Dota 2 ranked matches will require players to register phone number

Good luck finding ranked without a phone number (Valve)

Goodbye, smurfing in Dota 2. In Thursday’s Dota 2 matchmaking update, Valve announced that all players will have to register a phone number to their account in order to play ranked by May 4.

Effectively, the move will eliminate the ability to simply hop accounts upon getting banned or being moved into low-priority queues. Think you can game it by setting up multiple phone numbers via Google Voice or the like? Sorry, Valve is making moves to make sure even that system can’t be abused by not allowing numbers provided by online services. What’s more, if a number is removed from an account, it can’t be attached to another for three months.

Toxic players are getting hit all over the place, as those placed in low-priority will now have to wait a set amount of time to move out of that queue, on top of playing the required games. Valve has also issued an update to their ability to detect intentional feeding and botting accounts, and will punish them more stringently.

Other changes to the way matchmaking works have been added, as well. Solo queue players can choose to only get matched up with other solo players, avoiding premade groups altogether. If a player groups with a team that has significantly lower Party MMR than their Solo MMR, the number will get averaged out when looking for opponents. Ranked matchmaking has been removed from South Africa, India, and Dubai, but may return if the populations in those areas grows.

Good luck, jerks. Your days ruining Dota 2 games may be coming to an end.

Follow Taylor Cocke on Twitter @taylorcocke.