I haven’t played much Dota 2, but apparently smurfing – veteran players using alternate accounts to beat up on noobs – is a big problem in the game. And I wouldn’t know anyway, because even noobs beat up on me. Now, Valve has implemented new account requirements and queue policies to reduce this, but perhaps more significantly for local players, also temporarily cancelled support for ranked matchmaking locally due to “abuses” by players outside those regions. So it’s back to vreeslik international pings for the lot of you, but it’s also a legit excuse to suck. So there’s that too.

“Ranked Matchmaking will no longer be available in South Africa, India, and Dubai. We will update these servers as the unranked populations in these regions grow to the critical mass needed to be able to support splitting the user base into Ranked and Unranked queues,” the Dota 2 development team explained in an update.

“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.”

In the meantime, though, players have until 4 May to link a unique, verified phone number to their ranked matchmaking accounts or be shut out of that queue entirely.

“If a phone number is removed from an account after registration, a new number can be added, but there will be a three-month waiting period before the removed number can be registered on a new account. This is to prevent using the same number on multiple accounts. Online services that provide phone numbers are not allowed.”

Those players already using Steam’s two-factor authentication with a phone number can simply link that same number with their Dota 2 account, according to this FAQ.