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Valve stamps out Dota 2 smurfs and threatens main account bans

Valve bans 90,000 Dota 2 smurfs, and says using an alternate account to avoid playing at your intended rank is “not welcome” and bans could extend to your main.

Dota 2 smurfs banned - Meepo, a wide-eyed creature with a golden tooth, flies through the air.

As Valve bans 90,000 Dota 2 smurf accounts, the Steam developer says the use of alternate accounts to dodge your intended rank, cheat, or grief other players is “not welcome in Dota.” It adds that every Dota 2 smurf account banned in this wave has been traced back to its owner’s main Steam account, and that in future instances punishments for smurfing in the MOBA will extend to your main account as well.

“Today, we permanently banned 90,000 smurf accounts that have been active over the last few months,” Valve says in a post on the Dota 2 blog. It explains, “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.”

Smurfs are unquestionably the scourge of Dota 2, and many competitive multiplayer games generally. While I can understand the frustration of higher-level players who get stuck in longer queues only to end up in the sweatiest matches where they have to be at full-tilt every time, there are better ways to set yourself up for a more relaxing round than spoiling the fun of nine other lower-ranked players who have their game hard swung by someone typically out of their league.

Valve continues, “Additionally, we have traced every single one of these smurf accounts back to its main account.” As such, it warns players that more serious action will be considered for future instances of smurfing, extending to the main accounts associated with those smurf accounts, and that this “could result in a wide range of punishments, from temporary adjustments to behavior scores to permanent account bans.”

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It’s good to see Valve taking a step in this direction – it’ll be interesting to see whether we see any high-profile players or streamers made an example of, should they continue to play on alternate accounts. Given the length of a Dota 2 match, ensuring it’s as fair as possible is the right move, and Valve is declaratively on the side that “smurfing makes matches worse.”

Those of you looking to blow off some steam in a more acceptable manner should take a look through the best Dota 2 custom games for plenty of options. If you’re tempted to come back by this news, we’ve outlined the best Dota 2 heroes for beginners so you can ease yourself back into the fray.