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Does Seagull Have To Make Another Video For Us To Address The Rampant Smurfing Problem ?

I play with friends in the notorious plat-diamond zone where nearly every single game has at least 1 or 2 people with brand new smurf accounts and it throws off the game balance.

I don't care about playing with better people, as long as the teams are balanced...

However Blizzard will put 2-3 smurfs with sub 20 hour accounts on one team against a team of full silver borders. (Who will proceed to get smashed)

Yesterday I recorded that in our 7 games:

  • 6 out of 7 had more than one smurf (brand new account with sub-50 hours in Diamond).

  • 2 games had more than 4 smurfs (2+ on each team, we won because we had the better smurfs)

  • 1 single game was played with only people with 75+ hours on their accounts... but one guy was being toxic and threw.

Can we figure out a solution for this? How about new accounts play with other new accounts? Bronze borders play with other bronze borders?

Perhaps a phone verification system like they do for Top 500 & CS:GO ?

There have been numerous threads of people doing "Bronze to GM" style runs and EVEN they say that plat-diamond is notorious for smurfs (which is ironic, because if they are doing that, they are a smurf themselves).

Let's discuss.

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level 1

what are the most common smurfs you run into?

Im on PS4, Plat, and I seem to come across mostly genji and hanzo smurfs... maybe tracer as a #3

level 2
Original Poster3 points · 5 months ago

These days, brand new Ashe-only accounts are popular on PC. However when you're GM/Top 500, you can play most heroes reasonably well to disrupt the game balance.

It's not the heroes, it's the skill gap.

level 3

yes fair enough.. i think the widow mains will love to smurf with ashe..

level 1

I'd be very surprised if Seagull cares about smurfing as he wouldn't run into this problem in GM, why would he make a video about it?

level 1
Trick-or-Treat Symmetra
2 points · 5 months ago

I'm not a Smurf I just suck!

My only concern with any sort of system is that it would probably also punish innocent people.

You could border match, but I see people with crazy borders in high silver/low gold.

level 1

I'm not sure that Blizzard has the incentive to deal with the smurfing issue.

For one thing, the smurfs have bought the game twice. Every smurf is more money in Blizzard's pocket. They probably have a noteworthy chunk of smurf-related income.

And for another thing, the rest of us already bought the game. They already have our money--we can't hold it hostage. If we leave, it costs Blizzard nothing, because their content after first purchase is free.

Smurfs are good for Blizzard, so I don't imagine them attempting to fix the issue any time soon.

level 2
Original Poster1 point · 5 months ago

I agree that may the reason why they are slow to respond however the long term incentive to deal with it is that it's disrupting the game play (and causing people to quit Overwatch & play other non-blizzard games)

Can anyone relate to people saying: "I hate this game, I don't even know why I play?" and another favorite: "My friends all quit and play X now?"

level 3

Sure, but Blizzard has all of our money already. And any new players who come in and don't stick with the game--Blizzard has their money too. The only money they could potentially wring out of us all now is that sweet smurf money.

I think it's amazing that Blizzard provides free content after purchase, but if they were a subscribed service, I think they'd be more accountable to their users and I'd hope it would give them more resources to work on further content. Of course, that's not going to be a popular suggestion, I know that. But there would be advantages to such a model (for the fans) that are worth considering.

level 1

Seagull talked about what troubles GM players about the state of Overwatch but smurfing, one of the main problems in lower ranks, is obviously not so much of a problem to GMs

level 1
Chibi Soldier: 76
2 points · 5 months ago

Claiming someone is doing something wrong is vastly easier than accepting you are doing something wrong to get beaten by better players.

Smurfs exist, there are no doubts about it. Proving it by linking play time with rank is absurd. I've a friend of mine (one account, I know this for a fact) who is in masters. He has something like 60 hours on his account, he played ranked properly for maybe 2 seasons and just comes back now and again to play with my team when we need a filler.

Lost count the times someone on the enemy team has complained and demanded the other people report him for being a smurf, how is that fair? How is it fair to witch hunt people like that just because they happen to be better at a video game than you? You don't know how many hours they have in other shooters in order to have naturally better mechanical aim. You don't know how naturally good they are at anything, all you are doing is using a convenient excuse to claim the game has a massive problem instead of accepting the loss and figuring out the things you did wrong instead of pointing the finger at others when you have absolutely zero evidence other than "Oh, they have less than 50 hours therefore Smurf."

Can even be cases of someone just popping off and having a good game. It can happen. So good job on reporting people that could very well be completely innocent but you deem them as the problem.

level 2
Original Poster0 points · 5 months ago

Let's do a bit of math shall we?

It takes 20 hours of arcade / quickplay to be able to play competitive.

If we average that one gaming session of competitive is 3 hours (sounds reasonable right?).

That means that if they have 50 hours, they have played Overwatch 16 times TOTAL. And only 10 times in competitive.

There are currently 29 heroes with 3-4 abilities each, 3 game modes and 20'ish maps. That's easily over 3000 different interactions between heroes.

You're telling me they've mastered that by playing 16 times? (So a little over 2 weeks?)

level 3
Chibi Soldier: 76
0 points · 5 months ago

My friend placed in high Diamond when he was level 25 on the only account he has. So yes. It's possible. Don't dismiss it because it didn't happen to you (It didn't happen to me either, it took me hundreds of hours to get to my rank).

Some people are simply better than others. Smurfs exist but unless they actually admit to it then there is no other way to really prove it.

level 1
1 point · 5 months ago

As if blizzard cares, smurfs = money rolling in

level 1
the truth hurts
1 point · 5 months ago

There is no way to eliminate smurfs.

Smurfing is not tied to accounts. Smurfing is a conscious decision and behavior that can be acted on out on any account. Old account, silver border, 10 hours, 1,000 hours, SMS verified, it doesn't matter.

All of these suggestions is just to discourage smurfing by making it more laborious to create an account. These obstacles hurt the legitimate player population much more than it would discourage smurfs. You may be willing to accept the obstacles as you already possess a mature account, but newcomers to the game can be discouraged by all the fuss.

level 1
Chibi Widowmaker
-1 points · 5 months ago

So according to you:

  • someone who got into diamond in less than 50 hours is a smurf

  • any player needs at least 75 hours in order to deserve to be in diamond, otherwise there's something wrong


Not everybody is shit at the game after 20 hours of play, much less 50. Maybe you needed dozens if not hundreds of hours before getting there, but the entire world isn't like you.

What you're doing here is claiming that there's a link between playtime/levels and actual skill/rank, and whining about smurfs whenever you get beaten by someone with less playtime than you.


Unless you have recorded evidence of those players telling you that they're smurfs, and giving you enough data to be sure of it, there's nothing to discuss. Because you're not discussing about smurfs; you're whining about losing against people who got better than you in less time.

level 2

The fact that this guy's not even willing to ENTERTAIN the idea of smurfs being present in the game without you preparing a case against each one individually is why the 'smurf' discussion will never find it's legs, unfortunately.

level 3
Chibi Soldier: 76
0 points · 5 months ago

Not a case of him willing to accept they exist, I'm sure he knows they do. It's just a different mindset of not putting all the blame of losses onto what you perceive as a Smurf when you have absolutely no way to prove it and pointing out how ridiculous of a concept it is to assume anybody who has less hours than you at your rank is automatically a smurf. This is why the report system is fucked and people end up wrongfully banned.

level 4

I'm a console player, casual, high-gold/low-plat. Now granted, consoles have more of an issue with smurfs due to a lack of any sort of obstacle in making them. It takes two seconds to look at 'TracerSmurfs' PSN profile and see it's a blank account. Not a hypothetical, an actual example of the average night of being average at Overwatch. The game, on occasion, is unplayable for me. Winning or losing a game of Overwatch isn't impacting my life in the slightest, but I would like to be able to atleast play. I'm not saying they're all smurfs, if it helps their conscience, sure, go with the 'It's my alt for practicing what I can't play', but if every single time the topic of smurfs is brought it, it's immediately stonewalled by people who need several accounts to do whatever they're doing, then no progress will ever be made.

level 5
Chibi Soldier: 76
0 points · 5 months ago

I don't know a lot about console, I know Smurfs exist. That is a fact. I just don't agree that people should be accused of being a smurf (and then subsequently reported for it) just because they have a small number of hours (Sub 100 hours) when they could just in fact be really fucking talented people.

level 6

Granted, that's the approach the OP took, looking at hours etc. I'm talking about brand-spanking-new accounts 'BobMain' or 'Asheortroll' literally determining the outcome of a gold rank match. Sure, not denying those talented people exist, but damn, if you're picking up the Overwatch as the first ever game on your PSN account, and you're that good? What are you doing in gold? Not only that, but a brand new player to Overwatch who managed to predict not only Ashe, but Bob's release as well, while naming their account? I'm not accusing someone of being a smurf just cause they beat me. I'm an average player, below average if anything. It's not hard to beat me. I'm accusing someone of being a smurf because that's all the evidence points too, and when you're being held hostage is spawn, you've got some time to kill looking at these things.

level 4
Original Poster1 point · 5 months ago

This has nothing to do with it. We won 90% of our games that night.

We are literally having conversations with people on our team telling us this is their second, third or fourth account.

And the team with the better smurfs typically wins.

This isn't about complaining about 'having less hours than you', it's about brand new accounts (purchased in season 12 with people admitting this is a smurf account) and how it screws up team balance. When one team has 3 smurfs and the other team has none, the team with GM players is going to win and it's unfair for the other team.

level 2
Original Poster-1 points · 5 months ago


And yes, pretty much all the smurfs are open to saying this is their 2nd, 3rd or even 4th account. They love being asked what their main is (usually 3900+) because it strokes their ego.

level 1

Just because someone has a new account and is doing well doesnt mean they're a smurf. I'd venture to guess 75% of the "smurfs" people talk about are people who bought a second account to play stuff they want to play without caring about rank and they just happen to be having a good game

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