League of Legends devs respond to EU server split controversy

Tom Hatfield at

League of Legends server map thumb

Previously we brought you the news that League of Legends will be dividing its European servers into EU West, and EU East and Nordic blocks. This decision has caused some controversy (and a lot of Cold War jokes) from European fans of the game, upset that they will be unable to play with their friends across the East/West divide. Speaking to Eurogamer, Riot Games defended their decision.

"Extensive research" was done into at least "a dozen" alternatives before the decision was made, said the developer. They admit that "this is not a perfect solution," but say it's "by far the best way to offer a consistently stable service and a great player experience in a short time frame."

Mirko Gozzo, managing director of Riot Games Dublin office spoke about the thinking behind the split: "Before making this decision we took a very hard look at how people were making friends playing League of Legends. From our research – and this was very surprising to us – statistically, Scandinavian summoners have more friends in Eastern Europe. We considered a wide variety of scenarios when planning for this split, and this was the solution that preserved the greatest number of friend connections in Europe."

When asked about whether the smaller servers would result in more people speaking their own language, Gozzo responded: "Actually, if you’re having a look at the split, we have more than ten different countries in each platform. There is no real reason for people to start speaking only their own language during matches from one day to the other if they’re playing with summoners from another country. We really believe the same existing pattern will apply after the split: players will ask what nationalities you’re from, and will adapt based on that. Of course, if you, as a Polish person, join a team with other Polish players, you’ll probably speak Polish!"

Riot games have also offered one free server transfer to anyone who would prefer to play on the other side of the border.