Riot's ambitious plan to "optimise the internet" for League of Legends players

Maker of world's most popular game has created its own network in bid to combat ping disparity.

Video game company Riot has built its own network and is working with big ISPs in a bid to "optimise the internet" for League of Legends players.

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Riot's direct network sets the company up as something akin to a tier 2 network.

Riot's new network, which should be up and running by the end of March, is designed to address ping disparity across the US and Canada and should make for a more reliable and responsive gaming experience for players of the massively popular MOBA.

In a post on the League of Legends forum, Riot's Charlie Hauser said the way ISPs currently route internet traffic is not ideal for video games. So to combat this Riot is working with ISPs to have League of Legends players peer directly with its new network.

"Currently, ISPs focus primarily on moving large volumes of data in seconds or minutes, which is good for buffered applications like YouTube or Netflix but not so good for real-time games, which need to move very small amounts of data in milliseconds," he said.

"On top of that, your internet connection might bounce all over the country instead of running directly to where it needs to go, which can impact your network quality and ping whether the game server is across the country or right down the street."

The hope is the League of Legend's direct network will give North American players less ping time, less network packet loss and fewer disconnects.

"Faster ping time is often reported by players to 'feel' better and is often something that is reported to be more meaningful the better you are at playing a game," added Riot's vice president of network operations, Ron Williams.

"Our goal is benefit the most players and then troubleshoot ISPs that still have players with poor network quality."

Riot's network is an ambitious move for a video game company, and a big investment, but it makes sense given the number of people who play League of Legends. It is currently the most popular video game in the world: 67 million play every month, 27 million play every day, and over 7.5 million play at the same time during each day's peak play time.

UK League of Legend players will wonder whether Riot plans a similar initiative for Europe. We've asked for comment.

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Wesley Yin-Poole

Wesley Yin-Poole

Deputy Editor

Wesley is Eurogamer's deputy editor. He likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.

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