League of Legends Patch 12.15 was released yesterday, and a number of new changes have implemented a system that will work towards significantly reducing the number of Smurfs in the game.
Like most competitive multiplayer games, the MOBA sees its fair share of Smurfs in ranked matchmaking, which ultimately hurts the game’s competitive integrity.
High-ranking players often don’t hesitate to create a Smurf account, either to help out a friend or just to spoil the fun for someone else who’s serious about their rank-up.
This issue has plagued League of Legends for many seasons now, and with patch 12.15, Riot implemented a fix aimed at combating much of the problem.
The developers already addressed the growing concerns about the Smurfs earlier in Season 12, and with the new update they will eliminate ranked duo queuing for high-level players and make it primarily a solo queuing option.
League of Legends Patch 12.15 will reduce the number of Smurfs in the game
League of Legends Patch 12.15 wasn’t exactly big when it came to introducing champion balance updates. While one of the more significant changes were buffs for the Energy champions, the patch addressed some issues with fixing some issues with the title.
Riot introduced changes to the duo queuing system, which now disables high-level players from using the system.
In the patch notes, the developers stated:
“Having a pre-made duo is a small benefit, and while current Apex Tier players (Master, Grandmaster, and Challenger) cannot duo with anyone, the system only works from the current rank. With this change, we are tightening the apex tier restriction to apply to MMR as well.”
“The goal of this is to prevent Climbing Smurfs from being able to queue in the Apex Stage. However, lapsed Apex Tier players and top qualified Diamond I players may also be affected by this change. Previously, these players could reliably enter Apex Tier matches in duos, which isn’t fair when the people they’re playing against can’t duo. If this change works as expected, we will review shipping to the rest of the world and plan to re-evaluate before the start of the season.”
From now on, League of Legends players will no longer be able to register for a ranked match with a friend if they are both Master rank or higher. The system will disregard MMR and will ultimately try to reduce the number of Smurfs that can be experienced in ranked matchmaking today.
Riot Games also mentioned that they successfully tested this method back in patch 12.10 for both the Korea and NA servers, so they officially went live with 12.15 for all regions.