In an update to the Dota 2 matchmaking services today, Valve announced that players will have to register a unique phone number in order to compete in ranked matches.
This move was made to combat players who use multiple accounts to ruin others’ ranked matches. The act of “smurfing,” or creating secondary accounts to play on, is common for most free-to-play competitive games, but in Dota 2 it can result in players tanking ranked matches without real consequences.
A two-week grace period, starting today, will allow players time to register unique phone numbers to their Steam account. Starting May 4, any account without a registered phone number will no longer be eligible to compete on the ranked ladder.
Dota pros and personalities took to social media to express their thoughts on the change:
Other changes, including an option for solo queue players to only match up with other lone wolves and adjustments to party calculations, seem set to further deal with issues of smurfing in the Dota scene. Low-priority bans also apply duration-based bans to ranked matchmaking, and a few underpopulated servers known for being used as grounds for artificially boosting matchmaking rating will no longer offer ranked matchmaking, forcing players into more populated servers.
You can add a phone number to your Steam account at the link here.