Ever heard a word or a phrase in esports and had no idea what it meant? We’ve combined as many of these terms as we could into this handy list to help you understand them.
If there are terms you think should be added to this list, just let us know on our social media!Analyst – Someone who will analyse gameplay (typically on stream) to breakdown the action. They normally sit on an ‘analyst deck’ to do this whilst a broadcast is going on, as well as some organisations having an analyst internally.
Broadcast – A stream or video that showcases an event or match, and generally is live.
BYOC – Bring your own computer – Used when people are encouraged to bring their own gaming device to a LAN event to take part in competitions.
Bye – Where a team does not participate in the first round of a tournament, and is given a direct pass into the second round.
Caster – Someone who provides commentary on a broadcast. Can be different variations of a caster, including a ‘colour caster’ (Someone that provides further details and information when commentating on a match), ‘shoutcaster’ (another word for caster), or ‘play-by-play caster’ (They provide running ‘on-the-fly’ commentary as the match is taking place).
Circuit – All of the events that are happening in a title across the year – i.e the Dota 2 Circuit, which would include Majors, Minors, and The International.
Collegiate Esports – Where competitive tournaments take place amongst college/university students.
Comp – Shortened version of saying ‘composition’, and can describe a specific group of in-game characters chosen to form a team.
Content Creator – Someone who creates written or video content (Can range from Journalists to YouTubers)
Diff – Shortened way of saying ‘difference’, and describes when the enemy team has an advantage – i.e ‘healer diff’ means that the enemy healer is better than the other.
Elo System – A matchmaking system that uses players stats and performance across games to determine a rating. If they win a game, their elo rating goes up, and if they lose, their rating goes down.
GLHF – Good Luck, Have Fun – Normally said at the start of a match to your team or opponent
Grassroots – The ‘beginner’ level of esports tournaments. This is where most players will generally start out and then climb up the various levels.
Host – Can either refer to an individual that is leading a broadcast, or a game server that is the central point for players to play the game.
Hitmarker – The home of many gaming and esports jobs. If you want to get into the industry, Hitmarker is the place to start looking.
Ladders – Another way of saying ‘leaderboard’. A basic competitive structure that allows people to be able to climb or drop in relation to their space on the ‘ladder’.
LAN – Local Area Network – Generally people hold ‘LAN parties’ and events to allow gatherings of people to come together on a network and play multiplier games together.
Major / Minor – Two of the levels a tournament can be, with major being the bigger and professional events, whereas the minors are at a slightly lower level.
MVP – Most Valuable Player – Normally voted for by casters or other players, but it is the player that has shown they are invaluable to the team throughout a match or tournament.
Networking – A way that you can build up contacts and relations with people in the industry. Companies host networking events, but you can also reach out to people on your own accord.
Observer – Someone who controls the in-game cameras for esports broadcasts. You can have one observer, but you can also have multiple capturing different angles of play.
Org – Shortened way of saying ‘organisation’.
Ping – The ping (or latency) of a player is how fast they can send a command to the game and have the game (or its server) display what happened. Read our article on all things Ping, Latency and Lag!
Prize Pool – The total amount of money that is to be split amongst the winners of a tournament.
Pro – Shortened version of saying professional; and relates to a professional esports player.
Scrim – A practice match between two teams, and are generally used to prepare for an upcoming fixture.
Setup – Can have two meanings in esports. The first being what you use to play games on (PC, Console), and the other being the space of time at the start of a match where the teams can prepare to begin – generally referred to as the ‘setup phase’.
Spectating – An outside perspective watching a match whilst it is taking place. In some games you can spectate your team when you die, or others can come in and watch the match without being a player.
Split – Refers to a specific part of a season – for example our Champs has a Winter Split and a Spring Split.
Stream – A live video broadcast on a platform (the most popular being Twitch)
Talent – Can have multiple meanings in esports, but the main one being the people involved in a production or stream (casters, observers, producers). They can also be referred to as on-screen talent and is just a way to describe those involved. The other meaning can be used when talking about players.
Title – Refers to a game (e.g League of Legends is an esports title)
Tournament – A competition or series of competitions between a variety of individuals/teams for a prize.
Toxicity – Being unpleasant to other players in a game through voice or match chat. This is looked down upon in the industry, and can result in bans if people are found to be toxic.
Trash Talk – Insulting another players gameplay or abilities. This is also looked down upon in the industry, and can result in bans.
If you want to know about specific terminology that is used in games, check out our A-Z Jargon breakdown!