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The so-called “smurfs” are quite hated by many novice players, since they spoil several of their games while they are just learning a video game. This, since these smurfs are by definition players who have already gained enough skills and a high level in a video game, who create a new account that is sent to play with rookies, whom they slaughter mercilessly.
Something that is being avoided in VALORANT, the popular shooter from Riot Games, who began testing on the game’s North American server, applying a new system that monitors the performance of all new accounts. This tool adjusts them to the level where they are supposed to play and thus prevent them from pretending to be rookies and sweeping low-ranked players.
You can read: VALORANT creates a system that detects HIGH LEVEL players in rookie games and sends them to games of their ELO
Smurfs that apparently wouldn’t be too many anyway, as stated by one of the game’s developers in a Reddit post, who uses this argument to also point out why they haven’t implemented two-factor authentication.
According to EvrMoar, in 1 out of 10 games you can find smurfs between Iron and Silver, something that decreases in percentage as you go up in rank.
“Let’s say after some research we found that two-factor authentication would probably reduce that to 1 in 15 games for these players, reducing smurfs by 50%. We would be reducing smurfs from 1% to 0.5% of concurrent users,” he assured.
The developer also refers to the work they are doing in VALORANT to prevent new players from running into smurfs, especially in ranked games. As he notes, “Every decision we’ve made for ranked has always had the question, ‘Will this reduce smurfing?’ or ‘How can we change this to reduce smurfing during the design phase?'”
“We’ve done things to make it easier for friends to group up by lowering the grouping restrictions or creating the 5-player party rule. We have improved our detection and MMR system to quickly move smurf accounts to their correct MMR, and we are testing a new method right now in NA,” said EvrMoar.
He also states that he cannot explain the methods used in Riot in detail, because if he did, it would allow some smurfs to find loopholes in the design of this system and thus take advantage of them to troll games.
Finally, he also assured that several smurfs are already confirming that this new Riot system is working on some level.
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