Valve asks for phone numbers to confirm Dota 2 player identities


Dota 2 maker Valve is taking serious action to cut down on the prevalence of smurfing-using a secondary account in order to to play against opponents of a lower skill level.

That's changing. In addition to adding a Solo Queue, the latest matchmaking update for the world's second most popular MOBA will require that players have a linked, verified phone number for ranked matchmaking.

While the new change is commendable, Valve knows that a mandatory requirement of a phone number will not completely eliminate the lucrative business of accounts being boosted by smurfs.

If you don't have a registered number with your account, then you won't be able to play any Ranked matches. This means that these players are free to do as they wish because it would not be their main account, which means that they can quit halfway or just screw up on goal and it won't have an impact on them as they probably wouldn't care quite as much. At the same time, this is expected to cut down on a term that DotA players call "Smurfing" or essentially high skilled DotA 2 Players going to low ranked games via lower MMR (Matchmaking Rating) accounts to essentially help boost their friends, try new combinations or simply win otherwise easy games.

Valve will most likely release another blog post about this new change to the game. A number that is disabled from one account can not be used in another account for three months. From May 4, Dota 2 will no longer allow anyone without a registered number to queue up for a ranked game.

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Next up, Solo Queue is back in.

Value is also adding a previously default feature in ranked matchmaking where solo players can select an option to be matched only against solo players queue on the same server. It doesn't necessarily mean that matches are guaranteed to be competitive, but it should hopefully reduce the occasions where a high MMR player completely dominates a game because of lower-tier party members. These bans apparently start out with a threshold of just a few hours, while repeat offenders might find themselves locked out of Ranked for four days. To further improve the experience for all players, a new detection system is also being put in place to better recognize undesirable behavior, such as intentional throwing and issue stricter punishments.

Several users expressed concerns about their lack of phone and suddenly being "banned" from ranked play.

The developer has already trialled a similar idea with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, allowing player to sign up to an optional Prime Matchmaking system.