While it might sound scary that more than 40,000 Dota 2 players got their accounts banned, but in all honesty, it’s actually great. They were banned not for hacking or anything, though and instead were banned for abusing matchmaking – aka smurfing.
As a MOBA player, I can assure you that nothing is more painful than to be destroyed by a low-level player when you just the handle of the game. With this, many new players rage or simply quit the game, as the soft start becomes a struggle for surviving. My first encounter with a smurf resulted in a nice score of 0/22 KDA. Valve’s opinion on smurfing was pretty clear – they don’t like it at all:
We are making our smurf detection system more sensitive in this update. This change will much more proactively target potential smurf accounts but may on rare occasion give a normal player extra MMR”.
This mass banning is nothing new for Valve, and they want to make the game experience even better for new players. By removing hackers, smurfs and toxic players, maybe Dota 2 will be the first game to live up to the online experience we all login for. Just in January they banned another 17,000 accounts for the same reason, and with the numbers growing, soon enough we’ll get rid of smurfs or we’ll run out of players. This decision should inspire other MOBA games to do the same thing, players will hate to invest time and money into different accounts, so repeating this over and over again will be a pain for players.