VALORANT North American LCQ is being played online

It just isn't the same as playing on LAN.

Photo via Riot Games

VALORANT players and staff gathered today in Los Angeles to play the North American Last Chance Qualifier, an event they thought was going to be a LAN tournament. But the matches are actually being played online on the same network, according to some players.

Viewers were first made aware when 100 Thieves player Hiko tweeted that they were playing on online servers, and Ethan Arnold also made a statement about playing matches online but went into more depth about the impact online play had on their match.

“Playing LAN using online servers… I’ve never seen this in my life,” Ethan said. “Our team was rubber-banding and stuttering the whole game playing on a NorCal server.”

The first day of LCQ’s has already been fraught with broadcast issues, such as audio desync, audio playing when it shouldn’t, or no audio at all, but the online play really became obvious when XSET and Luminosity Gaming had their first match.

The score was 5-3 in favor of XSET and Alex “aproto” Protopapas was the last person standing on his team. Jordan “AYRIN” He and Zachary “zekken” Patrone were defending when aproto came into site B to land shots on the last two players in order to win the round. Just as he walked onto the site and the ten-second warning sounded, aproto stopped moving and AYRIN and zekken started walking in the same direction.

The casters’ voices suddenly cut out while the game sounds continued and the lag spike ended just after XSET won the round after the time on the clock ran out. Fans noticed immediately, but the game continued on like normal after a technical pause to deal with network issues.

This was the first big lag spike that viewers have been able to notice, but fans and players alike are unhappy that the players were brought to the same location only to play on online servers.

Update Oct. 12 9:41pm CT: Riot released a statement regarding the use of online servers during the VALORANT Champions Tour Last Chance Qualifier matches via Twitter. The developer said it chose to utilize remote servers to allow quarantined players to compete, although it acknowledged the online servers were not the same as the LAN environment players were expecting and it is working on improving the servers.