VALORANT devs talk about plans to combat Smurfing and introducing a replay system

Like most other Competitive Online Games, smurfs have been a lingering problem since the release of VALORANT. In this week’s “Ask VALORANT”, the devs have addressed this issue.

What is smurfing?

Smurfing is the act of a higher skilled player playing in a lower rank. Because of this, there is a large skill disparity between the players in the game which makes it unfair for them. The term originated from a 1996 Warcraft II player who’s was one of the best players of that time. He made a new account under the fake name “Papa Smurf”. With this, he got matched up with new players and proceeded to have good fun in demolishing them.

Smurfing is a big problem in competitive games because it ruins the flow of the game and the competitive ladder. Players wanting to climb and get better in the game may run into one of these smurfs in the enemy team and get utterly destroyed by them. This is an extremely demoralizing and unfair aspect.

Regarding tackling smurfs, Competitive Designer John Walker said, “Combating smurfing is not only about punishment, but it’s also about making VALORANT more accessible so those without bad intentions no longer feel the need to smurf. Once we are at a point where we feel comfortable with the solution we have in place and feel like we have mitigated these reasons, that’s when we will be able to put a foot down on the remaining folks—potentially booting them from our game.”

Replay System updates

There was talk of the introduction of a replay system going on for a while. Regarding this, Software Engineer Brandon Wang says, “Talks are ongoing with multiple internal teams interested in a VALORANT replay system. No, we can’t share any updates as of now, but know that these early discussions are in earnest and we should have an update for you all soon™”

So there might not be any immediate solution, but Riot promises that they are working to combat the ever-pressing issue of smurfs.

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