Dota 2’s ranked matchmaking systems have been given an overhaul to deal with folks that create new accounts to toy with newbies, also known as smurf accounts.
Before we dive into the changes we need to make something clear, these changes only impact Ranked matchmaking and not Unranked matchmaking.
Now that we’ve done the housekeeping, let’s look at the changes.
The first and most notable change to Ranked matchmaking is that players will now have to link a phone number to their account to queue for games.
“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,” said Valve.
Dota fans have until 4th May to register their phone number on their account. After that period a phone number can be removed and replaced but the number that has been removed can’t be linked to an account for three months.
Next, Ranked matchmaking has been removed from the South African, Indian and Dubai servers. The reason? Not enough folks played Ranked mode on these servers, Valve said.
“While there are some players that used these servers for Ranked, the low populations made them prime targets for various Ranked Matchmaking abuses. For the time being, players in these regions will need to join Ranked Matchmaking queues in one of the other nearby supported servers.”
To hear it from the local community isn’t all that big of an issue. The Ranked matchmaking system on the SA server was so empty that it took ages to find games and as a result, many players were searching for games in other territories anyway.
Valve has also brought back the Solo Queue for Ranked matchmaking. Now players that join the solo queue will be matched with other players searching for a solo Ranked match as opposed to facing a team of five.
As we mentioned these changes only affect Ranked mode. Unranked players can carry on playing as they have up until this point.[Source – Dota 2]