LOL Roles Explained And How To Play Each One Effectively

league of legends roles
Learn your role or prepare to be yelled at by toxic players

Welcome To League of Legends Roles 101

League of Legends is a team game, and everything boils down to how each role performs in order to achieve success. Think of each lane and position as a cog in the engine of a car: if one cog starts to fail, this affects the whole machine and can cause it to fail, but if every cog is working in unison and performs their job well, the engine will work and succeed.

Playing League of Legends requires the ability to break down each lane and role to its basic components such as where each role is located, how their role functions in each team, and how to perform your duty in each role. Let’s start with each role and how they function within a team.

All Five of the League of Legends Roles

That’s right, League of Legends has five roles within the game for you to choose from. Each one varies in their roles from providing crowd control, taking damage, protecting the damage dealers, dealing damage, or deleting champions off the map in a quick burst. Let’s take a look at all five roles.

Marksman/ADC

The marksman is one of the most sought after roles in League of Legends because having a good ADC often leads to wins, while a bad ADC can lead to a quick and resounding loss. This position is also known as the ADC (attack damage carry) because their main role is to deal out as much damage as possible and wipe enemy teams off the map.

ADCs build physical damage, attack speed, and critical chance to increase their ability to damage enemies quickly and efficiently. Each ADC champion has a different bonus they bring to Summoner’s Rift such as increased range, escapes, poke, and more so make sure to understand how each marksman functions to get the most out of them.

Two great ADCs in League are SKT Telecom T1’s Bang and Samsung Gaming’s Ruler.

Here’s a clip of Bang in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zv2JbK9PPyc

Here’s a clip of Ruler in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pE_OijI8UoU

Due to the nature of the ADC building damage, they are the squishiest role in League and can be wiped out in the blink of an eye if they are not careful.

But thanks to the next role, Support, the ADC/Marksman can live to fight another day.

Support

Support is one of the least desired roles due to several aspects: you aren’t getting many kills, it’s a difficult position as you have to synergize with your ADC, and you often are one of the first people dying in team fights. But there is great value in being a support as you can protect the damage dealers from dying and win the game, so while being a support isn’t the most glorious role, it is one of the most important.

The support can come in various forms: the tanks who provide a strong crowd control for carries to deal out plenty of damage, poke supports who damage enemy laners to prevent them from farming and pushing the lane, and healers who can provide shields, healing, or other buffs to carries so they can stay alive to get as much damage out as possible.

But supports also serve another purpose: vision. Since the support’s items are mostly focused around providing support to their team, this frees up some slots to get a red ward or a warding item. Make sure to place each ward strategically to give as much vision as possible.

The best supports know how to trust their carries, while opening up opportunities for their team. Gold Coin United’s Madlife and Longzhu Gaming’s GorillA are famous for their abilities of catching out opponents, while protecting their carries.

Here’s a clip of Madlife in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgmervDTwgs

Here’s a clip of GorillA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPKHh31DpmM

Luckily, the support doesn’t always have the burden of protecting the carries. This can fall to the top lane as either a tank or bruiser.

Tank/Bruiser

The tanks and bruisers come with a variety of benefits such as surviving most team fights due to their high amount of health, dealing out a good amount of damage, and being able to catch enemies that are out of position. This role focuses on being charging into battle and crashing into enemy teams while either soaking up all the damage while their team attacks or crowd controlling enemies by bursting them out or crowd controlling them.

The tank/bruiser position is an easier role to play because it involves getting lots of armor, magic resist, and health to prevent getting deleted by other teams, while having some damage or crowd control to impact team fights.

Two world renowned top laners are KT Rolster’s Smeb and Team Liquid’s Impact.

Here is Smeb in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiYK0oiFmx0

Here is Impact in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSNkijegBEA

While the tank/bruiser is busy on the front lines, the ADC, support and one other position work hard to deal out the damage. That position is the mid lane/ability power carry.

Mid Laner/APC

Now while you have the attack damage carry, who focuses on dealing physical damage, the ability power carry focuses on dealing magic damage through their abilities. This role requires a lot of precision as players have to land their champion’s abilities which can take a fair amount of patience, skill, and luck to land. They also have to manage their mana and their ability cooldowns, as running out of mana and not having your champion’s abilities ready puts many champions out of their main resource to harass and deal damage.

One of the main differences between the APC and the ADC is the experience. The APC is supposed to lane by themselves in order to soak up experience points. By doing so, they can level up their abilities and get gold to buy items, which ultimately increases their damage and cooldowns.

Mid laners also shift a lot during the game as they can roam through the jungle up towards the top lane or down to the bottom lane to help get kills or secure objectives. This lane is one of the more flexible lanes due to the laner not always being there to be able to get ahead.

SKT Telecom’s Faker is the best mid laner, if not best player in the game. Alongside him in renown stands Team Solomid’s Bjergsen.

Here’s a clip of Faker demonstrating his abilities: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAzBFFWXb_Q 

Here’s Bjergsen in the mid lane: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzemoC2Y3F8

Now while the mid lane moves around a lot, there’s a role that moves around the map even more, which brings us to the final role: the jungler.

Jungler

The jungler is a tough role and position to play in League of Legends as a jungler takes a similar role to the top lane as a tank or bruiser. But what separates junglers from the top laners is that the jungler moves all across Summoner’s Rift, acting as a support for the whole team by coming in and ganking lanes to secure kill and objectives, clearing the jungle monster camps for gold and experience, and securing jungle objectives such as dragon, rift herald or baron.

What makes the jungler so difficult is that they act basically as a doctor monitoring the heartbeats of each lane to make sure they don’t flat-line. They have to be quick judges of when to come in and fight or when its too dangerous or risky to attempt anything.

They are also key in establishing your team’s vision of the map by placing wards or killing the scuttle crab, while eliminating the enemy’s vision by destroying wards. Vision is key for monitoring enemy movement in case of ganks and watching objectives.

SKT Telecom’s Blank and Cloud 9’s Svenskeren are two popular jungles who know how to play their positions well.

Check Blank out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roiUzMkKphw

Svenskeren knows what the jungle is all about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZ9b7Q5ROug

Putting it all together:

So now that we’ve gone through all the roles and their essentials, you may be asking yourself how this all fits into the lanes of League of Legends.

Here is where to put each role in each lane:

Bottom Lane - ADC and Support

Mid Lane - APC

Top Lane - Tank or Bruiser

Jungle - Jungler Tank or Bruiser

You may also be interested in:

LOL Roles and How to Play Each One Effectively

5 Biggest LOL Esports Tournaments 2018

League of Legends 5 Interesting Facts You Need to Know about Patch 8.6

 

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After somewhat surviving with his sanity intact after playing ranked in League of Legends, Nate wants to help players enjoy League of Legends and not be so salty.
Gamer Since: 2000
Favorite Genre: Pro-gaming
Top 3 Favorite Games:League of Legends, Mass Effect 3, Tales from the Borderlands: A Telltale Game Series
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