Five professional Smite [official site] players have been hit with bans ranging from three days to one year after it emerged they had been account-sharing – a violation of the game’s Terms of Service.
All five were suspended from the game although the length of the punishment varied. For Enemy esports’ Josua ‘Tocketty’ Romroth it was a first offence so a three day ban was issued. Contrast that with COGnitive Gaming’s Suharab ‘Mask’ Askarzada – it’s his fifth offence so he’s staring at a one year suspension. Robert ‘Lloydy’ Lloyd, Samuel Lee ‘Soulshiner’ Thomas and a player whose real name I don’t actually know, Vetium, were all on third offences and get a 14 day ban.
Where the bans are for six days or more (i.e. for everyone except Tocketty) the players in question must also obtain written permission to return to the professional scene from Hi-Rez. The two accounts which were being accessed by those players have been permanently banned.
As per the professional cometition rules:
“High standards are expected from every player competing at all times. Each player must follow the SMITE Terms of Service that he or she agreed to upon signing up for an account, including Item 12 (Online Rules of Conduct). Failure to abide by the SMITE Terms of Service may result in punitive measures, including but not limited to disqualification, suspension from future events, and/or termination of your account.”
The punishment might sound weirdly harsh – a whole year out of the game for sharing an account – but the thing with sharing accounts is that it opens up the possibility of things like letting other players artificially inflate your account’s matchmaking ranking. Problems associated with that are partly security-based because of needing to share login details, and partly about cultivating a healthy game for the players that rewards their dedication, not having low skill players popping up in high skill matches because they’ve paid someone to shove their MMR upwards.
We’ll have a more detailed piece about the player behaviour issues involved coming soon.