Smurfing has been a pretty big issue in Valorant ever since it got its official release back in June 2020.
Though much of the problem arose from the fact that the ranked system and matchmaking itself was not satisfactory for those in the higher-ranked tiers, there were also cases where the reason behind a player making a smurf account was less than neighborly.
There have also been cases where high-ranked Valorant players made smurf accounts just to play with their low-ranked friends, with no malicious intentions in mind.
And in their latest Ask Valorant blog, the developers opened up about the two types of smurfs. One who creates an alternate account just to hamper the competitive fairness of the game and another who does it after they have already reached the top of the competitive ladder or wants to play with friends.
Valorant’s Jon Walker, Competitive Designer, and Sara Dadafshar, Producer, wrote in the post:
“For those that encounter smurfs, we know it’s tough to stomach that there’s no immediate solution today, but we have to make sure that we are approaching this complex space in the right way without screwing up other systems. We want to understand exactly what your needs are and how we can better serve you all!”
“For example, we’ve noticed that a big chunk of smurfs do so with no malicious intent—they’re trying to play competitively with friends outside of their rank. Whereas, there may still be a minority who create smurf accounts with bad intent.”
Valorant to receive strict smurf penalties in future updates
Instead of jumping the gun and banning all the smurfs that they come across, Riot will be focusing more on accessibility and only boot those who want to intentionally harm Valorant’s competitive integrity.
The devs continued by saying:
“Combating smurfing is not only about punishment; it’s also about making VALORANT more accessible, so those without bad intentions no longer feel the need to smurf. 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.”
However, as Valorant’s competitive team is still in their investigation phase regarding the smurf issue, there might not be a possible fix in the immediate future. It will take time for the devs to implement the penalty, and fans are hopeful that the update will come sometime later this fall.