Skip to main content

Valve is coming for Dota 2's smurf accounts, and the main accounts behind them

"We have traced every single one of these smurfs back to its main account."

Four Radiant heroes invade the Dire jungle.
Image credit: Valve / Mike Stubbs, Eurogamer

Valve has banned 90,000 Dota 2 smurf accounts, and will wipe out their associated main accounts, too, if they continue to spawn smurfs to bypass Valve's matchmaking system.

In a candid post, Valve said that any main account found to be associated with a smurf – that is, an alternative account created by an experienced player just to farm XP and/or destroy lower-levelled players – could face "a wide range of publishments", including permanent bans.

Newscast: Our most anticipated games for the rest of 2023.Watch on YouTube

"Today, we permanently banned 90,000 smurf accounts that have been active over the last few months," the team explained (thanks, PC Gamer). "Smurf accounts are alternate accounts used by players to avoid playing at the correct MMR, to abandon games, to cheat, to grief, or to otherwise be toxic without consequence.

"Additionally, we have traced every single one of these smurf accounts back to its main account. Going forward, a main account found associated with a smurf account could result in a wide range of punishments, from temporary adjustments to behaviour scores to permanent account bans."

Insisting that Dota is a game "best enjoyed when played on an even field", Valve said that it cares about the quality of people in a given match, and it was "invested in making sure your matches are as good as possible, and smurfing makes matches worse".

Players suspicious of smurfs in their games are encouraged to use Dota 2's in-game reporting mechanisms to flag them, and Valve will do the rest.

"I'll keep playing Dota almost every day, and I'm still optimistic about the game's future, even if the esports scene does seem a bit doomed," contributor Mike Stubbs wrote in their Dota 2: State of the Game feature.

"I'm yet to discover a game that gives you the same feeling Dota does when you win one of those special matches where everything just works. There's always something new to learn, and despite metas becoming stale no two games of Dota are ever close to being the same.

"It's also a really good, if potentially problematic, way to disengage from the world. Dota requires so much focus for the entire game you can't think about anything else. Unless Valve really messes things up, none of those qualities will ever go away, and that is why I'll keep playing until Dota's last breath."

Read this next