Smurfing sucks. It has no meaningful benefit to the game or its community. To most people this is plain as day. Queueing up at a much lower skill level than you belong in with the sole purpose of kicking the shit out of weaker players doesn't benefit anyone but the person doing it.
Yet for every redundant "smurfing is bad" post that shows up around here, there are a few dozen apologists that show up to spout their obviously flawed logic to try and explain away why smurfing:
A.) Isn't a big deal.
B.) Isn't actually common.
Or C.) Helps lower skill level players improve.
I'm not trying to convince the people that spout this nonsense that they're wrong. They know they're wrong. Instead, I'm going to address this to the people who read their poorly thought out arguments and say "well I guess he has a point…".
So let's get into the big ones. Under the category of "Smurfing isn't a big deal":
1.) "Smurfs don't spend much time in lower ranks. Therefore they don't actually ruin as many games as people say."
This makes sense, right? I mean, smurfs are going to dumpster their way through bronze, silver, and gold fast enough. Except there's one problem here. As the smurfs bulldoze higher and higher, they'll start to drop a couple games. At face value, one might think this is because they're facing more skilled ranks. While that might have a small amount of weight to it, the real reason they'll drop games is simple… All Diamond+ smurfs will rise from Bronze to low Diamond at least. As they climb to higher, less populated ranks, they'll start facing each other more and more often. For you platinums out there; ever wonder why you see multiple smurfs a game? This is why. Platinum 3+ is small enough that the smurfs will be facing each other constantly. Naturally, when a smurf fights a smurf, one is going to lose. When they lose, it slows down their climb. When their climb slows, they end up stuck in platinum ever longer and ruin more games. Simple enough? It isn't uncommon for platinum games to feature two or three smurfs per team.
2.) "If there are so many smurfs in platinum, then it balances out to a normal 50/50 chance to win, as per usual."
Except that isn't how it's supposed to work. Every plat game isn't supposed to be decided by diamond+ players who think they've earned the right. Then you have the degenerates who decide a game is lost, don't want to put forth the effort to win a hard game, or just want to punish their team. They act like scumbags, they AFK, and they run it down. At the end of the day, the smurfs that act this way don't really care. They spent $20 on L9 and don't mind dropping another $20 if they get banned. What happens when your smurf Volibear goes 5/2/9 and then AFKs because your plat mid laner told him to "stfu"? The enemy smurf Zed obliterates your helpless team on his way to making $500 off a Challenger account on eBay. That's what happens.
On to the second category: "Smurfing isn't actually common."
1.) "There are millions of Iron-Gold players and a hundred thousand plats. There aren't enough diamond+ players to even play in those ranks."
Let's get the obvious, garbage part of this out of the way first. You don't need to be a God damned diamond to smurf in Iron. A G1 can monkey I4s, just like a S1 can monkey B4s, G1s to S4s, and so on. The average platinum 4 player would have a team of silvers believing prime Alex Ich stepped through a time warp and slapped the shit out of them. When you figure that ANYONE ABOVE IRON COULD BE SMURFING, it's absurd to suggest that there aren't enough smurfs to go around. As for Platinum, as explained in section one, this is where the player pool starts to get small enough for them to level out. They go against each other nonstop and they get stuck. If you play in platinum, you know this. Hell, you could see it in high gold if you're unlucky. So when you see a smurf apologist point out that the smurfs exposed in platinum player's post are "Plat 2 with 80 games and a 66% winrate, thus are clearly not smurfs", remember that the guy making excuses is probably that Plat 2 smurf with a 66% winrate that just got his head punched off by a funneling Yi/Taric duo making thousands off of boosting. Which brings us to…
2.) "Every low level account in mid-high elo isn't a smurf. There are a lot of reasons a player could be there at a low level."
No there aren't. This isn't the great elo inflation of 2018/19. You place low. Climbing is slow. Lucking into platinum is no longer feasible for a new player. On a related note… Yes, gold is difficult to obtain for the majority of players. Elitists don't want to hear that, but it's true. Odds are that no legitimate player is level 45 and Gold 1. It's not realistic. Yes, prodigies exist. Yes, maybe your homeboy played DoTA. I don't care. The likelihood of those accounts being legitimate is incredibly low. "But I'm only D3, it's not that big of a difference!", some low self esteem smurf just pouted. Well…
3.) "Diamonds in plat aren't actually smurfing. That doesn't count since they can't 1v5 the game."
Yes they absolutely can. Again, if you're diamond, you know you can beat a team of your average plats. Just like a plat can smack golds and so on. Playing in a lower rank on an alt account is smurfing. Don't think it is? Good for you, you're wrong. You don't get to come along and rewrite pre-established definitions to suit your opinions.
Time for category 3: "Smurfing makes lower rank players better."
1.) "Lower rank players could learn a lot from losing to me. It will help them play better in the future."
This would be infuriating if it wasn't so… pathetic. Tone the God complex down, 'my lord'. As someone very guilty of smurfing in the past (forgive me Father, for I have sinned), I can assure you of one thing… No silver/gold ever learned shit from having a 2,000,000 mastery high plat Kha'Zix main kick their teeth in and call them trash. No one. Like the crusader of justice that I am, I dropped the account and use it to watch Iron games for fun now. You know, having a God complex can be okay so long as you're a benevolent god, right?
2.) This argument is trash and anyone who uses it is at worst lying to you and at best lying to themselves, so we're moving on. If you have to rationalize your loser actions by convincing yourself that you did something good when you obviously didn't, maybe you shouldn't be doing that thing in the first place.
Assorted Trash Smurfing Excuses:
1.) "I need alts so I can dodge games on my main without having to wait."
Because I'm sure you have absolutely nothing better that you can do for 5-20 minutes, right? And if you don't, then play a normal on your alt. There's about as much at stake as a ranked smurf. Plus blind pick players play like they're going to get executed if they lose, man. It's crazy, check that shit out. They scare me.
2.) "Masters, Grandmasters, and Challengers need smurfs because their queue times are so long."
Well maybe if they weren't all smurfing, their queue times wouldn't be so long.
3.) "I need to make Riven montages in gold so everyone thinks I'm a god."
Alright, no one ever said this, but they've definitely thought it.
4.) "Unranked to Challenger streams are educational and do more good than they do harm."
Yeah, maybe if every 100 subscriber no-name D2 and their dog wasn't doing them, the benefits would outweigh the damage. Too bad they are. Also, I'm sorry, but most of the people doing this streams aren't playing in a way that you can learn anything from. They get a few early kills and snowball. Then start playing like an asshole in ways their average viewer could never dream of emulating. Again, you learn about as much watching a Challenger kick a silver's head off as you do being silver and getting your head kicked off.
5.) "Smurfing isn't against the TOS."
Wow! Good argument. Cheating on your s/o isn't illegal, so I guess it's okay! No one said it was against the TOS. They're saying you're a jerk for doing it. There's a difference. Also, buying accounts IS against the TOS.
6.) "There's no good way to limit smurfing."
Is there a perfect solution? Absolutely not. However, that doesn't mean nothing should be done. The SMS verification for Clash was an excellent example of a possible solution (when it worked…). Any step to make smurfing more difficult is a step in the right direction. I mean, instead of making climbing harder in general for everyone to make smurfing look less appealing! That would be stupid as hell, am I right?!
7.) "You're just mad."
Yes! I am! And you probably would be too if two thirds of your last hundred ranked games were decided by which smurf trolled because "he wasn't on his main" and which one had a quota of 15 accounts to boost to Diamond for sale by the end of the week!
Did I miss anything? Hit me with it.
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© Post "Dissecting the Arguments of Smurf Apologists" for game League of Legends.
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