Doublelift calls on Riot to fix the “biggest problem” for LCS players

Luke Edwards
Doublelift on stage for Worlds 2020

TSM content creator and former pro player Yiliang ‘Doublelift’ Peng has urged Riot to make League of Legends servers more like Valorant’s in a bid to curb NA’s international struggles.

North American LoL and the LCS has garnered an unfortunate reputation for underperforming internationally. Since season 2, North American teams have only progressed past the quarter-finals of Worlds on one occasion: Cloud9 in 2018.

C9 were hoping to undo North America’s international curse in MSI 2021, but crashed out in the rumble stage after a humiliating defeat to Oceania’s Pentanet.GG. In response, Cloud9 have benched veteran ADC Jesper ‘Zven’ Svenningsen for Australian rookie Calvin ‘K1Ng’ Truong.

It remains to be seen whether such roster moves will prompt any meaningful change, as ping issues continue to plague LCS teams. While LCS orgs are based in California, the NA server is located around 2000 miles away in Chicago. This leads to players experiencing a delay of roughly 60 ping, which is over seven times that experienced by Seoul-based LCK players.

Perkz leads Cloud9 to 3-2 victory over Team Liquid at Greek Theater in LCS Mid-Season Showdown grand final.
Despite claiming the Mid-Season Showdown title, Cloud9 failed to perform on the international stage at MSI.

In his May 29 YouTube video, Doublelift explained how Riot could take a leaf out of Valorant’s book to help improve players’ ping, and therefore their quality of practice.

He cited an interview with TSM support SwordArt, where the former Flash Wolves star explained how playing on such high ping causes a player to make different decisions than they would make on LAN, therefore impacting their practice.

“Let me tell you, it’s a humongous deal that our solo queue environment is having pro players playing on 50-60 ping,” he said. “It would be like if you told an NBA player to go practice at home, but at home, his basketball was just heavier.”

The former CLG man then called for Riot to introduce a Valorant-style server system to LoL. This would involve “location-based matchmaking”, where if all players in a lobby were, for example, in California, they would play on a server based in California, rather than the one in Chicago.

“A lot of the time, you’re gonna get a lot of people from the same region in a lobby,” Doublelift said. “It’s worked in Counter-Strike for literally 20 years and it’s clearly working in Valorant.

“Why can’t League not have this system? What is holding League back from having that same system being implemented? Our high-ELO players are sick and tired of playing on average ping.”

Doublelift explained that he doesn’t think fixing this singular issue will instantly bring international glory to NA. “But I do think we can do a lot better than we’re doing now by fixing this,” he added.