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How to Spot a Smurf in League of Legends

Got a feeling that your newly-matched teammate or opponent is not what they appear to be? Here are some ways to spot a smurf in your League of Legends game!
Written by Natalia Makarsky
5 min readUpdated on
If you’re a newer League of Legends player, you might have already played against a smurf without even realizing it. No, we don’t mean the little blue people. A smurf account is a low-level alternate account belonging to a skilled summoner with a high-level main account.
For context, here is a short internet history lesson: The term smurfing comes from 1996, when two elite players from the game Warcraft II, Geoff ‘Shlonglor’ Frazier and Greg ‘Warp!’ Boyko​, were so skilled, that players would simply see their usernames and avoid playing them. To prevent other players from recognizing them, they made new accounts called PapaSmurf and Smurfette, pretended to be bad at the game, and then proceeded to destroy the other players.
While playing with or against a smurf can be fun and challenging, newer players should not feel discouraged, thinking that they’re bad at the game. Rather, they should know they may be playing with or against already skilled challengers. Now that you know what smurfs are, here are some easy tips and tricks to spot the smurf in your game!

More likely to have a “troll” username

Yes, we have also noticed a naming trend with smurfing and trolling! You might notice that a lot of smurf accounts have ridiculous or strange usernames since they can go wild without having to worry about getting stuck with that moniker on their main account. Players may even lower their guard against an opponent with a silly name.
Fraizer (the OG smurf we mentioned earlier) told a story of how he and Boyko joined a game with another smurf named “Spiderman,” who was actually another skilled player in hiding. Frazier underestimated him and lost early in the game. There are even websites where you can purchase a new high-leveled, yet unranked, account to smurf with since levelling a new account is very time consuming.
These accounts are easy to spot thanks to their randomized name formulas of a word or two with a random number on the end, such as GreenAlpaca29. As they are often associated with boosted accounts or accounts that are bought by lower rank players, they can be an issue in the game.

More likely to test out off-meta builds

If you see a new player with an off-meta build, you may rightfully assume that they just have no idea what they’re doing (and have flashbacks to everyone blindly running into random lanes and speed-building Trinity Force). However, some already proficient players will use their smurf accounts to test different team comps or strategies without risking their hard-earned rank or having to face the wrath of angry teammates who don’t understand what they’re doing.
They might also break out an off-meta pick to spice up their games, since they have probably had to win a ton of matches with standard builds. The positive side of this is that you can use their ideas and try to make it work too, once you have a better understanding of the game.

Have great CS

Try to keep an eye on the CS of your teammates and opponents. CS, or “creep score,” is the number of minions a player has killed. Many new challengers will focus on trying to kill their main opponent over prioritizing minions in an effort to win the game quickly which, in turn, keeps their CS low. However, smurfs know the importance of farming minions when they are losing a lane or need to build a good set of items.
Farming is actually very important since it racks up gold, enabling you to acquire new, more powerful items while gaining a huge advantage over your opponents later in the game. If someone in your game has higher CS along with kill and assist numbers compared to the other players, they are most likely a smurf.

Will always be at the right place at the right time

Experienced players understand the mechanics of the game and will be very acquainted with the map, particularly Summoner's Rift as it is the most popular one to play. If your opponent or team member seems to be directing the team with smart decisions about which towers to topple or which lanes to push, they may be a smurf account.
These types of smurfs are definitely one of the better kinds to play with. They’re usually the ones letting you know when to take down the dragons or Baron Nashor for a team advantage, using the jungle role properly when it comes to helping out players all over the map, and properly employinh pings to alert others. It’s almost like getting your own coach, as long as you are not unlucky enough to be facing one on the opposite team.

Know the value of wards

When most new players are starting out, they have no idea what the mysterious wards are or how to use them. They’ll simply ignore them to purchase other items with their extra gold. However, smurf account players will use wards to guard the map. Wards can make or break a game, and just hiding your wards in bushes can stop the enemy jungler or a roaming laner from ganking you or your teammates.
You can also find them being placed near the dragons or Barons to know when the opposite team is sneaking over to get the boost before you do. Keep an eye out for those who are often purchasing wards and using them on the map. If you do manage to get a smurf player on your team, it is actually very useful for beginners to pay attention to where they use the wards and how they affect the game.
While there are some benefits to playing with a smurf, some of them DO make these accounts to “troll” and feed (purposefully getting killed repeatedly). All you can do is play with a good attitude, focus on your own skills to turn the tide in your favor, and try not to take it personally or get too upset. Don't give the bad smurfs what they want - ruining the game for you.