Why is Valve banning professional players’ accounts?

Why is Valve banning professional players' accounts?

Have you heard Valve is banning professional players’ accounts? You have heard it right. And, this article is all about the reasons why Valve is banning Dota 2 professional players’ accounts and what types of accounts are banned.

According to Forbes, Valve recently banned several pro players’ accounts in Dota 2. One of them was Stinger. His account was banned when he was in the middle of the match. The ban eliminated him from a million-dollar prize pool. So, what is really happening?

What types of accounts is Valve banning?

Why is Valve banning professional players' accounts?

Let’s start from the very basics. Valve is not banning all pro players’ accounts. It is targeting a specific group. Dota 2 professional players who have an amazing skill set and have reached higher ranks make secondary accounts. They keep those accounts deliberately at lower ranks. These accounts are called Smurf accounts and Valve is banning those Smurf accounts of professional players. 

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9 Reasons why Valve is banning Dota 2 Pro Players’ accounts

Below are the reasons behind this ban:

1. Fulfilling the demand of the Dota 2 community

The very first reason behind this ban is the demand of the Dota 2 community. This ban has not just happened overnight. The Dota 2 community has been asking the developer to take strict action against Smurf accounts. So, Valve has come up with a solution and has placed a ban on pro players’ Smurf accounts.

2. To ensure accurate matchmaking

In Dota 2, the system uses Matchmaking Rating (MMR) to form balanced teams for matches. But, those pro players were keeping their MMR low to deceive the system. That resulted in inaccurate matchmaking. So, to ensure accurate matchmaking Valve is banning smurf accounts of the professional players.

3. To level the playing field

Another reason was to level the playing field. The owners of these Smurf accounts were professionals; their skill set was way better than the skills of other players in the same rank. So, in matches, it was quite an easy task for these pro players to defeat their opponents. This resulted in a slewed playing field. So, to level the playing field and ensure fair competition, Valve is banning smurf accounts of professional players.

4. To encourage new players

Moreover, the ban is also going to encourage new players. Because when new players start playing. After placement matches, they usually start from lower ranks. When they start playing ranked matches, they are placed against Smurf accounts. They get defeated every time because a novice can not match the skill set of an expert player. This results in frustration. And, they lose motivation to play the game. So, to boost new players’  confidence that was shattered by these Smurf accounts, Valve is banning such accounts.

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5. To increase player retention

With so many video games out there, it is difficult to retain players. If players find anything better and fairer, they switch. And, when pro players smurf their accounts, many players lose their interest and switch to other games. So, in order to increase its player retention, Valve is banning Dota 2 Smurf accounts.

6. To deal with throwing matches

Professional players keep their accounts smurfed by keeping their MMR low. They do this by throwing matches. Match throwing is also a long-standing concern among Dota 2 players. So, by banning pro players’ Smurf accounts, Valve is trying to deal with match throwing also. This will bring down the number of thrown matches.

7. To reduce toxicity

Smurf accounts make the gaming environment very toxic. There are several instances when experienced players taunt or belittle less skilled opponents. By banning Smurf accounts, the developer is trying to reduce the toxicity and promote a more positive community.

8. To target illegal activities

By banning smurf accounts of the Dota 2 professional players, the developer is also trying to target illegal activities. Many pro-players use these Smurf accounts to sell illegal services such as boosting or they sell these accounts. The ban will discourage these activities also.

9. To preserve the reputation

Many Dota 2 players, on Reddit, questioned the integrity of the developer if it is serious in improving the gaming experience. So, this action will also help in maintaining a positive image for the game.


In conclusion, Valve is trying to make the game fair and competitive by banning the Smurf accounts of professional players. Such actions will improve the gaming experience and attract more players in the future.