Esports is one of the fasting growing industries today, and with many of the most prominent games having a deep grassroots history, there is a lot of terms being thrown around that, while common for many gamers, will leave many more people feeling lost.
That’s why we at ggn00b are here to provide you with the ultimate glossary of esports terms and phrases so that you have background knowledge on anything and everything. Take a peek and get learnin’!
Common Terms And Phrases In Video Games
Meta (or Metagame)
In esports/competitive gaming, meta or metagame refers to the current way the game is played to win at a high-level setting. It can refer to tactics/characters used, strategies employed in game, or even studying opponents and playstyles before heading into the match proper.
A style of play in fighting games that involves keeping a specific, optimal distance between a character and their opponent, using tools such as projectiles, long-ranged attacks, and movement.
RNG stands for “random number generator” and in video games, this refers to any part of a game that has an algorithm which will always produce a random result, meaning it’s impossible for the player to predict the outcome. It’s common in role-playing games, or any games where the enemies, environment, or stats are randomly generated based off a few select factors.
Speedrunning refers to the genre of gaming in which a player tries to complete a game as fast as possible. The rules vary depending on the game, and there are different categories that test different skill per game. You’ll often seen glitches being used or incredible feats of skill that look impossible, but the rule of thumb is generally that if it can be performed in the game using a controller, it’s likely legal for speedruns.
Referring to a 2008 Super Smash Bros. Melee video, the Wombo Combo has become a meme across the esports world for its hilarious, over the top reaction to something happening in game. The commentary has been duped over to other Smash games, other video games such as League of Legends, and even videos of IRL stuff.
Stands for “in real life.” I’m actually praying that you already knew this because if not…how have you even made it this far IRL?
Evo Moment 37
One of the most famous moments in video game history, it refers to Daigo’s legendary parry to combo sequence that clutched a win over Justin Wong at EVO 2004. The significance for the “37” in Evo Moment 37 is that video creator punched in two random numbers; that’s it.
Salt is when players get extremely upset at themselves, their opponents, their teammates, or the game in general, and let their frustration be known by throwing controllers, screaming insults, and lots of profanity. Any time you see a player react negatively with emotion, expect to see salt emojis in Twitch chat or people whispering about how that player must be “salty.”
The Konami Code
A 10-input cheat code that is usable in most Konami games. It often gives the player significant power-ups or serves as an Easter egg. The code has also appeared in non-Konami games, and even outside the video game industry. The code is: up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A.
The act of quitting out of a match or game before it’s finished due to salt or rage. Often accompanied by excessive cussing and/or controllers being thrown.
Teching in fighting games is the act of cancelling the effects of hitstun or throws, allow you to reduce disadvantage state and get back in the action. Teching is present in traditional fighters and games such as the Super Smash Bros. series.
Footsies in fighting games are the battle for space, and encompass all the ideas and maneuvers in the fighting game meta such as spacing, baits, zoning, whiff punishes, and more.
Planking is the act of abusing the ledge invincibility in Super Smash Bros. to camp opponents and stall out the match. Named after famed Smash player Plank.
Stream sniping is the act of using a streamer’s broadcast to get a read on their position in-game and use it to gain the upper hand.
An anti-air is a technique that effectively counters someone who is attacking you with an aerial move. It often involves using a strong upward move (sometimes invincible) on the ground to keep an aerial opponent away.
A tier list a ranking of all the playable characters of any particular game, specifically from a competitive viewpoint. It’s often based on a combination of tournament results as well as discussion on a character’s viability to win a tournament.
Gamergate was viewed as a critique of ethics in gaming journalism by some and a mask for vicious attacks by online mobs by others. Beginning in 2014, Gamergate still leaves more questions asked than answered to this day.
If you can think of more terms you’d like to see added, or if you think we could improve any of the ones posted here, hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will make it happen!