The act of smurfing, or competing on an account at a lower rank than a player’s main account rank, has recently cropped up in the VALORANT community. Riot Games addressed the issue in its recent Ask VALORANT entry. One of VALORANT’s competitive designers and producers stated that there’s an ongoing investigation into curbing smurfs. The team does not have an actionable plan, as of yet, but provided insight into what has been uncovered so far.
How to combat smurfing in VALORANT
Today we let you in on our ongoing plans to squash smurfs, and remind you that, yes, we want a replay system. Read all about it in the latest edition of Ask VALORANT: https://t.co/lzVFOXWH0H
— VALORANT (@PlayVALORANT) May 6, 2021
In the Ask VALORANT article, the team discusses why smurfing happens. According to Riot, there seems to be two species of smurfs; one with malicious intentions and another with pure intentions. The pure smurfs are those that are too high of a rank to queue with friends or other players. The act of smurfing, to them, is less about dunking on lower-skilled players and more about sustaining a community with other VALORANT players. The bad smurfs are those that disrupt most players’ experience in the game. These are the smurfs that Riot is dealing with.
“Once we are at a point where we feel comfortable with the solution we have in place and feel like we have mitigated these reasons, that’s when we will be able to put a foot down on the remaining folks — potentially booting them from our game,” Jon Walker, Competitive Designer, and Sara Dadafshar, Producer, said in the article.
The two stated that the team is still deep into the investigation phase and will take time to bring solutions to the forefront. But, the statement also went into dispelling myths about VALORANT smurfs. The team said that there are fewer smurfs in the game than the community might think and that many players are performing well in lower ranked matches.
For the investigation of what Riot is attempting to achieve, they are trying to answer four questions. These inquiries include how to identify smurfs, why they smurf, whether there’s a need that must be met for smurfs and what changes are needed to combat the practice.