As more and more of the population is forced into lockdown or self-isolation amid the coronavirus pandemic, the amount of people trying to while away the hours with online gaming has continued to increase.
On March 18, the North American servers reached near to full capacity as players piled in to get onto the Rift. While this caused some frustrating queue times for most players, a select few were “whitelisted” – according to Riot Games’ associate program manager Mel Capperino-Garcia – in order to jump the queue and not be affected by the wait times.
“Today NA servers hit about 90% max capacity,” Capperino-Garcia tweeted. “As a result, we expect login queues and extended queue times. While we rush to scale up server capacity, we’ve whitelisted all League Partners and pro-player accounts, allowing these players to bypass queues. Our thinking is: even if you can’t get into the game, at least you’ll be able to watch your favourite players. We’ll be working hard to expand capacity and reduce queue times for everyone as quickly as possible.”
Our thinking is: even if you can’t get into game, at least you’ll be able to watch your favorite players. We’ll be working hard to expand capacity and reduce queue times for everyone as quickly as possible. (2/3)
— Mel Capperino-Garcia (@Riotswimbananas) March 19, 2020
The North American server has now seen its capacity increased. Capperino-Garcia also confirmed that other regions would be following suit in the next couple of days and would similarly be allowing pro players and streamers/ content creators to have priority and jump the queues.
As more and more people look to gaming for entertainment during the pandemic, servers are going to be pushed well beyond their usual capacity for popular titles such as League of Legends.
Player counts have increased significantly on platforms like Steam, with games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive recording its highest player count in its history.