South Korea is the paradise of gaming and eSports. In the metropolis that is South Korea’s capital city, Seoul, high-speed internet is essentially a human right – any connection that teeters above 8ms ping is almost criminal. In the thick of the gaming cafe culture, players grind out League of Legends, dreaming of the opportunity get picked up by one of the nations esteemed professional teams. And then, in contrast, there’s the North American servers…
There’s a reason every team from across the globe heads to Korea ahead of the World Championship for an intensive boot camp. The quality of the KR server is unrivalled, with every western pro hailing the noticeable contrast in their game experience the moment they log online across the border. Of course, not every World Championship can take place in the hub of gaming paradise, with this years’ tournament set to travel across America – it may be the land of the free, but its solo queue is a land of slow connection, streamers, memers and highlights.
I feel like I could be 10x the player if I got to play korean soloq for a year
— Søren Bjerg (@Bjergsen) 8 September 2016
While Europeans and North Americans are used to the relative sub-standard of solo queue… boy, are the Korean, Chinese and Taiwanese superstars going to be in for a shock. Former Cloud9 jungler Lee “Rush” Yoonjae, who left the team due to import rulings, admitted he struggled to train in North America. In his words:
“That’s not fucking League of Legends… you get 60 ping and you play with monkeys!”
Lee “Rush” Yoonjae
Even Riot knows that NA Soloqueue is a complete shit-show – create the Scouting Grounds in order to find the new stream of players who have the ability to play in the LCS, but would otherwise have been lost in the dark recesses of NA’s hopeless SoloQueue. That’s not to say that NA hasn’t tried to replicate some of the features commonly associated with Korean solo queue – unfortunately, rather than picking up the tactical elements such as rotations and teamplay – ‘running it down mid’ was the one trend quickly emulated.
Players suiciding repeatedly, just one of the joys the Asian pro’s have to look forward to…
A significant step-down in game quality is hardly ideal preparation for League of Legends’ biggest tournament. Don’t expect to see the Korean pros wasting too much of their time in NA solo queue, the experience might actually be detrimental.