Dota 2 Going Hard Against Smurf Accounts

Time to play at your own level.
Time to play at your own level. Valve

Yesterday, Valve released an update for Dota 2 just as the Dragon’s Blood anime dropped on Netflix. With the anime's release, there is the anticipation that new players may try out and join the game, which is what the update's for.

However, amidst all those features offered for new players is something many surely loves. Valve revealed in that same update, smurfing is going to become “a bannable offense.” You read that right: bannable!

A Bit of History

Before we go into what Valve has planned, some of you may be wondering what a smurf is and how it became the go-to term. It started way back during the Tides of Darkness expansion for Warcraft 2, which was around the late 1990s.

It was Geoff Fraizer and Greg Boyko who played under the names of Shlonglor and Warp for this multiplayer game. The two had become so good that only a few players would try and go against them. To make sure that they would be able to play, they used different accounts and named them as PapaSmurf and Smurfett. Hence, the term smurf.

Enter Overwatch

Early this year, Dota 2 introduced Overwatch, a feature that allows the community to regulate any negative behavior. Since going live, many prominent Dota 2 streamers have been sharing their experience on the feature. One comment often heard from these streamers is that there should be a way to report what could be smurf accounts.

Moving Forward

It looks like Valve may have listened to what the community is saying. Valve reminded everyone that they implemented some actions in the past against smurfs. One of the things they did was to detect smurf accounts and once proven, they would move them to the proper MMR. While it did help, there was still the damage caused, especially from extreme smurfing.

So, the developer decided to make it a bannable offense. But they’ll be focusing on new accounts that are created after the update went live. For now, what they’re going to do is manually ban smurf accounts.

Additionally, if a player is confirmed engaging in selling accounts, boosting, or other similar behaviors, their primary account could be banned. As such, they’re also increasing the ban rate not only for boosters but even on purchased accounts.

In cases the smurfing is just suspicious and unproven, affected accounts will be queued with other suspected cases until investigations determine the truth.

What are your thoughts on this? Is this a good move by Valve?

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