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Riot working with ISPs for dedicated League of Legends network

Company expects hardware to be finished by end of March, but service provider agreements could take longer

North American internet service providers didn't design their networks to meet the needs of online games like League of Legends, so Riot Games has decided to build its own. In a forum post detailing the company's plan to improve connection speed and stability for North American players, Riot brand strategist Charlie Hauser said the company is working with ISPs in the US and Canada on ways to connect players to that direct network once it's ready.

"Currently, ISPs focus primarily on moving large volumes of data in seconds or minutes, 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," Hauser said. "On top of that, your internet connection might bounce all over the country instead of running directly to where it needs to go, which can impact your network quality and ping whether the game server is across the country or right down the street."

Hauser said the hardware part of the new network should be up and running by the end of March, but the contractual negotiations with ISPs could take longer. The move is just one part of a plan the company has established to improve the League of Legends experience in North America, with a specific eye toward addressing long-standing dissatisfaction for players on the East Coast. However, the impact of it should be felt across the continent.

"This network should bring a marginal improvement for everyone - coast to coast," Hauser said. "West coasters are impacted by this as well - we've seen traffic in San Francisco get bounced across the country before finally getting to the server."

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Brendan Sinclair

Managing Editor

Brendan joined GamesIndustry International in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at CBS-owned GameSpot in the US.

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