The Dota 2 team has rolled out the newest changes to the game’s ranked matchmaking system. This update brings a massive overhaul of the competitive matchmaking algorithm, just in time for the next ranked season.
The first big change addresses the mismatched ranks of people playing against each other in the same role. The announcement provides an example of one team’s mid-laner being the highest ranked player, while the other team’s mid-laner is the lowest ranked. The update hopes to remedy this problem by prioritizing rank symmetry across both teams. In the past, the matchmaking algorithm would prioritize rank spread across the opposing teams. Should this update work as intended, it would make for some more evenly matched games.
The next change adds a report function in the earliest stages of the game. In an attempt to make sure everyone plays the role they queued for, players will now be able to report others in the drafting phase and the first few minutes of a game. The Dota 2 team states that with this reporting system, and some other detection features, they will be able to be more aggressive towards players who abuse the matchmaking system.
Another update comes to the MMR system for core and support players. The Dota team explains that “some baseline Dota skills and knowledge are shared between the Support and Core roles.” Instead of keeping the two MMR scores completely separate, core and support players will now receive updates to both scores after a game is played in either role. The other role’s MMR will be updated by a percentage of the game’s gains or losses. The team states that this ratio will change over time as they find the optimal balance.
The Dota team next addresses the ban wave that came with this update. A large number of accounts have been banned recently for various reasons. These include accounts with a low behavior score, accounts that have been bought for the purpose of playing at a high or low rank, and accounts that have been caught using exploits. The phone number associated with these accounts will also be blacklisted from ranked matchmaking. Many fans have been taken aback by this ban wave, as a number of accounts have been banned for nearly two decades.
The Dota team also outlines their plan for smurf accounts, which includes denying accounts with no phone number verification access to ranked matchmaking. Players will now need 100 hours of playtime to reach ranked, and accounts that are "performing higher than expected" will be moved to their correct rank faster.
These big adjustments, along with some other smaller changes, come into effect with the game's most recent update.