Valorant dev tackles smurfing paranoia: ‘smurfs are less common than players think'

  • Valorant dev tackles smurfing paranoia: ‘smurfs are less common than players think'

    Posted by on August 5, 2022 at 7:22 PM

    Bam! You're dead. It was a headshot from far away with the same gun you're using. Dang, they're pretty good. Maybe even too good. Could they be smurfing?

    These are the considerations players make in the heat of a competitive FPS like CS:GO, Rainbow Six Siege, or Valorant. When a teammate or opponent seems to be overperforming based on their rank, they might actually be a higher-ranked player using an alternate account (a “smurf” account). The ethics of smurfing are complicated, but most agree that playing against a smurf sucks. Some believe smurfing is a problem that developers have little incentive to solve.

    That was the conclusion of one commenter on a Valorant subreddit post, who argued Riot is “downplaying the game's glaring issues,” namely smurfing, in order to boost total player numbers and sell more skins. The comment specifically called out Valorant senior competitive designer EvrMoar, who personally wrote a 3,400-word response to the comment—not something that happens every day.

    The gist? EvrMoar says Riot developers are not “shadowy figures” trying to massage Valorant player numbers. He says his team treats smurfing as a serious problem, but wants fans to know that internal research suggests “smurfs are less common than players think.”

    “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,” he said.

    EvrMoar says the claim that more smurf accounts means more success for Riot is false.

    “Some of the strongest data we

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