Summoner is a colloquial term used to refer to the Player to distinguish them from the player-controlled Champions. The term originates from the game's , wherein the Institute of War–and its employed Summoners–acted as a supreme government over the entirely of Runeterra and its people. While players no longer exist in-universe, the term is still used out-of-universe, for example: Summoner Spells, the Summoner's Code and the Summoner's Cup.
The term summoner may still appear within lore, but should be interpreted descriptively.
Ancient battles between two summoner factions symbolised with the Stag and Owl crests waged on the field known as Summoner's Rift. Helped by , the war between both sides has changed the landscape and mutated the local flora and fauna. Now the battlefield is littered with the ruins of both sides and is a residence of a powerful and .
In modern times, summoners are types of magic or non-magic users that summon minions, monsters, or structures for their use. Most summonings are done by magical means by the use of mana, or by the use of powerful artifacts. Bilgewater Serpent Callers use hollowed out pillars to mimic the screams and screeches of the denizens of the deep, summoning them to the surface or chasing them away. One such serpent was called upon during one of the recent Harrowings to aid Bilgewater against the undying horde's onslaught.
A player in League of Legends takes on the role of a summoner, a gifted spell caster who has the power to bring forth a champion to fight as their avatar in the Fields of Justice. With all major political decisions on Valoran now decided by the outcome of the contests that take place in the battle arenas, a summoner is the key force of change on the continent. As the summoner controls the champion in combat, the summoner also influences the outcome of the match through the use of summoner spells, runes, and masteries. Once a match is over, the summoner gains Experience and Influence Points. Experience points allow the summoner to gain increased powers by unlocking additional spells and rune slots, while influence points allow the summoner to gain access to new champions and new runes for use in future fights.
(As of late 2014, Riot has stated that the concept of a Summoner (as found in the lore of the game) is to be altered, Institute of War is going to be removed and thus the in-lore League of Legends is to be "Fully Relaunched" again.)
The Summoner's Code is a list of rules and guidelines that Riot Games Inc. provides to the players to abide to when participating in competitive play. If a summoner disobeys this code they might find themselves suspended for an amount of time. Repeated and/or severe infractions will incur harsher penalties. Any player can report a summoner that has disobeyed the code in a match; if this summoner gets reported a sufficient number of times, his actions will be reviewed by other summoners in the Tribunal.
The Summoner profile page is the players personal page, which is accessible and part of the PVP.net interface. Its primary use is to track the players game statistics, to showcase game achievements and players champions roster. It also has several customizable esthetics features to better visually distinguish a player amidst other League of Legends players (for example: profile banners, frames, and summoner icons), and bonus pre-game customizable features which use is to enhance players champion stats and also to add different bonus abilities before each match. These bonuses fall into three categories: summoner spells, runes, and masteries.
Summoners are allowed the use of any two of the summoner spells during any battle in the Fields of Justice, many are available from the start while others are unlocked through gaining levels. These spells are controlled by the left hand and significantly impact gameplay. There is one specific mastery in Preseason 4 that lowers the cooldown of summoner spells, which is Summoner's Insight
Before a battle arena match begins, a summoner can make use of Runes to enhance their champion's abilities. Runes can only be purchased with Influence Points at the Riot Store.
Runes may not be bought with Riot Points. This is to help prevent people from buying power, although you can acquire runes faster by buying an Influence Points Boost.
Masteries are perks that affect gameplay, they are commonly referred to in other games as "skill-trees". All of the masteries are passive effects although some augment summoner spells, which can be activated. A summoner is able to focus their intense magical training into specific categories (Offensive, Defensive, and Utility). Each group has 6 tiers, within a group all but the first tier are locked when you first start, with a successive tier opening with each 4 points spent in the same group. Lines in the mastery tree imply additional unlocking criteria. The summoner can put one point per level (up to level 30) into masteries. Masteries can be re-distributed at will between battles. Since May 23, 2011, summoners are allowed to have multiple saved mastery pages.