League of Legends

League players frustrated as Clash smurfs continue to sabotage tourneys

by Alan Bernal
Riot Games

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League of Legends players queuing up for Clash are still seeing tournament weekends marred by the smurfs filing into lower-ranked lobbies, among other problems.

Since it was announced back in 2018, Clash has been hit with setbacks one after another in its pre and post launch states. Before, Riot struggled to get the mode live across regions, but after successful online weekends, some tournaments got another game-breaking issue.

Smurfs aren’t anything new in the League of Legends ecosystem. For one reason or another, highly-Ranked players will make new accounts where they can comfortably outplay the lower skilled opponents.

Riot Games
Clash invites a five-player team to compete against others in tournaments with opponents of similar ranks.

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For regular solo queue games and the like, smurfs are generally used to help boost another player through the rankings, get easy highlight reel plays, or find a more enjoyable gameplay experience against noobs.

But this presents a problem for those noobs who lock into a Clash tournament expecting to go up against similarly skilled players, just to run into a five-stack of smurfs in the lobby.

“Smurfing in Clash needs to be monitored closer,” user ‘Capt_Backside’ said. “You win one game and go into a full team with a Clash history of 12-0 who are all Iron, Bronze, and Silver and you can't help but be disheartened.”

CRIXINATOR via Reddit
League players are finding smurfs across their tournaments.

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The problem has persisted through enough Clash weekends to where people are now convinced that “every bracket [just ends] in whichever team had the most smurfs.”

Even more League community members started to file in with proof of low-ranked Clash members all sporting impressive win-rates or insane 30+ game win streaks.

League game designer Jon ‘IAmWalrus’ Moormann already said that Riot takes Clash smurfs “very seriously” and outlined what they’re doing to stop the problem.

Riot Games
Some players are convinced there's little Riot can do against Clash smurfs.

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Unfortunately without a fix, players in low tier brackets can easily run into a wall of smurfs, putting a swift end to any hopes of getting tournament rewards.

Similarly, the client that League runs out of has seen a few problems of its own. Players are reporting having to play without junglers, for example, simply because the League window wouldn’t let teams trade champions with each other or change up their runes.

Even with all of the kinks in it, Clash has been a popular mode for LoL players to queue up in, so it’ll be interesting to see how Riot responds to clean up the tourney’s biggest problem.