But smurf accounts, at least from my experience, are the lesser but more ubiquitous annoyance that a discounted CS: GO stimulates. To the seasoned csgo skins competitive player, the signs of a smurf are much more obvious than a hacker: you look for a CS: GO profile with very few achievements unlocked or custom weapon skins equipped, tied to a Steam account with CS: GO as its only owned game . Having one or more smurfs in your match is more subtle disruption but often just as bothersome as hacking: smurf accounts don't receive a rank in the matchmaking system until they've won 10 games, allowing them to be matched with players that aren't at their true skill level.

It's a method of circumventing the matchmaking system (often as a way to play with friends who aren't near the same rank), one not unfamiliar to League of Legends players and other free-to-play games. When I'm up against such a player, there's no tool within the reporting system for me to flag their account—and why should there be? As far as Valve's concerned, that player is another legitimate customer. Solutions like IP banning would be over-aggressive: what if that account is legitimately a friend or sibling?

I want to see the CS: GO community grow, but I bemoan that the game I play most going on sale will probably mean that I'll encounter a few more cheaters and rank-dodging players in the next month or two. To give Valve credit, this isn't the cheapest we've seen CS: GO. In December, January, and March (the latter coinciding with the EMS One Katowice tournament in Poland), the game was slashed by 75% to just $3. 74. The 50% cut over the next two days may be a small compromise, but I don't doubt that it'll invite more players to circumvent matchmaking and play illegitimately.