Smurfing is not the problem you think it is.

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People in this community have a massive misconception of what a smurf is, and what they're encountering in the game itself.

What the majority of players here are experiencing as "smurfs" are actually the result of the behavior score system. Really low BS players get relegated to the shadow pool. In the shadow pool obviously the majority of games are with other low BS players AND valve artificially increases the amount of time it takes to find a game. As someone who has been to this pool and climbed out to 10k it took me hundreds of games, and months (almost an entire year because I don't play for 15 hours a day..) of spamming unranked and turbo. Unfortunately it's not as simple as "don't be toxic lul" because 1 report under 7k BS nullifies your score card and as a result your last 15 games. You can have an entirely green score card and gain 0 behavior score because a disgruntled guy reported you for communicating in a way that he didn't like. On top of all of that, games can take 40 minutes to an hour to find. Being generous and saying you waited 40 minutes between games, and each game takes 40 minutes to complete. For one scorecard you need to invest 20 hours for 15 games, and 1 report in those 20 hours can lead to a nullified scorecard. You can argue whether or not this is deserved for being toxic. I'm not here to make that argument, but what I am claiming is that a lot of these players that end up in this situation just make new accounts, because it actually takes less time to get a new account calibrated with a higher BS than it takes to recover bad behavior score on your main account. These players aren't necessarily "good" like a booster. Their account is just new and their stats look inflated because they stomped some games before making it to their general rank.
Just yesterday someone who was crusader recorded and posted here the people he thought were smurfs in his last 50 games. He thought there were 40+ smurfs in his last 50 games. Upon inspecting some of the accounts he listed with public match data available, not one of them had a greater than 55% win rate. These are players making new accounts either to avoid the behavior score system, or to recalibrate because they believe their rank should be higher and they think a new account will calibrate better. These appear like smurfs to lower level players when they just happen to have a good game and stomp. Because their account level is low and they have some win streaks on their account from when they were playing with new players.

Another source of new accounts are a result of valve's laziness in regards to match making seasons. There are a lot of people out there who think their rank should be higher, so they make new accounts to try and calibrate at a higher tier.

The overwhelming majority of actual smurfs (or high level players playing new accounts and stomping), are actually in the divine and low immortal brackets. To get to the highest mmr brackets you have to either be pro level, or really min max your mmr number. That means only playing on your main account when you're feeling good, but unranked is simply a shit alternative for high level players, so they make alternate accounts (which calibrate in divine) and play warm up games on it or play heroes/builds they aren't as familiar with. However, because they're way better than the bracket, they still end up stomping.

The other set of smurfs are of course the boosters/account sellers. Not much needs to be said about them, everyone knows they're bad.

If you'll notice, all of these issues actually exist because of valve's systems of match making. In order to resolve the issue, detecting and banning will not work. You need to resolve the broken systems that cause players to repeatedly make new accounts. The behavior score system of punishment DOES NOT WORK for a free game that you can just make a new account for, and the Unranked All Pick mode is NOT a suitable place for higher level players to warm up or try new things. Introducing Role Queue to unranked all pick and removing the bans would be a good start to fixing this particular issue. There have been many times where I've wanted to warm up by practicing a certain strategy on a certain hero, just to have that hero randomly banned or some other guy 1st picks a different hero in the role I wanted to play. If for example I play primarily mid, and I go into unranked to warm up my laning against an opponent, only to have the legend player first pick shadowfiend, I've just wasted 40~ minutes. It's much easier to go onto an alt account, queue for ranked roles mid and at least know that I'll be playing the role I want to warm up on.

/end rant


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