Valve Bans Over 40,000 Dota 2 Players For Abusive Matchmaking

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2013-07-09
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Valve banned over 40,000 Steam accounts this week, cracking down on players who were found abusing the matchmaking system. Valve hasn’t responded to the specifics of the bans, but smurfing seems like the major reason.

Smurfing is when high ranked players make new accounts so that they can play in lower-skilled groups and destroy them. "We are making our smurf detection system more sensitive in this update," Valve said in a press statement. "This change will much more proactively target potential smurf accounts, but may on rare occasion give a normal player extra MMR."

Many such players were banned without a reason and were locked out by Steam, which caused a huge uproar in the community. Also, reducing the active player count by 40,000 made the matchmaking much slower. Organizations such as Team Secret posted a GIF with a caption reading "Ooh, that backfired quickly".

Valve uses a system called Valve Anti-Cheat, or VAC, to help monitor their games. The system targets 'VAC-enabled' titles such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, Call of Duty, Team Fortress 2, Dying Light, and Rust. Once an account has been banned by VAC, there's no going back. All bans are permanent, non-negotiable, and can't even be removed by Steam Support.

In other Valve news, the company is teasing news about SteamVR2.0 with the launch of Half-Life: Alyx. Looking ahead to 2020, the tweet teased that Valve is “hard at work on SteamVR 2.0, which will feature a number of customer experience improvements.” Valve didn't elaborate on what customers can expect from SteamVR2.0, but I think it will be a major update to fix all the issues and not a major remake. Regardless of the timing, Valve should introduce SteamVR2.0 along with the release of Half-Life: Alyx.

So, what are your thoughts on this ban wave? Do you think that it’s a great move banning all smurfs and reducing the player count? Personally, I think they should take even more rigid methods for bans so that all players can have fun equally and not get dumped on by higher ranked players. Whatever your thoughts may be, let us know in the comments below.

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