Roles are the cornerstone of how LoL is played and if you are unaware of what the roles are or what they mean, then understanding a game of League of Legends can be difficult. For example, why is that champion just standing there not hitting anything? If this is a question you have ever asked yourself, then this simple guide should explain everything you need to know.
What are the different roles in League of Legends (LoL)?
Marksman / ADC
The Attack-Damage Carry (ADC), now commonly known as the Marksman, is the main form of physical based damage hitting champion on your team. Typically, the ADC does a sizeable amount of damage to all on the enemy team, with the exception of potentially the Tank. The trade-off though, comes with an ADC’s relatively low base health and defence, meaning they are known to be “squishy” (die easily), but this is usually compensated by a Support champion.
Often a ranged champion, which is primarily due to their low health, the main role of an ADC is to eliminate the other ADC (during the laning phase) and in team fights, prioritise the biggest threat (barring the Tank). One of the most important roles in the team, this type of champion will usually be found in the bottom (bot) lane of the map
There are rare occasions where this champion (along with the Support) will swap lanes and play on the top side of the map for the laning phase, and this is usually done at a high level of play. If one side has a strong solo laner with high sustain and harassing potential, while the opposition does not, swapping lanes can sometimes provide a good early game lead for your side.
The Support player is coupled with the ADC and is mainly used to help the ADC in any way they can to get kills, protect their with their abilities and provide vision for the ADC and the rest of the team by using wards or trinkets. Usually low on damage and high on hit points, they can be used as well to tank damage and distract the enemy onslaught (enabling the champions with higher damage to eliminate them).
The Support can be used for assisting the ADC during the laning phase, however, they can also play a large part in engaging in team fights. Support champions such as Thresh can use their abilities to hook onto an enemy champion that is out of position (or in position) to force a team fight and the engage. For example, if Thresh hooks the enemy teams ADC, they will lunge towards them for the rest of the team to engage.
- Read: How to live bet on LoL
Whilst this isn’t always the case, as Heroes like Janna can also catch the enemy team out with her whirlwind, they can also disengage a team fight by using Monsoon to push the enemy team away. Sona’s ultimate Crescendo can both engage and disengage, also.
There are different types of Support champions, some are more defensive and some are more for playing aggressively, but most of them have some abilities for both.
There are three lanes on the Summoner’s Rift (the LoL map) but five champions so the Jungler will spend most of their time between the lanes in the area of the map called the jungle. The primary reason for having a Jungler is to utilise the largest amount of the gold and experience points (XP) on the Summoner’s Rift at any one time.
The Jungler will start and spend most of the early game inside the Jungle, and this allows him to build up his own economy of gold and XP that will eventually allow him to start ganking . This can typically be done within the first few minutes of a game or anywhere between 4 – 7 minutes in. As well as ganking lanes, the Jungler is important for ensuring good vision around both the Dragon and the Baron and helping support the Mid lane champion who can be pushed from both sides at all times.
Controlling the jungle ensures you control rotations and control the main focal points of the map, especially at the early stage where a lot of games are won or lost.
This brings us on to our final point about the Jungler - pay your taxes. You pay your taxes, you get your ganks. If you don’t pay your taxes, don’t be surprised if the Jungler avoids your lane. In short, if they help you, don’t be surprised if they take some of the creep wave.
Bruiser / Tank – Top Lane
The Bruiser / Tank is typically a top lane champion unless a lane swap has occurred.
There are occasions where the ADC and Support will swap lanes with the top champion. If one side has a strong solo laner with high sustain and harassing potential, swapping lanes can sometimes provide a good early game lead for your side.
Although there are different types of top laners, generally speaking, teams will play with a ‘Tank’ champion - someone who can take a lot of damage before being eliminated. They are used to get into the middle of the opposing team, being the focal point, or trying to stun or attack the enemy ADC.
Champions such as Malphite not only have high base stats in health and defence, but also provide instant engagement into the enemy team either during the laning phase or during the mid-late game.. Another underestimated part of the top laner which we touched upon is their ability to gank.
Typically, this might not happen throughout the course of a match, some will stay in the top until others start to move around, whereas some top laners will roam around towards the middle (Mid) lane or the enemies’ jungle in order to catch the enemy off guard and secure a kill.
The distraction caused by the Tank champion enables the rest of the team with high attack damage to eliminate the players. The laning phase is incredibly important for this role as the player needs to be strong for the later game.
APC – Middle (Mid) Laner
The Ability-Power Carry, also known as the APC. This role is used virtually always in the middle lane of the map. Along with the ADC, this is usually the champion that dishes out the highest amount of damage. The APC is usually ranged but can be either depending on what is picked, champions such as Diana can harass with ranged attacks and follow up with a gap-closer ability.
A ranged champion (such as Ahri) will poke (Use abilities that can reach the enemy from a distance) to wear enemy champions down from a safe position before a heavy engage with her ultimate. There is usually a trade-off however, with these types of champions being incredibly squishy due to their low base defensive stats and movement speed.
The mid lane player is incredibly important as it is the middle of the map and he can be ganked from various different positions. Having a good awareness of the map, as well as good use of his vision is important in this role as it’s very easy to over-extend in the lane and get crept up on from behind.
Whilst getting ganked in the lane is possible, the roaming ability of more mobile Mid-laners, such as Katarina, who can clear the creep wave and move quickly around different parts of the map depending on their current situation. This can be combined with the Jungler as well in order to provide an overwhelming situation for whomever is in that lane.
LoL roles and their effect on the meta
In a game of LoL, the typical roles will look something similar to this
- Top Lane
- Tank / Bruiser
- Mid Lane
- Bot Lane
This running order doesn’t tend to change unless you are doing a five man premade and decided to rush middle with five heavy ADC champions.
The reason for this mostly comes down to how each champion can handle each lane. As mentioned earlier, the top laner typically has higher base stats in defensive and health which gives them the ability to solo a lane, the middle lane should be able to self-sustain and roam if possible, Jungler will be in the jungle, and bottom lane will have the ADC (low base health) and Support to maintain them.
However, it doesn’t entirely revolve around that - it also has to do with objective control which is a different subject entirely. In short, bottom lane is closer to Dragon which allows for the Jungler, (Potentially) mid, and bottom lane to attack at once. Whereas top is closer to Baron.
How can role knowledge help my LoL betting?
A lane swap will tell you a lot about how the early game will play out, for example. Seeing a Jungler with good vision approaching for a gank at a key moment of a match can inform you of who might have the advantage going forward. Knowing the ADC is squishy and has poor vision, or is far from their Support is another good example of how understanding these roles can apply to live betting on League of Legends.
Betting on any esport without understanding the game will inhibit success. Understanding the roles in League of Legends ensures you have a basic grasp of what is happening at any given time and what may occur in the future, and will help you strategize – or simply enjoy the game more.
Want to know when the next big League of Legends events are? Take a look at Pinnacle’s Esports schedule.