There’s a couple good questions here I wanted to address, although we’re going to need more of the information I requested to dig into this more deeply for you all. It sounds like for at least some of you, the behavior changed.
The reason this is only affecting Overwatch for you all is that you’ll be taking a different route to our servers than most any other service or game you play. The internet is kind of like a system of highways, and we expect there’s a traffic jam on the information highway to us. Meanwhile the roads to say, google, or other games, are clear. There’s more information in our common issues sticky for this - under the FAQs.
The reason you’ll sometimes end up on the wrong server is that while you’re queuing for a match of whatever type, the game will ping your computer to see what your latency is. It does this from multiple different servers, and the pings will happen at different times. So what you can end up with in a situation where a part of the internet is getting clogged is this.
The Sydney server pings you, and there’s a problem with the internet between you and us. Say it’s 300 ms or so because of that problem at that point in time.
Los Angeles pings you and sees you have a ping of 180 ms. Better, but not quite what we’re after.
Now the Singapore server pings you, and it sees about 130 ms because the problem with the internet wasn’t flaring up when that ping happened.
130 MS is less than 300, so you end up on Singapore servers (or whichever server has the lowest ping test at the time.) It’s a bit more complicated than this, but that’s the simplified version of how it works.
It’s designed this way intentionally to get you the best connection it can at any given time without insane queue times. Obviously if you end up on the Sydney servers it doesn’t particularly matter while this problem is happening - the latency problem will still be coming and going so you’ll get spikes of latency there too. This is why we’re focusing on trying to find the cause of the issue. As long as it’s happening, there’s a likelihood that no matter what server you end up on, you’re going to have a bad experience, and that’s what we want to try to diagnose and avoid.
If you have suggestions for other ways to handle this, we welcome that feedback, but that’s better for the general forums. Here, we’re focusing on the tech aspect of things so that we can try to help you all resolve the underlying issue in whatever form that takes.
We still need more tests to narrow this down. For those of you having the high latency, or ebbing and flowing latency, please continue following the steps here and posting tests. Remember: when you run the test the problem needs to be actively happening so we can see the issue in the test! The more info we get to compare the more likely we can narrow down the cause.