Riot reveals how they're combating "filthy smurfs" in Valorant - Dexerto

Riot reveals how they’re combating “filthy smurfs” in Valorant

Published: 22/Oct/2020 17:38

by Michael Gwilliam


With Valorant rising up the ranks as an elite esports title, smurfing is bound to be a major issue. Luckily, Riot Games have implemented some systems to keep matches smurf-free and have more in development.

Smurfing is nothing new in competitive games. Skilled players will sometimes either buy accounts ranked way lower than their main or purposefully throw games to get into lower ranks where they can dominate games. Or, more simply, just create an alternative account with a new level to play on.

This can be extremely infuriating for players in those lower ranks, because smurfs can absolutely stomp those games single-handedly.

In a recent Ask Valorant blog post, the Riot devs explained how they’re going about dealing with “filthy smurfs” and ensuring that games remain fair for everyone involved.

Viper planting bomb
Riot Games
Riot has implemented systems to combat smurfing.

“Smurfing always sucks, especially when you have rank on the line. While it’s hard to stop smurfing entirely in a free-to-play game, we are taking action to combat it,” Senior Producer Ian Fielding said.

“Right now we have a behind-the-scenes system for Unrated as well as one that applies to Iron through Diamond ranked players,” he added. “The latter tracks an individual’s performance and notices when a player makes a highly disproportionate impact in a game. We then quickly boost them to harder matches and higher ranks in Competitive.”

Basically, this means that if a player is having games where they absolutely dominate at a certain rank, they’ll find themselves in higher ranks faster. In other words, the matchmaker can tell when someone is smurfing.

Long shot
Riot Games
Players dominating matches will be boosted in Valorant.

“We stop leveraging this system for Immortal+ players because there isn’t a ton of room to smurf or play down when you are already near the top ranks,” Fielding further stated.

As for the future, there are some big plans in place, but nothing imminent. “We’re also looking at ways to further accelerate placing smurfs into appropriately skilled matches. But right now we are prioritizing some improvements to our core rank system and leaderboards ahead of that.”

This is good news going forward and will hopefully improve Valorant’s competitive integrity in the years to come.


Riot devs explain why Valorant’s next maps will be like Icebox

Published: 23/Nov/2020 17:01

by Lauren Bergin


Icebox has become one of the most hotly debated maps in Valorant, but Riot Games map developer Joe Ziegler has stated that future map designs are likely to follow in its footsteps. 

Everyone and their Valorant grandmother knows about Icebox, Riot Games’ latest addition to the game. Icebox was released into Future Earth on patch 1.11, however since then it has generated a lot of controversy.

Fans are truly divided on this map, some refer to it as “garbage” while others truly seem to love it. The icy location certainly has left some fans out in the cold due to the vast array of angles on offer to pick off enemies from and the countless routes that the map offers.

However, whether or not Icebox has wowed fans or otherwise, Riot map developer Joe Zeigler has told players to expect more Icebox-style locations.

icebox valorant map
Riot Games
Icebox has quite quickly solidified itself as one of Valorant’s most hated maps.

Riot Ziegler confirms that future maps will be more like Icebox

In a recent instalment of Dev Diaries, Ziegler takes the bull by the horns when it comes to the Icebox discussion.

The segment entitled ‘Icebox and the future of maps’ clarifies that Riot’s vision with every new map is to “bring meaningful new changes that ask you to think about how you approach the space. Our four original maps were designed to introduce you to the complexities of Valorant, especially with so much unique agent utility to play against.”

Ziegler goes on to clarify that “moving forward I hope you can see how we’ll continue challenging the basic concepts of map design in order to promote more diverse, strategic play”. Citing Icebox as an example because it’s more complex design forces players to work on their aim as well as skirmishing ability.

Icebox’s layout allows players to “plan more strategically and perform tactically with guns and character abilities,” something that Riot seek to promote moving forward.

So like it or not, Valorant’s map designers will be using Icebox’s complex design as their blueprint moving forward. Hopefully this decision continues to add an element of difficulty to the game that we perviously haven’t seen before. We’ll keep our eyes out for any further Valorant map news.