As the 2019/20 ranked season descends on the popular MOBA, the developers have been hard at work trying to solve a number of community issues, including players being fed up with the growing number of smurf accounts, and server concerns.
One particular change they made in their ranked matchmaking update this week was targeted directly at players buying and selling accounts, using exploits to cheat in-game, and generally exhibiting toxic behavior in the ranked queues.
These changes have seen a host of players cop major bans over the past 24 hours, with some even extending as far into the future as January 2038, which is the maximum amount of time able to be inputted into the system by the game programmers.
Not only are most of the bans extraordinarily lengthy, but they are user-based as well. If any banned player attempts to re-join games with a 'smurf', they will be denied based on their now-blacklisted phone numbers associated with their accounts.
For many fans, Valve’s move to remove players with low behavior scorefrom the game has been much welcomed. Many have already praised the company for their decision, and laughed at those sharing their extensive bans across social media.
“Got rekt toxic son,” one player said on a thread asking about the ban, while another expressed interest in seeing all the banned player’s and their grievances shared around: “I hope someone makes a compilation of the saltiest threads. Those are always fun to look at.”
There are some toxic players that have already offered up responses to Valve’s massive bans, including revealing they would be learning guitar and other hobbies now that they couldn't play Dota. One Reddit user even took the time to create a comedic video guide to ‘solve’ the ban.
The player, Meepomon, discovered in the video they had been hit with the maximum sentence, and would be unable to play until at least January 19, 2038. The video then showed them sneakily changing their PC's date to 2039, and loading up the game without the ban.
As well as the banwaves that have come from the update, the developers also confirmed they would be taking a closer look at smurf accounts, and introduced ‘role report’ system for those that did not play their designated positions in the competitive queue.
Overall, the September 17 patch has been well-received - one player even commented “Thank you Jesus” on the announcement post - and suggests Dota 2 will continue to be a key priority for Valve heading into 2020 and beyond.