Dota 2 currently has a few matchmaking issues, both lingering and recent: smurf accounts (essentially veteran players posing as newbies) have gone mostly unpunished for much of the game’s lifespan, high level players could party up with lower-tier players to make matches unbalanced, and toxic players were going unreported in recent months. With a few changes, Valve is hoping fix most of these issues.
The biggest change Players will now have to register a valid phone number in order to play ranked matches. This makes it much more difficult for anyone to simply create a new account from scratch, play matches until they were a high enough level to play ranked games, and play with newer players. However, players looking to play normal, unranked games of Dota 2 can still do without registering their phone number. This change will take effect on May 4. If you already have your phone number linked to your Steam account (if you use two-factor authentication, for example), you need only click a button confirming your registration. Players can unlink their phone number at any time, though they will not be able to link that phone number to another account for three months afterward.
Other changes in the update include the option for players who queue for ranked matches alone to be matched with other solo players, ranked matches factoring in a players solo ranking into matches played with groups, improved reporting for abusive or uncooperative players, limited-time bans from ranked play for toxic players, and the removal of South Africa, Dubai, and India from the regional pool (these regions were prone to matchmaking abuse from people outside these areas, though players from those regions can still find matches in nearby regions).
I’m pretty happy with all of these changes. I get there may be a few instances in which people will have legitimate reasons for not wanting to register their phone number, but those players can still play regular matches, and this will curb the tide of alt accounts sneaking into low-level games. And because of the way Dota 2’s matchmaking works (with each player having separate solo and group rankings), it makes sense for players to have the option to play only with other solo players, even if that lengthens queue times. Now they just need to fix the part where I lose games, and I’ll be all set.
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