We've recently been told how Dota is changing their approach to helping players learn Dota, including streamlining the shop, rewards, and a glossary.
Most prominent, however, is the decision to ban smurfs.
Smurf accounts regularly cause issues, used by players to troll with no threat of repercussions against their primary account, or simply providing an unfair obstacle against other players. In this way, smurfs can ruin games especially in a competitive setting.
Valve has now announced that smurfing will be a bannable offense, especially in extreme cases. Suspected smurfs will also be prioritised to queue with other suspected smurfs, to help limit any damage they may cause to other players and their games.
Players who are found to be selling accounts, boosting, or engaging in similar behaviour may also find their primary account banned.
Accounts will only be banned if there is 'extremely high confidence' that they are, in fact, a smurf. If players suspect someone of smurfing, they are able to report them with the new post-game option; this will flag them and allow Valve to gather data and identify offenders.
While this may help new players, will it harm the game overall? And will we see similar concepts applied to other games? It may protect new players, but it may also create obstacles for veterans who want to play with newbie friends.