NICKMERCS demonstrates the power of ‘smurfing’ in Warzone

NICKMERCS Warzone smurfing

With many players claiming that Warzone’s skill-based matchmaking has been ramped up in Season 3, streamer Nick “NICKMERCS” Kolcheff created a fresh account to demonstrate the power of ‘smurfing.’

‘Smurfing’ is the term for top-level players creating a new account to beat up new or lesser skilled players AKA ‘noobs’. Although smurfing sounds like an odd phrase, it came about in the ’90s when two top-tier Warcraft II players created fresh accounts to play against new players and called themselves “Papa Smurf” and “Smurfette.”

Article continues after ad

Because streamer NICKMERCS is arguably one of Warzone’s top players, he said that he often gets players accusing him of dominating ‘bot lobbies.’ To prove to his viewers that his regular lobbies are high skilled, Nick smurfed in Warzone and was amazed by the difference in lobby skill.


To get into a lobby with new and low-skilled players, NICKMERCS created a brand new account and dropped into that account’s first-ever game, using the PKM and AS VAL. With the new account, the matchmaking had no idea that Nick was a top-tier player, so this lobby was an entirely new experience for the streamer.

Article continues after ad

Nick clarified that, “I get that what we did here today is a little bit questionable and kind of in a grey area. We meant no harm, we’re not going to go on there again, or at least not a lot by any means. We just wanted to show the difference in lobbies to really showcase what we play versus what’s really out there every day.”

Sign up to Dexerto for free and receive
Fewer Ads|Dark Mode|Deals in Gaming, TV and Movies, and Tech

As soon as Nick started getting into regular fights, he quickly realized that the lobby was, on average, of significantly lower skill than he’s used to.

Article continues after ad

“People are walking into walls, they don’t shoot back,” he described. “And it really shows the skill gap between what we play every day and what some of y’all play every day.”

As the game drew to a close, Nick explained that “The one big difference is Ghost. There’s nobody Ghosted in these lobbies, you know what I mean? And after that, the overall skill is just crazy different.”

With skill-based matchmaking still being a contentious issue in Call of Duty, players often use methods such as this, reverse-boosting, and VPNs to get into lower-skilled lobbies and beat up new players. This was actually the reason that NICKMERCS quit competitive Warzone in January.

Article continues after ad

Image Credit: NICKMERCS / Activision / SCUF / The Smurfs