First, let us look at why people smurf.
This needs no explanation. People who have time and money aplenty may smurf or downrank in order to interfere with or enjoy reactions of those in separate ranks. In te case of Diamond, as an example, a level 25 in this category may enjoy the reactions of gold-portraited users with hundreds of hours, compared to their alt, which has maybe 10.
TO PREVENT THROWING
Some smurfs or DRs (downrankers) wish to practice new heroes in competitive without causing a nuisance to those who are maining and working hard at a specific one, in their own rank. I am friends with a few such players off of the game. These people respect those in their usual rank and mean no harm in what they do - usually.
Sometimes, smurfs and DRs have friends in the lower ranks who struggle with the game and being stuck in their rank. Often, players deserve their rank, especially lower down. Sometimes, they do not. This is unfair to the enemy, but is often disregarded.
Note that I don’t have the best understanding here. I am given to believe that the MMR, especially in a player’s early or lower days, bases your current SR from Quickplay matches, personal performance, and last season’s score. People appear to dislike this as it does not allow for them to improve- or it is very slow to do- and QP is often referred to as “cancer play”. People smurf as a way of resetting the MMR to get where they feel they belong.
Now, how can we combat this?
The solution I would like to propose is an MMR reset. Every X months - let us use 3 as an example here - a player can go into settings and click “Reset MMR”. They will then receive a prompt asking them if they are sure.
But won’t players abuse this to get a rank they don’t deserve?
Technically, yes. Though this would be corrected swiftly if they continue to play competitive, this is partly why I suggest a 3 month cooldown. This can also be combatted by forcing the player to do one of the following:
-Play a number of QP matches, let’s say 15 as an example, before reentering comp.
-Play extra placements (let’s use 20 as an example, instead of 10) with heavier emphasis on personal and team performance.
But smurfs will still smurf with this!
How? They will still face people similar to what their performance has judged them to be, but let’s say you are right. Portraits include levels and endorsements. Have another, smaller circle displaying how many times the player has MMRR (MMR Reset), and their profile - even if private, can display how recently and their previous score, just how it would with the portraits.
Or, show how recently the account was created.
Jeff just wants their money!
Similar to how you can buy lootboxes, make it possible to buy MMRRs. Similarly to how you can earn them, make it possible to do the same, but difficult.
How does this fix anything?
Long time players stuck in low ranks can MMRR instead of using a smurf friend. It can also, in a way, help with those who just want to play new characters.