But eSports is online, what happened ?
Since the world has been in quarantine RaceRoom has not only made available all content in game for free but they also organised a special invitational race, with a host of real world drivers, accomplished sim drivers and some notable youtube personalities. The VIP race started well, getting through qualifying and the first race without issue but the commentary team made it known that the planned reverse grid race, would not be, as they had to restart the server, meaning it would run another qualifying before the next race.
Then for the curious viewer amongst us, if you where to pop on over to Youtuber and wannaba race car driver, Jimmy Broadbent’s stream. You would notice he had been booted from the game and was struggling to open the application again, all the while complaining about the servers. (We love Jimmer btw)
It soon became obvious that the servers where having issues and was the reason both Jimmer and RaceRoom itself where experiencing these difficulties. The main culprit and cause is being put on the social distancing or quarantine we are all experiencing. Not suprisingly while we all wait patiently at home, we get bored and things like Netflix and online gaming have had a major boost because of it.
How bad is it ?
To help conceptualise whats going on, let’s put it into numbers. Telecom Italia, in Italy, reported a traffic usage rise of 90% from things such as gaming and streaming, compared to that of February in 2020. Seattle has seen internet traffic spike 30% since its first reported infection and even governments in the UK and Australia have written to the major streaming giants like Netflix and Disney+ asking them to limit the maximum bandwidth. This is to free up the infrastructure, as to cope with this unparralelled usage spike.
Don’t blame the servers
So unfortunatley RaceRoom suffered from the lack of available bandwidth and network resources, meaning the second race didn’t go ahead and was ultimately cancelled. It’s a shame this happened, purely because it was a stacked grid with incredible talent. So if your favourite sim game or eSport broadcast starts to experience difficulties during this period, remember to give the guys and girls working behind the scenes a break. If no-one is physically around to upgrade the underlying infrastructure or the server/s you are connected to become congested and slow, it might not be all the fault of the developers own servers but perhaps more to do with how busy the network they are connected to is and the fact so many of us are using the internet in ways and traffic loads ISP have never seen or experienced.