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Steam revised its online conduct guidelines on May 11, explicitly categorizing smurfing as a form of cheating. The updated guidelines signal Steam’s intention to keep players situated in their correct skill brackets, but Dota 2 fans remain skeptical for the moment.
Despite adding smurfing to its guidelines, Steam has been against the practice in Dota 2 long before that. Fans believed that Steam’s rules against smurfing were mostly overlooked in Dota 2s case, making them think the latest update may not be enforced as expected.
Related: What is smurfing in gaming?
While Dota 2 players expressed their concerns regarding smurfing in a recent Reddit thread, many also pointed out Steams efforts to reduce smurfing in the game.
In patch 7.33, Valve changed Dota 2s ranked system to Glicko which aims to do a better job of identifying smurfs. When the system detects a smurf, it increases the amount of MMR that player wins or loses to place them in their true skill bracket.
Before the ranked system change, Valve mostly relied on player reports. Smurfs that attracted enough attention still got punished with matchmaking bans or more calibration matches. However, the old system was slow and many players still had to deal with smurfs almost every day.
Even after adding smurfing to its guidelines, Valves yet to define what they consider smurfing. The developer seems to be on the right track to eliminate smurfs, but their vague and gradual approach caused community support to vanish in this regard.