LoL pros voice concerns over artificial 35ms ping at MSI

Lee Jones • May 11, 2022 3:49 pm

The artificial 35ms ping currently in use at the League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational is coming under fire from players at the event.

The ping is being added as a result of scheduling issues surrounding this year’s Asia Games as well as the current strict lockdown and quarantining rules in China. LPL’s Royal Never Give Up is not able to attend the event in person. To create a level playing field, Riot Games decided to enforce an artificial 35ms ping for all MSI matches. It includes those played on LAN between non-Chinese teams.

Only days into the tournament, players have now complained that the ping does not feel as low as expected. Multiple have claimed that the on-stage experience feels closer to 60ms-80ms.

It may seem small to the casual player, but this decision has a significant impact on mechanics at a professional level. This has even led to T1’s Faker predicting a meta shift to accommodate the change.

Impact, Oner and Doublelift speak out

After the first two days of the competition, multiple players across different teams have had their say on the situation.

Evil Geniuses top laner Jeong “Impact” Eon-young initially explained his dislike for the ping being implemented in the first place during an interview with Korizon. He likened it to footballers playing with “sandbags on their feet.” He then explained that the solo queue experience from Busan, where the event is being held, would have roughly 15ms ping in comparison.

T1’s jungler Moon “Oner” Hyeon-joon then outlined to MGG how they were assured that “the ping from the hotel and the venue is the same”. This allows the players to practice in scrims under the same 35ms delay as the MSI stage. Comparing them, he said “it feels like it’s a bit more laggy and the reaction speed is a lot slower.” The Korean player added that it made playing stage matches “very annoying and uncomfortable.”

While no longer a professional player, the famous bot laner Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng also shared his thoughts. Thanks to his significant audience, he was able to pass information on from TSM bot laner Edward “Tactical” Ra.

Doublelift had heard from the former Team Liquid player that the ping at MSI “feels more like 60ms with packet loss” and is “really inconsistent which makes the game very laggy… it doesn’t feel like 35ms, it feels like way more.”

What should Riot do about the 35ms delay at MSI?

The decision to play at 35ms ping was already a controversial one. Several factors make it fundamentally unfair to all parties. RNG being able to play from their own facilities may give them an advantage. Many Korean players are also playing on three to four times more ping than they will have ever experienced in a competitive setting.

However, this new development is arguably a harder predicament for Riot to solve. If the ping really is set to 35ms, to their best efforts, then making things fair in the eyes of those competing on-site could mean lowering that to an amount that feels like 35ms to the players. That could, in turn, lead to Chinese players technically being on a higher ping than their opponents; this being the primary issue that Riot Games had tried to avoid.

The developers are yet to announce any plans on a fix, though they will surely be working on a solution given the current displeasure from those competing in one of only two international events in LoL’s yearly calendar.

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