This is a shame.
And if the developers are working to solve this, I have no knowledge. So far nothing has been said that they are working to solve smurfing.
I’m also part of the pm group and it’s not the smurfing that they want to solve.
These “Smurfs” are players who cannot, no matter how hard they try,to compete with rank 1 players and therefore prefer to do smurfing on lower ranks.
They are somewhat dishonest? Of course! Not all players would do this. The majority ends leaving the game, they don´t go out to do smurf. But this problem is generated by the proliferation of OP items that are not available or accessible to everyone. If you are a paying player you can get good items faster. If you don´t pay, when you get 1 of these items, payers already have 10. I see little solution on the current system, because the game obviously needs players to payin order to continue and if developers don´t put a carrot in front ( what are the OP items), nobody would buy anything.
You can penalize the Smurfs in some way and what you would get, would be to kick them from the game. But they would be continually kicking players.
One thing … never allow any system to face poor against poor !