Ranked play in Dota 2 now requires a phone number

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Valve, the developer and publisher behind the Steam Platform and the Half Life and Counter Strike Franchises is finally overhauling its Free to Play DotA 2 Matchmaking experience to make it more friendly, enjoyable and less prone to abuse by unsavoury players. One of the major new changes is a requirement that asks players to register a phone number to play in ranked online multiplayer matches.

The company wrote in a blog post that players have until May 4 to register a phone number to their account or they will not be eligible for ranked matchmaking.

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.

Valve says that "online services that provide phone numbers are not allowed", so potential workarounds to create a new "valid" number shouldn't work.

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Very soon, playing ranked matches in Dota 2 will require a phone number.

In another major change to the matchmaking, solo players entering ranked queues will be able to choose to be matched against only other solo players. Low-priority bans also apply duration-based bans to ranked matchmaking, and a few underpopulated servers known for being used as grounds for artificially boosting matchmaking rating will no longer offer ranked matchmaking, forcing players into more populated servers. According to Valve, having more players use their primary accounts for ranked with "have a positive effect on both Ranked and Unranked matchmaking". This is to prevent using the same number on multiple accounts.

However, it's possible to remove the number from the account and add a new one. If you're a 4K solo player and 3K party, then you'll be apparently be queuing at around 3500 MMR.

So! Quite a lot of changes, depending on how you actually play Dota 2. Lastly, Valve has now removed Ranked Matchmaking in India, Dubai and South Africa as part of the regional changes. As a result, it has blocked ranked matchmaking on the servers and users on these servers can play in other nearby server regions in the meantime until their player populations allow ranked matchmaking to be fairer on said servers.

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