Quick reaction times and clutch decision-making can be the keys to success in League of Legends, and ping can have a big say in either attribute. But how big of a difference does a low ping really make?
Professional League of Legends games are usually run with the lowest ping possible to make the games as evenly competitive as possible. This provides the players with the best chance to react to small things within the game. The same doesn’t go for solo queue play, where the ping can be very different from server to server. It also depends on the location of the player, giving some solo queue players an automatic disadvantage.
The importance of a low ping shouldn’t be underestimated, so it’s time to look at how exactly it can affect the game.
Ping will always be important in online games, as the ping is used to measure the time it takes for data to be sent from a local host to the destination computer and back. In League of Legends, this means the time that it takes the specific player to send in-game packets of data to the Riot servers, and for Riot to then send them back. The longer this process takes, the higher will the ping be.
In a normal game on the EUW server, the ping is expected to be around 40-70 in most cases while some players can experience a ping all the way as low as 10. The difference between a ping of 10 and 70 can be pretty big, even though it might not look like it at the first glance.
A ping of 10 means that there will be close to no delay between actions within the game. This will allow the player to react to certain things very fast and to potentially get an advantage when dodging skill shots, flashing for a kill, or smiting an objective.
With a ping of 70 and higher, the time between something happening in the game and it reaching the player’s screen can be bigger. According to many pro players, a delay like this can lower the level of skill expression available. This has especially been the case for North American pro players, where the solo queue ping is known to be relatively high. As professional players are accustomed to playing on a ping around 1 in tournament games, the solo queue ping difference can be hard to deal with.
A recent example of a great utilization of a low ping was made by Gen.G content creator and former professional mid laner Tim “Nemesis” Lipovšek. Nemesis is currently staying in South Korea, where he is blessed with a very low solo queue ping on the Korean LoL servers.
In a recent solo queue game, Nemesis got to use the low ping to outplay the enemy Akali while playing on Kayle. The Akali was about to assassinate him with a quick combo, but with a ping of 9, Nemesis had time to use his Divine Judgment (R) to gain invulnerability and turn the fight. The quick reactions secured Nemesis a kill that likely wouldn’t have been possible on the EUW or NA servers.
On a server with a higher ping, it’s expected that Nemesis wouldn’t have had time to reach the last dash of Akali. Being on low health with an Akali charging, Nemesis would have taken the lethal hit. Players on the Western servers have been complaining about high pings for years at this point. and it doesn’t look like it will get better any time soon.