Faker: High ping at MSI impacted T1’s performance, but doesn’t matter as long as fans have the best experience

We talked to the legendary mid laner about the latency issues at MSI 2022 and this year's format.

Image via Riot Games

The first stage of the League of Legends 2022 Mid-Seasonal Invitational just ended, but not without issues. A discrepancy in latency in the venue affected teams playing from Busan, as confirmed by Riot Games, and not even T1 star mid laner Faker was exempt from it. But according to him, the issues don’t matter as much—provided fans around the world have a good show to watch.

“[Higher ping] did impact our play, and still it is kind of impacting our performance,” Faker told Dot Esports in an interview. The mid laner felt T1 played with higher latency than usual in the past days of the competition, and he believes the team can play “differently” with a ping rate below 10.

According to the mid laner, though, the ping won’t matter “too much” in the end as long as the latency doesn’t impact what the viewers see. To him, what’s most important is that everyone is playing under the same conditions so they can compete fairly and provide the “best experience for the fans.” 

The consequences of the latency issues were harsher for LPL representatives Royal Never Give Up, who are playing from China, than for the Busan-based squads. Due to the exceptionally high ping experienced by teams in Group A, Riot made RNG replay their first three days of the competition, and Faker felt “so sorry” for the Chinese team due to Riot’s decision.

“I believe [the process] happened because Riot Games was not able to deal with those ping and that org issue beforehand and that was the kind of aftermath of it,” the mid laner said. Faker hopes for “equal circumstance” between the teams moving on with the competition so the participants can have an “equal” five-vs-five.

The latency issues aren’t the only obstacle teams faced during MSI 2022. The change to the format led to one-sided matches and longer day schedules for everyone involved, which impacted even the undefeated Korean roster. Despite T1 finishing their groups seamlessly without dropping a single game, they still had to play more games than in previous years, which put “a bit of pressure” even on the legendary Korean mid laner. 

Previous MSI formats were “a lot more complex” than this year’s, according to Faker. The earlier formats gave participants the chance to “kind of focus off” after a short but intense period of matches. Despite the added strain, though, the mid laner considered the fans’ feelings when speaking about MSI 2022. Viewers have more games to enjoy thanks to this year’s format, according to Faker, which he sees as an advantage.

Regardless of the various obstacles on T1 and RNG’s path, both teams have made it to the rumble stage unscathed, closing their groups with a perfect score of 6-0. G2 Esports also concluded their groups undefeated and are looking forward to the chance to repeat their 2019 victory against T1 later in the tournament. Faker promised “fun” games against RNG and G2, but fans will have to wait until after Friday, May 20, to watch the Unkillable Demon King taking on the LPL and LEC representatives at MSI 2022.