Overwatch?s first season of competitive play is?winding down soon. Season 1 officially ends on Wednesday, August 15, at 5 PM pacific time. While generally well-received, the mode is not without its problems.
Rampant Smurfing In Overwatch Competitive Play
Previously, we tackled the issues players were having with the sudden death overtime Blizzard had implemented for ranked play. Now an even bigger issue has arisen. Members of the community have reported that several top level players are using low ranked ?smurf? accounts in Overwatch?s matchmaking system.
The concept of ?smurfing? ? the act of playing on an alternate account to hide the user?s true skill level ? is an unavoidable facet of online multiplayer games. Whether it?s a MOBA?or shooter, as long as the game has some sort of skill rating system, it can be manipulated. The problem with Overwatch is that its current season set-up makes it extremely beneficial for smurfers. Any player who achieves top 500 during the season, regardless of whether you’re in when the season ends, earns points towards Overwatch e-sports events in the future.?
On?Reddit, a user named Menismyforte explained how easy it is to exploit Overwatch?s ranked matchmaking. This is how it works: a skilled player will purchase an alternate Overwatch account then proceed to throw games on purpose to artificially lower the account?s ranking. Once sufficient, the low-ranked smurf will team up with his/her high ranking friends in competitive mode. The smurf account?s poor statistics will lower the team?s overall rating, making them huge underdogs. Being an underdog grants the team a huge experience boost if they win while only deducting a few points if they lose.
?The problem is that when a player who actually possesses the skill of a Rank 75-80 player logs into an alternate account that is ranked 40, the game then assigns the opposing team players who actually are much less skilled than the smurfing player and his partner, in an attempt to help the ?Rank 40? player out.? reads the post.
What do you think Blizzard can do to prevent this? Give us your Overwatch Competitive Play fix suggestions in the comments below. ?