Valve has announced a ban on a large number of Dota 2 player accounts, totaling 90,000. These accounts are what is commonly known as ‘smurf’ accounts or alternate accounts used by highly skilled players who wish to play against lower-skilled opponents for various benefits. The main accounts of these players have high Matchmaking Ratings (MMR), but they want to play with less experienced players to gain advantages such as satisfying victories or belittling their opponents, thus causing toxic behavior and issues within the player community.
Valve has not disclosed the exact method used to detect these smurf accounts, but they have confirmed that they have identified the main accounts and are considering penalties for them, ranging from behavior score adjustments to permanent bans.
Earlier this year, Valve banned a significant number of player accounts, around 40,000, for using cheating software.