eSports Glossary of Terms: Competitive Gaming Jargon and Terminology for Beginners [2021]

esports glossary

There are many terms that you are probably unfamiliar with especially if you just got into eSports. Many of them come as abbreviations, which make it harder to guess.

But don’t worry, if you’re passionate about eSports, you’ll know the meaning of these terms because they are used a lot when discussing this topic.

esports glossary

Is it necessary for a player to understand eSports terminology?

Obviously, if you want to get into competitive gaming, you should know common words people use to describe things. This way, you can keep up with what’s being spoken about.

For those wondering about eSports terminology, we have compiled them in a table. Please find out down below.

eSports Glossary of Terms


TermDefinition
AAA gamesGames that have solid teams behind their development and tremendous financial support. They are also backed by a strong marketing campaign to ensure that the final product reaches a broader target audience, which could translate to more sales and larger customer base.
AnaylistSomeone with expertise in the field they specialize in. Hence, an eSports analyst refers to a person who is competent and has a broad knowledge of eSports.
Battle RoyaleBattle Royale is a genre of games where players are loaded onto an arena and must fight against each other and become the last man standing. One of the famous examples is Fortnite. In this game, up to 100 players parachute onto a shrinking island. The last one who remains will come out as the winner.
BuffAn action to increase the power of a game element, which may apply to a character, item, or ability.
Caster / shoutcasterA commentator of the game. A caster helps make a game tournament more entertaining to watch by giving their commentary on what’s happening.
Casual gamesGames that typically have simple rules and take less time to beat. The term can also be used to describe games that target casual gamers, those that play games occasionally, but not invested enough to be called hardcore fans.
CircuitCircuit is a format of eSports events. A circuit uses invitations and qualifier as a basis to decide which teams will participate.
ClanAnother way of saying a team, refers to a group of professional players who come together and challenge others in multiplayer battles. Clans often recruit members through online invitations like emails and chats. They may compete in one or several titles if they have the resources for that.
Co-opA feature in a game that lets several players team up and achieve the same goal. Co-op is not to be mistaken for multiplayer. Multiplayer just means that a game can be played by many users at the same time. And it can be competitive or cooperative. Co-op, on the other hand, is focused more on the latter.
ConsoleA computer system designed primarily to play video games. It can be used in conjunction with a TV set or another type of monitor. Consoles can also come in the form of handheld devices which eliminate the need for a monitor since they come with built-in displays. Consoles are in some way similar to desktop PCs given their ability to play games. The difference is consoles are optimized for gaming, while computers can run different types of software.
DeveloperThe company behind the creation of a video game.
PublisherThe company that’s responsible for the promotion of the final product or video game.
DLCDLC stands for downloadable content, which as the name suggests, is a type of content that players can access outside the main game. It’s either available right in the game or through a third-party platform. The word ‘downloadable’ doesn’t mean that it’s available for free. While it can be free sometimes, the content also cost some money.
F2POften referred to as free-to-play, F2P is a business model for games in which the player isn’t required to make an advance payment before they can start playing. Games that follow this strategy usually make money from in-app purchases and advertisements instead of game sales.
Fighting gameA genre of games where two or more characters are pitted against each other in close combat. The fight usually takes place in an arena. Each character is assigned to a unique play style and you use the controller to execute attacks and deal damage to the opponent.
FGCFGC stands for Fighting Game Community, which is a group created and dedicated for people who are into fighting games.
FPSFPS, also known as First Person Shooter, is a genre of video games where the player is presented in the first person view. What you see while playing an FPS game is mostly the gun’s movement, not the character’s body. Basically, it feels as if you’re the one carrying the gun and fire the bullets.
FreemiumUsed to describe games that have free and premium elements. Freemium games often start out free, but as you progress further, there are features and items that can only be unlocked by spending real money. Apparently, many titles follow this business model because it’s more appealing to gamers.
GamertagAlias used to represent someone on the internet or in the world of competitive gaming. Many players choose to not use their real name to participate in online games. Instead, they would pick a name that they use as an identity. A gamertag can draw inspiration from anything. It totally depends on what the player has in mind.
GGGG stands for Good Game, a term people commonly say or exchange at the end of a game to show good sportsmanship. It can also be used to label an action that leads to a player coming out as the winner.
In-game purchasesThey are pretty much like in-app purchases. Free games often provide an option for players to buy items and upgrade using real money. There are many things that one can buy through in-app purchases, like skins, virtual money, and items which help them progress much faster.
JerseyAn official outfit (usually T-shirt) created to represent an eSports team. Jerseys make it easier for us to recognize different teams. In most cases, they have sponsors’ logos printed or stitched on them. These sponsors take part in the development of teams that they support.
LANAn abbreviation for Local Area Network, is a network that connects computers in the same physical area, allowing players to participate in multiplayer gaming matches.
MetaA title given to characters, play styles, or items that can give you the upper hand over other players. Choosing the strongest character in a game is an example of playing the meta.
MicrotransactionA type of transaction that takes place in a game or an app. Microtransactions allow you to acquire virtual goods through micropayments. They are often provided as a part of free-to-play games. Players take advantage of this feature to progress further into the game or customize characters to their liking.
MMORPGMMORPG stands for Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games, are a subgenre of MMO games that involve a large number of players. They are often set in fantasy settings. In a MMORPG, the player takes on the persona of a character. As you level it up, you’ll cross paths with other players and interact with them.
MOBAMOBA, or Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, is a genre of games where a bunch of players (grouped into several teams) are loaded onto an arena with the aim to fight each other. There are two opposing teams with each having many players. The objective is to defeat the other team by teaming up with your team members.
NerfNerf refers to a change that leads to a decrease in power of a game element. It may apply to a character, item, and ability.
Non-endemic brandsBrands that are not traditionally linked to eSports, but somehow show their support to the industry. These brands tap into eSports due to the growing popularity of competitive gaming. Thus, it’s seen as a major opportunity to market products and services to the audience.
NoobA player who just got started playing a game and needs time to broaden their horizons on that title.
OCCGIs an acronym for Online Collectible Card Games. These are games that center around collecting cards and battles using a wide variety of card combinations. Hearthstone and Yu-Gi-Oh are two popular titles that belong to this genre.
Online tournamenteSports events that are hosted online instead of asking participants to attend a venue. To take part in an online tournament, you’d need to visit a website that conducts the event and sign up before eligible to win the prize money. As with offline tournaments, online tournaments also contest a variety of titles.
OPOP means overpowered, used to depict a character that’s a bit too powerful to the point where it would be people’s first pick for a battle.
OrganizationAn umbrella term used to describe companies that recruit players, train, and then send them to tournaments in order to win the trophies and prize money. An eSports organization may create more than one team that they field across multiple titles.
PanelA group of people who have a discussion about everything eSports related. They can also provide commentary on an eSports match.
PatchAn additional file that developers release to fix production mistakes. It can also be used to alter the mechanics and gameplay of a game. When a patch is released, you can expect some changes in the new version compared to the previous one. It could offer you new skins or another type of alteration.
ProPro is an abbreviation for professional, a term used for players who have taken a lot of practice to improve their skill, which makes them great at what they’re doing. Pro players often make a living out of eSports tournaments.
PvPAcronym for Player Versus Player. It refers to a game or a mode that has a prominent player-against-player combat feel. A game that’s labeled as PvP often puts a greater focus on interaction between players.
RegionRefers to locations where eSports tournaments are conducted.
RosterA group of players that an organization signs to compete at tournaments. It’s normal for an organization to field their established rosters to make the best run for the championship.
RPGRPG stands for Role-Playing Games, is a genre of video games where the player takes the role of a character. It’s all about you playing a fictional character within a fantasy realm. For a game to be called an RPG, it needs to have an engaging story and character progression. The later especially is important as it helps build a strong bond between you and the character. You’re in charge of how the character develops.
RTSAlso known as Real-Time Strategy, is a genre of games where the player has total control over an army of characters instead of a single character.
SkinsCosmetic items that change the way characters look. They act like outfits that you can put on a character to change their appearance. For those wondering if skins have an impact on mechanics, the answer is no. Skins are created purely for aesthetic reasons. The only way that skins can help is by giving you a visual advantage. For example, flashy skins may do more harm than good because they set a stark contrast with the background, so they become more noticeable.
StreamerSomeone who broadcasts game content to viewers. Aside from walkthroughs, streamers can also give their commentary on live events or talk about other stuff. The most important thing of being a streamer is the content should be broadcasted real-time through a platform.
TeamA group of professional players that work together in order to win a competition. An eSports team can have multiple rosters recruited to perform in different titles. The job of an eSports team is to find new talents or established ones through major competitions, train them to improve their skills, build social presence, seek sponsorships, and send them to tournaments.

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