Lately, DOTA 2‘s matchmaking system and policy has grown a little relaxed, especially with the emergence of veteran players who choose to create secondary accounts to play in lower tiers of the game’s Ranked and Unranked matches. This activity can create a sense of skill imbalance in lower brackets. Today, Valve has announced it’s doing something about this amongst some other issues it has diagnosed with the system.
From the DOTA 2 blog, Valve has announced a few new changes that will be coming to DOTA 2 in the coming weeks. Of the most notable is the requirement that players register a unique telephone number to their account in order to play in Ranked matches. As Valve puts it, this should add enough “friction” to the creation of secondary accounts to prevent many of the players utilizing them. The team says that from now until May 4, players will still be able to play in Ranked matches without registering a number, but after that deadline, registration will be required. If a player elects to remove a number’s registration, they will have to wait three months before that number can be used again in order to prevent the same number from being registered on multiple accounts.
In addition to the phone number registration, the updates will reintroduce the Solo Queue option, will begin factoring a player’s solo rank into ranked group matchmaking, and will provide additional abuse and uncooperative play report functionality.
Lastly, Valve mentioned that Ranked Matchmaking would no longer be available in South Africa, India, and Dubai, as the player populations are not high enough to justify splitting into separate queues. The low populations had apparently made the regions targets for Ranked Matchmaking abuse. As those populations grow, the team will reassess adding Ranked matchmaking back to these areas, but for now those players will be able to join Ranked queues in nearby regions.