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Smurfing in MOBAs and how it affects beginners

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This is a long blog post, fellas.

If you don't know, by the way, a smurf in this game is an experienced player that creates a new account so he can play against beginning players.

The first half or so will be about Heroes of Newerth. Yes, it has to do with my topic.

With DotA2 coming out soon, my friend and I figured that we could get ready by playing some Heroes of Newerth. The game is awesome. The mechanics are stellar. The heroes are pretty damn awesome. I love the couriers as well (Flying monkey? Aww).

My friend and I, we were both willing to go through hours of games not knowing what the hell we were doing, just so that we could get better.

My friend gets in a game of HoN before I do. He gets a score of 0/8/2, because he doesn't know what he's doing, but he still had fun. His team wins, however, because of two leavers on the enemy team. He still wants to try out this game, because hey, he had fun. His team was pretty supportive, even though he mentioned that it was his first game. We decide to enter a game together. I'm Moon Queen, he's Pyromancer (I think that was the name). We lane against Electrician and some Knight-looking guy.

Now these guys are absolute pros at last-hitting and denying, we've both just started. It was clear to me and my friend a third into the game that these guys were pro HoN players. They destroy us in lane. They're around level 12 when we're level 6. Our team is obviously losing, so we surrender.

Deadwood was supportive, and if you're reading this, thanks for not raging. However, three of the enemy team were in a clan that I believe was called [NIGG] and had names related to that specific N word (can't say that here). They were also taunting heavily in [All] chat during the game.

My friend and I are fine with hours of wading through mud just to play HoN well, but we don't want three guys flinging shit at us while we're doing it. The game being hard is fine, but if people are going to be asses about it, we're not going to bother. Thanks to them, HoN just lost two players who were once eager to climb the ranks.

We wanted to learn how to play HoN. We should've gotten paired with other beginners. And we got a few beginners. But in return, we also got three players who wanted to screw around with the low-level players. So we lost horribly. We didn't want to play that game again, because we didn't want to deal with smurfs for so many levels before getting to the good stuff. See how this ties in with LoL?

When beginning LoL, beginner players want to learn how to play. And playing against other beginners is the ideal environment. When they find out how to do certain things, or when they discover certain tricks, they're having fun.

Let's say two teams, both consisting of beginners, have a match against each other. They learn how to play their character and the game in general, due to the enemies being just as stupid/inexperienced as themselves. It's a close one, but Purple team wins. GGs are said. Even though the blue team loses, all team members try another game, because hey, that was rather entertaining for a game. I like League of Legends after all. Doesn't matter if we lost, that was pretty fun.

Now, throw smurfs into the mix!

Suddenly, those beginner players are getting pissed off because that Vayne is destroying them. The Annie is jumping on their charred corpses. There is absolutely no chance they'll win, they have all their towers down, and their Nexus is getting stomped on. They were unable to destroy any towers.

Now, there are three courses of action here for individual players on the losing team:

1 - The losing player is somewhat annoyed by this, but continues to play this game.
2 - The losing player gets through the early levels, but becomes sour towards other LoL players.
3 - They simply quit the game altogether. "This is too annoying."

And at some point, some 1 and 2 players will try out smurfing. And the cycle continues.

Smurfing has caused some players to quit this game prematurely. It's caused others to continue on begrudgingly. It's caused others to become negative towards other LoL players, and it's caused other players to try smurfing at a later date.

Yes, I understand that smurfing is fun. But it's not fun at all for the enemy players. This is an activity that can negatively affect a games community, and push away potential players. Avoid smurfing, and let beginners build Phantom Dancers on Ashe while playing against AS-stacking Tristanas. They'll learn soon enough, but some won't if you smurf, because they'll just give up. If my friend and I can be completely discouraged from playing a game we were once excited about because of smurfs, then think of the effects it can have on beginning LoL players.


TL;DR stop smurfing, you dingleberries.

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