LCQ NA - The LAN played online raises eyebrows

The various Last Chance Qualifiers are currently in full swing, and all teams are determined to earn their place in the Valorant Champions through this last chance. For this special occasion, Riot Games has decided to pull out all the stops on the North American scene by bringing the players together in the studio. However, contrary to what one might have expected, the event was played online, and it showed...

Indeed, the LCQ NA which started last night was met with surprise and incomprehension by players and viewers alike. Despite the fact that the teams were gathered in the same place, various pro players pointed out that the event was actually played on online servers, rather than locally. This was the cast for Hiko, on Twitter.

Usually, part of the reason for bringing players together is to be able to make them play on a local network. The local network allows you to greatly reduce the ping and get the best performance from the players. But that wasn't the case this time, and this decision led to various problems.

After more than a year of online competitions, the LCQ NA is the first Valorant competition in the NA region to be played in person. For the occasion, Riot has prepared a very nice set!

The various matches of the day were subject to technical breaks to resolve problems, and the rosters reported various issues such as "rubber-banding" encountered in-game. In the second match between XSET and Luminosity Gaming, we even witnessed the biggest lag in an official competition on Valorant.

In round 9, the LG player Aproto found himself in a clutch situation against two XSET players. Suddenly, the sound of the commentators disappears and the Agents move incoherently. The game was just totally lagging... When the situation got better, Aproto was taken down without being able to fight back and the round ended, in favour of XSET.

As well as make it apparent to everyone that the competition was played online, the fact that the round was not replayed caused a lot of reaction, especially on Reddit. 

Riot has apologised and justified its choices in an official statement. The company explains that with the health situation, the implementation of a physical event implies possible quarantine of players. It was therefore preferable to play online to allow all players to join the games, even isolated.

Given strict COVID protocols for in-person events, we felt it was in the best interest of all to shift to a remote server, should any players need to be quarantined. This would allow for teams to continue to compete and not bring in a sub or be forced to forfeit.

Riot Games

While some would like to see future matches played locally, all matches will continue to be played online, even when all players are present, so as not to create different competitive environments and unfair scenarios. No mention was made of a remake of the XSET/LG match. However, to avoid a similar scenario in future matches, Riot Games says they are working on server stability.

We recognize the virtual server is not the same as playing on LAN; however, we are diligently working on improving the remote server experience throughout the competition.

Riot Games

At the end of this first day, 3 matches were finally played despite lags. 100Thieves won its first match against Gen.G Esports, XSET came out on top in the match against Luminosity Gaming. The third and final match of the day was between 100Thieves and XSET. At the end of the last map, the players of 100Thieves joined the final of the upper bracket, while XSET joined Gen.G and LG in the lower bracket.

The next two games are FaZe Clan VS Rise and Version1 VS Cloud9 Blue.