Update: The original version of this story incorrectly estimated League of Legends' active player base to be 30 million players; according to a Riot report, League of Legends saw roughly 67 million monthly active players and 27 million daily active players as of last January.
League of Legends creator Riot Games has announced development of its own "direct network" in the US and Canada, working with ISPs to reduce ping and packet loss for players.
The announcement follows a long-term promise to improve connectivity in North America, but what makes it particularly interesting is that Riot is working directly with ISPs to create the equivalent of a tier 1 or 2 network that will fast-track League of Legends traffic to improve connectivity for players.
In the comments on the blog post, Riot developers explained that the results of this network will be "less ping time, less network packet loss, and more stable connections (less disconnects)." They also shed some light on the process of working with ISPs: "It can take us many months to work with large ISP companies to achieve even modest results. Gaming is currently not a priority for most. However we are investing a lot of time in educating the ISPs that have LoL players as customers. It is very company dependent and we expect it will be a long road to travel but ultimately great for gamers."
Given that the estimates for League of Legends' active player base were at over 67 million worldwide last January, the proportion of ISP customers who are League players is probably not insignificant. This should give Riot a fair amount of sway when it comes to beginning to change how ISPs deal with gaming traffic.