LS Talks About Why 35 Ping in MSI 2022 Is Horrendous
Former Cloud9 head coach and prominent League of Legends personality Nick “LS” De Cesare stated that the Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) 2022 being played on 35 ms is “horrendous” and that it makes no sense. On 21st April, Riot Games announced that its Chinese regional league, the League of Legends Pro League (LPL), is facing pandemic-related challenges and the LPL team will be unable to fly to Korea because of travel and quarantine restrictions. As a result, Riot has decided to let RNG play remotely, and to create a fair competition for all, the company will be artificially hiking the ping for all the teams.
Riot Games said, “To ensure the competitive integrity of the competition, all MSI teams will be able to practice and scrim at this ping, and we will deploy referee support and monitoring throughout the tournament in both Korea and China.”
Riot said it will be using a network latency tool to maintain a ping as close to 35 ms as possible for all teams throughout the competition. It added that the same tool was used to maintain ping between China and Korea for the LPL vs. League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) Showdown during the 2020 Mid-Season Cup.
Chinese players already play on 35 ms in Korea
LS posed the question of why the Chinese region has been given this opportunity this time around, while, in the past, the Vietnam Championship Series (VCS) was asked to forfeit its MSI slot completely in 2021. LS also pointed out that most of the Chinese players who already play on the Korean server, for Solo Queue practice and scrims, are already used to this ping. He also stated that it is not a question of regions like North America and Europe playing on similar high pings on their respective servers. “It’s totally different because it's putting all the regions at a disadvantage.” He reiterated that the ping on the Korean server and the tournament is close to 7 ms and questioned why the LPL representative alone could not be made to play on 35 ms since they are already used to it.
What are the disadvantages?
To explain how playing on 7 ms and 35 ms feels, LS drew comparisons to playing on a 144Hz monitor and a sub-60Hz monitor. “Just because it is 35 ms and seems actually low, does not mean that for pro players there aren’t alterations to things that could happen in-game. Not saying that it is always going to happen but the possibility for something like that to occur in a tournament like this is really problematic,” said LS.
According to LS, the Korean region will be at a permanent disadvantage when compared to other regions since Korea’s Solo Queue also offers 7 ms, and players are never used to playing on high pings. Following this, LS recalled the Mid-Season Cup in 2020 where Riot manually changed the ms between Korea and China. “What ended up happening was that there were a lot of people that complained about the ms difference and how it is unfair. Again, China is more accustomed to playing and practicing in an environment like this whereas Korea quite literally never practices in an environment like this,” he pointed out.
“I am almost of the school of thought that if you really think it’s (ping) not that bad, then you should just be the one willing to play in a higher ms anyway,” substantiated LS.
However, he stated that making China alone play on high ping would not be possible in a professional tournament even though pro players, or those who play at a higher skill level, would be able to tell the difference in playing on higher pings.
LS proved that the ping difference is a huge dealbreaker in professional games and showed it by comparing League of Legends gameplay on 9 ms and 35 ms with just simple click-based actions like moving to a different position and using summoner spells Flash and Heal.
He added that it would get increasingly complicated when champion combos and intense team fights are taken into consideration. LS also stated how certain interactions and animation cancels could only be done on low ping and reiterated how many bootcampers in Korea have seconded this over the many years. LS agreed that the MSI would not really be a tournament without the LPL but said that it is unfair to put a region like Korea at such a big disadvantage.
The notice period and teams getting to practice on 35 ms before the tournament is not going to offset the disadvantage, felt the former coach, since the muscle memory of the players is going to be completely different.
LS also hoped that Riot would come forward and explain how it would be manually setting the ping for the tournament. He said there are a lot of ways that it can be undertaken and depending on this, there are different instances of game problems that could possibly occur. He stated that Riot may opt for the rollback method to set the latency in ping and that it could lead to numerous problems in-game.
League of Legends MSI is scheduled to begin on 10th May in Busan, Korea, and all the regions have finally locked in their representatives for the first international event of 2022.