News

Quick Hit: Discord launches South Africa servers

Michael 'axtremes' Harmse

In our series Quick Hit, axtremes drops his opinion with lightning speed while his hat overlords aren’t looking.

 

It’s official folks, Discord has launched South African-based servers for their platform. If by some miniscule chance, you’ve never heard of Discord, it’s a voice, text, and video app specifically designed for gamers. It’s pitched as a replacement for Teamspeak and Skype. Unlike the hellspawn that is the latest Windows Store version of Skype, it actually works. What it offers over Teamspeak is a much more intuitive and attractive user interface. Very much akin to what Popcorn Time is to Pirate Bay. Moving along…

No more delay

For the more serious competitive gamers, the biggest impact of the new local servers is that voice communications will now no longer suffer from that annoying 200+ millisecond (ms) delay. While the average human reaction time to visual stimulus is around 250ms, we are more sensitive and quicker to react to audio cues. This is why such a small delay can be so bothersome and disconcerting. With the single digit or low double digit pings South African users will be getting in Discord, there’ll be far less in the way of communication breakdowns due to the high latency during chaotic moments. The new imperceptible latency, will be particularly good news for those that play team-based games.

 

Some will likely stick with Teamspeak for voice. Mostly because we’re old and set in our ways. For my usage case in particular, it has a bit more in the way of options for recording podcasts and playing with the audio quality for commentary. I’m quite keen to give the video side a go now that there are local servers to see if that has improved for podcasting. Anything’s better than Skype.

Put your hands together

Overall, this is a really positive development for South African gamers. Shout out to Alastair “Lag Beast” Bearman for his tireless efforts in getting community members to vote yes for servers. This is one of the few times that has ever worked. Massive props to the Bear Man! If you want, you can join the African Gaming Central Discord here. It’s where you can find Esports Central on Discord, as well.