Let’s just rip the Band-Aid off: You can’t queue for Ranked matches on local servers anymore. Valve has made some changes in the latest Dota 2 patch released last night, disabling Ranked Matchmaking for South African servers, as well as for India and Dubai. Further, Valve has announced that you will need a phone number connected to your Steam account if you wish to continue playing Ranked after 4 May 2017.
Below, read the explanation by Valve regarding the changes, but first…
Please note: MWEB merely provides the hardware and connectivity for the servers. All server management is handled by Valve.
At the time of writing, there is no indication when or if Ranked play on local servers will be back and we have no further information to provide. Valve did give a reason for disabling Ranked play, explaining that:
“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.
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.” – Source
The image below shows the error message I received this morning when trying to queue for Ranked play with only the SA servers selected.
That’s not the only big change to Ranked play. Even though SA players can still queue for Ranked play on EU servers (or whichever one you prefer), you will require a valid phone number attached to your Steam account. Valve is giving those without a phone number attached some time, a “two-week grace period”. Therefore, you will have until 4 May 2017 to add a phone number, after which point you will not be able to queue for Ranked until you add one. Valve explains:
“Players using multiple accounts create a negative matchmaking experience at all skill brackets, so our goal is to add just enough friction to this process that the number of players doing this will be noticeably reduced. Having more players using their primary accounts will have a positive effect on both Ranked and Unranked Matchmaking.
There will be a two-week grace period from today during which players have time to register a number, but starting on May 4th, accounts without a registered number will no longer be eligible for Ranked play. 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.” - Source
Valve has also made some changes to matchmaking. One of the best changes, in my opinion, is that solo Ranked queue players can now choose to only be matched with others who also queue solo. Some additional matchmaking tweaks have also been made and with the update, Valve has added detection for users that are botting as well as “issued a permanent ban to a large number of recently-detected bot accounts”.
What do you think about Ranked play on SA servers being disabled and the phone number requirement for Ranked? Let us know in the comment section below.
Source: Dota 2
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