Riot declares war on Smurfs

Smurf accounts are increasingly becoming a problem in Valorant’s Ranked Mode. Now Riot wants to take measures to put a stop to unfair players.

Even the most intrusive Vanguard won’t help with this problem: strong players who are far below their typical ELO make life difficult for other participants in Valorant. Creating a new Ranked account is the easiest way to start your life as a Smurf in Riot’s Shooter.

But reverse-boosting by deliberately losing or simply being absent is also relatively easy to do. In any case, the ones who suffer are the fair participants in the match.


The publisher is well aware of this problem and the first measures are already being implemented. In a developer diary, Sara Dadafshar from Riot answers the questions about Smurfs as follows:

“…we are working on ways to reduce these things. As a first step, we’re introducing a condition in 1.14 that unlocks Ranked Mode based on games won rather than games played.” This small change will mean that it will no longer be possible to farm matches inactively. Anyone who wants to participate in ranked matches after this update will have to earn them by winning them first. At least that’s the theory.

In addition, the development team has planned tougher punishments for destructive behaviour in Valorant. These included rank losses, reduced experience points, extended queue times and, in extreme cases, account bans, which, according to producer Dadafshar, will be rolled out over the course of the next year.

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