If you are unaware, smurfing is when a talented and highly ranked player, creates a new account and jumps into ranked. Usually they do this for two reasons, either they want to play with their friends who are at lower ranks or they simply want to flex their skills on some unsuspecting players.
It plagues every game with a ranked mode from Rocket League to League of Legends, but one developer is getting serious about the issue in their game and that is Valve and the game in question is their MOBA title, Dota 2, with the company announcing that from now on smurfing is a bannable offence in their game and other "game ruining" behaviours will receive similar punishments.
The news came as Valve attempts to make the new, and returning, players experience easier, with Dota 2 a notoriously difficult game to understand.
Valve is attempting to make Dota 2 more enjoyable for new players. (Picture: Valve)
The developers explained that from today smurfing in Dota 2 is a bannable offence.
"We will primarily focus on new accounts created after today for which we have high confidence in their smurfing and game-ruining behavior," explained Valve in a blog post. "We will also occasionally manually ban old pre-existing accounts that are clearly game-ruining."
Accounts that the developers suspect are smurfs but have yet no concrete proof will be match with other smurf accounts.
And Valve isn't stopping there and also has designs to go after those that sell accounts or boost other players.
"If you are found to be selling accounts, boosting or engaged in similar game ruining behaviors, your primary account may also be subject to a ban. To go along with this, we've recently increased our ban rate for boosters and purchased accounts."
Valve will hope that these changes, along with the those introduced as part of the new player experience such as the ability to speak to a coach while playing a game and Hero briefs which give you the lowdown on the game's characters, will work to make the title more forgiving.
In January of this year, Valve also introduced Overwatch, the anti-cheat system from CS:GO.