Most competitive free-to-play games have a smurfing problem. For many, you only need an email address to create an account and you can bet your bottom dollar that players will create new accounts to play in easier lobbies, ultimately ruining the experience for those legitimately trying to climb the ranks.
Riot has previously made efforts to tackle this problem in Valorant by changing the requirement to play ranked from 10 games to 10 wins, but this has done little to dissuade those wanting to play in lower ranks for whatever reason.
Players have now grown frustrated because smurfs not only ruin the game they are in but essentially compromise the integrity of the entire rank system.
Valorant devs to make it harder to play ranked with new accounts
Now, it appears Riot are ready to do even more. A recent post on the Valorant subreddit about this very issue drew comment from a Valorant producer, Sara Dadafshar, who said that Valorant's recently implemented account level system would be used in the future to help combat smurfing.
"As we've evolved, our ranked entry requirement went from play 10 games to win 10 games," explained Dadafshar. "But with the addition of account level, this gives us a perfect opportunity to modify the entry requirement once more," Dadafshar added.
This system is nothing new to Riot Games since a version of it is used in their MOBA, League of Legends. Other games, such as Overwatch, have similar systems which arguably do a good job in combating smurfing.
Beyond Dadafshar's comments, the thread largely became a sounding board for just how prevalent the problem has become.
"I'll be honest, I thought I wouldn't stress myself too much about smurfs too but here I am," said one player, adding: "B*tching on Reddit about smurfs because it is so blatant how accounts below level 50 are dominating games on high ELO."
Another user said: "I didn't think smurfs were a big deal. But for the past couple weeks (sic), every gold 2 game I play has multiple level 20 accounts. Every. Game."
Although Dadafshar didn't indicate a timeline on when the rank changes would be implemented (though she did say it was "in the works"), historically, major changes around the rank system typically happen at the start of a new act. Given this, players could be waiting a while, as Valorant Episode 3 Act 3 won't be out until early November.
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Featured image courtesy of Riot Games.