Lucky League of Legends players in certain regions might soon experience the benefits of a smoother connection thanks to Riot’s special direct network coming online.
Earlier this year, we detailed an initiative by Riot that aimed to create a direct network for League of Legends games. This network hoped to improve the connection of League of Legends players, resulting in less ping time, less network packet loss, and fewer disconnects. It sounded crazy. But now the entire thing is less of an idea, and more of a reality.
Riot reports that they’ve installed the necessary hardware in a few select regions of the US, and a good deal of the eastern seaboard has hopped online onto the network.
As a general note, players in these [the eastern seaboard] likely won’t feel much of a difference in their ping since it’s an ongoing process to work with local ISP offices to route their League data to the closest PoP. Even then, we’re seeing at best a 10% reduction in ping in the most positive cases.
What players near these PoPs WILL experience is less packet loss and a more stable connection, since their data isn’t hopping across every internet exchange between them and the game servers, instead now following a direct path along our dedicated network.
Ok, that sounds neat, what’s the catch?
Bringing a PoP online doesn’t work perfectly for everyone at the get-go. It’s the start of an ongoing process as we work with partnered ISPs to make sure they’re efficiently handing off your data to our network. Lots of this is handled by algorithms, which can sometimes go a little wonky when we introduce new PoPs.
If you discover your connection actually gets markedly worse, don’t panic! Inform both your ISP customer support as well as support.riotgames.com. Between the two of us, we should be able to figure out what’s happening to your data and get things running smoothly.
As a helpful reminder, it’s always a good idea to double check your own connection at home before investigating issues with your ISP. For some players, seemingly innocent things like router location or playing on wifi can have big ping implications. More connection troubleshooting info can be found on the Riot support site.
That’s great and all, but what about the rest of the country? Don’t worry. Everyone will be on the network soon enough, Riot says:
We’re already at work setting up hardware in the remaining PoPs (Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles) along the South Bridge of the network. Dallas and Denver should be online within the next month and LA within about two, but we’ll keep you posted if we hit any hiccups.
The other big news to report is an update to the list of partnered ISPs. What this means is these ISP partners are actively working with our team to funnel your League traffic to the closest PoP onramp to our direct network. Don’t fret if you don’t yet see your ISP on this list, as odds are we’re already in active talks with them! At this point, we’ve now implemented, are working to implement, or are negotiating peering agreements with the 20 largest ISPs in NA.
Partnered ISPs (new additions in bold):
Atlas Networks Corporation
Comcast Cable Communications
CTS Communications Corp
Rogers Cable Communications
Saskatchewan Telecommunications (SaskTel)
Time Warner Cable
If your ISP isn’t on that list, don’t fret. Riot says they’re “still working on getting all 20 of the biggest ISPs figured out, some just take a little longer.”