What is CSGO smurfing?

10 months ago 248

Smurfing is a voiced problem in competitive multiplayer games, including CSGO. If you started playing CSGO and were placed in a rank like Gold Nova I, you should not always expect fair matchmaking.

Unfortunately, one of the major reasons behind this is smurfing. Smurfing is using a lower-ranked account to play against (and demolish) lower-ranked players

Since smurfing in CSGO is quite common, it’s important to understand why it happens and the best ways you can combat it and rise through the ranks. 

Why Is Smurfing in CSGO Common?

Player taking cover behind haystack in CSGOCredit: MrMaxim

CSGO is one of the most competitive tactical FPS games in the market right now. As such, it’s no surprise that as you climb the ranks, it becomes more and more challenging to play as well and maintain a decent ADR.

With that said, players usually smurf because they want to have an easier time playing the game. Simply put, it feels good to dominate a lobby on a smurf account after losing your 7th game in a row on your main account.

Aside from that, a less common reason for smurfing in CSGO is boosting. Boosting refers to directly helping a lower-rank player (typically a friend or client) rank up by either carrying them through their matches or outright playing from their account.

Is Smurfing in CSGO Bannable?

CSGO report menu does not listing smurfing as an offense Credit: Minute Manual

No, smurfing in CSGO is not bannable, to the point that the report menu does not list it as an offense. Despite that, many argue that smurfing undermines the competitive integrity of CSGO by obstructing fair matchmaking.

Yet, the fact of the matter is that smurfing in CSGO is impossible to regulate for two reasons.

Firstly, in most cases, it is tough to distinguish whether a player is having a good game or is smurfing a lower rank. Successfully telling the two apart requires an unrealistic amount of manual inspection, and many companies would think twice before allocating that many resources.

Secondly, no one can automate smurf detection. Unlike cheaters, a smurf is not aim-botting or activating the wallhack command but simply playing to the best of their abilities. 

As such, smurfing, by definition, falls beyond the jurisdiction of an anti-cheat. For example, the best anti-cheats we currently have (e.g., Riot Vanguard) do not analyze live gameplay. They only track background processes to check for any cheats.

Keeping these two reasons in mind, smurf regulation does not financially benefit Valve, so expecting them to do anything significant about it tantamounts to false hope. After all, smurfing means more accounts, more playtime, and more skin purchases.

How To Deal With Smurfing in CSGO?

Now that you have learned the harsh reality of smurfing, that shouldn’t mean you should drop CSGO. Not only does smurfing go both ways, there are measures you can take to combat smurfs:

  1. Trade the smurf: If you’re on CT side, the smurf will likely be very aggressive and take first contact. This makes it imperative to play in pairs or triplets in order to trade out the smurf. The faster you even out the level-playing field, the easier it will become to secure the game, one round at a time.
  1. Single out the Smurf: If you’re on T-side, remember that the smurf will play to one bomb site. So play away from them until they are more isolated because they likely know very well how to win 1v1s. Play default to pinpoint the smurf’s location and aggress on the opposite side of the map. Always remember that even a 1-versus-x is difficult to pull off for a smurf.
  1. Avoid Queueing with the Smurf: After the match ends, try to add the smurf to your friends list. Why? So you can avoid queuing up ranked at a time when they are queuing.
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