Players are formed into 2 teams of 5 Champions (3 on the Twisted Treeline map). As of June 13, 2013, there are 114 different Champions from which to choose. Each player begins at opposing sides of a map near a building called a Nexus. A match is won when either team's Nexus is destroyed. To destroy a Nexus, each team must work through a series of Turrets placed along a path to each base referred to as a Lane. Along the way, each player gains levels from killing the opposing team's Champions and Minions (NPCs that regularly spawn and attack the other team) and defeating neutral monsters. Completing objectives rewards players with gold which is used to purchase items, making their Champion stronger.
A match puts two teams with a fixed number of players against each other. Each team has its base, which contains the re-spawn point, item shop and nexus. The two bases are connected by lanes. Periodically, waves of minions spawn from the nexus, AI-controlled troops that walk down the lanes, engaging any enemies they encounter. The lanes are lined with turrets that engage enemies within range. Once a turret is destroyed, it cannot be rebuilt. Each lane has an inhibitor on both ends. Inhibitor is a building that prevents powerful "super minions" from being spawned for the enemy team. The team that destroyed an inhibitor will gain a temporary advantage, but inhibitors will respawn after 5 minutes.