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

3 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

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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.

  • RIP DOTA 2… can’t say I’m sad to see it leave our shores

    • DOTA 2 isnt gone – just local ranked play. People will go back to playing in EU, which may actually be a good thing for the local Dota scene.

    • BakedBagel


  • BakedBagel

    Who is gonna sit in a que for 15 mins searching for a ranked game, when you have better unranked games anyway.

    If you did want to play ranked you played on EU.

    • HairyEwok

      Playing with 200+ ping is no bueno!… That’s what most would say to you.

  • “Ranked Matchmaking abuses.”

    So once again the minority screws it up for everyone.

  • Craig “CrAiGiSh” Dodd

    Stopped playing DOTA years ago, never looked back …

  • Now local peeps will have to brush up on their Russian language again.

    • Lu

      Its fun how much they rage when they type in their funny font and you reply with “Da. Vodka Putin kalashnyakov”.

      • HairyEwok

        CYKA BLYAT!

        • Lu

          RUSH B!.
          Wrong game.
          MID OR FEED!
          GIFF TANGO.
          KOTL GIFF MANA

  • HairyEwok

    Why play ranked matches when you get exactly the same experience in unranked? Is that little number saying how PRO you are that important.

    • Lu

      Think it’s more to do with the actual matchmaking ranked’s mmr system is far better than the standard level/recent games/whatever formula unranked uses. The amount of times unranked has pitted me (somewhere around lvl 50) with low level randoms against a 5 stack of guys all over lvl 80 s too damn high.
      It’s also a great indication of who you can challenge vs who you should avoid when attempting the DGL ladder.

      • HairyEwok

        But that is it as well again. Like its said in the article, smurfs are at an abundance in ranked, so ranked is just as good as unranked at the moment.

        • Lu

          True. The bastards are all over the place. The cellphone registration thing is a step in the right direction, but as it is I’d still be able to run 3 accounts using my tablets, so not super effective

  • Hammersteyn

    Aww, just as I was about to start

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