life is miserable, and they are so scared of you that they are ready to surrender.The first and last goals are in tight balance and rather hard to accomplish both well. Fulfilling these duties doesn’t imply that you should neglect to ward. Learn how to take a hit with tanks and methodically poke an enemy with healers. Gradually, you will become a great shield and a sword for your carry.
A jungler is a champion that can successfully clear jungle camps, generate treating presence on the map, and fight the enemy’s jungler. To successfully fulfill all these requirements, it’s better to choose someone who is good in 1x1 encounters, has abilities to catch prey (crowd control or gap close), and is able to kill jungle creeps –via a percentage-based attack, additional minion damage or low-mana cost AOE ability.
Jungler is a very mobile team member who can easily engage in fights to save their allies. They also often have good snowball ability and carry potential. Apart from that, utilizing jungle camps is one of the main priorities. The benefit here is that you don’t have to share gained XP or gold.
Junglers are expected to have a good understanding of the game in order to estimate where they can deliver the best performance. Therefore, you must constantly track foe’s movements, the timers of the camps, laners health states, and many more.
How to Play Jungle
A good jungler tactic to overpower the foes is to generate an invisible threat. Merely strike the enemies from behind. Observing their activity and guessing the next step will help you to succeed. Although this isn’t a chess field, it will help a lot of you develop analytical skills. A GOSU voice assistant may be of great help here: it will facilitate adjusting the next move according to the current situation on the Summoners Rift.
Don’t be shy to harass the enemy’s side of the map. Create an invasion: try to enter the foe’s camps or set up a “gank” on the lane that your enemies are targeting. But, be ready for a battle and don’t act unreasonably.Apart from annoying the opponents, don’t forget to pay attention to the allies while running from camp to camp. Look for a spot to help them when they are in need. A good jungler can significantly boost a team's morale, which is essential for a victory. If you are looking for some practical hints, check the Virkayu guide on the jungler for the current season.
League of Legends Mid Lane
A mid lane is the main center of action throughout the whole game. It is the shortest way between bases and it’s ideal for a jungler attack. Apart from 1 x 1 battling skills, good map awareness and long-term strategic thinking are essential aspects of delivering an impressive performance in this role.
As the lane is the center of the map, a mid laner is frequently helping allies in need. They aid in defending or taking the objects or merely get engaged in fights, while the jungler is respawning or occupied.
Though many champions are suitable for the role, the most favorable qualities are:
- Having the ability to deal consistent damage. It’s vital to gain as much gold and experience as possible to increase power. So, picking a tank who can survive a mid lane won’t be enough.
- Having the capability to survive your foe’s jungler attacks, as well as to kill your lane opponent. The jungler can sometimes facilitate, as he is a frequent guest here. Unlike the ADC, the mid laner can usually deal burst damage.
Such a role isn’t always about winning the lane and pushing towers. The goal is to accumulate as many minion kills as possible. This results in gaining more power and ensuring that an enemy’s mid laner struggles with gold and experience.
How to Play Mid Lane
A mid laner is an independent damage dealer. It can be:
- an AD assassin (Zed), who will put great pressure on the lane opponent;
- an AP assassin (Fizz or Ahri) or a more classic mage (Xerath, Syndra) who will clear minions wave after wave without letting anyone touch them.
Midlane characters are usually a snowball-type. This means that if the enemy managed to kill you once, they would be able to continue the trend. Therefore, you need to be always aware of the foe’s jungler position. Be sure that you get as much farm as possible in case you don’t feel strong enough to kill the lane opponent. As the mid laner is using abilities very often, an ally jungler may give you a Blue buff. Try to not to do any reckless moves with it to avoid granting such a valuable present to the opponents.
ADC is a marksman champion, who is focused on dealing heavy damage from range. There are various types of ADC: those who focus on single-hit damage and the power of critical strikes early, and those who rely on on-hit effects and attack speed. The skillset may vary as well. While some ADC are suited for aggressive gameplay, others have abilities for escaping and breaking engagements.
It’s vital to have all the attributes of heavy AD carry when late-game begins. These attributes include a high critical strike chance, good attack speed, armor penetration, and, probably, some sustain. Correct item build facilitates getting all of these.
In order to buy items, you will need a lot of gold – more than anyone else on your team. Therefore, farming and survivability at the beginning of the game must become your priority. Don’t worry; you won’t have to deal with your foes alone. The “assigned” support is to look after you during the entire match. Be aware that your champion has very limited defensive ability. Always try to keep a high health level and have your escape spells ready.
Such a role is a target for the foes. Once the power is accumulated, the marksman poses a significant threat to anyone on the way. Although you respawn directly after you’ve been killed, your precious time is wasted instead of using it effectively – to generate gold and XP.
ADC is considered to be the real treasure of the team because it is able to secure a victory later in the game. Team play is an essential soft skill that can result in an impressive performance. It can be harder than it seems: even if you personally know and trust your support, some fatal miscommunication may happen.
The challenge of playing the marksman is to balance movement and maximize abilities, as well as auto-attacks. He has a high impact on a team’s overall capability to finish the enemies. Therefore, the late game is performance time. For instance, if you choose a champion like Kog’Maw or Tristana, you are likely to experience a passive play at the beginning and shine at the end.
League of Legends Lane Meta
The LOL roles are commonly attributed to the particular League of Legends lanes. Traditional roles classification by a champion type rarely changes. Currently, it is as follows:
Top Lane: Tank / Bruiser
As a top laner must be on the front lane in team fights, it means that durable champions are your best bet. Sometimes, when the bot lane is won, you might switch places with the ADC and support. They will push your tower and harass the lane opponent, while you are just holding the position under the bot lane tower. However, the ADC and support are better for the bottom position at the beginning due to their ability to cooperate with jungler, which facilitates taking down the dragon quickly.
Mid Lane: APC or AD Assassin
The mid lane is the center of the map. You can quickly move to any objective or lane and have to fight with foe's jungler frequently. Therefore, the mid laner is usually an independent killer who wants to participate in fights, take down enemies to earn gold, and, more importantly, experience.
To get outside the lane without losing the tower, a champion has to clear a minion wave fast. It’s easy to miss last hits and lose potential gold gain if you aren’t leaving the tower. An AP carry is an excellent choice. However, an assassin like Zed can also fill the gap due to the snowball nature and independence from mana.
Bottom Lane: Support & ADC
Bot lane may surprise you with an unexpected champion pick, even completely excluding ADC. Yet, usually, playing too greedily – picking a mid laner instead of the support or switching the ADC with APC, for example, may lead to a disaster: your team doesn't deal any damage to foe’s tanks, or opponent’s marksman can get out of hand.
Particular champions are played only in the jungle due to their high-grade mobility, fast jungle clear speed, and snowball potential. Most jungle professionals are rather good in 1x1 combat. Therefore, a wrong hero choice may make you into easy prey.You can pick a mid or top laner to try them out in the jungle. However, be prepared for a weak map presence, low jungle clear speed, and the inability to provide enough threat to the enemy team.
Get Better with Gosu Voice Assistant
It’s nearly impossible to easily select the most suitable option from all the League of Legends roles. You need to try all of them and understand which one suits your personal preferences, as well as pay attention to a particular performance. Gosu AI assistant can help you with the latter. It’s able to provide a match analysis., which will let you have a better look at your skills and choose a role where you show good potential.
After you’ve determined the overall direction, it’s vital to rank up. The best solution is to assess your strengths and weaknesses. It can be rather challenging to analyze your performance during the match while concentrating on the gameplay. You can easily join the Gosu service by connecting your Steam account for free. After connecting, the advanced technologies are going to do that for you.
If you struggle with the gameplay itself, consider “hiring” a voice assistant. It assists you throughout all the match and can help you to improve such aspects as:
The Pick of Runes and Summoner Spells
Runes and Summoner Spells highly influence the overall performance. The wrong choice may lead to losing the battle or the entire game. Each role, as well as each champion, requires a unique approach in order to maximize the performance and achieve the goals. The smart voice assistant will advise the best pick and explain it.
The Items to Buy
Items have a better match with the current needs. In order not to waste the precious resources, use some third-party help. The smart assistant will recommend the best item, as well as the further course of action.
The Skills to Train
Selecting a champion is challenging. Understanding him is even harder. Each one has unique spells, which may give you a considerable competitive advantage over your foes once they are advanced. The voice assistant will guide you on what requires effort first.
Many players, even experienced ones, find themselves in a situation where they don’t know what to do on the field. The voice assistant is a good “coach” that hints on the best course of action according to the current situation.Successful team play is the result of the collaborative cooperation of each role representative. This requires not only good playing skills but also a deep understanding of all league of legends roles’ functions and goals. They may be confusing at the beginning; however, you are going to become a pro after a while.