FACEIT launching ID verification to fight against smurfs

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Counter-Strike matchmaker FACEIT is notorious for its smurfs, but the host is confident that it’s found a solution with ID verification.

Smurfing is one of the most frustrating parts of grinding competitive games, and CSGO is no exception. Many players look to third-party matchmaking platforms to avoid disguised high-rankers, but even they don’t have a perfect solution. That’s a problem that FACEIT is trying to fix with ID verification for players, but the topic is more than a little controversial within the community.

In an official blog post written on May 4, 2023, FACEIT announced a new ID verification system being added to its matchmaker. It teased the new feature in a few social media posts leading up to the announcement. This involves sending personal information to FACEIT that proves that the account owner is a real and unique human. Accounts that opt into the feature will be able to enter verified-only queues, which, according to FACEIT, will not feature any alternate accounts, including smurfs.

The ID verification system is now live, and anyone on FACEIT Premium is allowed to join after submitting their personal information. The feature is intended to become available for free players sometime in the future. The check is not performed by FACEIT itself but by a third-party company called Daon. The blog post emphasizes security above all else, but not all players are sold on the idea.

Is ID verification the next step for FACEIT?

FACEIT players have expressed concerns about giving their personal information to a CSGO matchmaker, though ID verification also has its strong points.

Currently, CSGO players on FACEIT already give up a lot of privacy. Between submitting their phone numbers and giving access to special anti-cheating programs, some players are unwilling to take the extra step of sending government-issued identification. While Daon has a solid track record for verifying IDs, the potential for a data breach is always on the table. If FACEIT mishandles the process in even the smallest way, it could lead to mass identity theft over a video game.

However, it’s worth noting that similar services have existed in the past with few issues. ESL offered an ID-verified queue for its European matchmaker just a few years ago, and fans claimed that the system practically eliminated all smurfs from the platform. With FACEIT’s version now live, it could be the beginning of the end for smurfs.


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