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Riot plans to optimise the internet for League of Legends players

The bear represents data, going fast through, er, the internet?

The bear represents data, going fast through, er, the internet?

The great thing about the internet is that I just have to plug in a couple of cables and it works without any need to understand why it works. That is, unless it stops working, in which case I can pace angrily across the room until it starts again. It's pretty magical.

But some people not only understand how the internet works, but want it to work better. Based on Riot's latest announcement, you can count them in this latter category. They've got a plan to make League of Legends faster and more stable for its players—in the US and Canada, at least.

"Currently, ISPs focus primarily on moving large volumes of data in seconds or minutes," explains Riot's 'Ahab' on the LoL forum, "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."

In addition, ISPs can bounce around the country, rather than running directly to its intended destination—raising the user's ping even if they're in relatively close physical proximity.

The solution? Rather ambitious. "We’re in the process of creating our own direct network for League traffic and working with ISPs across the US and Canada to connect players to this network."

According to Riot, that network could be ready as early as March. After that, it will be a case of getting the agreements in place with ISPs.

Should it work, Riot expects to see "less ping time, less network packet loss, and more stable connections." For more, you can see the full forum post and subsequent Q&A session here.

Phil Savage

Phil has been writing for PC Gamer for nearly a decade, starting out as a freelance writer covering everything from free games to MMOs. He eventually joined full-time as a news writer, before moving to the magazine to review immersive sims, RPGs and Hitman games. Now he leads PC Gamer's UK team, but still sometimes finds the time to write about his ongoing obsessions with Destiny 2, GTA Online and Apex Legends. When he's not levelling up battle passes, he's checking out the latest tactics game or dipping back into Guild Wars 2. He's largely responsible for the whole Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry.