Riot took to Twitter to address how the past two competitive seasons have seemed to be a slower climb than ever before for many players.
“This is intentional. We really don’t want players creating alt accounts just to blow through the climb. We encourage players to stay on their mains. Smurfing ruins the game experience for others,” Riot tweeted.
Smurfing, a practice in which a highly ranked player creates a new account to easily get wins off of less experienced players, has always been a major concern in League of Legends. While Riot is hoping that a slower climb and wins having less impact on your rank will deter smurfs from wasting their time grinding, the League of Legends community largely feels that this solution is concerning.
While smurfs may end up making less low-level accounts because of the slow grind ahead of them, the difficult climb may also deter regular players from attempting the grind as well.
“Good job, man. So instead of ruining the game for 25-30 games in low elo, we ruin it 70-80 now. You are just so smart,” one sarcastic follower tweeted back.
Another League of Legends player noted that you “have to go 70-0 to get diamond 4.” Meanwhile, someone ranked diamond last season “can go five wins, 50 losses and still be diamond.” They suggested Riot “hard reset the elo” to ensure everyone who got “boosted” in the past was set to their real elo again.
“You guys trolling or what? How on earth is this a good system?” another Twitter user ranted.
LoL players upset by smurfs and the ranked grind
While a few followers responded that gamers will complain no matter what, it seems that the majority of the League of Legends community is genuinely in agreement that the slow climb is a bad approach to solving the game’s smurfing issue.
That’s possibly why Valve took the opposite approach to smurfing when it came to Dota 2 last year. While Riot focused on the players taking advantage of the quick ranking system, Valve seemed more concerned with their ranking system being too slow, so they sped it up.
“The system searches for players that frequently perform significantly above their current skill bracket, and applies an MMR increase to those players until they’ve reached a skill bracket where they’re no longer over-performing,” Valve said in September.
On top of that, Valve started using phone numbers to verify accounts. This ensures that each account belongs to a unqiue user. They also require players to log 100 hours on Dota 2 before they can even join a ranked game. These changes have cut down on smurf accounts significantly, and they might be something Riot could learn from.