Valve is mass-banning Dota 2 smurfers who are manipulating matchmaking or selling accounts, as evident by a new 17K player reset.
In any esports community there is going to be a group of cheaters, smurfs, and account resellers that cheapen the experience. In a major loss to those people who play Dota 2, Valve has reset about 17,000 accounts who were abusing matchmaking to get into ranked.
Announced in a Tweet earlier today by the official Dota 2 Twitter account, Valve revealed they helped cut down some of the worst players:
Today we reset roughly 17,000 accounts that were found to be abusing matchmaking to get into ranked. These techniques were mostly used by smurfs or account buyers.
— DOTA 2 (@DOTA2) January 11, 2019
Thankfully, if you aren’t someone who has been abusing the in-game matchmaking system, you likely won’t be getting swept into this reset. And though that point should be a given, it isn’t always the case with every major ban spree. Also, if you are one of the offenders (shame on you), you’ll be happy to know that it is only a reset of these accounts — not a full-on ban.
This couldn’t have come at a better time for the Dota 2 community. The dedicated MOBA community has been complaining about ranked and matchmaking manipulation, going as far as to highlight Twitch streamers that are openly account boosting:
This guy is boosting a 1k account with 45-0 win streak and he is streaming everything. Literally ruining the game for all players on this bracket while his client will ruin the game for another thousand people when he receives the account in whatever the bracket he paid to be. from r/DotA2
And this is far from a new stance from developer Valve. Roughly two years ago, the developer ushered out another update within Dota 2 to combat matchmaking manipulation — specifically requiring all users to register a unique phone number to their account in order to queue for Ranked matches. According to Valve:
Players using multiple accounts create a negative matchmaking experience at all skill brackets, so our goal is to add just enough friction to this process that the number of players doing this will be noticeably reduced. Having more players using their primary accounts will have a positive effect on both Ranked and Unranked Matchmaking.
Even better, we can see the immediate impact this is having on the community. When this update and ban-wave rolled out overnight, many flocked to the Steam Discussion boards to complain about their newfound bans:
Meanwhile, the dedicated community is overjoyed with the move, praising Valve:
👀! 🙌 Huzzah! pic.twitter.com/Kg2L6TqJPE
— Alliance (@theAllianceGG) January 12, 2019
— LGD Gaming (@LGDgaming) January 11, 2019
Valve has done a great job side-stepping controversy and playing to the community. Earlier this year there were accusations that a Dota 2 Major organizer was threatening controversial players, yet Valve was able to thread the needle in satisfying an angry esports community and insulted Chinese fanbase.
Dota 2 is available now exclusively on PC, if you wanted to jump into hardcore esports title ahead of The International.