LoL dev responds to players begging for changes to "horrible" ranked system

In a thread discussing the prevalence of "toxic" smurf accounts in ranked games, a Riot dev responded to player complaints about ranked.

LoL dev responds to players begging for changes to "horrible" ranked system

Smurf queue was removed as part of the sweeping Season 13 LoL ranked changes, but players are begging for action to be taken against smurf accounts that are creating a “horrible” solo queue experience for average players.

Creating a satisfying, fair ranked system in a competitive game is something that’s been difficult for every popular competitive game. League of Legends is no exception, and the Riot Games developers have been working on ways to improve the ranked system for years.

Season 13 brought with it a variety of LoL ranked changes including much more drastic LP gains and losses than before, allowing players to make their way out of ranks much faster if they hit a winstreak. However, those changes combined with the removal of smurf queue, a system meant to detect players who have created alt accounts at lower ranks that stick them into matches with each other, has been a frustrating combination for players.

While a Riot developer has responded to players’ complaints about the current state of ranked, players are begging for swift changes to LoL’s ranked system.

LoL players want immediate changes to ranked systems

There are a few contributing factors to the prevalence of smurf accounts in League of Legends. One is that buying a fresh level 30 account is easy and only costs a few dollars. The second is that the rewards for winning matches can catapult a fresh account to high ranks within a dozen or so matches. Lastly, players who get banned will often hop right back onto another account and keep their ranked grind going.

All these factors combined have resulted in a “horrible” ranked experience for average players, something that was detailed and agreed upon by many players in the thread.

Smurf queue wasn’t a perfect solution by any means. Players who played really well in their qualifying matches could sometimes get swept up into it, and the queue times for players confined to smurf queue would sometimes end up being incredibly long. This effectively locked smurf accounts out of being able to play and is part of why the system was removed as a part of recent LoL ranked changes.

The problem is, with smurf queue removed, creating alt accounts to grind through the ranks is more effective than ever. Players in the thread detailed their experiences with “doomed” main accounts, accounts that had hundreds of games on them and would never be able to gain LP at the rate a fresh account would.

One user showed that they managed to get to Platinum four in less than 20 games, a rank many players struggle to reach even with hundreds of games played. Sure, there are many people who likely aren’t good enough to reach this rank, but it raises the question of how many players are stuck in lower ranks because of the way the current system works and not their individual skill level.

Going by the accounts of dozens of users in the thread, one of the biggest issues with smurfing is that it’s an extremely effective way to reach high ranks.

Riot Games
Draven is a common smurf pick for players looking to 1v9 their games

Riot developer Siraris responded to a few of the complaints raised against the current ranked system in the thread. In one of Siraris’ responses, they confirmed that MMR has a point where it “settles” and requires players to win at a much higher rate in order to climb.

“If you buy a new account (depending on its MMR when you buy it), it would have more variance and thus you likely are getting more LP gain because it’s establishing your skill and likely saying “OK, this person is a lot better than where they’re currently at.” I forget the exact #, but it takes a number of games before your MMR settles and you need to do more to pull away from that settled state,” Siraris said.

Another user spoke about just how toxic smurf accounts tend to be considering many players on smurfs are those who have been banned for their conduct in higher ranks. In response to this post, Siraris had this to say:

“Yea, this type of experience is horrible, and we’re working really hard to mitigate this type of behavior in all areas of the competitive experience. I can’t talk specifics, but there are some things coming in the near future that will start to act on these type of players who just want to ruin everyones experience. We are aware of them, and I just want to let you know we’re working on it.”

There’s no perfect solution to toxic smurf accounts ruining the ranked games of average players just trying to climb, and there has to be a majority population of players in Silver and Gold in order to make reaching higher ranks special. That said, players are clearly hungry for some big changes to the way ranked works in League of Legends.