The 2022 League of Legends MSI tournament is being affected by the COVID pandemic once again. China’s regional league (the LPL) is going through rough times due to the COVID restrictions ongoing in China, this means that the LPL representative won’t be able to travel to the event, which will be held in Busan, Korea. The good news is that Riot has managed to find a way for every team to play under the same conditions, so all the teams traveling to Busan and the LPL team that will be playing from either their team training facility or from the LPL arena in Shanghai will be playing on 35ms ping.
League of legends MSI proposed solution
On April 21, Naz Aletaha, the Global Head of Esports said: “Many factors were considered before implementing this decision including safety, infrastructure, location, and competitive integrity. In addition to the LPL having the infrastructure necessary to support remote play, the ping from China to Korea is manageable. To keep the competition fair, we will be using a network latency tool to maintain a ping as close to 35ms as possible for all teams throughout the competition. This same tool was used to maintain ping between China and Korea for the LPL vs. LCK Showdown during the 2020 Mid-Season Cup. 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”.
Professional players have a 0ms ping during their competitive games in their respective regional leagues, so this means that most of the teams will find this very concerning. This of course has raised a lot of opinions within the community, the main point being that North American professional players are used to playing under worse ping conditions on their regional server, so this might not be a big issue for them. On the other hand, the rest of the world is used to a much lower ping when playing on their region’s server. For example, Korean and Chinese players generally play with an 8-15ms delay, having a 35ms delay on the MSI stage is going to be a huge difference for them. It will be interesting to see how these delays at the League of Legends MSI tournament will effect the odds, but you can check here on our LPL betting page.
The solution the Riot is proposing for the League of Legends MSI might be the best when it comes to the competitive integrity of the event because in the past few weeks we heard players from the Chinese teams saying that it was very likely that the LPL representative would not be able to participate in the event if either the league or Riot didn’t find a solution to the problems caused by the COVID restrictions. Integrity is so important to both the tournament and for the new esports betting market, our partners Mr. Play are covering the LPL MSI event. So in the end, we will have the LPL representative play in the League of Legends MSI, but the cost is going to be high for the rest of the teams. MSI’s value as a tournament has been a topic of discussion in the past because only 1 team from each region participates, let’s hope that this 35ms delay issue doesn’t lower the value of the event even more.