So about 10 years ago, I moved from New York to Taipei, and throughout all these years I’ve been trying to continue gaming on NA servers. Now I know you’re thinking that the latency must be beyond terrible and I’d be lying if I said otherwise. Still, I didn’t want to give up playing with my friends and family. While the latency isn’t great, it’s surprisingly actually playable in the morning. I usually get around 120ish ping when trying to play League of Legends. Once it gets to mid-afternoon and lasting until the end of the day though, all hell breaks loose and I start suffering from extreme packet loss.
Anyway, after some time, I ended up making some friends here who couldn’t deal with the lag and decided to start playing on the Taiwan servers. I figured I’d join them and proceeded to download the Taiwanese client. This was the first time I had ever tried playing on a server other than NA, and it turns out, the gameplay experience is really different in a lot of ways. Here’s some things I encountered while playing on the Taiwan server and why you might want to give it a try.
Less time wasters
Everyone who has ever played a game of “League of Legends” knows that some games are a complete waste of time. You know those games I’m talking about right? Games where your top lane tank gets behind and instead of trying to scale, just decides he’s gonna get himself killed 5 times in 5 minutes because he’s tilted. Or the guy who inexplicably has non-stop network issues and can’t play 5 minutes without getting disconnected.
We all know these types of games are obviously done, and yet we can’t get the surrender vote in. There always seems to be two guys who decide the game can’t end yet – usually the one guy trolling and some try-hard who doesn’t understand the concept of a game with absolutely no attainable win conditions. So there you are, sitting around for 40 minutes just waiting for the game to end.
Well for one reason or another, Taiwanese players seem to recognize more often than not when a game is over. It seems like even the trolls don’t want to waste any more time than they need to in a game that’s clearly over. Out of all the games I played that were obviously a loss, only about 20% didn’t end with an early, significantly less painful, surrender.
High mechanical skill – even at low elo
Generally speaking, I feel that Taiwanese players have noticeably better mechanical skills than NA. While I was leveling up to be able to play ranked with my friends, I was regularly seeing tons of Zeds, Rivens, Yasuos, and Katarinas, making plays that were way beyond what I’d expect to see simply trying to hit 30. You might think they’re probably just some smufs, but I was literally running into this every other game. Want to train somewhere against players with very good mechanics? Taiwan might be worth checking out.
Lots and lots of team fights.
Compared with NA, I feel that people play way more aggressively on the Taiwan server – everyone is constantly looking for a fight. Some matches seem like non-stop fighting with objectives being an afterthought. It seemed to me that players generally look for a fight and then, assuming it went favorably, go for an objective just because there’s literally no one else left to kill. If you feel gameplay is slow on your server, or you just want to practice your team-fighting skills, you might want to give TW a try.
Different gameplay makes for good practice
It’s not uncommon for League pros to do bootcamps on other servers. Rekkles from Fnatic recently just went to South Korea following their EU LCS win to hone his skills.
While the vast majority of us aren’t anywhere near close to being a pro player, I definitely feel there’s a lot to learn by playing against opponents from different regions. For me personally, I felt the constant team fights and generally more aggressive Taiwanese play style helped me to improve my game a lot. I really don’t see a downside to getting some exposure to other countries’ playstyles.
From time to time, I like to tune in to Cowsep’s Twitch stream as he’s one of the few popular English speaking streamers who regularly stream from other servers. He’s currently playing on the Vietnam server and it’s fun seeing the differences in local gameplay.
In general, I’ve had a blast playing on the Taiwan server. Sure, I’ve run into some toxicity here and there, but we’re playing “League of Legends” amirite? I’d say one of the best things about making the jump to the TW server is how smooth the gameplay is. I’m getting a flat 15 ms every game and I’m not on fiber or any other special connection. When I was back in the US, I never had anything below 50. It’s crazy how different the game is playing with such stable low latency. It actually took me a bit of time getting used to hitting my skills shots because I guess my head is just too used to playing with much higher latency.
I’d say the most challenging part of playing on the Taiwan server is the language issue. Unlike in other regions such as the EU, there’s no simple way to change the client or in-game language. When I first started playing on the Taiwan server a few years ago, after a lot of detective work on Reddit, I managed to change both the client and the in-game language into English. Half of that work went to waste at the end of 2016 when Riot introduced us the new client update. Now my client is stuck in Chinese, but I managed to keep the in-game language English which is definitely the more important one out of the two.
In the end, I have to say for anyone who enjoys playing “League of Legends” but is feeling a bit tired of dealing with the issues of your locale, playing on different servers can be a very worthwhile experiment that will give you a noticeably different gameplay experience. I personally came away with a few new skills playing on the Taiwan server, and you just might too.