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Valve bans thousands of Dota 2 smurfing accounts, threatens greater future punishments

"Smurfing is not welcome in Dota"

Earlier this week, Dota 2's summer update was released and included new tools for filtering toxic and unwanted players fromy our matches. Now Valve have taken an extra step of their own by declaring that "smurfing is not welcome in Dota," and permanently banning 90,000 accounts involved in the practice

"Today, we permanently banned 90,000 smurf accounts that have been active over the last few months. Smurf accounts are alternate accounts used by players to avoid playing at the correct MMR, to abandon games, to cheat, to grief, or to otherwise be toxic without consequence," says the announcement.

Valve also say they've "traced every single one" of those accounts back to its main account. In future, main accounts belonging to players found to also be operating smurf accounts, could also be included in the punishments, including "temporary adjustments to behavior scores" and "permanent account bans."

It's worth keeping in mind that Dota is a MOBA with a huge skill ceiling, and a team-based game where players are hugely dependent on the quality of their teammates to win. A single high-level player dropping into a low-level match can have a huge negative impact for every other player in that match.

"Dota is a game best enjoyed when played on an even field," says Valve's announcement. "The quality of the people in a given match are what makes a match good. We’re invested in making sure your matches are as good as possible, and smurfing makes matches worse."

Long ago in 2016, we asked you if you had ever smurfed, and why. Some of you had. Please now hand yourselves in for punishment.

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