Riot Games and Cisco today announced a multi-year partnership. The partnership will provide reliable infrastructure and networking capabilities across five continents and three global events that will improve the competitive experience for pro players as well as enhance the viewing experience for fans.
Cisco’s networking solutions will power “The Realm” – the private game server used exclusively for pro-level competitive LoL Esports matches at three major global events: The Mid-Season Invitational, The League of Legends World Championship and The All-Star Event. Cisco’s highly secure, flexible, and reliable networking technology will serve as the foundation to deliver the world’s most popular esport as it moves into its second decade.
“As a sport is completely reliant on technology, it is essential that League of Legends runs on a trusted and reliable network,” said Scott Adametz, Esports Tech Lead at Riot Games. “With Cisco as a partner, we now are able to build and expand the infrastructure necessary to deliver the best esports experience possible for fans and professional players all over the world.”
“Our partnership with Riot Games brings together the leaders in esports and networking to offer the best possible connected experience for the players and millions of fans around the world,” said Brian Eaton, Director of Global Sports Marketing at Cisco. “Cisco is committed to redesigning the internet for the future, and esports has a big impact on that. With more people online than ever before for work and entertainment, it is critical to have a highly secure, flexible infrastructure in place to help ensure the visual quality and speed that will be required in the future.”
Cisco will provide Riot Games with a mix of its networking technology spanning Cisco UCS Blade and Rack Servers and Nexus Data Center switches, allowing for significant improvements to gameplay performance and studio broadcasting capabilities. In addition, Cisco also will provide a flexible architecture for Riot’s Regional Broadcast Centers (RBCs) that will support competitive integrity to serve global esports for years to come.
The Realm – Competitive Esports Server Upgrade
League of Legends is an esport that requires quick strategic planning and fast reaction timing. For pro players, it is essential to be able to face the least amount of lag (or “ping”) as possible. With Cisco technology being implemented in “The Realm,” Riot and Cisco are together working to help pro players compete on Summoner’s Rift at sub-1ms ping, allowing for near-instantaneous reaction times and uninterrupted gameplay. The new Cisco servers are expected to offer up to 200% raw performance improvement over the previous technology.
Global Esports Networking
In order to power the next decade of esports, Riot Esports will deploy a new collaborative global infrastructure and networking upgrades. Cisco’s global and regional footprint allows Riot the flexibility, accessibility, and security needed to produce world-class esports events in all corners of the globe. Using Cisco’s advanced networking technology, fans at home will be able to watch LoL Esports broadcast streams with reduced delays and improved quality, bringing them closer to the action.
Regional Broadcast Center Upgrades
As part of a global initiative to standardize and promote competitive integrity around the world, Riot Games will deploy more than 200 new tournament game servers in regional studios all centrally managed through Cisco’s new Intersight SaaS solution. Using Cisco’s UCS B-Series Blade Servers, C-Series Rack Servers and Nexus 3000/7000 Series Switches, Riot Games will establish a common infrastructure footprint across the 12 regional broadcast centers including virtualization, storage, and computing to deliver improved performance with reduced latency for regional professional gameplay. Cisco blade nodes can easily adapt and support the broadcast centers without the need for new hardware, allowing for potential new esport applications to come online with ease.
Global Riot Object Storage
Riot Games will undergo a major, global expansion of their object storage system to support content distribution, media processing, and global content archive. Using Cisco’s Storage Optimized Computing Solutions, Riot will build an archive to protect their legacy of content that will more than triple the amount of usable storage and capacity.
LoL Esports has become the biggest esport in the world over the last decade, reaching a record-breaking 21.8 million average minute audience (AMA) for the 2019 World Championship Final. Cisco joins some of the world’s most recognized brands, including Mastercard, Louis Vuitton, Unilever’s AXE, Red Bull, OPPO, State Farm, and Secretlab, as premier global sponsors for League of Legends Esports.
“As we expand on the success of the first decade of our sport, we look to align with partners whose expertise will be a force multiplier for delivering the sporting experiences worthy of our pro players and fans,” said Naz Aletaha, Head of Global Esports Partnerships, Riot Games. “Cisco’s products are best-in-class, and we look forward to leveraging their technology and know-how as we continue to scale League of Legends Esports.”