Hi there,

I am one of many South Africans who queue on EU West to play ranked. Depending on your city, you can get a ping as good as 160ms. This changed in the last month, where pings have gone from consistent 160ms to 200ms.

I first dealt with my ISP to get this fixed, with no luck. Then I tried connecting via London VPN. This fixed my ping bringing it back to 160ms.

I compared the console output when connecting with / without a VPN and found that a slower socket was being used:

Direct (SA -> EUW Dota):

Code:
[Networking] Created poll group for socket 'client'
[SteamNetSockets] Requesting session from jnb#24 (155.133.238.162:27038).  Ping = 24+175=199 (front+back=total).
[SteamNetSockets] [#3031827167 SDR server steamid:90133321011540998(vport 0)] Selecting jnb#24 (155.133.238.162:27038) as primary.  (Ping = 24+175=199 (front+back=total).)
[SteamNetSockets] Requesting session from lhr#11 (162.254.196.66:27025).  Ping = 144+17=161 (front+back=total).
[SteamNetSockets] [#3031827167 SDR server steamid:90133321011540998(vport 0)] Selecting lhr#11 (162.254.196.66:27025) as backup #1 (Ping = 144+17=161 (front+back=total).)
VPN (SA -> London -> EUW Dota):

Code:
[Networking] Created poll group for socket 'client'
[SteamNetSockets] Requesting session from lhr#10 (162.254.196.66:27024).  Ping = 144+17=161 (front+back=total).
[SteamNetSockets] [#2299458859 SDR server steamid:90133334689517576(vport 0)] Selecting lhr#10 (162.254.196.66:27024) as primary.  (Ping = 144+17=161 (front+back=total).)
[SteamNetSockets] Requesting session from lux#119 (146.66.154.35:27019).  Ping = 159+0=159 (front+back=total).
When connecting directly, you can see that a much slower socket jnb#24 (200ms) is selected as the primary game connection instead of lhr#11 (160ms).

It seems like all SA players are first routed to Johannesburg (where our local game server are hosted) before connecting outwards, adding 40ms to the final trip time.

I hope this can get the attention of someone at Valve. We are pretty dedicated as a region, with a local tournaments and several players on the EU leaderboard, but we still rely on international servers to use ranked matchmaking and get better games.