An update to DoTA 2's ranked mode requires all players provide a unique telephone number to play.
A change has just rolled out for Valve's DoTA 2 that requires all players who wish to partake in the game's ranked mode to provide the developer with a unique telephone number. The goal is to reduce the amount of people using "Smurf" accounts - new accounts created in order to play games at a lower rank than the player's skill level, as well as provide "additional security" to the game.
"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," said Valve. "Having more players using their primary accounts will have a positive effect on both Ranked and Unranked Matchmaking."
Players will be given a two-week grace period starting from today to register a number, allowing them to continue to play ranked games. Additionally, If a phone number is removed from an account after registration and replaced with a new number, there will be a three month waiting period before the old number is able to be registered to another account. Online services that provide phone numbers are not allowed.
The update also brings back Solo Queue to the game, allowing players to queue for ranked matchmaking all by their lonesome. Players queuing in solo queue can also choose to be matched only with other solo queue players.
Finally, Ranked Matchmaking will no longer be available in South Africa, India, and Dubai. "While there are some players that used these servers for Ranked, the low populations made them prime targets for various Ranked Matchmaking abuses. For the time being, players in these regions will need to join Ranked Matchmaking queues in one of the other nearby supported servers," said Valve.