Smurfs in Valorant are increasingly becoming more of a problem. With it being free to make an account, and the conditions for ranked being easy to hit, smurfs are swarming the ladder. Riot are introducing new measures to hopefully curb their impact though.
The smurfs have Valorant’s ranked system all figured out. With no leaderboard to grind for yet, once you hit a high rank and the queue times get long, all you have to do is start a new account, AFK or surrender 20 unrated games in a row, and you’ll be back in the queues in no time.
20 games might sound like forever, but when you’re practically hands-off keyboard for the entire run, it’s a small price to pay to restart the grind. However, it makes the experience unenjoyable for the nine other players in every game on the way up.
In the unrated games, it sucks constantly playing 4v5. When the smurfs hit ranked, they’re often miles better than the players they are matched against early. It ruins the game for hundreds of people for every account made.
Riot is aware of this issue, and is looking at closing the loophole in patch 1.14. They want to at least make smurfs work for their alternate accounts by forcing them to win games, not just play them.
“You’ll notice that we are implementing an update in 1.14 that changes the requirements to unlock ranked mode to ‘games won’ rather than ‘games played.’ We hope this will force players who are just spam farming matches to actually participate in play and strive for wins,” developer Sara Dadafshar said in the latest Ask Valorant.
This is coming as Riot launch a mutli-pronged attack on AFK punishments. Queue cooldowns are no longer enough, with Riot considering rank penalties, and even bans, for players who consistently AFK in their games.
“We’re looking into things like rank penalties, experience mitigations, longer queue time restrictions, and even bans if it comes down to it.”
“We want to distinguish between disruptive behaviors that stem from comms and gameplay, and then penalize accordingly.”
They are also keeping their eyes on “intentionally feeding” players, who are just losing 20 games in a row to get their accounts ranked-ready. Riot urged players to report any players that are doing this, as it’ll most likely lead to punishments.