Valve is attempting to remove “smurfing” from Solo Queue in Dota 2 by requiring all players to register a phone number too queue for Ranked matches.
For those who are unaware, smurfing is when a high level player creates a new account to play with lower skill players, which throws off the balance of the game.
“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,” the developer explains. “Having more players using their primary accounts will have a positive effect on both Ranked and Unranked Matchmaking.”
Players will have until May 4th to register a number with their Steam account, giving them a two-week grace period, after which accounts with no number registered will be unable to queue. If a phone number is removed from an account after registration, a new number can be added, but there will be a three-month waiting period before the removed number can be registered again to prevent the same number being used on multiple accounts.
Other changes include the option to only queue against other solo players, the removal of ranked in South Africa, India, and Dubai, and several changes to help remove undesirable behavior from matchmaking.
Read more about the changes over on the game’s official site.