Riot Games is testing a new smurf detection functionality in Valorant patch 5.01 to help make your games feel fairer.

If it works as planned, it should reduce the chances of running into a smurf in-game and getting absolutely stomped by a Radiant player.

The feature is first being tested in North America to make sure it is working as expected before an eventual global rollout. Testing begins the week of July 11, according to Riot, so players on the NA server can hopefully look forward to more consistent games.

Valorant patch 5.01 adds new smurf detection functionality

Valorant Competitive Ranks
Screenshot by Koh Wanzi/ONE Esports

The new smurf detection system is designed to make sure that new players are matched up with others of the correct skill level much faster than before.

This means that the game should be quicker to recognize when a seasoned player is not in fact a newcomer, so they will have fewer opportunities to farm on actual rookies.

Because Valorant is free-to-play, it’s easy for higher-ranked players to simply create a new account and dominate at the lower levels. Over the past year, Riot has taken steps to deter players from doing this, such as by making it more difficult to unlock competitive mode.

New accounts now need to be at least level 20 and accrue 10 wins in Unrated before they can enter the competitive queue, significantly increasing the time commitment needed to play ranked.

The system also attempts to push players who are outperforming at their current rank — as would be the case with a smurf — up the ladder faster. For instance, it rewards players with more RR for particularly strong performances. Double rank ups are also possible, if the difference between your MMR and your rank exceeds three ranks.

However, the new measure makes no mention of existing smurf accounts. Players were quick to slam the addition as insufficient, calling for more stringent measures such as mandatory two-factor authentication that would require every Valorant account to be linked to a working phone number.

This would be similar to CS:GO’s Prime status, which actually ties an account to your phone number.

At the same time, the new patch also rolls out buffs to Phoenix, Yoru, and KAY/O that had previously been tested in the Public Beta Environment (PBE). Both Phoenix and Yoru should find it easier to make more aggressive plays, while KAY/O’s FRAG/ment molly now does more consistent damage without requiring line of sight.

Read the full notes for Valorant patch 5.01.

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