Don’t you just hate it when higher-tier players disguised in Smurf accounts crush you in your ranked matches? I’m sure we all do.
Given that Valorant is turning out to be one of the biggest eSports titles around the world, smurfing is bound to plague the game at some point.
Players need not to worry, though. Riot Games revealed some systems to keep matches smurf-free and more related plans in development.
The Act of Smurfing
“Smurfing” happens when a highly-skilled player creates a secondary account to play against less proficient opponents, several tiers below.
This always results in the Smurf player steamrolling their lower-level adversaries, which is unfair to those who are actually trying their best in the game.
The act of Smurfing isn’t anything new in multiplayer, competitive games. Skilled, high-rank players tend to either buy accounts ranked way lower than their main or create an alternative account with a new level to play on. As a result, they can easily dominate their matches.
However, Smurfing can be infuriating for players in those lower ranks. For instance, Valorant smurf players can dominate the games single-handedly.
Solution to Smurf Accounts
In the most recent Ask Valorant blog post, Riot devs lined out how they’re planning to deal with “filthy” smurfs to ensure Valorant’s competitive integrity and that the games remain fair for everyone.
Senior Producer, Ian Fielding, pens in the post:
“Smurfing always sucks, especially when you have rank on the line. While it’s hard to stop smurfing entirely in a free-to-play game, we are taking action to combat it.”
“Right now we have a behind-the-scenes system for Unrated as well as one that applies to Iron through Diamond ranked players.”
“The latter tracks an individual’s performance and notices when a player makes a highly disproportionate impact in a game. We then quickly boost them to harder matches and higher ranks in Competitive.”
In short, players found to be dominating Valorant matches will be immediately boosted. If they easily dominate at a certain rank, they’ll find themselves in higher ranks faster.
The matchmaker can use this information to figure out when someone is smurfing.
“We stop leveraging this system for Immortal+ players because there isn’t a ton of room to smurf or play down when you are already near the top ranks.”
There are also some big plans in place for the future, but nothing scheduled too soon.
“We’re also looking at ways to further accelerate placing smurfs into appropriately skilled matches. But right now we are prioritizing some improvements to our core rank system and leaderboards ahead of that.”
Thankfully, Riot is committed to keeping Valorant’s competitive integrity intact in the long run.
Hopefully, this new update will dissuade players from playing on a smurf account and instead, use the time to focus on their main one.