Say goodbye to your smurf accounts: Valve introduces prime matchmaking

Dota 2 Andreea “divushka” Esanu

In two weeks-time players will not be able to play ranked matches unless they have their accounts linked to a phone number.

Prime Matchmaking

Dota 2 latest update is aimed to improve the quality of player’s experience in ranked matches and brings a lot of changes to the matchmaking system. The biggest change is that players will be required to link a phone number to their account in order to queue for ranked matches. The phone number cannot be attached to multiple accounts, therefore the players who used to bounce between smurf accounts will have to decide which one will be their main.



There is a two-weeks period in which you can link your phone number to an account. After the 4th of May all accounts without a phone number will become ineligible for ranked queue. In case you wish to change the phone number linked to your account, you can do so at any time but you will not be able to use the replaced number again for at least three months.

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. Having more players using their primary accounts will have a positive effect on both Ranked and Unranked Matchmaking. - extract from Valve’s official announcement

Solo and Party queue changes

If you are a lone wolf, searching for solo games, starting today you can choose to be matched only with other solo players if you wish so and avoid stacks of two or more allies or opponents.

Another big change is applied to the party MMR and the way the matchmaker functions now for parties. If a player’s solo MMR is considerably higher than the one he has for party, the game will “search for a match as if their MMR were halfway between the Solo and Party MMR values.”

While the current Party MMR number generally reflects the likelihood that you’ll win a given match correctly, we’ve found that when a Solo MMR is dramatically higher than a Party MMR, the match becomes extremely volatile, resulting in an unpleasant and uncompetitive experience for both teams. Simply having an even chance to win over the long run does not necessarily correlate to having competitive matches, but this change will make it so the matchmaker is able to take into account both the party teamwork skill component and the individual capability of the players on both teams. - extract from Valve’s official announcement

Low Priority changes

Getting yourself in the Low Priority pool will trigger higher punishments from Valve. Besides the game count numbers needed to exit the Low Priority, players will also find themselves banned from queuing for ranked matches for a determined period of time. The ban threshold starts at a few hours and increases up to four days, depending on how often the player gets marked for low priority matches.  According to their announcement, Valve has improved their ways of detecting “clear cases of intentional feeding, and will be applying stricter punishments to those who violate this rule”. Starting today, they are also able to identify those who are botting and this behavior is punished with a permanent ban for the offenders.

Intentionally ruining games for other players is never condoned. To help address concerns in this area, we’ve also added better detection for clear cases of intentional feeding, and will be applying stricter punishments to those who violate this rule. Finally, we’ve also added detection for users that are botting, and with this update have issued a permanent ban to a large number of recently-detected bot accounts  - extract from Valve’s official announcement

In addition to all these changes, players from Dubai, India and South Africa will not be able to play ranked matches on their designated servers anymore. According to Valve’s announcement, the low population on these three servers allowed users to abuse the ranked matchmaking. “We will update these servers as the unranked populations in these regions grow to the critical mass needed to be able to support splitting the user base into Ranked and Unranked queues” said Valve in the ending part of their official announcement.

source: blog.dota2.com


Will the phone linked number reduce the population of smurf accounts?

Yes, not everyone has more than a phone number
Thank you for voting!
No, prepaid numbers are cheap and most of the people can afford at least two accounts
Thank you for voting!
Andreea “divushka” Esanu
<p>I can resist anything but temptations... Follow me @DivDota</p>


  • Julius "Zipparn" Holmberg ,
    I disagree with this. Why is it a problem people having multiple accounts? "People playing on my MMR and are too good" -I hate this argument. It's not that they are too good. It's that I'm too bad.
    • Troll "troll-flamelord" Flame-Lord ,
      i disagree to ur disagreement, "It's not that they are too good. It's that I'm too bad. " pls its stupid argument when a sr. highschooler disguises as jr.highschooler and tries to compete with another jr.hschooler, it would be unfair. it also hinder the other jr.hschooler to shine or gain certain achievment fairly.
  • Not "Pvt_Mongoose" Giving It ,
    Note I am talking from an South African perspective Reading the blog says it is removing South Africa, India, and Dubai rank matchmaking... That won't stop people from playing it now the average 4k will search EU servers. Now people will play with 200-350 ping and ruin Europeans servers... Their excuse is to remove rank matchmaking abusers. Valve is just moving them back to their own servers and creating new abusers who play with high pings. Nice
    • James "Yared" A ,
      It appears that they have gone through a difficult decision. The smurfs have outnumbered the players from those regions. I will however suggest to use a ping or distance cutoff as a solution. Stay tuned.
  • kabu "JOK" smaug ,
    oh and THE LOW PRIORITY I was always amazed how this works brilliantly with the perfect report system where you can report players without any reason I feel sad for dota2 players I am not even playing that shit anymore
  • Kye "Valve_is_broken" Hilts ,
    Kek, good luck with that guys, same Prime account thing happened in CS:GO, still a good amount of Smurfs
  • Kova "Llano90" Llano ,
    Now... just add 1 ID for 1 user...
  • planes "plnswlkr" walker ,
    i need your warrant for my phone number.
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  • air "happygodaddy" ness ,
    dual sim ez


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