League of Legends’ NA servers surge to 90% capacity

"We'll be working hard to expand capacity and reduce queue times for everyone as quickly as possible"

It looks like the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 is driving players to dive into some of the biggest and best PC games (and related platforms) in record numbers. Online multiplayer games like CS:GO are seeing record player counts, Steam recently hit 20 million concurrent users, and now League of Legends‘ North American servers have hit 90% capacity.

That’s according to the MOBA game’s associate program manager Mel Capperino-Garcia, who has posted on Twitter: “Today NA servers hit about 90% max capacity. As a result, we expect login queues and extended queue times.”

In response to the surge in activity on the NA servers, Capperino-Garcia explains, Riot is going to “rush to scale up server capacity” but while it does this, it’s “white-listed all League Partners and pro-player accounts, allowing these players to bypass queues.” The studio’s thinking behind this, she goes on to say in a follow-up tweet, is “even if you can’t get into 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”, she adds.

According to the program manager, the rollout of the above has already taken place for North American servers, with “all Riot Regions for pros and LPP” to follow over the course of the next day or so.

This surge in players heading into Riot’s flagship MOBA follows the continuing outbreak of the coronoavirus around the world, which is necessitating the closure of many workplaces and schools, and the move to remote working for people across many industries until the situation improves. With increasing numbers of people based at home, games such as League are seeing unprecedented numbers of players diving in.

You can read more widely about how the games industry is responding to the COVID-19 situation, with many of the major game development studios explaining the steps they’re taking while the outbreak continues.

The WHO has information and guidance on the COVID-19 virus on its website, which you can find here, as well as advice for the public on how to stay safe.