League of Legends Beginners Guide: What are the Lanes?

League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /
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Jinx. League of Legends.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /

We break down all the lanes so that beginners can understand, finally moving to the bot lane.

Bot lane

Finally, we have the bottom lane, running from the southwest corner along the bottom and right side of the map to the northeast corner. This lane is the mirror opposite of the top lane, so wherever the brushes and pit in the river are situated on the top side of the map, they’ll be flipped on the bot side.

As we discussed above, this lane is special because of its proximity to those oh-so-important dragons that are available to take in the early game. Having the ability to get a lead early, push your opponent to their tower or damage them enough that they’re forced to back, is the primary way to get dragons easily. If the enemy bot lane is too hurt to contest you, too scared to leave their turret, or will miss too many minions by going to contest you, you have “pressure” on the bottom side.

This same concept of pressure applies in both the mid lane and top lane as well, but it’s not quite as prevalent there because of the types of champions you have in those lanes and their location. In top lane, having pressure doesn’t reap the same benefit that it would in the bottom lane, because there is only the Rift Herald to take as opposed to all the constantly-spawning dragons. Rift Herald takes a long time to kill, so just having the enemy pushed under tower might not be enough time for you and the jungler to take the Herald like you could with a dragon.

As for mid lane, because the champions played in those lanes can either roam easily (assassins) or clear/push waves out easily (mages), having pressure in mid lane doesn’t give the same opportunity to get an objective that pressure does in the bot lane. This is why typically you will see lots of teleport plays and ganks on bot lane because there are more advantages that can be gained by getting kills and pressure on that side of the map in the early part of the game than anywhere else.

Because there is so much emphasis on this side of the map, most meta play dictates having two players from each team in the bot lane at all times. This is so that if one player gets heavily damaged or killed, it’s not an automatic lost objective since the other can potentially damage or dissuade the enemy team from taking a dragon.

The types of champions that are played in bot lane are ones that often pair together to complement each other’s weaknesses. First, we have the fragile, immobile carry (usually a marksman) whose job it is to safely acquire gold. These champions start off very weak and need items before they reach the point they become strong enough to do meaningful damage.

How to draft and execute a teamfight comp. dark. Next

As a result, they are protected by or paired with supports, whose job it is to not take creeps in the lane but instead rely on their base abilities to heal, shield, or protect the fragile carry. Basically, these are champions that don’t really need items to do their job well, so they don’t get the last hits or jungle monsters other champions do and just rely on their inherent abilities.

If you enjoyed Part One, check out our next League of Legends Beginners Guide on Gold, Experience, and Laning!