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Dota 2 hands out 19 year bans

Dota 2 is cracking down on toxic players, handing out bans that can last up to two decades for low behavior scores, smurfing, buying and selling Steam accounts, and role abuse.

Valve unveiled a new Matchmaking Update on September 17, with changes slated to role out on a staggered schedule over the following two days. The patch was designed to refine the matchmaking experience while weeding out the bad eggs from the community. Dota 2 uses a complex conduct system that grades players based on their sportsmanship. If you are frequently reported by other players for foul play or abandon too many matches, your conduct score will plummet.

"Users that reach this low level of behavior in the game are too big of a tax on the rest of the community and are not wanted," wrote the Dota Team in a blog post.

The first wave of bans has already gone into effect, with multiple Reddit users revealing that Valve had disabled their matchmaking until January 19, 2038. According to the shared images, the bans resulted from "excessive reports, failing to ready-up or abandoning." These threads were met with celebration and disbelief in the comments, with many Redditors dishing out insults to the banned players. Though Valve's motivations seem to be in the right place, it's disheartening to see community members fighting toxicity with toxicity.

To help combat smurf accounts, Dota 2 now requires phone number verification, preventing anyone who does not have their account setup properly from queuing up. Players who demonstrate abusive behavior will now have their associated phone number permanently blacklisted from ranked matchmaking. Gaining ranked access now uses a time-based metric rather than games played, with ranked queues opening up after 100 hours of playtime. Any ranked users who do not meet this requirement have had their access revoked.

Many have accused Dota 2 of possessing one of the most toxic player communities, giving League of Legends a run for its money. It seems Valve has taken this feedback to heart and has moved improving matchmaking quality to the top of their priority list.