Ranked Dota 2 matchmaking will no longer be available in South Africa

2 min read


Dota 2 has a smurf problem. I’ve been informed by people who know better than I that it has nothing to do with Gargamel, but has everything to do with higher skilled players playing under lowly alternate accounts. As their actions wouldn’t be reflected on their main accounts, those players would happily ruin games.

That’s changing. In addition to adding a Solo Queue, the latest matchmaking update for the world’s second most popular MOBA will require that players have a linked, verified phone number for ranked matchmaking.

Says Valve:

“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.”

Players now have two weeks to get their phone numbers registered to their Dota 2 accounts. From May 4th, players who don’t will not be able to play ranked matchmaking. You also won’t be able to move your number around different accounts as there will be a three-month waiting period before said number can be used on a different account. Valve also says that online services that provide phone numbers won’t be allowed.

In theory, this should help partially eliminate some of the smurfing that goes on, levelling the playing field for newcomers.

There are also some big changes coming for South Africa – Valve is killing ranked matchmaking for the region.

“Ranked Matchmaking will no longer be available in South Africa, India, and Dubai. 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.

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.”

Guess it’s time for local Dota players to play with the Europeans again.

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Last Updated: April 21, 2017

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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