DOTA Ranked Matchmaking Soon To Require Phone Registration To Kill ‘Smurfs’

Defense of the Ancients (DOTA) is upping its security game. DOTA 2 ranked matchmaking will soon require players to enter a phone number upon registration and Valve hopes that this will cut down on the amount of “smurfing”.

First off, what is “smurfing”? In the DOTA world, smurfing is when a player creates a new account after already having made one, and recalibrates the account once a player reaches level thirteen. The player essentially develops the account in order to play at a level lower than their actual mmr.

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Some people sell the smurf account after boosting it, use it on trading because something has happened to their main account, or use the account to never play on “Low Priority”. Others will create a smurf account in order to play with new-to-DOTA friends with less experience or to experiment with new builds. Smurfing is generally looked down upon, particularly by the developers.

DOTA 2 players must now register a unique phone number in order to participate in ranked matchmaking. Once the account has become eligible for ranked, an "Associate Phone With Dota" option will display within the find match window. The phone number registered with a user’s Steam account is the phone number used to register their DOTA account. The same phone number cannot be used on multiple DOTA accounts.

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If a number is removed from Steam, it will also be removed from DOTA. That number will not be able to be used for three months in order to prevent abuse. A player is welcome to use a new number at any time with no “cool down” period. Online services that provide virtual phone numbers do not qualify.

If a player does not have an accepted phone number, they will not be able to participate in ranked matchmaking. Steam added “Please note that we do not make exceptions to this requirement. Should your number not qualify, you will need to use a different phone number.” It appears that DOTA’s developers are quite determined to stamp out smurfing.
Tags:  STEAM, Valve, dota-2