Now here’s something I can get behind. In an effort to tackle the ludicrous levels of hacking which goes on in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Valve is working a new Prime Matchmaking initiative. Designed to weed out those who are creating alternate Steam accounts in order to repeatedly use hacks, Prime Account Matchmaking would only allow those with verified Steam accounts into those particular servers.
Adding two-step authentication to your Steam account is a pretty painless experience, unless you want to do it multiple times, at which point things get tricky. It requires a qualifying phone number, so unless you’ve got a bunch of burners and a penchant for drug dealing, it could be a problem to repeat the feat. Or, you know, just don’t use hacks or spend your time smurfing and you can use your normal Steam account.
The potential upcoming changes come via the SteamDB Github account, which says "CS:GO is running an experiment to find out whether players will have a better matchmaking experience when they are matched with players who are using a phone-linked Counter-Strike: Global Offensive account.”
"To join the experiment, you'll need to upgrade your CS:GO account to Prime status. Just click the UPGRADE button below, which will bind your Steam phone number to your CS:GO account. If you own multiple CS:GO accounts, be sure to upgrade your favourite one since you can only upgrade one CS:GO account to Prime status with your qualifying phone number.”
The account goes on to say that Prime Account Matchmaking will begin in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive once there are enough accounts tagged as Prime.
Looking through all this I can’t see any problems whatsoever for legitimate players. Provided you’re willing to supply your mobile phone number, you’re going to be able to play CS:GO with a vastly reduced pool of cheaters and smurfers. It’s not going to be totally cheat-free, but it’s sure to be a better proposition than the current situation.
What do you make of these moves? Is this the sort of measure that should be rolled out to more games? Should you gain Prime status for being a long-term player?