*TL;DR: Very soon, we’ll move the NA game servers to a more centralized location in **Chicago, Illinois**. This move, along with other components of the [NA Server Roadmap](http://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/help-support/WH8doH76-na-servers-and-the-future), 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’ve now successfully completed initial testing and are planning for the final move to take place **within the next few weeks**. More details below.*
Last week, we released the [latest NA Server Roadmap update](http://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/help-support/ZwVkoboV-na-server-roadmap-update-chicago-here-we-come), in which we detailed the outlook for **Phase 3** – the move to centralized game servers in **Chicago, Illinois**. Since then, we kicked off initial testing, which we’re happy to say was completed successfully earlier today!
With those results in hand, we’re now ready to confirm that we’re planning to move all NA game server activity from our current Portland servers to our new Chicago installation **within the next few weeks**. Due to the many factors in play, we don’t yet have an *exact* date for the switch, but we’ll be back shortly with both exact timing and final details. Trust us, you won't miss the announcement. In the meantime, read on for the backstory, post-Chicago service outlook, and day-of expectations for the server move.
# The Backstory
Historically, lower-quality East Coast service has been a problem for a huge number of players, especially as the explosive growth of the NA player base has further strained pre-existing infrastructure. We’ve worked on the problem for a while now, but we’ve had plenty of missteps along the way. Last year, we redoubled both our behind-the-scenes tech work and our communication about it, putting together the [NA Server Roadmap](http://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/help-support/WH8doH76-na-servers-and-the-future) to keep you informed.
Since then, we’ve steadily knocked out milestones and have now arrived at the final phase of the Roadmap - the move to centralized servers in **Chicago, Illinois** that will even out raw ping discrepancies across NA. With top-quality infrastructure, a centralized location, and a preexisting role as a major exchange between the US and Canada, the Windy City is simply the premier place to provide the best overall service for the far-flung NA player base.
# What’s 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
Chicago has stellar infrastructure and connectivity to the rest of NA that, in combination with our own Roadmap work, will allow us to eventually provide all players with ping that’s determined purely by geographic distances rather than the eccentricities of your local ISPs or web architecture. That’s to say West Coast players aren’t simply becoming the “new East Coast.” While not smack dab in the middle of NA, the new Chicago server location is *far* better placed for reaching the whole of the US and Canada with equitable latency levels. We have every confidence that this move will allow us to bring nearly all NA players - west and east coast alike - under 80 ms ping.
Ping is also just one part of the overall service picture, and all NA players can expect continued service improvements from other elements of the NA Server Roadmap. Thanks to the PoP hardware (think on-ramps to our direct network) we’ve set up covering the US and Canada, you’ll also see continued stability gains, improved packet loss rates, and the aforementioned ping based purely on distance. Check out the map below for the various locations in our now fully armed and operational NA PoP network. Fear not if you don’t see your city - each PoP is also intended to pull in traffic from surrounding regions (including Canada for the northernmost PoPs) in order to make sure the network covers all of NA. So if you’re in Vancouver, you’d hop over to the Seattle PoP before your direct, high-speed route to Chicago.
To really make the PoP network hum, we also need to get ISPs on board with directing your traffic straight to our infrastructure, and we’ve been doing just that for the last year. We’re now maintaining or pursuing peering agreements with a huge number of ISPs across NA (check the bottom of our [last update](http://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/help-support/ZwVkoboV-na-server-roadmap-update-chicago-here-we-come) for the latest list). In many cases, we’ve seen these agreements and proper PoP routing work wonders in cases where players were previously being inefficiently routed. So, if post-switch your ping seems off from what’s expected, let us know so we can investigate!
# Ok, what’s the plan?
So, what can you expect on the day we make the server switch? Well, assuming everything goes perfectly, very little. We’re planning for a phased, zero-downtime transfer of server activity, so if you’re playing League you’ll simply start one game on the current servers and the next on the new ones, with nothing noticeable on your end other than (possibly) a change to that little ping number on the loading screen. By the end of the day, all games will be supported out of Chicago whereas Portland will revert to a disaster-recovery backup while we continue to gather data and make any required adjustments.
As we mentioned, we’re planning for this move to take place within the next few weeks, but we can’t quite provide an exact date just yet. While that might seem strange given the move’s proximity, it essentially comes down to the fact that we’re trying to hit a moving target. The NA game servers handle A LOT of activity, and the need to fine tune a bunch of details means that we’re still deciding which timing will allow us to make the switch while causing the least possible disruption. Regardless, expect further updates and exact timing over the coming weeks. When Chicago goes live, we'll also offer free transfers directly to players located in the US and Canada who are playing on other servers - look out for a transfer email from us!
That’s it for this update. We’ll be back soon with the latest details and a date for for the server move~~, but until then feel free to leave any questions in the comments below!~~
_EDIT: The Roadmap Team and I are signing off for now - off to pour over the data from today's test! Thank you again, everyone, for your help and your patience. Expect more news from the team soon (and not just RiotSoonTM)!_
_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!_