Valve has rolled out the Matchmaking Update for “Dota 2.” It brings a lot of changes to the free-to-play multiplayer online battle arena video game. It revives an old feature as well.

On Thursday, the Dota Team announced via the “Dota 2” blog the arrival of the new update that improves the matchmaking experience in the game. Perhaps the biggest change that this update brings is the required linking of phone numbers to the Steam accounts of players in order for them to play Ranked matchmaking. The feature is added to prevent players from using multiple accounts since the team said that this just creates “a negative matchmaking experience at all skill brackets.”

With this new rule in place, players are given up to two weeks starting this Thursday to register a number to their account. Should they fail to do so, their accounts will no longer be able to join Ranked play starting May 4. The team is also prohibiting players from using online services that provide phone numbers.

Valve is also reviving Solo Queue, a feature that allows players to choose matching with other solo players only. This means lone wolves can now match with others who are also queuing solo. Before the update, solo players would be placed in matches with teams just to hasten the matchmaking process, as pointed out by IGN.

Another change that the Matchmaking Update brings has to do with the player’s MMR. From now on when the player’s Solo MMR is higher than their Party MMR upon queuing in a party, the former will be increased to a higher MMR. The Dota Team stated that this change will allow the matchmaker to take into account both the party teamwork skill component as well as the individual capability of players on both teams.

The “Dota 2” update removes certain undesirable behavior from the matchmaking pool through a new detection system. The system targets intentional throwing and also implements stricter punishments such as the permanent ban to a number of bot accounts. Lastly, Valve has now removed Ranked Matchmaking in India, Dubai and South Africa as part of the regional changes.

DOTA 2 “Dota 2’s” latest update improves the matchmaking experience. Photo: YouTube/DOTA2