Dota 2 patch addresses matchmaking, demands phone numbers
Valve has announced a number of key changes coming to the matchmaking experience in Dota 2. The first and most weird has to be the requirement for all players to have a unique phone number on file, should they ever want to play Ranked matches. A MOBA staple seen in a variety of free-to-play titles where secondary and third accounts are treated in a less serious fashion than someone's primary, or utilised in a way to boost lower level friends to higher ranked tiers. Valve also says that online services that provide phone numbers won't be allowed. In North America, data from the FCC-backed NANPA can help determine the source of any such online phone numbers, but it's unclear whether Valve will also be able to confirm worldwide numbers in a similar way.
You can, however, add a new number right away after removing an old one. This is to counter all the throwaway accounts created by players, negatively impacting the experience. Ranked players, on the other hand, now need to register phone numbers, have a Solo Queue option, are more troubled by low-priority status, and can't play on three regional servers.
The update also re-introduces solo queue, which means solo players can choose to only be matched with other solo players. Players that are frequently reported or detected griefing or abandoning matches early will now be banned from ranked matchmaking entirely for anywhere from a few hours to a few days. The idea behind this is to stop people from playing Ranked games across multiple accounts, and while this is hardly a complete solution, Valve is hoping that it'll at least put a stop to people doing it casually. Players in a team with a higher MMR than their group will be assigned with equally good players. This punishment will be added in addition to the penalty games players now receive.
However, it's possible to remove the number from the account and add a new one. Additionally, bot detection has been improved.
The current matchmaking update is now trending on the DotA 2 Reddit page as a result and general reception has been overwhelmingly positive.
Lastly, Ranked will no longer be available in South Africa, India, and Dubai.