Frustrations of an East Coast player.
Over the years I've fallen in love with Riot's League of Legends, which is played by millions of players across with world, and during my time playing the game I've grown a desire to play competitively. Unfortunately, due to my not living on the West Coast of the United States, I don't have the same opportunity that others do. Is this fair? I don't believe so.
How exactly does my not living on the West Coast hinder my ability to play competitively? Well, for starters, I play with 150-250 ping on average while playing on the NA server. In contrast, those near the server have 20-60 ms. That in of itself is a clear disadvantage for East Coast players. It's a burden to play the game with delays to every mouse click and it makes the game very frustrating when I make a command and the command is not recognized until it's too late. It makes landing skill shots a hassle and can be game changing.
Thankfully there is a way for East Coast players to play the game at an acceptable ping. The LAN server, which is based in Florida, grants us the ability to play the game on equal footing with our West Coast counterparts. Having my clicks recognized when they should be is a great feeling after playing the game with three times the ping for close to three years. Unfortunately, LAN isn't exactly the answer we wanted.
LAN Challenger is composed of the top players from the Northern Latin American countries and the East Coast USA. The Latin American players enjoy a growing eSports scene and the ability to make a career out of the game if their skills permit. The issue for the East Coast players is that we can't compete with LAN teams because that isn't our region. LAN is the only server we can actually play the game on, so we're stuck in quite the pickle. We can reach high Challenger on LAN, but what does that actually do for us? No team is going to snag an unproven player that plays on a weaker region's server. However, what if I was able to play at the Challenger level on NA?
Luckily for the East Coast, Riot has stated that they're working on a new web of servers that will allow all parts of the US to enjoy similar ping. This is fantastic news! The issue is that I have lost valuable time, as a player seeking to make this a career, to reach my goal. I feel for the aspiring pro players on the East Coast that just don't have the same chance as those on the West Coast, and I look forward to seeing what opportunities open up for everyone once the the infrastructure is introduced.
About me: I am a Challenger LAN/Master NA player with hopes of breaking into the LoL pro scene. Thankfully I will be on scholarship in the Spring semester for a new collegiate LoL program even though I wasn't dealt the best hand of cards. I look forward to bringing enjoyable content concerning the Latin American and NA Pro scenes in the coming months and making my mark on the League journalist scene as well. Please come forward with any tips you may have on my writing. I appreciate your time if you've read through this entire piece.