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What are we supposed to call bot laners?

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The eternal dilemma of “AD Carry” rages on.

Riot Games

OK, it’s time to have a conversation. This may be a little too “inside baseball,” but the editors here at the Rift Herald have been debating for over a year what we should call the bot laner role. Not support mind you, the AD Carry, the ADC, the bot laner, the marksman, or whatever. We live in a world of inconsistencies, and it’s time to fix that.

Riot likes to talk about the champions as “Marksmen,” but the role itself is often referred to as “AD Carry” or, more classically “ADC.” However, in the actual champion select, the role is just called “bot.” What the actual hell is this role called? All of those names have issues and we’re gonna talk about them.

Marksman is wrong. In my opinion, it brings the idea of a champion whose excellent at long range. Caitlyn is a marksman, but Lucian and Vayne are not. Those two are duelists, champions who excel at getting in your face and winning one on one fights. Even if you don’t want to talk about how “marksman” makes me feel when I say it, it has one of the major problems that all of these roles face: exclusivity.

See, Riot has been attempting to jumble things up a bit over the years by adding some other players into the “bot” position. Yasuo goes down there sometimes, so does Twisted Fate, or Kennen. This is most notably true with Mordekaiser, a dude whose stated purpose is to lane with a support. Are any of those people marksmen? No. Are they AD Carries? With the exception of Yasuo, no. Even full AD Kennen bursts out his damage in AP.

No name truly fits this role, except for the one that’s been hiding in plain sight the entire time. What about just calling them “carry.” Why not? DOTA does it and it just makes sense. We call the top laner “top” because they play in the top lane. The same is true for both jungle and mid, even though mid is also a carry role. We have to be at least somewhat specific because you can’t just do that with bot. You can’t just say bot because you know who else goes bot lane? The support. So we have to get specific. AD Carry is too limiting, but support and carry? That could work.

Carry is ideal because it’s simple and inclusive. If you’re playing Mord, Lucian, Vayne, Yasuo, Twisted Fate, whatever in the bot lane with a support, you’re trying to carry. It’s the name of the role and the goal.

This might seem like a stupid conversation to have, a waste of reading 500 words. But it isn’t. On-boarding and clarity of roles is extremely important to League’s success. These arbitrary words have meaning because we assign meaning to them. That isn’t to get all philosophical on you, it’s to state the simple truth. Right now, the words we have don’t line up perfectly with the meaning. The role is broader than just AD Carry.

So why don’t we change it for the clarity of new folks and old folks alike?