Will smurfing ever be considered cheating?

We have an enemy widow, low rank, goes by a very obvious name, headshots everything in a micro second you peek.

At this point, and throughout the game, it’s either a blatant cheater or smurf. It doesn’t matter, because we’re being headshot in micro seconds (we were playing behind walls the entire match).

Tanks struggled to dive because of the Widow’s pocket Mercy/grapple/Zarya bubble.

When will it actually be something to report?


Blizzard will punish smurfs if you can prove it. However they get punished for boosting or deranking.

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Cheating such as aimbotting is reportable and you should do so if you suspect the player has any automated motion to their hits.

However, the definition of “smurfing” is extremely ambiguous. Throwing games to deliberately lower your rank is gameplay sabotage and should be reported as such. If a player is boosting an account they do not own, then that is punishable and Blizzard has systems in the background to track this behavior.

However, owning an alternate account and that person is playing their best is NOT a violation of the End User License Agreement or the In-Game Code-of-Conduct.

Here are key statements from the development team about this subject:

Source: Old Overwatch Forum Archives

Source: Old Overwatch Forum Archives

Source: Reddit AMA - July 2020


Blizzard makes their definition of smurfing extremely narrow so they dont have to do anything about them.

Gotta have that sweet sweet new account money.


Simply being better than you is not cheating.


If you buy an account as a high-ranked player and play it normally you will be back to where you were very quickly even with the limitations on how the the matchmaker will place you. It just is not worth the effort to use it as a noob stomper unless you are deranking it and then it is reportable.

I’m sure all of those magic bullet and wallers are just “being better” than the other players. :cowboy_hat_face:

I know, and I have reported it under cheating (although I think it’s just a smurf). But, it’s hard to tell if they are boosting someone because we can’t see who is grouped with them. So that’s the problem.


I’m sure we’re talking about smurfs, not hackers.


Boosting can either be through grouping up or through account sharing. I asked about this and Jeff Kaplan has specified they do not need boosting behaviors reported.

As far as cheating goes, reports are sent to the Blizzard’s hacks team (an entirely dedicated department for identifying and countering cheats in Blizzard games) so careful review is made before an action is taken (automatic bans can also occur when there is detected software evident in the player’s system).

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I just don’t think anything will be done about smurfs, because of how unclear the entire definition is. It’s okay, but at the same time it’s not okay if it’s under x circumstance.

Why is it okay to smurf in lower ranks and still fall under the “isn’t really that big of an issue”? The players in question deliberately stay in lower ranks, and not climb to what their main MMR is.

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To deliberately stay below your own skill rating requires throwing matches, and therefore we should be reporting players who we believe to be throwing matches.

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They dont need to throw, they just need to create a new account when they hit 50. There is absolutely no chance the match making sorts them before that point, the matches are too garbage with smurfs in them for this to be true.

Zero chance, it is shameful they allow this to continue.


And that’s the problem here. Have your alt account, sure, but it should at least be within the same SR and MMR as your main. Everyone has an alt they play on, but it’s not different to main.

Smurfs are actual highrank/pro players on low level accounts who stay in a specific low SR, then move on to a new account before they’re actually caught.

And if it’s to play with a friend, isn’t that boosting?

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Ok so tell me how do you going to say if the low rank low lvl account is deranking or just being bad at the game?
Throwing dont need to be obvious you know, its more than jumping off the map.

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And now you have reached the problem with detecting a thrower versus a new player who probably has a limited hero pool but might have some previous gaming experience.

Yea, and i ask again how to deal with that? This is real problem connected to smurfing after all. As deranking is reportable, but people can just be bad… should people just report low lvl players because they “could” be deranking?

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I don’t care if I see a person with widow lev 25-33 killing everyone and know how to deal with every hero I report them, I’m sick of ‘‘alt accounts’’ or whatever, play on your main for the love of the god.


I have a question and I would appreciate an answer a lot.

How does this logic really make sense when a very significant, if not the majority of Smurfing players end up in a lower skill level by throwing their games all the way to level 25 in order to manipulate their SR.

How does Blizzard expect, during those games where, if the matchmaker actually works as intended, matches are filled with either completely new players or other Smurfs engaging in the same behavior, for legit throwing behaviors to be recognizer or cared for respectively and therefore reported?

Thanks in advance.

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I see no lies here…

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Mmm great opinion dude. You must be super popular on these forums.

Let’s not even take into consideration that this is a competitive game, and there is a general expectation that you will be versing people of close to equal skill than you. It’s no different than an Olympic swimmer taking on 5 years olds in their learn to swim races. It’s straight up an unfair advantage, and it should be bannable.