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Game Objectives

Summoners Rift

Overview map of Summoners Rift This game format is for two teams of five players. Each team starts at their spawn point next to their Nexus and item shop in the far corners of the map. There are three main lanes that go from one corner to the opposite corner. They are called the Top, Mid and Bottom lanes. The basic object of this game is to help your minions fight down the lanes destroying the turrets, inhibitors and finally the Nexus of the opposing team. The other team is trying to do the same thing in the other direction.
How you help win the game. Minions will appear in waves and go down one of the lanes. You can help them by killing the enemies minions and by harassing or killing the enemy champions. For each enemy you kill you will earn experience to go up in levels improving your skills, and by earning gold that you spend at the item shop. You should also try not to die since it will give gold to your enemies so they can buy better weapons and armor.
Attacking a turretTurrets are statues that shoot at enemies within range, they deal a significant amount of damage and are hard to destroy. The best strategy is to push your lane so that the turret is shooting your minions and you can shoot it. The turret will attack the closest minions first, however if you attack a champion that is in the turret range it will start to target you instead so be careful. If you destroy a turret, your team will earn some extra gold.
At the end of each lane is another turret and something called the inhibitor. If you destroy the inhibitor that lane will spawn super minions that are very tough and they are needed to help take down the Nexus turrets and then the Nexus itself. You must destroy the turrets and inhibitor in sequence for the lane, but once one of the inhibitors is down then the Nexus turrets and Nexus can be destroyed. However the more lane turrets and inhibitors you destroy the easier it it is to destroy the nexus.
Destroying a NexusOnce the enemy nexus is destroyed the game is over. But don't be too slow about it. After a while the inhibitors will respawn and you will have to destroy them again. Another reason to not go too slow is that the longer the game runs the longer your death timer is (how long till you respawn after you die).
So that is the basic idea, but the fun part is in the champions you can play and their amazing abilities. Also that you are playing as a team of five agains another team of five. So much can happen, and it usually does.

Dominion (Crystal Scar)

The Crystal Scar Map Dominion is a game of two teams of five players each. It is played on a map called the Crystal Scar. The teams start on their spawn points next to their item shop with a barrier keeping you locked in for the first few minutes to get prepared. The map is a circle of control points, five in all, that you must capture and hold for as long as possible. If you hold more points than the other team their score will go down each second. The more you hold the faster it will go down. The first team whose points reach zero loses the game.
How to win the game. This game is much faster paced than Summoner's rift. You start with 3 levels and the gold you receive periodically has been sped up considerably so farming minions is not as priority has capturing and holding the points. The point at the middle top (Windmill) is usually the most contested and it is equal distance from both teams starting point so usually four players will go top at the start of the game. The bottom has a point close to your spawn point and one close to theirs (Boneyard or Claw), usually one champion with good defensive skills goes bottom, or one that wants to farm up for gold.
Much like the turrets, the capture points will attack enemy minions first and then champions, or if a champion attacks another champion it will change target to the enemy champion. You can disable the point's attacks by starting the capture of the point. During this capture phase any significant damage you take will break the capturing and you have to wait a few seconds to continue capturing.
Dominion is fast and fun, usually lasting 20-30 minutes, and is good for champions with good mobility. Don't get discouraged if you lose a few capture points, grouping up and pushing can turn the tide in your favor. I have seen some games come back with a 200 point deficit. Real exciting stuff.

Twisted Treeline

Map of Twisted TreelineThe Twisted Treeline is a map designed for 2 teams of three players. Each team starts on their spawn platform near their item shop on opposite sides of the map. There are two lanes along the top and bottom of the map that lead to the other teams nexus. The object is very similar to Summoners Rift where you help your minions push their lanes, destroy their turrets, inhibitors and finally the nexus. This map also has an added element of two altars in the jungle that can be captured by your team giving them a boost for a set amount of time.
Bonus Altars in the Twisted Treeline JungleHow to help win the game. Usually two players will take the top lane and one will take the bottom, though some teams like to switch that up. The gold is a bit faster but farming will help you develop your champ faster than your opponent. The altars bonus is also significant so you should try to hold them as long as possible. Another downside to this map is the lack of wards so visibility is an issue. Just push the lanes, take down the turrets, protect the altars, don't die. Simple right?

ARAM (Howling Abyss)

Map of the Howling Abyss (ARAM)This game mode came from the community which wanted to just fight and not deal with all of the farming aspect of Summoners Rift. Riot has made it into a standard game mode. ARAM stands for All Random All Mid. Two teams of five players get a random champion at the start of the game. Each team starts on opposite sides of a bridge next to their item shop. They can shop as long as they stay on their platform, if they leave the shop is closed for them and they cannot buy again until they die. Another feature is the spawn point does not heal you like it does in the other game modes. You start at level three, and your periodic gold comes in pretty fast. The objective is to push the lane (middle lane, thats all there is) destroying their turrets, inhibitor and eventually the nexus.
This game play style is pretty fast and you get to try out many champions that you would not normally use, and in combinations not often seen in regular play. This randomness can be fun, or it can be frustrating especially if the other team is out-ranging you and poking you all game. There is a re-roll button for players that have saved enough points up. Again, no wards are available, and some other items that are just too tanky and will slow the game down.
What this map is good for is just getting in and murdering people (Sometimes it is called Murder Bridge). Its fun practice for team fights, and most people do not get too upset when things go bad because, Hey! Its random!

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