Valve has taken a stringent stance in enforcing its rules against smurfing in Dota 2, a position recently underscored by an incident in a professional competition in the South American region. During the South American Qualifier for DreamLeague Season 22 this morning, Mad Kings’ captain, Steven “StingeR” Vargas, faced an unexpected in-game ban without prior warning, leading to their disqualification against Thunder Awaken in game two.
Reports indicate that the decision was finalized when organizers were notified of a ban issued by Valve’s in-game system, suspecting a player in that Peruvian team was smurfing. Two days before this morning’s match, there were allegations implicating StingeR’s teammate, David “Parker” Chote, in boosting StingeR’s account.
Parker’s open admission to using the account during the match further fueled the suspicions. Post-game, Parker took to social media to provide his rationale, but his comments faced backlash from users who believed his actions compromised the competition’s integrity.
In addition of StingeR, other professional players like Alimzhan “Watson” Islambekov (Entity) and Artem “Yuragi” Golubiev (OG) reportedly fell victim to Valve’s crackdown on smurf accounts. However, the decisive use of the ban during the Thunder Awaken vs. Mad Kings match marked the first instance in a Dota 2 competition.
Valve had previously communicated with professional players, indicating that they would no longer be immune to smurfing bans. The recent incident reflects Valve’s commitment to elevating the Dota 2 ecosystem by setting a higher standard. After all, the developer team are sending a super clear message to all the smurfs and account-sharing folks – nobody’s getting a free pass anymore. Rules for everyone!