What does it mean to get ‘ganked’ in gaming?

Have you been ganked? Welcome to the club.

Image via Riot Games

When you start playing a game, the core mechanics aren’t the only aspects you must master. Alongside grasping the basics, you’ll also need to become familiar with the commonly used terms and slang, like ‘ganking.’

Doing so will help you be on the same page with your teammates, especially in games with a voice chat feature.

Related: Riot is making big changes to how jungle ganking works in League Patch 13.3

So, what is ganking in gaming?

What does ganking mean in gaming?

While you can get ganked in almost all multiplayer games, the term usually sees more usage in MOBA titles like League of Legends, Dota 2, and SMITE

What is ganking?

Ganking happens when a group of players works together to kill a lone player. The ganking party also tends to have the element of surprise on their side. And the term can be used to describe different scenarios, depending on the genre or type of game.

What does ganking mean in MMORPGs?

The term can also describe griefing in MMORPGs like World of Warcraft, mainly in PvP servers. Ganking a player in an MMORPG can prevent them from completing missions or simply enjoying their game.

Despite its negative reputation in MMORPGs, ganking is a valuable strategy to get ahead of the enemy team in MOBAs. It generally occurs during the later stages of the early game when champions or heroes start picking up mobility items. Ganking can also occur during late games, but it’ll be more challenging to find a player by themselves by that point. 

What does ganking mean in League of Legends?

In League of Legends, junglers are usually responsible for a decent chunk of the early-game ganks. A gank in League will occur when a jungler makes their way toward a lane as sneakily as possible to take out the enemy laner with their teammate’s help.

What does ganking mean in Dota 2?

Though jungling doesn’t exist as a set role in Dota 2, there’s a role that does most of the ganking. The fourth position, or the roaming support, will move around the map considerably more than the other roles. Characters picked for this role excel at starting ganks due to their stunning or slowing abilities.

What does ganking mean in real-life scenarios?

While it can be used in gaming scenarios, you may also notice it is used to describe real-life scenarios. If one of your friends suddenly turns off their microphone on Discord or in the game, you can assume they were ganked by their parents or roommates.

The term ganking usually describes a person getting disrupted by a third party when they weren’t expecting it—whether in-game or in real life.


Hayley Andrews
Hayley is a gamer, writer, and author with a background in Business. Hayley graduated with a dual degree in Business Management and Human Resource Management in Australia. She spent many years in business until she found her passion for creative writing and the gaming industry. When she’s not indulging in the latest anime, she can be found reading or playing video games.

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Gökhan Çakır
Strategical Content Writer and Fortnite Lead for Dot Esports. Gökhan Çakır graduated as an industrial engineer in 2020 and has since applied his analytical and strategic thinking to many endeavors. As a natural-born gamer, he honed his skills to a professional level in Dota 2. Upon giving up on the Aegis of Champions in 2019, Gökhan started his writing career, covering all things gaming while his heart remains a lifetime defender of the Ancients.

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