Valorant, the globally popular game developed by Riot Games, has garnered a massive player base worldwide, with its esports league, VCT, attracting top-performing teams from various regions. However, one region that has been grappling with historic server problems is Africa. Players from the continent are pleading with Riot to add dedicated African servers to the game, as they face frustratingly high ping issues while connecting to distant servers.
A recent Reddit thread, initiated by a South African Valorant player under the username ‘Diligent-Sand-583’, has reignited the longstanding concern. The absence of dedicated African servers forces players in the region to connect to European and Middle Eastern servers in locations like Bahrain, Istanbul, and Madrid to achieve the best possible ping. Unfortunately, this setup results in African players enduring an average ping of 160 milliseconds, leading to a subpar gaming experience.
To compound the problem, Riot introduced a maximum server rewind from 200ms to 140ms in patch 6.02. Consequently, players experiencing average ping above the threshold now encounter increased performance issues, including laggy gameplay and inaccurate shots.
The lack of dedicated African servers is not a new issue, as African players have been advocating for them in games like League of Legends for years. In the past, they even initiated online petitions to draw attention to their plight. Despite these efforts, Riot has yet to establish a dedicated server for the African region, leaving players to rely on servers in the Middle East.
The region locking of accounts further exacerbates the problem. For example, one of the lower ping servers for African players, Mumbai, remains inaccessible unless they abandon their existing accounts and use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to create an Asia Pacific account to play in Mumbai.
As the popularity of Valorant continues to soar, it becomes increasingly important for Riot Games to address the concerns of its African player base. The addition of dedicated African servers would not only improve the gaming experience for players in the region but also foster a more inclusive and diverse gaming community on the continent.