Dota 2 Smurf Guide
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What Is A Smurf Account?
Smurfing is reported to have started back in Warcraft II and involved experienced players creating new accounts to trick or play less skilled players, and it quickly transitioned into other games like we have mentioned above. Now, for some, it can be difficult to spot a smurf account in Dota 2. While there are some benefits of smurf accounts which will be covered shortly, there are mainly issues that are complained about daily.
In the modern day, for games like Dota 2, CS:GO, and League of Legends, smurf accounts are essentially used as second accounts for experienced players. These games all have competitive ranking systems, and once people have their main account at a high level, they will often use second accounts, known as smurf accounts, so that they can hop into games against initially lower ranked opponents and have some easier games. Obviously, there is a major flaw here as it hinders the competitive integrity of the ranking system and the game itself. Which is why we have started to see game developers bring in elements to reduce the amount of smurf accounts impacting games.
Is Smurfing Allowed In Dota 2?
Valve, the developers of Dota 2, have taken the smurfing situation very seriously, and it is now a bannable offensive, which was largely welcomed by the community but caused frustration for some. This change was brought in in March of 2023. Previously, Valve had been leaning heavily on attempting to detect smurf accounts and move them to their correct MMR (skill based ranking system) more quickly, which had helped to somewhat fix the issue, but was still causing damage along the way, mainly in the cases of extreme Dota smurfing.
As part of this initiative, Valve also created the option to report people for smurfing in Dota 2 in-game, something that previously wasn’t available. Until this point, people just had to report using the vague “matchmaking abuse” option. It has also been confirmed that Valve are creating a separate “hidden pool” for suspected smurfs. Valve had initially been manually banning accounts that they caught smurfing in the recent months, and for those that had been caught boosting or account selling, they were also at risk of seeing their main accounts banned.
While we have mentioned account selling, it’s another reason there was such a big issue surrounding smurfing. The game loses competitive integrity when higher ranked players are on fresh accounts and playing lesser opponents, but the same competitive integrity is lost when lower ranked players get on high ranked accounts but aren’t good enough to compete. This is exactly what happens with account selling and why in the past, top-level players would have multiple Dota 2 smurf accounts. The high ranked player would get the smurf account ranked up while enjoying easier matches and then sell it to those that have been unable to obtain the higher ranks. Once the lower ranked player is on the ranked up smurf account, it immediately becomes detrimental for their teammates in the ranked playlist.
Why Do People Smurf In Dota 2?
As covered above, some people will be using smurf accounts purely to get some easier games and get the buzz and enjoyment from dominating games, something that isn’t easily achievable at higher skill ratings. This is where the negative portrayal of smurfing comes from, as it cuts competitive integrity, ruins the game for lower level players, and is just viewed as being incredibly toxic. However, there are some legitimate reasons people choose to use a smurf account that make sense.
- It is rather common to see people using smurf accounts in order to play with lower leveled friends. While this still has the issues of competitive integrity that has been discussed throughout, this is a more genuine reason. It’s becoming normal that in friend groups, there is one friend that is very skilled and climbs the MMR skill rating quickly. After a point, they will be unable to queue and play games with their friends. This is where the smurf account comes in, as they will be able to play these games with their friends and ultimately help to try and rank them up, but this can also fall under “boosting”, which Valve are also trying to stamp out.
- Pro players also use smurf accounts frequently, but this isn’t with the toxic aim of destroying low ranked players. Instead, this is because their main account will be watched by fans and opponents in order to track how the player is behaving, which heroes they are using, and obviously, from a professional competitive level, you do not want this in every single game. Having a new smurf account that is anonymous to the masses to test out new heroes, tactics, and play styles can be beneficial. Also, more often than not, the pros will aim to climb the MMR as quickly as possible so that they can be practicing against higher level opponents. This means that the impact on lower ranked players is still there but won’t be anywhere near as bad as the experience they have against the smurf accounts purposely staying a lower ranks to dominate games.
- Finally, some people will create fresh smurf accounts as a way to reevaluate their skill level. This is done as a project, if you will, but keep in mind, it very rarely ever leads to anything. Often this comes from the mindset from the player that they should be at a higher rank than they are on their main. So they make the smurf account and will aim to reach a higher rank in matchmaking, and if this is achieved, the smurf account then becomes their main. As mentioned, this is often unsuccessful, and it would be much better to dedicate that time into the main account and improve as a player.
How To Create A Dota 2 Smurf Account
Please be aware that by creating a smurf account, you are at risk of getting banned, not just on the smurf account but also on your main account. With that said, if you do want to know the process, then please see the below steps.
- Firstly, you will need to make a new Steam account. This can be done by creating a new email for free on any email client of your choice. Dota 2 is free to play, so you don’t need to worry about purchasing the game on the new Steam account.
- The second step will require using a unique phone number associated with your Dota account. This is an additional step that has been introduced before you will be able to play ranked matches in order to lower the amount of people creating smurf accounts.
- You are now also required to play 100 hours of unranked games before being able to queue in the ranked playlist. There is an alternative option available that comes after you have played 25 matches, as a system will then determine how many games between 0-100 must be played before being able to calibrate the account.
- The next step in the process is to calibrate the Dota 2 account. This is done in 10 matches for the single rank with role performances. This calibration MMR (the first MMR value you will receive) does has a maximum value, so do not expect to hit the Divine rank as it’s not realistic from this.
- After this, the smurf account will be ready to use, but as we have mentioned already, you must be aware that there is a possibility of the smurf account and your main account being banned.
An additional note for when you’re setting up the smurf account is something that you will be prompted to answer the first time you open Dota 2. It will ask you how experienced you are with games like Dota, you will want to state that you are inexperienced with these games and new to them.
- January 9, 2022