Valve has taken action on matchmaking abuse, banning over 40,000 DOTA 2 accounts in one fell swoop. While the developer was vague as to the exact meaning of this, players have long been complaining about numerous issues found in any online game. Companies often form their own strategies to combat various forms of abuse, and Valve's appears to include massive ban waves as a deterrent.

Whenever a game becomes big enough to draw more than a handful of players, someone figures out a way to make money off it. Account and item selling, character boosting, and smurfing (a higher-level player creating a low-level account to take advantage of the players' lower skill level) are among the most common complaints in nearly any online game. DOTA 2 is a game in which all those things happen. In the past, Valve has addressed these issues in the form of massive ban waves. These bans in some cases lasted almost two decades for especially toxic burdens on the Dota 2 community. Valve announced on Tuesday that it has taken the most action against bad actors that it has since January 2019 when it reset around 17,000 accounts "found to be abusing matchmaking." In this case, the accounts were mostly either purchased or smurf accounts.

The official DOTA 2 Twitter account recently announced that Valve has banned over 40,000 accounts for "players who were found abusing matchmaking." While vague, this seems to indicate that Valve is addressing the same issues it has in the past. The same language is used in numerous Valve and DOTA 2 tweets covering bans for "abusing matchmaking." The official message from the developers announcing the bans is embedded below:

People who sell account-boosting services in DOTA 2 or outright sell accounts likely lost their ability to log in recently, just like with previous large ban waves of this nature. However, even 40,000 bans likely only covers the worst offenders, and unfortunately some casual abusers might escape with their accounts intact. Thankfully, Valve seems intent on sending a message to these DOTA 2 account abusers, especially when one considers the number of accounts it obliterated in one sitting.

Smurfing is not against DOTA 2 rules specifically, and having multiple accounts is allowed. However, those who regularly manipulate matchmaking by queuing with low-ranked friends to guarantee easy wins will likely find their accounts banned. DOTA 2 has a good system in place to deal with everyday smurfs - it gives them extra MMR to push them out of lower ranks. That being said, those who take special care to stay in the basement to take advantage of the skill disparity likely will have a surprise in store when they try to log in.