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Esports: The adobo Esports Guide to Mobile Legends Slang – Beginners’ Edition

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The wildly popular app Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, more commonly known as ML, is but one more addition to the rich tapestry of multiplayer online battle arena games (MOBA), a sub-genre characterized by gameplay where opposing teams attempt to destroy the enemy base while defending their own on an isometric map. The subgenre has been around since the late 90s, and as such, much of the terminology used in ML today reflects this history.

Like in any other sport, the gaming community needed ways to clearly and quickly communicate to fellow teammates during matches, in addition to using phrases from the game developers themselves. Gradually, the earliest MOBA communities, largely consisting of Gen-X and Millennial developers and gamers at the time, coined terms and phrases that became the basis for a whole new lingo altogether. A mashup of internet-speak, developer terms, player jargon, and even phrases used in other types of games; today’s MOBA gamer speak is both universal and dynamic—spanning continents, but constantly evolving from one game to the next.

As we pause to tune—or battle it out—in the first-ever adobo Esports Mobile Legends Mythical Bowl, you too can easily decode the secrets of gamer speak. To help you out, we put together a beginner’s guide to ML—how it works and the most commonly used terms in the arena.  



General Game Description

  • Two teams consisting of five players square off in an online battle arena.
  • The objective of the game is to destroy the opposing team’s base, while defending your own from attack.
  • Players can better their chances of winning by using different strategies, mastering different heroes and abilities, and buying different items with gold amassed during the match.
  • The game is played on an isometric map with three lanes, Top, Middle, and Bottom Lane. 
  • Each lane is guarded by a set of towers before leading to the enemy base. 


Terms (Apart from Mobile Legends, many of the terms below exist in other MOBA games as well).


  • Area of Effect or AoE

Used to describe abilities/ spells that affect an area instead of being limited to specific targets.


  • Backdoor

Used to describe a strategy where players attack enemy towers or the enemy base without support from allied minions. Related: See Creep/Minion.


  • Blink 

A sudden teleport ability or spell over a short distance.


  • Brush

Parts of the map covered by grass where players can hide from enemy sight (usually used to set up an ambush or escape an attack).


  • Buff 

A temporary advantage usually gained from an item, ability, or spell, or by killing a special creep. Related: See Creep.


  • Build 

Refers to the set of items and abilities players can purchase or develop during the match to enhance their chosen Hero.


  • Burst damage 

Sudden damage, which is usually quite high.


  • Cast /Casting 

Amount of time it takes to deploy an ability or spell.

Can also refer to someone who narrates the events of a game or match for an audience. 


  • Carry

The player expected to be the primary damage-dealer or killer of a  team.


  • Creep 

Used to loosely refer to basic AI-controlled units in the game that give surrounding players gold when killed, such as allied and enemy minions and neutral monsters/mobs within the map.


  • Crowd Control or CC 

Abilities that can disable or hinder the performance of enemy players. Several exist in Mobile Legends, including:

    • Stun – Abilities/spells that render a player unable to attack, move, and use their abilities/spells  or items for a period of time.
    • Silence – Abilities/spells that render a player unable to use their spells for a period of time.


  • Cooldown

The amount of time before an ability/spell is ready again after use.


  • Farm

Refers to gaining gold during a match, usually done by killing enemy players and minions or neutral creeps. Related: See Creep.


  • Feeding 

The act of dying several times during a match and inadvertently contributing to the gold of the enemy team.


  • Ganking

Originally the abbreviation for gang kill. Used to describe a strategy where players attempt to move together to attack, or gang up on an enemy player, usually done by surprise.


  • Good Game, Well Played (GGWP) 

An expression used to congratulate another player, usually after a kill or towards the end of a match.


  • Harass 

To attack the enemy with small amounts of damage, overtime weakening their performance. Also known as Poke.


  • Last Hit 

The act of dealing the last attack that kills a minion or creep, thereby giving the player more gold. Related: See Creep


  • Lord

An AI-controlled character or monster in the game that is the most difficult to kill. Killing Lord grants bonus gold to the team upon death and aids in battle. 

Also known as the Sanctuary Lord.


  • Meta 

Short for metagame. An expression that can be used to refer to Heroes or Builds or strategies that are popular during a certain period of time.


  • Push/Split-push – actively harming enemy towers, split push means doing this in more than one lane, forcing enemies to half their forces (see towers) 


  • Rotation

The act of moving from one part of the map to another. 


  • Tank

The player that is most suited to take damage due to increased chances for survivability. This Hero will usually have  high armor/high HP/high regen or all of the above.


  • Turtle

An AI-controlled character or monster in the game. Killing Turtle grants bonus gold and a buff to the team upon death.


  • Ultimate 

Used to refer to a Hero’s fourth ability, which is usually the strongest or most useful ability.
Also known as the Ulti or SS, an abbreviation for Special/Super Skill.


  • Vision

Used to describe what parts of the map are visible to a team at a given time.



The adobo Esports Season 1: Mobile Legends Mythical Bowl inter-agency tournament is co-presented by Globe, powered by ASUS ROG Phone 3 and Mountain Dew, and supported by E-Project.

Catch live games, team standings, and replays on the adobo Esports channel


Partner with adobo Magazine

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