Valve is on its way to changing the way you play their MOBA game. ‘Smurfing’ occurs when a player gets to the desired rank on their main account, but doesn’t want to ruin where they’ve gotten to so far. They essentially create another account to have fun on or play with their friends so they don’t tarnish their main account.
On May 4th, Dota now requires you to tie your account to a unique phone number if you want to play ranked matches according to their latest blog post. This means that unless you have multiple cell phones, a house phone (who still has those), or use an alternative like a google phone number (Valve already said these won’t work) or one of your friend’s phone numbers who doesn’t even play Dota 2, you won’t be able to create a Smurf account to play ranked matches.
Valve hopes that this change will drastically reduce the number of players creating smurf accounts as this was negatively impacting the matchmaking experience across skill levels. I can see how smurfing can be a problem, as you never know who you’re facing in any match (ranked or unranked). When this gets put into play, if you want to protect your precious ELO you better just get good or suffer the consequences when you can’t brag anymore about your high rank.