It can be tough enough to climb in rank on the Overwatch Competitive ladder, but a new exploit is making thing even easier for so-called smurfs, and much more difficult for the rest of us.
In the last few years so-called smurfing, which is when a highly ranked player makes a new account to either relive the thrills of ranking up, or just to beat up on low-level players.
For obvious reasons, this is frowned upon by the vast majority of players who don't smurf, but apparently a new exploit in Competitive placement matches is making it easier, and more annoying, to deal with than ever before.
Apparently, by leaving five games in placements with an account new to competitive, you'll automatically be placed in the gold rank. Since most of these players are higher level than gold to begin with, it's basically instant-qualification for a smurf account.
There's a glitch that's in the game that when people leave 5 games in placements, they get placed in gold. Now if I were to queue on a 4600+ account and go vs their stack I would lose 50+ SR but if I beat them I'd gain probably 2-4 SR @PlayOverwatch @BlizzardCS This is very (1/x) pic.twitter.com/rmzdA0fJCu
— Ricky MLG (@CODCode904) August 21, 2020
If you're a gold, platinum, or silver player, the amount of SR you can gain or lose with a win or lose are roughly about the same. however, if you're a higher level player going up against a stack of smurfs, the potential for lost SR is much greater than the maximum you could ever earn.
This also doesn't encourage the best gameplay either, as those players who are actually trying to win could get discouraged with the relatively low rewards they're grinding for.
It also seems very counterintuitive to have players just placed into gold automatically, especially if they intentionally leave all of the matches. How you would apply a penalty or try to stop people from doing so does present a problem though.
For instance, if you put players who leave Competitive matches at a lower rank, you'd basically be playing right into smurf players' very intentions. On the other hand, if you were to put them at a higher rank, everyone would just simply skip placements to get that extra boost.
Maybe the simplest solution would be to simply not count any placement matches you leave as a match at all, win or loss, so that players remain unranked until they fully complete all of the required games. That, or Blizzard could limit how many copies of Overwatch one person could buy, but we don't see that happening anytime soon.