Smurfs have plagued the ranked ladder since forever, and there has never been a good solution for it. But recently, Riot gave us some new information about how they want to deal with smurfs in the future.
Recently, the talk about smurfs in League has picked up again. It is usually at the end and the start of a season where people meet the most smurfs and ranked becomes insufferable. Riot has always fought against these smurfs, but it never felt like anything actually happened. In a recent AmA a rioter shared some more information about what they are doing to combat smurfs.
LoL: The Fight Against Smurfs Continues
Riot Iksar answered some community questions during a recent Reddit AmA about their fight against the smurfing problem in League.
He mentioned that in the last few weeks they focused heavily on matchmaking, ranked in general, bots and the smurfing issue. Many of these changes are still in the works and will be hitting the game soon. Riot Iksar gave us three examples that they are working on.
Number one is the better initial placement for all queues. If you can better work out how good a player is, you can place them better, and they won't play versus far worse or far better opponents for long. This should help newer players find their way into lower elos where the games are a bit easier and slower.
Number two is a better smurf detection. Here Iksar states that there is nothing wrong with making a second account and playing versus people in your skill bracket. The problem is that some players make new accounts to play versus significantly worse players to boost their ego. This usually requires them to run it down a few games to lower their MMR. Riot aims at finding and banning these accounts as fast as possible, but the tool isn't very accurate yet.
The last point is monitoring ranked play. They made changes to the system to reach your “true” rank faster. This will stabilize your hidden matchmaking rating. There were also changes made to the negative LP states, which made it almost impossible for you to climb out of an elo. Since League of Legends is a pretty big game, it can be hard to evaluate such large data sets and only time will tell if it actually works.
Its actually very smart of them to combat the root causes of smurfing. There is nothing wrong with making a new account to play with friends, but smurfs usually end up ruining a whole game for the nine other players and that just sucks.
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