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Mid-Season: Riot to hike ping to 35, Nick ‘LS’ De Cesare calls plan ‘horrendous’

Riot Games revealed Mid-Season Invitational last week. The annual League of Legends tournament is set to take place from May 10 all the way to 29 in Busan, South Korea, this year. However, Riot’s decision to increase the tournament’s ping for all teams garnered more criticisms than the developer could ever imagine.

The decision came to light after the Chinese regional LOL Pro League’s representative team, Royal Never Give Up, became unable to attend the Mid-Season competition due to travel and quarantine restrictions on April 21.

“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 in an announcement.

Riot decided to let RNG participate in the tournament remotely, which posed connection-related problems. In an effort to level the playing field, the Mid-Season server in Korea will be played on a 35 ping.


Criticisms came from LOL esports enthusiasts who said that Riot’s supposedly nice gesture was unacceptable for other teams competing in the tournament.

LOL esports personality Nick “LS” De Cesare dubbed Riot’s decision as “horrendous” and “makes literally no sense”. He argued that it only put other regions used to competing with a 7 ping at a great disadvantage.

“This is putting basically almost all the regions at a disadvantage. A lot of Chinese players play on Korean server,” LS said via a YouTube video.

“That is their solo queue, in addition to the fact that they play their scrims. And when they end up doing that, they are naturally having ping. The Korean server, as well as LCK tournament, is played on 7 ping, which is effectively almost LAN.”

Riot plans in employing a latency tool to maintain the tournament’s ping close to 35ms did not make sense to LS. Reportedly, the very same tool was used during a matchup in the 2020 Mid-Season Cup between China (LPL) and League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK).

LS then explained his concerns. Despite such a tool, he said, RNG’s lineup was used to playing with a 35 ping through both solo queue and scrims. The former Cloud9 head coach pointed out a similar decision that Riot made in the 2020 Mid-Season Cup only ended up with people complaining about the ping differences.

“There were a lot of people who complained about the MS (ping) difference,” LS added then continued to address a few comments made towards LPL representative should forfeit.

“Some of the comments are saying that, well, if you make LPL forfeit their spot, that’s not really a tournament, I agree. In every single way, LCK is at a disadvantage.”

Additionally, for him, allowing China to play differently with a 35 ping while others have lower numbers was not possible in a professional setting.

LS then illustrated his argument about the ping differences between playing with 7ms and 35ms by drawing a comparison of a 144Hz and 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,” LS said.

While 7 and 35 pings will not pose many differences to the eyes of regular people, a 7 ping is usually the ideal number for professional players competing in esports tournaments.