League of Learning: Top Lane

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Written and Media by Miguel Fabela.

Welcome soon-to-be Summoners! Hopefully, you have seen the past articles about the e-sport “League of Legends.” If you haven’t, here is a link to the very first article to catch you up. Today we will be discussing the top lane role, which many of the people in the “League” community has thought of it as the island of the five roles. This is actually true because very seldom does anyone come to the top lane during the game. 


Top lane is a role that requires solid solo play along with great map awareness to avoid ganks from the enemy jungler or mid-laner. A gank is a surprise attack on an enemy champion. Ganks are usually coordinated and executed by the jungler or a roaming laner as well as the laner receiving the gank. Early gank attempts often try to catch the enemy champion off guard and kill them before they can reach the safety of their tower or teammates.

Usually, the top laner is a bruiser or a tank, who is a part of the “frontline” that we talked about in a previous article. A bruiser is a champion that can deal a decent amount of damage while still being able to take the damage being dealt by the enemy team. It may sound like a boring role to be a tank, but here is a video of one of the best top laners in the world with Team SoloMid’s Hauntzer in the top lane making a flashy play!

Hauntzer's Gragas (2017 NA LCS Spring Finals)

Take a closer look at Hauntzer's solo kill with Gragas from the 2017 #NALCS Spring Finals!

Posted by LOL Esports on Tuesday, April 25, 2017



Top laners’ objectives for the game are to make sure they can look for opportunities around the map to help their team. These opportunities are called TP plays that can change the outcome of a team fight. TP stands for teleport, which is a summoner spell that you can choose before the game starts to teleport you to a place on the map. The only way you can use teleport is on an ally’s tower or ally’s ward. The video below explains how to effectively use teleport as a top laner.

There are really two types of top laners: split pushers or team fighters. A split pusher is going to have to rely on their own ability to push their lane to the tower with the risk of their team having to fight with a number disadvantage. This is where teleport comes in; split pushing top laners can use teleport if they know they cannot destroy the tower before their team gets engaged in a fight. This gives the split pusher’s team a chance to flank the enemy team and an opportunity for an ace. An “ace” is when you kill the entire enemy team (all five members).


Team fighters are usually tanks that want to frontline and soak up damage like the supports. They can be essential for winning the team fights because they are responsible for “peeling” for the carries. Peeling is essentially protecting your teammates by using their crowd control (CC) abilities. Now, this is only a basic definition of what it means to peel. The video below will go into more detail on what it really means to peel for your team. 

Whether you choose to be on the risky side and be a split pusher for your team or the reliable team fighter that peels the enemies from your carries, there are always crucial decisions to be made in the top lane. That concludes this session of League of Learning–stay tuned for the next article about the Jungle role!


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