Yesterday, Riot's lead content designer Morello posted an article on offical forum talking about updates to Champion Role Names. And the new role names will be applied on upcoming patch 3.10. Here are the details:
A champion's role roughly defines the type of value they contribute to a team, or else communicates the fundamentals of their playstyle. It sets expectations for what a player's experience will be like and what they can do for their team. At Riot, we see a champion's place in the game as some combination of primary and secondary roles from the following list.
An assassin is an agile champion that specializes in killing or disabling high value targets. Focused on infiltration, deception, and mobility, assassins are opportunistic hunters who find favorable moments within a fight before jumping into the fray. Regardless of the size of the enemy team, assassins specialize in positioning and artful killing. They strike when the time is right – no sooner, no later.
Mages are mostly ranged champions who prioritize powerful abilities over basic attacks. Typically mages are characterized by some combination of long-range, area-effect or high-utility spells to get the job done. A skilled mage can have a huge impact on any team with their versatile skillsets and flexible playstyle.
Tanks are durable, front-line champions that help lock down enemies and start fights. They're usually found leading the charge, choosing the right times and situations to initiate aggression. Many tanks can also protect their more fragile teammates by stunning or pushing around dangerous foes and limiting their damage potential.
Supports make plays by enabling their allies through buffs and heals, or by disrupting enemy lines through crowd control. From laning to late game teamfights, supports create advantages and opportunities for their teammates to capitalize on. A skilled support gives their team the edge it needs to claim victory, and can turn the tide of battle with just one well-timed play.
Fighters are melee combatants that possess a mix of offensive and defensive capabilities. While they don't have as much utility as a tank or as much damage as an assassin, a fighter's damage will add up over time to make them a major threat. Each fighter has a unique blend of mobility, damage, disruption and durability.
A marksman is a ranged attacker that sacrifices defensive power and utility to focus on dealing strong, continuous damage to individual targets. Typically focused on using their basic attacks more than their abilities, marksmen have the capability to scale and deal out devastating levels of damage in the late phase of any game.
By the way, using the term "marksman" over the colloquial "AD carry" is deliberate. Calling the role marksman defines it in a more clear and accurate way – plus AD carry is a bit of a holdover from when an AD player was always expected to carry a team. League is a game about teamwork and it's inaccurate to say that marksman is the only role, or even the primary role, to carry teams to victory. A lot of people will still call it AD carry, and that's fine
, but for the places we use this officially, we'll be using marksman. It's a semantic change, but it's important to note here just to let you know it's coming.
Some of these roles are obvious fits for a champion, like Brand being a mage
or Nautilus being a tank
, but others are more nuanced or embody a combination of roles. This helps us define what the champion brings to the table and lets us get on the same page about the types of expectations you can have for a champion. For example, Mordekaiser is primarily a mage, but also a fighter. It's also worth mentioning that we're relatively stat agnostic when it comes to considering roles – Pantheon and Annie are both mages, for example, because they rely primarily on their abilities for damage, but the former is attack damage based while the latter is ability power based.
Source from: LoL official forum