Smurfs, Silvers & CS:GO: Understanding Smurfing as Prosumers

Date
2023-01-03
Authors
Mccauley, Brian
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3892
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Abstract
Esports games can be seen as platform based prosumption experiences as players co-produce their media experiences through play. This can be viewed as peer-to-peer prosumption where users create value between themselves for emotional and social outcomes. Smurfing represents a form of play where higher skilled users compete with lower skilled players through an alternative account that ensures a mismatch in skill abilities. Through an auto-netnographic approach augmented with interviews on the CS:GO matchmaking platform, this paper provides new insights on a common practice that has received little attention to date. Three key themes were identified that illustrate that this complex phenomenon should not always be framed in a negative fashion. Smurfing should be understood as embedded within peer-to-peer prosumer platforms, driven by complex motivations and framed as cheating according to perspective. The concept has value for further study in gaming and esports with wider implications for the digital society.
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Esports, cs:go, esports, peer-to-peer prosumption, prosumers, smurfs
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10
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Proceedings of the 56th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
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