RPS Asks: Have You Ever Smurfed? If So, Why?

A great joke

Reading through the new Ask Riot thingummy where Riot employees will address common League of Legends [official site] questions, the very first question looks at the practice of smurfing. This is not the process of dying yourself blue and donning a Phrygian cap as some sort of pre-game ritual (although I now have a new feature idea – GRAHAM!).

Smurfing in this instance refers to more experienced players playing on a lower level (smurf) account. The idea is usually of an experienced player heading into lower ranked games to beat up on these newer/lower level opponents.

Smurfing has definitely been more noticeable to me in League than in other games. That might simply be because I’m more aware of it as a phenomenon, but it might also be because League has a system in place which sets out to detect smurfing and match those players against one another.

I have absolutely no evidence for this but I do wonder whether my following professional League and being really familiar with similar systems and characters and so on from Dota has flagged me as a smurf (despite only ever playing on the one account and gradually levelling up).

I get to grips with the basics of characters pretty quickly and know the rhythms of the games in a way that’s likely at odds with my actual game time. I also encounter a lot of people who seem to be smurfing and who have occasionally accused me of doing the same.

I can understand that appeal of smurfing on some level. It’s nice to have an easy victory once in a while – to feel like a champ racking up a massive kill streak and like the time you’ve spent has been worthwhile because you’re definitely better at the game than some people. But I’ve also seen people getting really cross – ragging on teammates for them not understanding a character or an objective when they’re level 5 and still learning.

The smurfing player is there to reap the benefits of being the big fish in the little pond but is angry that the little fish on his team aren’t bigger and more ferocious.

The answer Riot gave in their blog was interesting, not because they have solutions, but more because it was a reminder that smurfing can happen for a number of reasons. I mean, I’d be tempted to do it for Dota because I have played the same basic role for over a thousand hours and trying to break out of that rut might be easier in an environment where everyone is learning, rather than facing the ire of frustrated teammates when I’m not instantly as good at a different role.

So I’d like to ask:

1. Have you ever smurfed?

2. If you have, why?

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  1. bateleur says:

    I haven’t ever done so myself, but I know several people who have and in all three cases it’s about something other than winning. Trying out different champions, different roles, playing with less experienced friends, reducing queue times…

    • Melliflue says:

      Reducing queue-time is a terrible reason to smurf, because smurfing is not fun for the genuine low-level players thrown into a game with a much better player, and impatience should not be an acceptable reason for causing that situation.

      I can understand the argument about trying out a new hero/role, but then I think there must be things Riot could do to solve this. Such as having separate ranks for different heroes (you would rank up more with the hero you played than other heroes, and maybe even weight it by hero type so playing a support hero would rank up all support heroes etc) but I still wouldn’t want that player matched up against completely new players, which they would do if they created a smurf account, hence there should still be an overall rank and then the match-making system would use the largest of the overall rank and hero-type rank. However, this would force players to pick a hero-type before being put into a match and that would be a big change.

      The problem of groups with varying skill is something I don’t have an idea what to do about.

      • Fnord73 says:

        Sometimes getting beaten up by a pro can be instructive. But not the third time.

        • Halk says:

          Beaten up by a pro? Expensive and thrilling, a real pro will be able not to leave suspicious marks.

          Not cheap though, and that’s before “extras”. Ahem.

      • taylordcraig says:

        In solo ranked LoL games, you pick your preferred two roles. If it’s a premade group you all have your assigned roles.

    • Fnord73 says:

      Damn, now you all made me download LoL for the first time.

  2. BebopBraunbaer says:

    no experience in LoL but playing Dota2 for a long time smurf accounts are more like “throw away accounts” as in, playing just for “fun” without the pressure of losing to much MMR or hurting the overall hard earned winrate. Also playing with less skilled friends or just being goofy and trying the all the things youtube and reddit is talking about

    • The Lambton Worm says:

      I suspect that playing with less experienced friends is quite a big one – one of my housemates has a League smurf account for that purpose, and it’s always stuck me as pretty sensible: it’s more fun to learn the game with a friend, and if you teamed up with him only to get matched against the presumably terrifying people who play at his actual level, it would probably be quite demoralising.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Flavour Beans says:

    1) I haven’t, particularly because I’ve never been good enough at any one ranked game to make it worth my trouble, but my brother has had a couple smurf accounts for CSGO.

    2) He says he does it because it’s a way to goof around and not have to play ‘seriously’ for a while. The odd thing about CSGO is that the closest thing it has to its ranked ‘competitive’ mode for goofing around is ‘casual’ mode, which is a poor approximation of the real thing (free armor, double the players, etc.)

    From what I can tell of a lot of other smurfers I’ve met, it’s a power rush thing. When you’re really good at a game but only ever play people of equal skill, you don’t get that rush of bulldozing through rookies. A lot of high-skilled players will smurf on their Twitch accounts and stuff for the lulz.

    A lot of people seem to enjoy it as a way to troll other players, too. Besides, if you’re smurfing and doing well, you also need to play poorly every so often in order to stay low-ranked, so you get the “fun” of throwing matches to keep downranked.

    • Premium User Badge

      Flavour Beans says:

      The odd thing about doing it in CSGO, though, is that you still need to shell out $15 to get the game on your other account, unless people can do it with share-play.

      • welverin says:

        There is family sharing with Steam and has different saves and stats, so yeah they could just share with an alt account.

        Though I seem to recall ban potentially transferring, not sure about that though.

    • lglethal says:

      Smurfing in order to goof around and try silly stuff that your brother saw on Youtube really strikes me as just being disrespectful to the new players. Yes their skills are awful, but when your brother started he was no difference. So whilst they are trying to have fun, and learn the game, your brother is running aroung doing silly things and ganking them with ease. Why not just play in some sort of causal unranked mode with his main account? Then who cares if he loses.

      Also the whole “having to throw a match to keep the level down” thing is awful. Yeah your brother is keeping his level down but he’s also keeping all those newbies on his team’s level down as well. By throwing the game then he’s not giving the newbies a fair chance and for me that’s really pretty despicable.

      All up, it just seems massively disrespectful to me, and would definitely drive me away from a game if I was a newbie.

      • Premium User Badge

        Flavour Beans says:

        Oh, my brother never did it for any other reason than to just play ranked matches less seriously, and to play with lower-ranked friends without risking downranking his own account. The other stuff I mentioned are behaviors I’ve seen in other smurfers from playing the game myself.

        The problem, at least for CSGO, is that “casual” mode is a terrible approximation of ranked play. Casual servers have a different economy, free armor, twice the number of players on maps not meant for that many, and many other differences. The only way to get the feel of a ranked match without actually playing ranked is… to smurf, basically.

        I’ll be interested to see what happens when Prime Matchmaking releases for CSGO: Basically, your account is hooked to your phone number, only one account per number, and you are only matched with other Prime accounts when possible. It won’t stop people from having smurf accounts, but it will help people from encountering them on their main accounts.

    • JamSohnson says:

      Got to say that anyone who gets a buzz from stomping noobs, rather than a close game against people nearer your true rank probably have the wrong approach.

      • Press X to Gary Busey says:

        Like a pro athlete pretending to be an amateur to goof a bunch of middle-aged, out-of-shape white-collars or schoolchildren and mock their performance.

  4. Premium User Badge

    particlese says:

    No, I haven’t smurfed, but I suppose I too can appreciate the desire to do so: When I started playing Awesomenauts, I really liked the periodic ladder resets because the “leagues” the game placed you in seemed to have a jarring difficulty curve. I’d be winning and losing matches with a friend with what felt like an even manner, and then BAM we win a game well enough to get sent to the next tier, and we’re destroyed. I suppose this should encourage me to improve, but a more continuous system would have been more encouraging. Maybe they’ve fixed this, but I’ve been having enough fun with Botmatches.

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      particlese says:

      Stepping away from mobas/mobalikes for a second, while playing Elder Scrolls Online, I did a lot of exploring and a fair amount of pvp before doing much of the normal questly content, so I was waaay over-leveled by the time I got to it. I derived much joy from the naked pve fistfights I had, and I still do it from time to time while eating tacos or whatever. Better than Netflix, I tell ya.

      I don’t think I could survive naked pvp fisticuffs, but if I could, that would be how I’d smurf.

  5. obowersa says:

    I did in DOTA2, although it wasn’t about winning.

    I was part of a 5-stack who played a lot together. I mean, we were doing it almost every day for a few hours an evening. While I really enjoyed the 5-stack there were a couple of people in it who could sometimes rub me the wrong way. Depending on mood/temperament/how the game was going/etc.

    For me smurfing was a way to take a step back from that stack for a bit, or to take evenings away from the stack but still playing dota. It avoided the drama of ‘Why aren’t you playing with us, we need a 5th member to queue’ etc etc. Arguably it was more a route of cowardice but it let me just enjoy the game again.

  6. Premium User Badge

    PoulWrist says:

    No, but I play with friends who do because if not we get matched with people who just steamroll me.

  7. Jarl says:

    Long, long time ago, while League was still new, while there was no such thing as ‘meta’ and co-op vs ai didn’t exist, I made another account to try out champs that don’t suit me that much, but I was still interested to try them. But in the end, I didn’t really like feeling all that powerful while my teammates were struggling with the basics of the game. It’s irritating seeing someone making stupid mistakes and learning just how powerful turret can be when you’re lvl 1, yet you can’t be angry at them for being new to the game. I also tried smurfing few times with friends that were new to the game, but decided it was better to let them play at their own pace, and just give them advice when they need it.
    Also, shame on you Pip, for making me come out from hiding and actually write a comment after few years of being here.
    But it’s always nice reading articles like this.

  8. djhellsinki says:

    Some of my friends smurf in LoL on other friends acc to get them in gold.Since most of our group is gold and plat we can only play togheter on gold acc, if some are silver, then the plat ones will play on some borrowed gold acc.I personally smurf on a fancy, very rarely and from extreme boredom.But most low lvl people are also smurfs so no bulldozering is going on.Remembering season 3 when I started out, there were so few smurfs and it was awesome as a low lvl, can’t imagine how bad it is now for low lvls, so realizing that I will stop smurfing from this point forward.

  9. Premium User Badge

    Mungrul says:

    Different game, similar concept…
    When Quake 3 came out on the Dreamcast, the PC Quake 3 community found a way of playing on their servers.
    This is how I know that without auto-aim assistance, even the best gamepad user will never stand a chance against someone using mouse & keyboard.
    I remember winning one 20 minute game against two Dreamcast players with 120 frags, and not a single one against me.

    It also makes me wonder if modern console shooters are as secure as the console manufacturers would have us believe, and if similar methods could be used to invade their servers today.

    • welverin says:

      But those hardcore pad users assure us that it’s just as good as a mouse and keyboard!

      Of course I view that the same as people who insist a mouse and keyboard is just as good for a game like Arkham Asylum as a gamepad.

      • popej says:

        The key is to ignore them and not be so bellicose about it.

        • Zankman says:

          Cool word, added to my vocabulary, thanks!

          I’ve noticed that that type of behavior is very prevalent on Reddit.

          For example: The majority thinks X, for a very good and logical reason at that.

          Then, Y/not-X kinda happens – and there is always that one person that posts something along the lines of “But Reddit told me that X is true! /s”; Often followed by a responses of “lol Redditors are literally morons”… All of this said on Reddit, by Redditors.

          First, that kind of post is just horrible and shows a complete lack of understanding of how Reddit works and how people in general work.

          Second, it is very much so “bellicose”.

          Third, it is just cheap “karma whoring”.

      • iainl says:

        But that’s down to how you define “good”. The best console FPS games are every bit as much fun to play as the best PC-based mouse/keyboard FPS games. So I’d say that the game is as good.

        That doesn’t mean that a battle between one and the other will be fair. It’s not true that a racing game that uses F1 cars simply must be better than one in sports cars because the laptimes are lower.

        • Poldovico says:

          Although it does mean that F1 cars are better at racing than sports cars.
          I think the problem comes from M&K users feeling like they have reduced mobility when using a gamepad. Sort of like you’d feel playing a racing game on a keyboard as opposed to a steering wheel. You have less fine control than you’re used to and it frustrates. You may not need it, and the game may well be just as fun without it, but you still miss what you’re used to.

    • Pseudonym0 says:

      A bit off topic, but it’s worth noting that aim-assist is one thing, but it’s a slippery slope to avoid getting into aim-bot territory.

      I’m not sure what it’s like now, but I played DUST a quite a bit a couple years ago and generally played with keyboard and mouse, as it was supported on console and that was the FPS method I was accustomed to. I and most of the rest of my clan ended up moving on when aim-bot was introduced. It’s worth noting that most of them used controllers.

      Essentialy what they did was make it so that hip-firing with a controller was far more likely of acheiving a headshot than actually using the iron-sights on either a controller or keyboard. I tested it a fair bit with both sets of controls just to confirm my suspicions. Simply put, I could hit about a 1/3 headshot ratio just by waving the reticle in an an opponents direction and firing at ranges where I had about a 1/20 chance of hitting if I actually aimed at the head with either input device. My clan-mates who’d been playing for a while ran across the same problem, as it essentially made some of the weapons they specced into and spend considerable money on virtually useless against mediocre hip-fired assault rifles.

      As I say, bit off topic, I just think people shouldn’t be too eager to implement aim assist unless they’re very careful in how they go about it.

  10. Ross Angus says:

    I’m so disappointed. I assume this article was a reference to CarthAnne’s comment on A Naïf In Neverwinter Nights: Exploring Roleplay In An Erotic Fantasy Server.

  11. Mooglepies says:

    I have purposefully stayed low level in Dark Souls while getting endgame equipment to bully people back in the lower level areas. Does that count? Some of that is role play within the game, some of it is just because it’s funny. They stopped it in various ways in the sequels so it’s far less exploitable.

    The only competitive games I’ve truly got into (Street Fighter) don’t really support Smurfing – it’s possible to reset stats manually in those games so no one really pays attention to low points values (indicators of player skill) anyway, and even if you do meet the odd person that looks like they’ve not played a single game but really have thousands of hours, you’re only ever 2 minutes away from another match with a different player. It’s a bit different to things like CS or MOBAs where you’re stuck for a longer time.

    I know a few people that play CS with lots of different people that run multiple accounts so they can play with everyone they know without issue. That’s about it.

    • amcathlan says:

      That def. counts, though mechanically seperate from the MOBAs. Congratulations on being the only admitted griefer to post here, refreshing with the honesty, even if your intention of “bullying low levels” for the lulz makes me want to vomit you in the face.

      • PoundCoin says:

        ” even if your intention of “bullying low levels” for the lulz makes me want to vomit you in the face.”

        You let shit like this get to you and type “lulz” unironicly, you’re either 12 or you really need to go outside more, either way, getting this sort of rise out of people is exactly what “griefers” want, thanks for the tears also; all mobas are terrible

      • Mooglepies says:

        3 things.

        1 – Restoring yourself to Human form in Dark Souls is a risk/reward mechanic. Your reward is kindling bonfires and summoning help. Your risk to offset that is invasion. Anyone online in human form is fair game for this.

        2 – If I’ve created a character that joins the Darkwraith or Chaos covenants, it’s thematically correct for that character to bully the weak for their humanity. Dark Souls is still a role playing game after all, regardless of its other qualities.

        3 – I’ve done exactly the same thing in reverse as a jolly co-operator and a darkmoon blade, so I figure my karma vaguely balances out.

        • Premium User Badge

          Vandelay says:

          I would generally say that smurfing was an unpleasant and fairly nasty thing to do, but I have to agree that Dark Souls is the exception to this rule. The world itself enjoys to troll you and it only seems fitting that the online component should come with that too. I find it a little disappointing that the later games seem to have lowered the power of those invading so significantly, as it no longer feels like a real risk when you decide to pop an ember.

    • GameCat says:

      I did few invasions with my SL10 character, but it’s not fun just using fully upgraded pyro flame to kill them in one shot, so now I’m SL120 gravelord and I gank players in Kiln and other high level areas.

  12. Lolsmurf says:

    Cuz thats my name…

  13. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Nope, but were I to seriously get into League, I can imagine doing so. Then again, I tend to go for champions I like rather than which are seen as good according to the meta. And while I try to do well in game sometimes it’s fun to not take it too seriously. So that’s only going to happen if I get some people who I want to play with on a certain skill level.

  14. JamSohnson says:

    I have a smurf for CSGO.

    For me it is not a power thing at all, boils down to the fact that I can’t play mm with friends who are lower ranks due to the lack of casual mm.

  15. Gavmandog says:

    I got to a point where I had to play the top tier champs to win, if I played other champs, I was losing repeatedly. It was very frustrating. So I wasn’t having much fun.
    So I started a smurf account to use different heroes, especially the hard to play ones and to try out different tactics. Trying to learn how to jungle took a fair few attempts and it was much more approachable with the smurf account.
    Being nasty and blaming other players is poor form.

  16. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    LoL is the only game where I’ve had team member flat out say they’re smurfing. Of course, these are almost always the players raging about having to play with “noobs who don’t know how to play”, which I feel is something of an amazing statement.

  17. popej says:

    Twinking was common in Dark Souls and is somewhat similar. I’ve never partaken in it myself as I don’t really PvP unless I’m invaded/Sunbro’ing.

    Other than that I’ve encountered smurfing in CS/HL/TFC/TF2/BF# over the years. I may have done it a bit in CS during the beta years as I was pretty good at one point.

  18. Hidoshi says:

    I have 2 smurfs in LoL, because I’m quite good at LoL/DotA, but my friends aren’t. They didn’t start at the same time, but I noticed that they would get matched with players high above their level if I played with my main account.
    So I created a new account to help them. Because I hate the “noobstomping” myself, I’d always pick a support or jungle role and be more passive and just guide my friends through the game and how they should play their role/champion.
    Although I have to admit that I have played some games where I wanted to try a champion, but ended up wrecking (and secretly enjoying) the enemy team. Though always ending those games with a sense of guilt afterwards.

  19. Freud says:

    I have two smurfs in HotS. Mainly because if I get three sets of daily quests I get more gold which means I get test drive all new heroes on my smurfs before buying it on my main.

    All three accounts are relatively high rank so I don’t ruin games for any new players. Perhaps for a handful of games when starting out.

  20. Tibiazak says:

    My friends and I have smurfed in League. Partially it was to try out different roles in a (potentially) less hostile environment and part of it was to try to lessen the matchmaking gap between us (one of my friends was almost a tier better than the rest of us, so when we all played we’d play against much better people and usually get wrecked).

    The one thing we all tried to do, though, is instead of being that guy raging at the new people, we’d try to teach them appropriately to their apparent skill level. So some people we’d just talk about where on the map they should be and why, others we’d talk about specifics of their role or chosen champ. So for us, smurfing was both a learning and a teaching experience.

  21. Mortivore says:

    I smurf daily in CSGO.
    Not to bully people but since it’s the only way to play with my buddy who’s at a lower rank.

    In CSGO, you cannot queue Ranked matches if the difference in rank is too high amonst players in the same party.
    Playing casual is a giant clusterfuck; more players per team, kill rewards being different and armor being free.

    The only way to play with the “ranked ruleset” is to:
    – Get a 5 friends in the same party (rank wont matter if you queue a full party).
    – Get a smurf account.
    It’s either that or suffer the torments of the casual playlists.
    Imagine a MOBA where the casual gamemode would be 10vs10 with starter items being free.

    Whats worse is that this has been suggested a thousand times but all 5 developers assigned to CSGO seem to ignore this and instead add other game changing aspects… like pressing the use button on a chicken so it can follow you around the map.

    Why do I smurf… HA!

  22. Monggerel says:

    I have two separate League accounts on EU West and East respectively, because I play with different people on different servers. West is my main, and I made the East account much later (and use it much more rarely) so by definition playing on East is smurfing. I don’t mind.

    Playing Counter-Strike is kinda similar, in that it is also by definition smurfing a lot of the time. There are people out there (including myself) who have played the game on and off for about 16 years now and against whom the beginners will simply not win, no matter how hard they try. It’s rough, but that’s CS for you.

    I played Dota, so playing League of Legends when it came out against newcomers to the genre was also smurfing. Ditto when Dota 2 came out. Same thing for Dark Souls 1 and 2.

    I may sometimes go out of my way to grief people, but the fact that I pick on newbies is simply unavoidable by virtue of me not being a newbie.

  23. PineMaple says:

    I have many smurfs littered across half a dozen games or so. Usually my reasons are some combination of the following:

    1. Wanting to play with newer friends without forcing them to play against higher ranked opponents. That’s the best way to turn someone off a game.

    2. Wanting to ignore my friends. Sometimes I get tired of constant party requests and just want to play by myself without being rude.

    3. Gimmick accounts/accounts for playstyles I’m not good at. I have a few FPS smurfs where I only snipe, I have a few MOBA smurfs where I only play melee assassins or something of the like. These smurfs are usually combined with the reasoning for 1 though.

  24. tangoliber says:

    In 2009, the Killzone 2 clan system was very active. There were in-game rankings and challenges. But it got to the point where established clans just wanted to play new clans to get easy wins and pad their ranking. Even if they were challenged by a new, seemlingly weak clan, they will still go and check the kill/death ratio of each player to make sure it would be no contest. It got hard to schedule real matches.

    My clan, Springtime for Helghan, created smurf accounts. We would play in pubs a bit and try to all get low kill/death ratios. Then we would challenge an established clan. One fun part was chatting with the other team in the lobby before the match and pretending to ask questions about the game that any experienced player would know.

    Most memorable match was a time when we felt the opposing clan really wasn’t very good at all. Killzone 2 matches were 7 rounds, so you needed to win 4 to win a match (assuming there were no draws). We intentionally lost the first 2 rounds, trying to appear as incompetent and out of position as possible. Then we suddenly turned on the heat and managed to win the rest of the rounds.

  25. Synesthesia says:

    No. I equate it to cheating, and think it’s cowardly. It’s pretty much bullying, isn’t it?

    Actually, I did it once, some friends pushed me into making a second dota2 account to “teach” some guy. We proceeded to absolutely annihilate anything that came across us for three matches. The guy learned nothing, and neither did we. There was no team banter, it was clear the people in front of us were having a god awful time.

    If you can’t be confident enough in your own skill to play with people in your own bracket, you shouldn’t play competitive games. Just buy a trainer for dayz and get it done with.

  26. Cymra says:

    We do smurf in LoL… but there’s a reason which is that we’ve got an extended group who are all different skill levels. We’ve got a Platinum and a couple of Diamond players and then the full strata of players. When we want to play together there isn’t anything else we can do but smurf around.

    In fairness we don’t smurf with accounts that are less than max level so we wouldn’t just all rock up in a complete newbie’s game. If we’re mucking around in non-ranked play we tend to find the game works it out almost immediately and puts us with another group which contains at least one smurf. We then try and get everyone fighting people of their skill levels as much as we can.

  27. tormos says:

    For a while last year when my whole regular DOTA stack lived together, we would drink to 40s each and play together. This was fun, but happened frequently enough that it was negatively effecting our ratings. We ended up making smurfs specifically to play wasted, and calibrated them while we were heavily intoxicated. Since we were calibrated to the skill level we attained when quite drunk, it gave satisfying games for everyone. Ultimately, I thought it was a fair (if unintended) use of the system.

  28. futabot says:

    I smurf to play with low level friends and try out unpracticed champions that are extremely far from the meta. It’s a weird balance to maintain, but the idea is that level 30 players with 500+ games have basic expectations on how roles perform. When you pick something that does not conform to that role, it’s a liability, especially when you can’t say, “I can actually make this work.”

    Smurfing, on the other hand, allows your mechanics to be terrible, but your fundamentals still contribute to your team in a meaningful manner. It’s a win-win because it demonstrates to new players that vision and patience are stronger virtues than simply being good at a champion.

  29. Snids says:


  30. vahnn says:

    Several times, and it’s always for games with matchmaking so my friends who are learning the game don’t get pulled up into high-level, high-ranked matches, and only for a couple dozen games, tops.

  31. Banyan says:

    No, but the moment I thought I might be getting a handle on Dota 2 was when someone raged on all-chat that I was a smurf. (He was just totally clueless so anyone who understood what was happening in the game was obviously a smurf to him.)

  32. Reapy says:

    Random factoid, the term smurfing comes from warcraft 2 kali, anyone that read shlonglor’s war 2 page. At the time his warcraft 2 page was THE gaming site, and they would write after action reports on their games, basically anybody in that community knew who all of those players were and that they were good.

    Originally they did it by picking smurf names and joining in on their friends who were expecting to smash their way through everyone (that was just how it went back then, no such thing as mmr) and then turning the tables on them.

    Obviously the term has evolved over time but that is the root of it.

    As for changing names now a days, there are lots of reasons. I think for one players that are ‘known’ can have a tough time. People play you differently when they know who you are, and if you are trying to figure something out or learn how people react to things, you won’t get a good sample being your normal self. It is sort of like stream sniping, the guys with 20k viewers don’t get the same gameplay experience if they weren’t known.

    Also as some people have said, testing out mechanics in the wild can be a problem. It is sort of like in overwatch I see kids telling people ‘you suck with XYZ character, never play him’, but reality is how does one end up not sucking with a hero unless they play him for a while? Might as well take all the crap on another account and/or not suffer the MMR hit as people said.

    That really is the problem with MMR always judging you in the background now a days, no time for science.

  33. Yowkz says:

    I did it recently for LoL. I stopped playing 2 or 3 years ago, mostly because of the community back then and how “serious” games started to become for some people. That stop me from watching pro League. At the end of last year, I decided to go back. However, I realized my account was a mess, my champion pool was a mess of roles, and I was very rusty, too. So I decided to start from scratch.

    I have found it quite relaxing, and the low-level games have reminded me of how fun it was to just go into a game without anyone fighting for roles. You selected your champ and went in hoping for the best. I have lost quite a lot of games because of terrible comps and silly mistakes, but I have laughed every time at the silliness of the games, the builds, the aforementioned mistakes, from myself as well as from my team and the opposing one. And I also enjoy when there’s another smurf on the opposing team, there’s a kind of thrill to see who outplays whom.

    I actually dread a little how this will end once I hit higher levels.

  34. Titler says:

    Different game, but same principle; In War Thunder, you have ranks of vehicle, which slowly unlock… so although anyone can play Tier 1, only those with hundreds/thousands of hours (or just plain wallet-warriors) can play Tiers 4 & 5. However every now and then Gaijin will introduce some ridiculously grindy short term event for a very nice prize, with “Get 100 wins/kills/blown up tanks” conditions. Then everyone goes back to Tier 1 as the npc vehicles are much weaker, often able to just be machine gunned rather than needing dedicated anti-tank etc, and so matches end like lightning. You will also likely have fully upgraded Tier 1 vehicles, know which ones are overpowered, and be put up against newbies just starting out in stock…

    I admit, I’ve done this kind of smurfing. But the minute I get the prize, I go back to my highest tier. And feel dirty having done so, but Gaijin (like most F2P companies) makes the economics of playing at high levels so ridiculously bad the only logic thing to do is newbie-stomp.

    Sorry, newbies.