In every competition, one person or one team will rise to the top and claim the title of being the best, but what about the average Joe, people who couldn’t compete at a world or national level? Normally, they would play with their friends or random people that are gathered around at a specific location. However, in the gaming community, you could jump into a “ranked match” to compete with strangers across the globe to see how good you are in the game you want to compete.
What is a ranked match you may ask? A ranked match is a competitive mode for anyone who wants to prove themselves in the game; they want to compete. By entering this mode, they would also compete with other people who want to prove themselves as well. Two teams or individuals throw everything they have at each other to see who is the better and will come out on top. By winning, they can prove their ability to other players who are also competing in ranked mode. However, there is one subject, one frightful monster that haunts the rank ladder and terrorizes the average Joe all alike, and they are the smurfs.
Smurfs, surprisingly, are not the blue woodland creatures, but rather, they are a high-ranked player who disguises themselves as a newcomer to bully other newcomers for their enjoyment. This action of smurfing is equivalent to bullying others who are weaker than you. They attack the newcomers’ enjoyment, making them hate the game and never want to pick it up again. When you want to get better, you are forced to play with people who are equivalent to your skill level to improve. You are not going to get better if you get beaten up by someone who knows every nook and cranny in the game.
In ranked matches, these monsters are much more active and would always pray on the weaker player. To many, this is incredibly stressful as not only you are putting your position on the land, but losing is almost inevitable because the smurfs are always better than them. Sure, losing to another player is something casual, but those who fake their ability and bully newcomers are always frowned upon in the gaming community. It discourages new players to join the game, and it will also make people stay away from the game, causing harm to the game developer. That is why many game developers constantly trying to find a way to stop the smurfs from getting into the match with you. For example, in Dota 2, if you try to create a new account and bully newcomers, your account will be banned, not allowing you to play the game. If smurfing is not stopped, many will leave the game.
Adam Fike, who is on the Greenville University E-sports Team, commented, “There’s nothing you could do about it since they could always create a new account to play. You could choose a counter method, but that is easier said than done. You could also try to avoid the specific game mode, but it really depends on the game. “
In summary, smurfing has been a disease in the gaming community for the longest of times to both the game developer and the players who just want to enjoy the gamee. There should be no reason why you should be disguising as a newcomer. It’s not fun for anybody to deal with a smurf in their lobby.
Media by Minh La.