Valve Software announced today, in an effort to tackle smurfing and other matchmaking issues in Dota 2, that players must now register a unique phone number to their account in order to queue for ranked matchmaking. This makes it difficult for an experienced player to start a fresh account then proceed to wipe the floor with less experienced players.
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. There will be a two-week grace period from today during which players have time to register a number, but starting on May 4th, accounts without a registered number will no longer be eligible for Ranked play. 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 on a new account. This is to prevent using the same number on multiple accounts. Online services that provide phone numbers are not allowed.
Accounts which have not registered a phone number will still be able to participate in normal matches but will be unable to queue for ranked until a unique phone number is supplied.
The update also brings back the much needed Solo Queue option, to prevent unfair matches, everyone in the game would have also had to queue by themselves. There has been several individuals in the community who have expressed concerns over the phone registrations (for good reason), stating that “It would be problematic if every company started requiring your phone number to play a game”, which is mostly falling on deaf ears and thought to be cries by those who smurf.
Finally, ranked matchmaking will no longer be available in South Africa, India and Dubai (which were very prone to matchmaking abuse).