NA Server Roadmap Update: Chicago, Here We Come

*TL;DR: Soon™, the NA game servers will be transferring to a more centralized location in **Chicago, Illinois**. This move, along with other components of the NA Server Roadmap, should improve connection quality for the vast majority of NA players. West Coast players will see an uptick in raw ping numbers, but should also see that uptick mitigated by connection improvements in the form of better overall stability and reduced packet loss. We'll keep everyone updated on the specifics (including exact timing) as we get closer to the move. For more details, check out the full story below.*     Hey, everyone! Riot Ahab here with another update on the [NA Server Roadmap](http://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/help-support/WH8doH76-na-servers-and-the-future). In our [last post](http://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/help-support/Ffh2dJXf-na-server-roadmap-update-south-bridge-pt-2-isp-peering) we updated you on our completion of Phase 2 - building a dedicated network for League traffic. ISP partnering and routing optimization will be an ongoing project as routes and ISPs change, but the hardware is now up and fully functional. Now it’s time to talk about **Phase 3**, in which we’ll move the game servers to a central location that, in conjunction with Phase 2, will even out the currently vast ping differences across NA. We don’t have the *when* to share just yet, but we can share the *where:* **Chicago, Illinois**. http://i.imgur.com/6UkGYp7.png     #**Why Chicago?** Our selection of Chicago as the home for the new NA game servers likely comes as no big surprise to those of you who’ve followed previous Roadmap updates, and saw the Windy City figure prominently in many player theories. For those of you with a bit less background on the need for a new location, it largely comes down to geography, and more importantly, connectivity to the rest of North America. The most obvious issue with our current Portland game servers is their coastal location. While keeping the original servers near Riot’s west-coast offices made sense back when we were just starting out, both the exponential growth of the NA server and North America’s changing internet landscape mean that west-coast servers are now directly contributing to markedly inferior service for a huge number of east-coast players. But geography isn't the only reason for this switch, else we might have ended up in Wichita or Denver. The truth is that in the complicated world of internet architecture, Portland is less directly connected to the rest of North America than we’d like. Chicago, on the other hand, happens to be one of the best connected cities in the entire *world*, let alone in North America. With more bandwidth running through it, more fiber running through it, and more data center space than any other North American city, plus a central location and role as a major exchange between the US and Canada, Chicago is simply the premier place to provide the best overall service for the far-flung NA player base. Some of you may ask, “Why not just keep the Portland servers online and create separate servers?” Ultimately, our answer is simple – the community. Today’s NA community traces its roots all the way back to the beginning of League’s open beta in April 2009. Starting from a grand total of three hundred players, in less than six years the community has swelled to *millions* of us. We’ve all been there together through League’s constant evolution, and continue to welcome new players from across North America every day. For us, the preservation of the NA community is worth any effort, and with that in mind we’ve focused all our energy on creating a stable, long-term, single-server solution.     #**What does this mean for me?** At the highest level, this server move will allow us to bring **the vast majority of NA players under 80 ms ping.** Currently, more than 50% of NA players actually fall *above* that threshold, so Chicago game servers (along with continued work on peering agreements and direct networking) will allow us to create a far more balanced latency outlook for the NA player base. While this move will be an overall positive for the NA player base, the specific effects you experience will depend on which part of NA you call home. Compared to our current Portland servers, and speaking very broadly, moving to Chicago will result in: * Moderate latency **increases** (up to ~45 ms) in the Pacific Northwest and outlying regions (Hawaii, other Pacific Islands, Japan, etc) * Minor latency **increases** (up to ~30 ms) across the rest of the west coast of North America. * Generally **neutral effects** across a broad strip of the Mountain States and Saskatchewan * Moderate to major latency **reductions** (up to ~50 ms for much of the East Coast) across the entire eastern half of North America Keep in mind these are *extremely* rough generalizations that simply represent physical distance added, and don’t take potentially wonky ISP routing into account. We also want to emphasize again that [ping is just a part of the picture](http://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/help-support/APgXgX6W-na-server-roadmap-update-addressing-the-qs-in-quality-connections) and that no player will be left out in the cold with this move. Mitigating the localized downsides of the Chicago move is a major part of our latest Roadmap initiatives, and all NA players can expect positives (lower packet loss rates, improved stability, etc.) as part of the other work we’re doing.     #**What’s next?** While we fine tune the infrastructure and finalize plans, we’ll also need to do some live testing of the new game servers in the next week or two to make sure everything’s working as expected. We’ll need to disable ranked play for a few hours during testing, so we'll give you guys a heads up the day before via the in-game ticker and the [server status page](http://status.leagueoflegends.com/#na). Other than that, we’ll be back several times in the coming weeks with more info on everything from server transfers to how exactly the switchover will work. And, of course, a date!     #**Beyond the switch** While the Chicago move will complete our outlined milestones for the NA Server Roadmap, multiple teams here at Riot will remain dedicated to making sure players experience the best possible connection while playing League. For example, the dedicated network for League traffic will require constant tweaking and adjustments as we add new ISP partners and our current partners adjust how they route traffic across the US and Canada. On that note, we’ve got an updated list below of the partners we’ve added since the last update. Hopefully we’ve preemptively answered a lot of your questions, but we know you probably have many more. Two options for you: 1. We’ve put together a [live support thread](http://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/help-support/0KkE1dFw-my-ping-has-been-consistently-higher-in-na-lately-whats-going-on) where Rioters are on hand to help you diagnose any funky latency issues you may be experiencing. Head on over if you’ve seen any consistent streaks of higher-than-usual ping over the last six months and would like to chat with some experts about it. 2. If you have general questions about the Chicago move, we’ve got a bunch of Roadmap team members on hand - ask away!   -----------   #**Partnered ISPs:** *(talks in-progress)* AT&T Cox Communications Verizon *(new additions)* Accelerated Connections Bel Air Internet Bell Aliant Regional Communications, Cablevision Systems Qwest Communications Company RCN *(already partnered)* 3Z Canada Abovenet Communications Alaska Communications Altopia Atlas Networks Corporation CenturyLink Charter Communications Clear Wireless CoastCom Cogeco Cable Cogent Communications Comcast Cable Communications CTS Communications Corp. Electronic Box Eltopia Fibrenoire Internet Frontier Communications Google Fiber Hurricane Electric, Inc., Interconnected Associates Level 3 Communications Lightspeed Communications LS Networks Molalla Communications Systems Inc. NetRiver Network for Education and Research in Oregon (NERO) NTT America Oricom Internet Pavlov Media Pocketinet Communications Rogers Cable Communications Saskatchewan Telecommunications (SaskTel) Shaw Communications Sonoma Interconnect Start Communications Syringa Networks TDS Telecom TekSavvy Solutions TELUS Communications TeraGo Networks Threshold Communications Time Warner Cable Vanoppen.biz Videotron Telecom Ltee Vision Net WindWave Communications WiscNet Worldlink WOW! Internet _Thanks everyone for your questions! This thread's comments are being disabled and archived - please jump back [here](http://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/help-support/WH8doH76-na-servers-and-the-future) to the main post and scroll to the bottom to find the most recent NA Server Roadmap update if you have any questions you'd like addressed!_
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