I've seen a myriad of threads and debates on this forum, Gamereplays.org, German forums, among top "pro-players", and among all players in general. Herein right now I would like to give what I feel is the final word on how we are handling "smurfing" in the Kane's Wrath Ladder Season.
The Smurfing Rule
In the legal rules for Ladder Season 2 which you can find at this link: http://na.llnet.cnc3tv.ea
. com/u/f/eagames/cnc3/cnc3tv/CC3KWLeagueRules. html
We specifically reference "unsportsmanlike conduct involving using multiple user accounts to prevent other users from advancing on the ladder", this is known to many as the concept of "smurfing". The concept is simply that many players, specifically those advancing on the ladder like to create "dummy" or secondary accounts which they play on equally as much to prevent others from advancing rank on the ladder ahead of them. This concept created a number of problems in Ladder Season 1, such as:
-top players have multiple names in the Top 20
-players working to advance in to the Top 10 unknowingly being halted by players using multiple accounts
-players unable to hold rank in order to acquire prizes
-the ability for some players to cheat on one name while being a top player on another
- a sense of unsportsmanlike conduct
In general, we saw a huge increase in community feedback which expressly asked that we only allow one-serial key for the ladder and no multiple accounts. This is a concept which we agree with, but its not something we can technically achieve for C&C 3 or Kane's Wrath unfortunately. We are making efforts to research this for Red Alert 3 and I hope to see it happen, but I make no promises.
We have great respect and admiration for players who can play on multiple accounts and hold them in the Top 10 or Top 20 by playing A LOT. While it is FAIR to do this techincally speaking because our game allows it, it's leads to unsportsmanlike situations and unfairness and it also creates a stalemate on our ladders.
Therefore, for Ladder Season 2 we are taking preventative and strict measures to encourage players NOT to use multiple accounts on the Ladder in order to gain rank, or hold back others. If you want to use a second or even third account on the ladder to practice with, that certainly has merit, but multiple accounts should not be used to advance yourself up the ladder. Again, this is an unsportsmanlike move and not something we will tolerate this Ladder Season or future Ladder Season.
Most other top gaming competitions do not allow more than 1-account for a tournament. The C&C League is no different. If you'd like to practice, then practice off the Ladder in Custom Match, comp-stomp, or non-ranked games. When you play on the Ladder you should play with one account, and one account only.
Since this is a very sensitive topic and one in which we can only control through manual measures and judging with our League Team, we are being extremely careful about any such action we take against someone who is smurfing. Right now, we have not kicked or banned anyone yet for this. And for a 1st smurfing offense, you will not banned, your stats will be reset so you are kicked to the bottom of the ladder.
For smurfing we are focusing on:
- players in the Top 100 with multiple accounts names. If we see top players advancing up the ladder with multiple accounts, this will be grounds for a reset on your account.
-if we see a player in the Top 20 with multiple accounts within the Top 20, this will be grounds for a reset on your account
We are using this rule to focus primarily on the higher ranks where it matters most, BUT, and this is a big BUT, we are analyzing the entire ladder weekly and looking for similar situations.
To put the final word on this issue: We want everyone to have a fair shot at cracking the Top 10, Top 20, Top 100, etc, and this should be done with one-account and one account only. In any other professional sports tournament, you are not allowed to enter more than one team or one player. We hold the C&C League to the same standards in an effort to make our Ladder Seasons more competitive, dramatic, and most of all, fair.
So, to all the top players out there debating this issue, please understand this is not a rule meant to dissarm or disadvantage YOU. If you are a top player, you should not need multiple accounts to rise in rank.
We're looking for the next best C&C World- wide champion, that person will be someone who has made their way to the final tournament with one-account and not using multiple to deter others.
We are analyzing the ladder weekly and will take action if necessary.
Two weeks in and we haven't had to do anything yet, that's definitely a sign that our message is loud and clear, and I hope is friendly understood by all. =)
Play fair, one account.
If you want to practice, please do it off the ladder.
Thank you for understanding, and goodluck to everyone, play hard!